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Dec 20, 2011

The lead time between the sneaks and the movie's official debut date is unprecedented, according to Fox, and reflects the studio's confidence in the PG-rated film. The movie will play on Nov. 26 in more than 800 theaters nationwide, although that number could grow. Sneaks are used by studios to build word-of-mouth and, in some cases, trigger reviews.

"Once in a while, we're lucky enough to have a picture to which audiences of all kinds and all ages respond so strongly, that it demands a big and unexpected event. We Bought a Zoo is that kind of picture -- and Thanksgiving is a great time to share it via this special very early preview," Fox president and chief marketing officer Oren Aviv said.

Fox decided to hold the sneaks based on the results of test screenings in big cities and America's heartland.

The studio is partnering with TOUT on a "TOUT Takeover," which will allow those attending the sneaks to post their own reviews of the film (one entrant will win a trip for four to the San Diego Zoo). The social media campaign also will include a live chat with Crowe following the film, and tie-ins with Twitter and Facebook .

"I think I'm the one getting the early holiday gift," Crowe said. "Holding previews so far ahead of our opening is a bold movie -- but that's one of the many reasons I like it."

We Bought a Zoo, also starring Elle Fanning and Thomas Haden Church, tells the story of a single dad who wants to give his family a new start and moves to a home that's smack in the middle of a down-and-out zoo. Together, he and his two children try to restore the zoo to its former glory.

Crowe co-wrote the script with Aline Brosh McKenna, with Julie Yorn and Rick Yorn producing.

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Posted: Dec 20, 2011 10:57pm
Dec 20, 2011

Many people might have missed this at WonderCon, but the Oni Press booth had our first look at the Timur Bekmambetov-produced alien invasion movie titled The Darkest Hour. Described as a 28 Days Later-type thriller, the story follows a group of American tourists visiting Moscow Russia when an alien invasion occurs.

The film stars Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer, Into the Wild), Olivia Thirlby (Juno, The Wackness), and Max Minghella (Bee Season, How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, Agora, The Social Network). Chris Gorak directed the film, with a script by M.T. Ahern and Leslie Bohem with revisions by Gorak, Jon Spaihts, and Josh Zetumer. The film was shot last Summer in Moscow with a $40-$50 million budget. Summit Entertainment is distributing the film in the states while Fox International is handling international.

Hit the jump to see our first look at art created for the upcoming film.

an image of destruction at the Taj Mahal, with two soldiers from opposite sides of a centuries-long conflict fighting together as the last men standing against the unseen alien invaders. The limited edition poster, illustrated by Brian Hurtt and colored by Bill Crabtree, the art team behind Oni Press’ hit comic book THE SIXTH GUN, will be given away at Oni Press’ booth (601) during WonderCon in San Francisco.

What can we learn from the above image? Well for one, I don’t see any alien invaders, do you? I do see electrical bolts or lazer beams. Could this be the force from alien weapons off screen, or might the aliens themselves be some kind of invisible electrical force?

If you go to the website referenced on the poster,, you will find information and videos on Ball lightning, a &ldquoroposed atmospheric electrical phenomenon of which little is known” which “is usually associated with thunderstorms, but lasts considerably longer than the split-second flash of a lightning bolt.”


Summit Entertainment, New Regency & Oni Press will unveil a special collectible poster at WonderCon 2011 from the upcoming art book for THE DARKEST HOUR, a new film about five young people who find themselves stranded in Moscow, fighting to survive in the wake of a devastating alien attack. The 3D action-thriller highlights the classic beauty of Moscow alongside mind-blowing special effects from the minds of visionary filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov (WANTED, NIGHT WATCH) and director Chris Gorak.

The full art book is set to debut later this year, with stunning artistic interpretations of the film’s vision of a world lost to an overwhelming and frightening alien force, featuring work from a diverse roster of comics’ hottest creators. The global events are captured in epic detail as the last remnants of humanity struggle for survival in a world that is no longer their own.

The special WonderCon collectible poster (11×17) features an image of destruction at the Taj Mahal, with two soldiers from opposite sides of a centuries-long conflict fighting together as the last men standing against the unseen alien invaders. The limited edition poster, illustrated by Brian Hurtt and colored by Bill Crabtree, the art team behind Oni Press’ hit comic book THE SIXTH GUN, will be given away at Oni Press’ booth (601) during WonderCon in San Francisco.

Additional artists who are contributing to the collectible art book include:

Ben Templesmith – Artist of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT (IDW), cover artist of WASTELAND for Oni Press – one of the premiere horror artists in comics.

Brian Churilla – Artist of THE ANCHOR (Boom Studios), THE ENGINEER (Archaia).

Tom Fowler – Artist of MYSTERIUS THE UNFATHOMABLE (Wildstorm).

Mateus Santolouco – Artist of MONDO URBANO (Oni Press), RAMPAGING WOLVERINE (Marvel), AMERICAN VAMPIRE (DC/Vertigo).

Pia Guerra – Artist of Y: THE LAST MAN (DC/Vertigo).

Nathan Fox – Artist of INVINCIBLE IRON MAN #500 (Marvel), PIGEONS FROM HELL (Dark Horse), FLUORESCENT BLACK (Heavy Metal).

Brian Hurtt – Artist of THE SIXTH GUN (Oni Press), THE DAMNED (Oni Press), GOTHAM CENTRAL (DC).

Jeremy Haun – Artist of BERSERKER (Top Cow), DETECTIVE COMICS (DC).

Ron Chan – Artist of THE GUILD: CLARA (Dark Horse), STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC (Dark Horse).

Nathan Fairbairn – Colorist on Tom Fowler’s artwork. One of the top colorists in the business, currently coloring BATMAN, INC. for DC Comics.

Bill Crabtree – Colorist on Brian Churilla, Mateus Santolouco, Pia Guerra, Nathan Fox, Brian Hurtt, Jeremy Haun, and Ron Chan art pieces. Currently coloring THE SIXTH GUN (Oni Press), and colored the first 50 issues of INVINCIBLE (Image Comics).

Rick Spears – Writer of THE DARKEST HOUR art book. One of comics’ true original voices, Rick Spears is the critically acclaimed writer of books such as BLACK METAL (Oni Press), TEENAGERS FROM MARS (Gigantic Press), PIRATES OF CONEY ISLAND (Image Comics), and DOG BROTHER: IMMORTAL WEAPONS (Marvel).

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Posted: Dec 20, 2011 10:48pm
Dec 20, 2011

Warner Bros. has released the first trailer for Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foer.  The movie centers on Oskar, a boy who is convinced his father, who died in the 9/11 attacks, hid a final message somewhere in the city: “Oskar begins searching New York City for the lock that fits a mysterious key he found in his father’s closet.”  Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock, Max Von Sydow, Viola Davis, John Goodman, Jeffrey Wright, and James Gandolfini star in the film directed by Stephen Daldry (The Reader).  Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close opens in limited release on December 25, and expands wide on January 20, 2012.  Watch the trailer after the jump.

The trailer uses U2′s “Where the Streets Have No Name” to make us feel emotions, which pretty much confirms my relationship with this movie.  I appreciate the talent and skill of U2 and understand why they’re so popular, but I’m not a U2 fan.  Likewise, Extremely Loud looks to have this broad, uplifting appeal—but it hasn’t connected with me at all.

I mean, I won’t judge too early.  Hanks and Bullock are the dream team of amiability, and Horn looks solid in this footage.  But with this kind of earnest drama, I’m a tough sell.  How does it strike you?

Oskar (Thomas Horn) is convinced that his father (Tom Hanks), who died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, has left a final message for him hidden somewhere in the city. Feeling disconnected from his grieving mother (Sandra Bullock) and driven by a relentlessly active mind that refuses to believe in things that can’t be observed, Oskar begins searching New York City for the lock that fits a mysterious key he found in his father’s closet. His journey through the five boroughs takes him beyond his own loss to a greater understanding of the observable world around him.

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Posted: Dec 20, 2011 10:41pm
Dec 20, 2011

Get ready to go back to your childhood with The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of Unicorn. Dive into the world of fairy tales, fantasies and a make-believe world of grand settings and larger than life costumes.

The comic book creation of the Belgian artist Herge, Tintin has long captivated the imagination of millions across the globe ever the first appearance in 1929. Steven Spielberg was so impressed with Peter Jackson"s work in the Lord of the Rings that he collaborated with him to make one of the best movies for the modern movie goers.

The Adventures of Tintin is based on three books - The Crab with the Golden Claws, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham's Treasure. The screenplay, written by Steven Moffat, Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish, mixes some of the elements from all three books to narrate a tale of the spirited young reporter/adventurer Tintin and gruff and alcoholic seadog Captain Haddock (Serkis).

Produced by Peter Jackson and directed by Steven Spielberg, The Adventures of Tintin with its spectacular animation and some beautiful staging takes you back to your childhood days. One of the drawback is that kids as well as adults are likely to get lost and will not be able to keep up with Tintin"s thought process and adventure. Spielberg has beautifully captured Haddock"s hallucination trip.

The Adventures of Tintin is Spielberg's first animated film and he has beautifully captured the dynamism of Herge's works. He has quite literally 'breathed life' to Herge's characters, and to say in Spielberg's own words, “This was the 'best way to honor Herge."

Spielberg has kept the old European look of the film intact. A one-shot action sequence set in Morocco is amazing and stands out. The roller-coaster chase is captivating.

The animation looks breathtakingly beautiful on 3D on the big screen. With this, Spielberg has successfully reached out to a wider audience.

The Adventures of Tintin is visually the most dazzling film to hit the theatres since Avatar and Tron: Legacy. The transitions of the scenes is fantastic. Steven Spielberg has made sure to provide attention to every detail. The legendary John Williams makes a comeback with wonderful orchestral score. Williams has given the Adventures Of Tintin a unique musical interpretation.

Comparisons invariably come with the Tinin"s symphonic theme by Ray Parker, Jim Morgan and Tom Szczesniak, composed for the TV series, but none scores over the other, in fact they are perfect complements of the time and technology, influencing their respective creations.

The sophisticated computer animation effortlessly blends the voices, expressions and movements of the stars. The characters and the background vistas match with the original drawings that Herge did for his cartoons.

However, it cannot be said that The Adventures of Tintin is without any folly. A few scenes are exaggerated and go over the top. Having said that, one cannot deny that The Adventures of Tintin is one of the most entertaining movies of the year. With this, Spielberg has introduced to us the first set of Tintin comics. The world is ready for Tintin franchise to come along.

Overall, The Adventures of Tintin is film worth watching with your kids!

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Posted: Dec 20, 2011 10:35pm
Dec 20, 2011

The 2009 Swedish movie “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” which ran for 180 minutes in its extended version, was probably more than enough for most aficionados of the Stieg Larsson bestseller. Not so, says Hollywood, which recruited David Fincher to restart the clock. If his film is successful, we can likely expect at least two sequels.

I didn’t think the original Swedish film was an instant classic, and the Larsson material isn’t exactly holy writ either. There is no inherent reason why this remake shouldn’t work at least as well as the Swedish original. And yet, when it was all over, I was hit with the same question I had going in: Why?

Fincher, at least on paper, was the right director for the job. He specializes in sordid, sexualized scenarios in which people are isolated by anomie and brutality (“Seven,” “Zodiac,” “Fight Club&rdquo. As all the world knows, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” is about a crusading, disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), who teams up with pierced and punkish computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) to investigate the long-ago disappearance, possibly murder, of the beloved 16-year-old niece of their wealthy industrialist employer, Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), the patriarch of a highly dysfunctional clan.

The kick in this material, especially in this new version which plays down Mikael’s surliness, is Lisbeth, a pixieish polysexual outlier who seems equipped with her own portable storm cloud. Mara stands up favorably to the original’s Noomi Rapace. She emerges from her welter of piercings with a dynamo demeanor all her own. The problem with the film is not Lisbeth, it’s Fincher’s surprisingly straightforward, almost unengaged approach.

He moves the action forward swiftly and cleanly – which could not always be said of the original – and, with his screenwriter Steven Zaillian, he even provides a wrap-up that is more emotionally satisfying than the book’s. As the missing girl’s brother Martin, Stellan Skarsgard is as implacably smooth as one might wish for.

But Fincher’s achievement, in the end, is essentially impersonal. For those of us who recoiled at his signature films, especially “Seven” and “Fight Club,” this might not seem like such a bad thing. Still, I wonder why (aside from the obvious commercial aspect) he bothered to take the remake on instead of fashioning his own universe. The coolness here has its creepiness, as in the dispassionate way Fincher depicts Lisbeth’s rape and her subsequent, harrowing revenge, but the suspicion remains: Fincher didn’t make this movie his own because he doesn’t consider it his own. Grade: B (Rated R for brutal violent content, including rape and torture, strong sexuality, graphic nudity, and language.)  


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Posted: Dec 20, 2011 10:27pm


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Vicky Yadav
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