Two Versions of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!" Let's Compare and Contrast Shall We? 

Captain Nemo will be battling against himself at the box-office with two planned "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" versions from two studios. Walt Disney Pictures will be racing against 20th Century Fox to dive deep into the "20,000 Leagues" territory. Both, of course, will be based on the beloved Jules Verne sci-fi novel, but each version will have different takes.

So let's compare and contrast:

In the Disney version, David Fincher, yes, THE David Fincher of "Fight Club" and "The Case of Benjamin Button" fame, is under negotiations to direct. The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the director approached the House of Mouse because he wanted to make a big-blockbuster film and stay away from R-rated dramas. Aw :sad

Last year, Disney cancelled their planned "20,000" version, but apparently, the studio revived the project after Fincher expressed interest. "Bourne Ultimatum's" Scott Z. Burns will write the Disney project and is supposed to be in the vein of "Star Wars."

Meanwhile, Fox has producers Ridley and Tony Scott to develop their own version of the classic tale. The script is from one of the "Clash of the Titans" writers, Travis Beacham, and the producers are in talks with director Timur Bekmambetov ("Wanted"). This one will be set in the future but will follow Verne's plot closely.

Personally? I'm rooting for Disney, why? Because the studio was the first to give us a "20,000 Leagues" film with the 1954 version starring Kirk Douglas as Ned Land and James Mason as Captain Nemo. That was also Disney's first-ever live-action film.

Plus, as much as I admire Bekmambetov, Fincher is a stronger director. But hopefully, after Fincher gets his blockbuster on, he'll return to work on R-rated dramas!


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More Complaints From Shia LaBeouf! This Time, He's Dissing "Indiana Jones 4" 

After cutting "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" to shreds, Shia LaBeouf bit another hand that fed him! (Click here to see what the actor said about "Transformers 2")

This time, the actor revealed he was not happy with "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Truth be told, I agree with LaBeouf on his cases against "Transformers 2" and "Indiana Jones 4."

The actor was at Cannes to promote another franchise, "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps." And LaBeouf felt that the Indy filmmakers (are you listening Steven Spielberg and George Lucas?) and he have dropped the ball on the Indiana Jones legacy.

Here's the best of the best of LaBeouf's brutally honest confessions about "Indiana Jones 4" from the LA Times:


"I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished." (talking about "Indiana Jones 4") "If I was going to do it twice, my career was over. So this was fight-or-flight for me." (talking about "Wall Street")


"You get to monkey-swinging and things like that and you can blame it on the writer and you can blame it on Steven [Spielberg, who directed]. But the actor's job is to make it come alive and make it work, and I couldn't do it. So that's my fault. Simple."


"I think the audience is pretty intelligent. I think they know when you've made ... . And I think if you don't acknowledge it, then why do they trust you the next time you're promoting a movie." LaBeouf went on to say he wasn't the only star on the film who felt that way. "We [Harrison Ford and LaBeouf] had major discussions. He wasn't happy with it either. Look, the movie could have been updated. There was a reason it wasn't universally accepted."


"I'll probably get a call. But he needs to hear this. I love him. I love Steven. I have a relationship with Steven that supersedes our business work. And believe me, I talk to him often enough to know that I'm not out of line. And I would never disrespect the man. I think he's a genius, and he's given me my whole life. He's done so much great work that there's no need for him to feel vulnerable about one film. But when you drop the ball you drop the ball."

The LA Times' Steven Zeitchik noticed that LaBeouf was "relentlessly intense and unfailingly earnest, taking every question hyper-seriously." Exact words I would use to describe the actor when I interviewed him for "Eagle Eye." Hhmmm, I wonder when he's going to talk trash about "Eagle Eye." :happy

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"Iron Man 2" Triumphs at Box-Office for Second Week! 

It's heavy metal versus bows and arrows at the box-office this weekend. And in the end, the clanging sounds of "Iron Man 2" bested "Robin Hood's" archery.

"Iron Man 2" remained at No. 1 with $53 million box-office take. So far, in just two weeks, the Paramount super hero extravaganza has made $212 million. (Check out my review of "Iron Man 2" right here)

Meanwhile, "Robin Hood" debuted in the No. 2 spot with $37.1 million. It's a very strong debut, and the marquee names of Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, and director Ridley Scott attracted more viewers overseas. "Robin Hood" was the No. 1 films outside North America, making $74 million. The film still hit the target with its combined box-office total of $111.1 million. (Check out my movie review of "Robin Hood" right here)

"Letters to Juliet," one of the new releases last weekend, debuted at No. 3. The Amanda Seyfried-starrer from Summit Entertainment made $13.75 million. At No. 4 was another new release, this one's with Queen Latifah in "Just Wright." It's not quite a slam dunk for this basketball romantic comedy. "Just Wright" made $8.5 million. And honestly? If you buy into the film's notion that Queen Latifah is a hapless woman-in-love, then that's half of the battle.

Here's the list of the Top 10 box-office films for weekend of May 14th:

1. "Iron Man 2," $53 million.
2. "Robin Hood," $37.1 million.
3. "Letters to Juliet," $13.75 million.
4. "Just Wright," $8.5 million.
5. "How to Train Your Dragon," $5.1 million.
6. "A Nightmare on Elm Street," $4.7 million.
7. "Date Night," $4 million.
8. "The Back-Up Plan," $2.5 million.
9. "Furry Vengeance," $2.3 million.
10. "Clash of the Titans," $1.3 million.

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Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Hopkins to Star in "The Song of Names" 

Dustin Hoffman and Anthony Hopkins are attached to star in "The Song of Names" from director Vadim Perelman ("House of Sand and Fog") according to The Hollywood Reporter. This one's based on the award-winning novel by Norman Lebrecht.

So what is the book about? Here's a review from Publisher's Weekly:

In this highly entertaining and accomplished first novel by a well-known English journalist and music critic, two men who became friends as children in London during WWII are reunited after 40 years.

In 1939, nine-year-old Martin Simmonds meets Dovidl Rapoport, a violin prodigy the same age. Martin's father is a music impresario, and when Dovidl is sent by his Polish parents to study in England, he offers the boy lodging in his own home.

Dovidl and Martin quickly become best friends. Dovidl's parents perish in the Holocaust; then, in 1951, Dovidl-his name changed to the more palatable Eli-is about to embark on a career as a concert virtuoso when he disappears on the day of his debut.

Martin becomes obsessed with his friend's disappearance, and after decades of searching finally finds him in a dreary town in the north of England. Lebrecht's deep knowledge of music, his insights and his verbal inventiveness enliven the book (describing two awkward professors, he says they "stand out like frayed cuffs on a funeral suit").

However, the novel drags in the middle with the backstory of the two boys living through the blitz; this is material that has been presented elsewhere and in greater depth. Also, there's no real mystery in unraveling either the location or identity of Rapoport. Simmonds's supposedly epic quest ("I am consumed by thoughts of finding him") is over in less than two days, and it's a letdown for the reader not to be able to sift through tantalizing clues. These shortcomings aside, this is a confidently written and engaging first novel by a talented writer.

This adaptation has Oscars written all over it! Besides the great cast, Jeffrey Caine, Oscar-nominated scriptwriter for "The Constant Gardener," is adapting the novel for the big screen, and the musical score will be penned by two-time Oscar winner James Horner.

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Watch My "Robin Hood" Movie Review  

For my written review of "Robin Hood," please click here and have fun!

Here's more info on "Robin Hood" from Yahoo:

About the Movie

GENRES: Action/Adventure, Adaptation and Drama
IN THEATERS: May 14th, 2010
MPAA: PG-13 for violence including intense sequences of warfare, and some sexual content.

In 13th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power.

Cast & Crew


Russell Crowe ......................... Robin Hood
Cate Blanchett ........................ Lady Marian
William Hurt .......................... William Marshall
Mark Strong ........................... Sir Godfrey
Mark Addy ............................. Friar Tuck
Oscar Isaac ........................... Prince John
Danny Huston .......................... King Richard
Eileen Atkins ......................... Eleanor of Aquitaine
Kevin Durand .......................... Little John
Max von Sydow ......................... Sir Walter Loxley

DIRECTED BY: Ridley Scott

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