Jan 2012 04

by Daniel Robert Epstein

“I can throw a punch but man, when it comes to gracefulness, I’’m definitely on the bottom of the list. I trained for a year ahead of time to get everything right.”
– Milla Jovovich

For the internet crowd Ultraviolet is one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year. Writer/director Kurt Wimmer’s last film was Equilibrium, which even though it did not do well at the box office, became a major hit on DVD. Equilibrium’‘s unique blend of martial arts and guns, called gunkata, has spawned a cult of its own.

In Ultraviolet Milla Jovovich plays Violet who is part of a subculture of humans who have been genetically modified by a vampire-like disease giving them enhanced speed, incredible stamina, and acute intelligence. They are at war with the humans and now Violet must protect a nine-year old boy who has been marked for death by the human government.

I got a chance to talk with Jovovich at the first New York Comicon.

Read our exclusive interview with Milla Jovovich on

Jan 2012 03

by Daniel Robert Epstein

“When I see a movie, I want to be able to face the angel of darkness, to be able to see something more intense and extreme than I’’m used to having in my real life.”
– Alexandre Aja

Alexandre Aja is turning into a great horror auteur. He first broke into the American market with the disturbing thriller High Tension. Now he is releasing his first American horror film, a remake of the classic The Hills Have Eyes. This version casts Silence of the Lambs star Ted Levine as a loving father with a whole town fill irradiated mutants to fight.

Read our exclusive interview with Alexandre Aja on

Jan 2012 02

By Fred Topel

“I have no fear of zombies breaking in here ever.”
– Ti West

Ti West is becoming a major name in horror movies. His 2009 film, The House of the Devil, harkened back to 1980s atmospheric horror, to the point where it was available on VHS in a big plastic shell case. He’s been invited to speak on numerous panels, such as the 2010 South by Southwest Film Festival’s Directing the Dead one, where he joined Zombieland’s Ruben Fleischer, and Cloverfield and Let Me In’s Matt Reeves, and memorably spoke about the awkward moment when you have to direct a woman to show her naked breasts.

His new film, The Innkeepers, premiered at this year’s SXSW. After continuing to play the festival circuit, it’ll finally creep into homes via VOD on December 30 (and will get a theatrical release on February 3, 2012).

The Innkeepers is a horror comedy about two clerks working at a soon-to-be defunct hotel during its last weekend in business. Claire (Sara Paxton) and Luke (Pat Healy) pass the time by speculating about ghostly inhabitants and attempting to record EVP.

Claire’s slapstick bumbling and Luke’s sarcastic comments are a change in tone from the popular House of the Devil (a satanic cult movie that exploited the power of silence with nary a laugh). West has also directed The Roost and Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, although he disowns the latter because it was taken away from him in editing. He also directed segments of the forthcoming films V/H/S and The ABCs of Death.

Midway through the SXSW festival in Austin, I caught up with West at a point when we didn’t have a full night’s sleep between us. I was going on three hours and he just barely had me beat. Those are the glorious moments when you just push through the exhaustion on pure adrenaline because you just have to keep up with the prevailing film geekery.

Read my exclusive interview with Ti West on

Dec 2011 29

by Fred Topel

“My main interest was to shoot Pina’s eyes at work.”
– Wim Wenders

One of my favorite kinds of interviews is when I end up just talking with a filmmaker about what movies they like. That’s exactly how it went when I interviewed Wim Wenders, one of the original icons of the indie film movement.

Having made movies since the ‘60s, Wenders has seen a lot of world cinema firsthand. His impact peaked in the ‘80s when Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire captivated arthouse cinemas. He’s made music videos for U2 and pretty much a movie a year, 33 in all plus shorts, television and segments in anthology films.

Wenders’ latest movie is worth discussing too. Pina is a documentary profile of the dancers in Pina Bausch’s company. Bausch unfortunately died before filming was finished so she herself could not be in the film more. Shot in 3D, Wenders captures her dancers occupying real space in their avant-garde performances.

Over a cup of coffee one morning during the AFI Film Festival in Los Angeles, Wenders sat with me to talk about Pina. In a quiet, unassuming German accent, Wenders revealed his art with a confidence and vulnerability. If you’re interested in dance or just looking for some obscure movie recommendations, here is my candid chat with Wim Wenders.

Read our exclusive interview with Wim Wenders on

Dec 2011 28

by A.J. Focht

Another batch of photos from the Amazing Spider-Man have been released. Unlike the previous photos that have focused on Andrew Garfield and the Spider-Man suit, these photos include shots of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy as well.

Despite all the drama surrounding Patty Jenkins’ departure from Thor 2, Marvel studios is pushing forward and has announced that Game of Thrones director Helmer Alan Taylor will now be directing the film. Assuming there are no other delays, the film should be set to meet the previously scheduled November 15, 2013 release date.

Walt Disney, parent company of Marvel, is getting their greedy hands into the comic giant’s upcoming projects. Despite all of the calls not to, Disney will be releasing The Avengers in 3D. The film was not shot in 3D, and the 3D will all be added in postproduction. The good news is Joss Whedon has come out and said that the film will not be “obnoxiously 3D.”

Speaking of Disney messing with the Marvel movies, they have also announced that an unnamed Marvel project has been bumped up from June 2014 to April 2014. With one other unnamed project scheduled for May 2014, there are rumors that it is because the films will be related in some way. As the two movies are still unannounced though, speculation is rife as to what they might be.

There is confirmation that Watchmen 2 is underway. Bleeding Cool published the cover art to Watchemen 2, but was then contacted by DC and asked to remove it. Most of the reposts have also been taken down, but we can tell you they featured Nite Owl by Andy Kubert and Joe Kubert.

The cast of Ender’s Game has just gained some true star power. Harrison Ford has officially signed on to play Colonel Hyram Graff. And in case Ford doesn’t provide enough box office oomph, they have also landed Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) to portray Petra Arkanian. This cast of the film is really giving me high hopes that it will end up a sci-fi classic rather than a dud.

On the day the Prometheus trailer was to release, it was leaked. Just hours after, the official trailer was “debuted” by the studio. It finally sheds some light on what the movie is about. Simply put: as humans search for their beginning, they may find their end.

More news from Middle-earth; To help celebrate the holidays, Peter Jackson posted his fifth production blog. This video focused on the location of the shooting, and includes some reasoning for filming in New Zealand.

It’s always fun to see the power of the internet in action. It’s even more fun to see the power of fanboys and fangirls – especially when they’re angry that their favorite sci-fi show has been cancelled unduly early. A few months ago, University of Wisconsin-Stout theater professor James Miller, who was also such a fanboy, posted an infamous Firefly quote outside his office to protest against the show’s untimely demise at the hands of Fox.

You don’t know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me. And you’ll be armed.

The campus police failed to appreciate the geeky reference, or the irony – that the quote isn’t about killing but about playing fair – and removed the “offending” quotation. But it didn’t end there. The school authorities threatened Miller with criminal charges, and fearing for his job, he contacted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) to defend his right to free speech. After the school refused to back down, the case was taken to the internet jury. This video explains how the online massive – and Neil Gaiman – helped Miller defeat the close-minded educational institution.

A final cheerful clip to brighten the last of the holidays, for those who didn’t catch it, Stan Lee had an amazing cameo in Chuck’s holiday special.

Dec 2011 28

by Daniel Robert Epstein

“There’s something very universal about people who spend all day and night on horseback. Right down to their physical aspect. Once they get off the horse it still looks like there’s a horse between their legs.”
– Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger became a teen idol with roles in 10 Things I Hate About You and A Knight’s Tale. But his choices after that were too eclectic to hold onto that audience and thank god for that because now he’’s had his best year ever. He started off starring in the Terry Gilliam film The Brothers Grimm, delivered a mesmerizing performance in Lords of Dogtown and finished off the year with a role as Ennis, the gay cowboy, in Brokeback Mountain – a role that has garnered him his first Oscar nomination.

Read our exclusive interview with Heath Ledger on

Dec 2011 27

by Daniel Robert Epstein

“I like being nostalgic for Sex in the City, I like being reminded of it.”
– Sarah Jessica Parker

I hardly ever get star-struck when talking to all these musicians and movie stars. But when Sarah Jessica Parker walked into the room and started chatting, it seemed so unreal. I am still a big fan of Sex in the City and to hear that famous voice responding to my queries was quite exciting.

Parker’’s new role is in the romantic comedy Failure to Launch alongside Matthew McConaughey. She plays Paula, an intervention specialist whose job is to have men who live with their parents long past the due date fall in love with her so they will move out.

Read our exclusive interview with Sarah Jessica Parker on