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Entourage Season 7 heats up in July

EntourageEntourage is ready to crash your television party with a brand new season. Entourage Season Seven will launch July 27 on HBO. Yes, we are now up to seven seasons of watching spoiled rich kids juggle hot babes, tour the world, and ponder the purchase of a $100,000 or a $150,000 car. I can’t wait!

I have been on and off of the Entourage bandwagon for six seasons. I loved the first season but seemed less interested with each subsequent season. How many more half hours am I going to waste watching Vinnie Chase wind up with the girl, the money, and the fame? By Entourage Season Four I was done. Then something happened. Entourage Season Five took a risk, shook things up, and hooked me for another time.

In my opinion, Entourage Season Five was far and away the best of the series and one of the best seasons of any television show last decade. The key ingredient here was real conflict. Vinnie Chase lost everything and went from A-list actor to a tabloid punching bag. It was the first time that Entourage fans had a chance to see any depth in the Vinnie Chase character. Since Vince’s success is a domino factor for the supporting cast, his downfall also created great stories surrounding his posse and manager Ari Gold. Entourage Season Five was so good the entire season could have been packaged in a movie.

Then something happened that changed everything. Vince resurrected his career, he got rich again, E got a great job and his girl back, Turtle started dating a Soprano, Drama got a television show, and Ari became a monster power player in Hollywood. Yes, life was grand for the Entourage boys. Life was so good that by mid-season, I all but turned off Entourage. Of course I had to finish the season to see how things ended, but overall last season was extremely disappointing coming off such a great season the year before.

So here are one year later and just weeks away from the premiere of the new season of Entourage. It is very hard to tell from seeing the first trailer how Entourage will play out this season. The biggest point of conflict on this season appears to be Vince Chase doing his own stunts in a movie. Otherwise the crew all looks like they are living larger than ever on Entourage. Bob Saget, John Stamos, Kobe Bryant, Carrie Fisher, Jessica Simpson, Mike Tyson, Nick Cassavetes, Jonathan Keltz, Stan Lee and Maria Menounos are all confirmed guest stars.

Entourage Season 7 premieres July 27 on HBO. Entourage will reportedly return to HBO for six more episodes in 2011 before moving to the big screen.

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Superhero movie giants rumored for Oz movie prequel

Sam RaimiWord on the proverbial street is that Spider-Man movie director Sam Raimi is interviewing for a new gig. Variety.com reports that Raimi is in negotiations to direct “Oz, the Great and Powerful.” The movie will be a prequel to the classic, “The Wizard of Oz” and is also expected to star Iron Man himself, Robert Downey, Jr.

The buzz is exciting for super hero fans who could see two of their favorite franchises come together for “Oz, the Great and Powerful.” The “Wizard of Oz” prequel will focus on a circus wrangler who is transported by a tornado to a mysterious land where he is received as the “wizard.” Of course the circus wrangler is not a wizard which is sure to lead to fun, confusion, and a lot of fantasy.

Sam Raimi made news back in January when he walked off of the Spider-Man 4 project. How big was Raimi’s Spider-Man exit? Well the entire project was eventually canceled and but on hold with a “reboot” in mind. Raimi is an exceptional director and with the talents of Robert Downey, “Oz, the Great and Powerful has the potential to go down as the 2013 must-see movie.

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Top Movie Dads

June 15, 2010 1 comment

Clark GriswoldThe relationship between father and son is often celebrated in movies. There are thousands of movie moments that make you think back and reflect on a memory between you and your dad. In celebration of Father’s Day, I wanted to take a look back at some of the top movie dads. Grab a tissue, sit back and pay homage to some of the most honorable fathers to ever grace the big screen.

Now I can sit here for hours and create an endless list of great dads from movies. Most of these dads start out on the wrong foot but wind up putting family first in the end. However, in the interest of time I kept this list to just a few select dads. If you think I missed one or have a dad you’d like to nominate, leave a comment. Otherwise,  join me in paying tribute to some of the big screen’s greatest dads.

Ted Kramer, Kramer vs. Kramer – How can you not take your hat off to Ted Kramer? A workaholic who had to turn his entire life around to take care of his son after Mrs. Kramer decided to “find herself” one day. Ted sacrificed his job, his finances, and his life in order to take care of his son Billy. After losing his job he pounded the pavement and got himself a job on Christmas Eve just to save his custody hearing. How many working father’s do you know could have handled this situation as good as old Ted? I love the guy and he is number one in my book.

Gil Buckman, Parenthood – Gil like Ted Kramer was a workaholic who had an epiphany one day. Gil Buckman realizes that not only was he not being a good father, but he was repeating the habits of his own father whom he detested. With a newborn on the way and more family problems than one man should handle, Gil refocuses his life on being a better family man. He isn’t perfect, but you have to love the effort!

Michael Newman, Click. Michael Newman is another overworked dad who has put his work in front of his family. Aiming for a big promotion, Michael has sacrificed his duties at home in order to get ahead at work. Everything comes full circle for Michael when he discovers a remote control that can alter his life. Michael can go forward or back in time and look in from the outside at his own misdoings and shortcomings as a father and husband. Michael of course realizes the errors of his ways and decides to become a better father and put his focus on family over work.

Peter Mitchell and Michael Kellam, Three Men and a Baby – Peter and Michael get an unusual delivery one day. Peter and Michael open up their door to find a baby. The baby is their roommate Jack’s, but Jack is away for work. Peter and Michael, two devote bachelors now have to turn their attention from chasing women to changing baby diapers. In addition to caring for a new baby, the guys are on the run from drug dealers. Lesser men would have caved, but Peter and Michael step up and become proud fathers in the face of danger.

Jack Butler, Mr. Mom – Jack Butler’s situation is probably something that readers can relate to more today than they could in 1983. Jack is laid off from his job while Caroline becomes the sole breadwinner. Jack now becomes the stay-at-home parent, caring for their three children. Jack puts his ego aside and his family first, even rejecting a chance to go back to work and leave his children behind with a babysitter. Jack’s maternal instincts kick in throughout the movie, including playing poker for coupons. After months of turmoil and heartache, the Butlers end the movie as one happy family and Jack Butler stakes his claim to Father of the Year.

Marlin, Finding Nemo – This is a story that every parent can relate to. Marlin has trouble finding the right balance of parenting with his son Nemo. Unfortunately things go awry for the family when Nemo gets lost and Marlin organizes a search mission for his missing son. The commitment of Marlin to finding his son is second to none. Once the pair are reunited, Marlin learns to give Nemo some space and the two live happily ever after.

Daniel Hillard, Mrs. Doubtfire – Speaking of commitment, let me introduce you to Daniel Hillard. After being thrown out of the house by his wife for being a lousy father, Daniel plots to win back his family. Daniel yearns to be around his family so much that he is willing to change his life and dress like a woman to do so. Daniel is eventually exposed, but this family realize how much they miss him. After losing unsupervised visits with his children, Daniel’s ex-wife brings him back into their kid’s lives without supervision. Hey, Marlin was tough but he never put on a dress.

Walter Hobbs, Elf – Walter Hobbs is a cold, stressed, workaholic who constantly puts his career ahead of his family. Things change when Walter discovers that he is the father to an adult Elf named Buddy. Walter begrudgingly opens up his home to Buddy, showing a glimpse of a heart. Buddy does things a little differently and quickly gets on his father’s last nerve. However, Walter later realizes the error of his ways when he sticks up for his son and tells his boss to shove it. Walter wins the hearts of his family as he sings away to help Santa fix his sleigh. Walter later starts his own publishing company and releases a book about his son Buddy. In the end, Walter learns to appreciate his family and find a delicate balance of work and parenthood.

Clark Griswold, National Lampoon’s Vacation – Clark Griswold is not your typical workaholic uninvolved father. Clark Griswold is a little too involved with his family. Not only does Clark Griswold want the best for his family, he is obsessed with it. Facing multiple counts of felonies for armed kidnapping, Clark stands up for what he believes in. Nothing ever starts out in Clark’s favor but in the end, his family always wind up happy which makes Clark happy. He may be nuts and a little psychotic, but Clark Griswold is one heck of a great dad!

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The Big Four Tour thrashes into Movie Theaters

MetallicaThe Big Four tour featuring Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax will start tearing through Europe this week. For one night only on June 22, The Big Four concert will be beamed to US and UK movie theaters. The historic metal event will give fans around the world to experience the tour of a lifetime.

As a metal fan and even more specifically a thrash metal fan, I was ecstatic when The Big Four Tour was announced. This will be the only time all four of arguably the biggest pioneers in thrash metal will share a stage and tour. Three of the four appeared 20 years ago on the Clash of the Titans tour in America. The addition of Metallica brings four decades of thrash metal full circle for the first time live in America via movie theaters.

The satellite broadcast of The Big Four Tour is something that could give the music industry a much needed boost of revenue. Album sales are dying and the concert business is losing money. The idea of taking a huge tour or concert and beaming it live around the world in movie theaters is something that should have been done years ago.

Why limit the opportunity for a band to play to thouands of their fans rather than millions? Additionally, the high price of a ticket to see bands like Metallica and even Slayer and Megadeth are pricing hardcore fans out of the building. Beaming these kinds of concerts to movie theaters would allow fans who don’t want to spend $100, pay less than $20 to see their favorite band live, loud, and in an intimate setting. In this case your money will get you four bands!

I love it and I hope The Big Four movie experience is a successful one. There are plenty of options for 3-D and Imax settings if this becomes successful. I think you need a bill like The Big Four to make something like this work. Seeing Metallica or Megadeth for $18 on their own in a movie theater would only appeal to a very niche audience. Taking a genre of music and creating a loaded lineup like The Big Four Tour will give music fans that little extra incentive to go out to your local movie theater and make a night out of it.

As excited as I am, I am a little disappointed that they chose a Tuesday night in the middle of June to do this. I think this could hurt the interest, although with college and high school out they may overcome any weekday issues. Taking into account that a vast majority of fans interested in something like this are old metal heads in their 30s with jobs and families, Tuesday night may be a tough sell. At the same time, I’d imagine it would be difficult to sell movie theaters on the idea of swapping out an 8 PM showing of The Karate Kid for a niche metal concert.

I will be checking out The Big Four Tour in a local movie theater near me on June 22. The good news is that there is a good chance you can too. I was blown away as to the amount of movie theaters around the country that will be carrying The Big Four concert. Four concerts, less than $20, and a movie theater full of metal heads sounds like a blast. I can’t wait for the tailgate!

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Jack Bauer Kills Off Die Hard 24/7 Plot

Jack BauerAs the “24” hysteria starts to die down following the end of the Fox television series, the speculation for a “24 movie” begins. Hollywood is buzzing about where Jack Bauer will wind up next without FCC restrictions and a time limit. One place he won’t wind up is sharing a screen with Bruce Willis in Die Hard 24/7.

I was stunned when I read about the rumors of Jack Bauer and John McClane teaming up for Die Hard 24/7. Honestly, my first reaction was disappointment. I am way over the “Die Hard” franchise and the last thing I wanted to see is Jack Bauer sacrificing screen time to John McClane. My disappointment turned to relief when it was reported that Keifer Sutherland felt the same way and kobashed the idea.

While some “24” fans believe that Fox exhausted all of the possibilities for Jack Bauer at the conclusion of this past season, I disagree. I liked the end of the finale “24” television show more so than a lot of critics. I really liked that the ending of “24” kept the door open for a movie. While I understand that even with Jack Bauer dieing, “24” would have been left open for a prequel. But there are several avenues that Jack Bauer can travel down whether it is enemy of the state or continuing his role as reluctant hero. I think the possibilities are too open to limit Jack Bauer and “24” to sharing the story with another character altogether.

Another road to travel would be the criminal trial of President Taylor. Not that I want to see “24” turn into “Law and Order,” but I think that would make a fascinating drama. Of course you would have to sprinkle in some blood, some deaths, and some explosions courtesy of Jack Bauer to give it the true “24” flavor. Yet at the end of the day, I believe there are far too many possibilities on the table for “24 the Movie” than playing second fiddle to an aging franchise. I also still wouldn’t rule out that 24 Prequel. With a prequel, “24” can bring back some favorite characters like Nina, Tony, and President Palmer. Frankly, that is where I think they need to go here but it looks like Fox is moving towards picking up the story where the “24” finale left off.

I can easily see the upside for “Die Hard.” “Die Hard” is still a money-making franchise and John McClane now spans two decades of movie fans. While it is profitable to continue making “Die Hard” movies, where do you go with John McClane at his age in the story? The only characters that should be crossing over into other movies are super heroes. Leave it to the Justice League or the Avengers 20th Century Fox!

Thanks to moviesblog.mtv.com for the tip!

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The A-Team and The Karate Kid go to war

June 11, 2010 1 comment

The A-TeamThe summer movie choices continue to accumulate with two blockbuster remakes jumping into the mix. The A-Team and The Karate Kid will wage war for movie dollars this weekend as the newest  entrants into the pool of summer movies. Can either one of them be able to ambush Shrek or will it be a failed mission for two highly anticipated movie remakes?

The A-Team The A-Team recreates the classic 80’s A-Team television series with new faces, new plot lines, and a much bigger budget. Bradley Cooper and Liam Neeson headline the all-star cast joined by UFC superstar Rampage Jackson in the role of B.A. Baracus. Can this remake live up to the hype or even outdo than the old George Peppard television series?

I was a huge fan of The A-Team as a kid so when I heard that the show was being remade I got excited. After watching a few The A-Team movie trailers, I am even more pumped for the movie. The action looks great, the characters look good, and it really looks like the concept stays true to the television show. The A-Team movie is one of the most heavily promoted movies of the summer so I’d get there early if you plan to see it this weekend. I have a feeling that you may be fighting for seats on opening weekend.

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The Karate Kid – Coincidence or irony that the two top movies opening this weekend are remakes of classics from the 1980’s? Jaden Smith steps into the Ralph Macchio role as the bullied teenager who turns to karate for respect, confidence, and revenge. Jackie Chan plays the “Mr. Miagi” mentor role in the remake. The Karate Kid will look to kick down the box office on opening weekend.

The Karate Kid puts its own stamp on their version of the cult classic. Jaden Smith and family move to China and like Ralph Macchio, have a difficult time fitting into the new neighborhood. This is quite a jump from the original movie which saw Ralph Macchio’s family move within the United States. Jackie Chan takes Jaden Smith under his wing to teach him karate and even more so, how to stand up for himself against the school bully. The rest is history!

The Karate Kid movie trailers all look good and I am quite impressed with Jaden Smith. You never know what to expect (other than feeling old) when you see an A-List actor’s child on the screen in a big role for the first time. Jaden Smith looks like he handles the part well and it is nice to see Jackie Chan playing someone other than a goofy martial-artist. It will be really interesting to see if this one has the same appeal as the first one did when it took America by storm.

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Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work – Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work opens in limited release this weekend. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work is a documentary which spotlights one of the true legends of comedy. Joan Rivers lets the cameras in and what is produced is one of the most critically acclaimed documentaries of the year.

I love Joan Rivers so I may be a bit partial here. The trailers all look great and I can’t haven’t read one bad review of the movie. If her story isn’t enough, the movie captures Joan Rivers without makeup which is worth the price of the documentary in itself. The documentary follows her around the country on tour, her day-to-day activities, and tells her life story. How they can do this under two hours is beyond me.

I am not normally inclined to spend $10 to see a documentary in the movies but I may make an exception here. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work looks like a winner.

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The Lottery – The Lottery is a documentary which covers the process that families in the Bronx and Harlem, NY have to go through to get their children enrolled into a charter school. The Lottery has the potential to set off a political firestorm if it can break through and achieve some mainstream success. Think “Nursery University” but a lot more serious.

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New The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Trailer Magically Appears

Sorcerer's ApprenticeThe summer movie hype is about to get a little hotter with the release of a new The Sorcerer’s Apprentice trailer. The new trailer for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice movie really makes this film look like a must-see when it opens in July. Watch the new trailer and check out what is sure to be Nicolas Cage‘s next big hit.

The synopsis for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice reads

Balthazar Blake (NICOLAS CAGE) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis, Maxim Horvath (ALFRED MOLINA). Balthazar can’t do it alone, so he recruits Dave Stutler (JAY BARUCHEL), a seemingly average guy who demonstrates hidden potential, as his reluctant protégé. The sorcerer gives his unwilling accomplice a crash course in the art and science of magic, and together, these unlikely partners work to stop the forces of darkness. It’ll take all the courage Dave can muster to survive his training, save the city and get the girl as he becomes THE SORCERER’S APPRENTICE. The screenplay is by Matt Lopez and Doug Miro & Carlo Bernard from a screen story by Matt Lopez and Larry Konner & Mark Rosenthal.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is scheduled for a July 14, 2010 release. As things stand today it looks to be the only mega movie to debut that weekend. I loved the trailer and think it will appeal to a variety of movie fans from kids, adults, sci-fi, action-adventure, and even some comedy. I expect magical things from The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

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