Movie Reviews -- "The Cabin in the Woods" & "Lockout" 

Two big films are opening this weekend, we have “The Cabin in the Woods” for horror buffs and “Lockout” for action fans. “The Cabin in the Woods” is from the brilliant minds of Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard and it stars Kristen Connolly (Dana), Chris Hemsworth (Curt), Anna Hutchison (Jules), Fran Kranz (Marty), Jesse Williams (Holden), and Richard Jenkins (Sitterson). (Check out my interviews with Joss Whedon and Amy Acker right here, and with Fran Kranz right here)

In “Lockout,” Guy Pearce stars as Snow, a man in charge to rescue the President’s daughter (Maggie Grace) from inside a prison in space. Directors James Mather and Stephen St Leger crafted a simple plot (they co-wrote the film with Luc Besson) that is full of witty one-liners and features Pearce as an action hero. (Check out my interviews with Guy Pearce right here, and Maggie Grace right here)

So which one is my pick of the week? Let’s take a look:

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How Fran Kranz Got High in “The Cabin in the Woods,” Actor Reveals Secrets in This Interview 

Fran Kranz is freaking adorable and he stole some scenes as the stoner Marty in “The Cabin in the Woods.” He also came from the Whedon universe having starred in “Dollhouse.” But now, he’s ready to scare us in the so funny it’s creepy kind of way.

In this interview, we talked about:

*** What he thought the first time he saw the script
*** The film’s tagline – “you may think you know the story…”
*** How he got into his character Marty, did he smoke anything?
*** Working with Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard

Have Fun!

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Joss Whedon and Amy Acker Talk About “The Cabin in the Woods," "The Avengers," and the Failed "Wonder Woman" 

I adore Joss Whedon and yes, I’m a Whedonista! He’s one of my gods. Whedon is a great storyteller, and has created one of the best TV shows ever with “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” And this May, he’s about to take us on our superhero quest with “The Avengers,” but this weekend, he wants to scare us as producer and co-writer of “The Cabin in the Woods,” and yes, he and director/co-writer, Drew Goddard, succeeded!

Amy Acker co-stars in the film as Lin. Miss Amy came from the Whedon universe playing Fred in “Angel.” The less you know about her character in the movie, the better.

All I can say is, watch “The Cabin in the Woods” right now!

In this interview, we talked about:

*** Where the idea for “The Cabin in the Woods” came from
*** How Amy got interested in working in the movie
*** Whedon teased us about “The Avengers” and said a few heartfelt notes about the failed “Wonder Woman” project

Have fun!

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"Sin City" Sequel Moves Forward, Production to Begin Summer 

Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller have announced that production for the sequel to 2005's "Sin City" is moving forward with plans to shoot this summer. The sequel is now called "Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For." Plot is still under wraps and most of the original cast is expected to return. The film is based on Miller's graphic novel; Miller also co-wrote the script with "The Departed's" William Monahan. Just like the first "Sin City," Miller will co-direct the sequel with Rodriguez. It's unclear whether Quentin Tarantino, who did a stint as a special guest director in the first film, will return to help. I enjoyed the first "Sin City" so I welcome this news with open arms. Here's the complete press release from Weinstein:

AUSTIN, TX (12 April 2012) -- Filmmakers Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller, along with producer Alexander Rodnyansky, have announced that production will commence on the highly anticipated sequel to 2005’s Sin City, entitled Sin City: A Dame To Kill For. The film will be produced by AR Films and Quick Draw Productions, financed through AR Films U.S and released domestically by Dimension Films.

“The first question I am always asked is “When will you make another Sin City? ,” said Rodriquez. “I have wanted to re-team with Frank Miller and return to the world he created since the day we wrapped the original, but have felt a duty to the fans to wait until we had something truly exceptional that would meet and exceed what have become epic expectations. A Dame To Kill For will certainly be worth the wait.”

Sin City creator, screenwriter and co-director Frank Miller said, “The first Sin City knocked out audiences who had never seen anything like it before. Robert Rodriguez and I are going to shake things up and deliver a ferocious film experience that is going to go even further than the first.“

The script and details of the film’s story have been kept tightly under wraps. Casting will begin next week, with many of the original cast expected to return. The film, a Quick Draw Production, will be produced by Rodriguez and producing partners Aaron Kaufman and Iliana Nikolic; and by Alexander Rodnyansky and Sergei Bespalov and Stephen L’Hereux. Miller, The Weinstein Company’s Harvey and Bob Weinstein and Miramax’s Adam Fields will act as executive producers. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For was developed by Frank Miller based upon his graphic novel, with a screenplay by Frank Miller and Academy Award winner William Monahan (The Departed). The film is expected to begin production this summer at Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios in Austin, Texas.

Alexander Rodnyansky said, “We are delighted to continue our relationship with Robert Rodriguez and Quick Draw Productions. It is a rare opportunity to produce and finance a film with the high profile and enormous fan base of the Sin City franchise. AR FIlms will be managing worldwide sales of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, as well as Robert’s Machete Kills at the Cannes Film Festival in May.”

The original Sin City was brought to the screen by Rodriguez and Miller and released by Dimension in 2005, and proved to be a landmark step forward in filmmaking, breaking ground with immersive green screen to create its iconic stylish look. The first film, released on April 1, 2005, grossed over $160 million (US) worldwide and is a consistently strong home video and television performer.

“Audiences have been clamoring for Sin City 2 with Robert and Frank for a long time and trust me, it will be worth the wait,” said Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Company. “This will be my 11th collaboration with Robert in 16 years and he’s become a great friend. I look forward to continuing our long lasting relationship and partnering on more projects in the future.”

The deal was negotiated by Aaron Kaufman, Craig Emanuel of Loeb & Loeb and Robert Newman of WME on behalf of Rodriguez; David Glasser and Andrew Kramer on behalf of Dimension Films; Schuyler Moore of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan and Jere Hausfater on behalf of AR Films; Kenneth Keller and Garth Rosengren of Krieg, Keller, Sloan, Reilley & Roman and John LaViolette of Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal LaViolette Feldman Schenkman & Goodman on behalf of Stephen L’Heureux and Solopsist Films; and Mark Lichtman and Neil Meyer and Allison Binder of Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson & Binder on behalf of Miller.

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It's Official! "Hitchcock" to Begin Principal Photography 

Fox Searchlight teams up with Montecito Pictures to announce that principal photography for the drama "Hitchcock" will start on Friday the 13th in Los Angeles.

The film stars two Oscar winners -- Sir Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock and Dame Helen Mirren as his wife, Alma. Co-starring are Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, James D'Arcy as Anthony Perkins, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, Michael Stuhlbarg as Lew Wasserman, Toni Collette as Hitchcock's secretary Peggy, Michael Wincott as Ed Gein, Kurtwood Smith as Geoffrey Shurlock, Richard Portnow as Barney Balaban, and Danny Huston as Whitfield Cook. (See Jessica Biel Takes a Stab at Making of Hitchcock's "Psycho!")

Sacha Gervasi, the guy who gave us the excellent "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" is set to direct from a screenplay by John McLaughlin, revisions by Ryan Murphy, Stephen Rebello and Sacha Gervasi, based on the book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello.

Here's the intriguing part -- "Hitchcock" is a love story between the iconic director and his wife told through the making of "Psycho," the best horror film ever made!

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