My Return to the Midwest! My Fun Debut at KMTV in Omaha, Nebraska! 

I spent the better part of my life in Northwest Indiana, so when our sister station in Omaha, Nebraska asked me if they can include my Manny the Movie Guy segment in their Morning Blend show, I said why not? I love the Midwest!

So now, I can be seen on Action 3 News/KMTV, a CBS affiliate, every Friday on their Morning Blend show at 9 a.m.

Check out KMTV's site by clicking here, and my Morning Blend debut right here. Of course, I kicked off my appearance there with one of the biggest movies this summer season, "Iron Man 2!" Watch me transform :happy

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Dwayne Johnson to Join "Fast and Furious 5?" 

"Fast & Furious 4" made $155 million at the box-office, that a fifth installment is in order. But here's the interesting part, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson may join forces with Vin Diesel in "Fast & Furious 5." Although our friends at Deadline Hollywood is saying it's not a done deal yet, this is quite intriguing. Is The Rock going to join Diesel or is he replacing him? Hhhmmmmm...

For more on "Fast & Furious 5," click here

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Toby Jones to Play Big Bad Scientist in "Captain America" 

He starred as Truman Capote in "Infamous" (I enjoyed his performance in that film, too bad Phillip Seymour Hoffman's Academy Award-winning portrayal in "Capote" was more widely received) and now, Toby Jones is getting ready to star in his first comic book movie with "Captain America" from Marvel Studios.

Jones is in final negotiations to play the Big Bad Scientist named Arnim Zola. The actor will be sharing villainous credits with Hugo Weaving who's set to play the Red Skull.

According to a Wikipedia entry:

Arnim Zola was a biochemist during World War II who became one of the first human genetic engineers in history after finding papers and equipment used by the offshoot race of humanity, the Deviants. He found a ready home among the Nazi party, who saw his actions as the ability to ensure the existence of a master race.

One of his first accomplishments was the creation of a brain pattern imprinting device, which would allow someone's mental essence to be projected into a cloned brain. Zola presented such a gift to Adolf Hitler, creating the Hate-Monger.[volume & issue needed] Zola also used these skills to form a new body for himself, surviving through the war and into modern times.

The Red Skull also financed some of Zola's experiments, allowing Zola to produce such creations as Primus, Doughboy, and Man-Fish. This association led to Zola's first confrontation with Captain America in the jungles of Central America.

So both the Red Skull and Arnim Zola are in cahoots to topple down Captain America to be played by Chris Evans. Sebastian Stan is playing sidekick Bucky Barnes, while Hayley Atwell is the hero’s love interest, Peggy Carter.

Joe Johnston is directing the production which will begin shooting in England this summer. "Captain America" is set to wield its shield in theaters July 22, 2011.

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"Planet of the Apes" Prequel Set to Invade Theaters 

20th Century Fox has announced that the "Planet of the Apes" prequel will be released on June 24, 2011. This one will be called "Rise of the Apes."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, "the production will use CGI apes to be created by WETA Digital, rather than using costumed actors as in past installments of the sci-fi action franchise."

Hhmmm, intriguing. So the apes will be like multiple Gollums from "The Lord of the Rings" films instead of the costumed/made-up actors.

Rupert Wyatt ("The Escapist") is set to direct a script written by Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa.

I like that the film's logline follows the cautionary mood of its predecessors. This one will be set in San Francisco and will feature how "man's own experiments with genetic engineering lead to the development of intelligence in apes and the onset of a war for supremacy."


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It's Official: Brad Bird to Direct His First Live-Action Film With "MIssion: Impossible IV" 

As we told you last March, Brad Bird ("The Iron Giant," "The Incredibles," "Ratatouille") was one of the few directors being considered for "Mission: Impossible IV."

Well, it's now official, Bird will be directing Tom Cruise for the fourth installment which is due out in theaters 2011. Cruise told E! Online, “The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille – Brad is enormously talented and JJ and I are having a blast, cranking away...we’re having a lot of fun. I like working with people I just love hanging out with. You get to hang out and laugh and talk stories and movies and technology: what are we going to do?”

Bird beat out other "M:I 4" directing contenders such as "Zombieland's" Ruben Fleischer, and Edgar Wright ("Hot Fuzz").

Here's what we said in March:

Brad Bird may soon jump into live action! The director of "The Iron Giant," "The Incredibles," and "Ratatouille," is one of the few directors being considered for "Mission: Impossible IV" according to The Hollywood Reporter.

This is exciting! I've always regarded Bird as a great storyteller who knows how to mix action and emotion perfectly!

Tom Cruise and producer J.J. Abrams are busy looking for the perfect director for the fourth installment. Cruise will reprise his role as secret agent Ethan Hunt for the Paramount film set to open May 27, 2011. Production is set to begin this summer.

The other contenders to direct are "Zombieland's" Ruben Fleischer, and Edgar Wright ("Hot Fuzz").

If Bird is picked, "M:I-4" will be his first live-action film. He has been developing "1906" (about the 1906 San Francisco earthquake) as his possible live-action debut but according to THR, it is rumored to be stalled because of budgetary reasons. (My Disney source is still adamant in telling me that Bird is the creative force behind "Maleficent" -- the retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the evil queen's point of view that has Angelina Jolie being mentioned as a possible star)

The plot for "M:I-4" is being kept in tight wraps but Abrams worked on the story with screenwriters Andre Nemec and Josh Appelbaum.

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