Not directed by Eli Roth, yet

From “The Man Who Laughed” to the Joker to “Killer Klowns from Outer Space” the uniquely frightening nature of circus clowns — whose supposedly laugh-inducing and harmless nature makes them all the more frightening to children of all ages — has been fodder for scares. If I’d known some of the talented amateurs involved in making this fake trailer, it’s possible I’d have tried to discourage them from attaching any famous names, but it obviously worked re: Eli Roth, and not for no reason. Take a look. This “Clown” wasn’t made by bozos.

H/t Cinematical.

  

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It’s your end of the week movie news dump.

Posting over the next few days is going to probably be news-free, so we’ll make hay while the cinema news sun shines. We start off with casting news.

Jeremy Renner in * Jeremy Renner of “The Hurt Locker” is “near a deal” to play Hawkeye in the Avengers film to be (theoretically) directed by Joss Whedon, who hasn’t said a word officially to anyone in months, as far as I can tell. Renner is a smart choice. Playing a character who hasn’t previously been introduced is going to be a special challenge in this movie and actors without real ability and charisma probably need not apply.

* So, if the Wrap is correct, Brad Pitt likely won’t end up staring in the U.S. remake of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.” It looks like that will be Daniel Craig, instead. Having seen the Swedish film, it seems to me he’s a much better fit for the part of the male lead. The character has a bit of a hang-dog, defeated quality to him that just doesn’t fit Pitt. I think Craig can pull that off easily. He should probably gain or lose a bit of weight for the part. This guy might do okay with woman, but he’s a coffee-and-cigarette addicted journalist, not a perfectly exercised super-spy.

* Speaking of matters Bondian, as per the Playlist, Christopher Nolan is describing his very highly anticipated “Inception” as his Bond film, in a way.  I’m personally not a fan of “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” but it’s an interesting model, nonetheless.

Read the rest of this entry »

  

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Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger

People will be discussing Heath Ledger’s performance in “The Dark Knight” long after we’re all gone. His tragic death adds to the drama surrounding his Oscar, but the performance speaks for itself. It was stunning and completely original. He deserves the Academy Award, and it’s a shame he wasn’t around to accept it. It was heartbreaking to watch his family accept the Oscar with such grace and dignity.

Here’s the take from Bullz-Eye’s Jason Zingale.

For all the Oscar buzz surrounding Heath Ledger in the past few weeks, there still aren’t enough hours in the day to gush about his knockout performance as The Joker. It’s beyond phenomenal – a villainous turn so good that you never know what to expect next – and it puts Jack Nicholson’s cartoonish rendition from the 1989 version to shame. Ledger’s Clown Prince isn’t a one-dimensional goofball who listens to bad 80s music while parading around a museum – he’s a diehard anarchist who’s both smart and incredibly dangerous. Dressed like a bum with dirty green hair, smeared-on white and red makeup, and a hand-me-down purple suit, the Joker truly is the wild card he’s supposed to be. One minute he could be playfully entertaining his guests with one of many versions of how he received the smile-like scars on his face (when in reality, he probably just did it himself), and the next, he’s a nightmarish psychopath with the laugh of a rabid hyena.

  

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What Else Ya Got? “The Dark Knight”

When you’re the highest grossing movie of the year, fans tend to expect a little more bang for their buck when it comes to the inevitable DVD and Blu-ray release. “The Dark Knight” is certainly loaded with an impressive collection of bonus material, but the lack of certain extras seems to hint that an ultimate edition is already in the works. You never know how long you’ll have to wait for that, though, which makes the two-disc release the perfect distraction until it does. With over three hours of bonus material and a digital copy to boot, it may not be the best Blu-ray of the year, but you could certainly do worse.

“Focus Points”
The Blu-ray version allows you to access this collection of 18 mini-featurettes as it pertains to the movie, but you’d be better off watching it all at once as a 64-minute making-of featurette. Among the topics discussed include the challenges (and advantages) of filming the opening sequence and Batmobile chase in IMAX, the design and creation of the new Bat-Suit and Bat-Pod, and the planning and execution of the hospital explosion and the super-cool semi-truck flip.

“Batman Tech”
A TV special that focuses on the history and practicality of Batman’s gadgets. Diehard fans probably already caught this when it first aired on TV, but those that didn’t will discover that the Caped Crusader is more based in reality than you might think.

“Batman Unmasked”
Another TV special that aired prior to the Blu-ray release, this one isn’t nearly as interesting as “Batman Tech,” but it still delivers a one-of-a-kind look into the psychology of Batman and his villains. The focus on the latter group is particularly cool as the interviewees discuss the similarities between Batman’s rogue’s gallery and real-life criminals and murderers.

“Gotham Tonight”
Undoubtedly the weakest of the set, this collection of fake news stories (including profiles of Bruce Wayne and Harvey Dent) doesn’t really work as well as it should. The acting is subpar and the stories themselves feel staged. Granted, that’s what you’d expect from fake news stories, but still.

“The Galleries”
Four excellent photo galleries including a variety of Joker cards, concept art, poster and production stills. Most of the Joker cards designed were clearly unusable, but it’s still cool too explore all the different styles they considered.

“Trailers and More”
Three trailers and six TV spots. ‘Nuff said.

Overall, not a bad collection of extras for Warner’s first go-around with “The Dark Knight.” Any real collector knows that a much better version will likely be released next Christmas – and hopefully with more behind-the-scenes footage of Heath Ledger at work, not to mention make-up tests for both The Joker and Two-Face – but if you’re jonesing for another viewing of “The Dark Knight” before then, you can at least find comfort in the fact that the two-disc Blu-ray isn’t a complete waste of time.

  

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