Elijah Wood

The dancing, singing penguins of Happy Feet return for another dose of eco-themed animation in this sequel from George Miller, which proves two truisms. First, there’s still a lot of mileage in the spectacle of penguins tap, tap, tapping in unison and belting out cover songs. Second, this franchise is not the clarion call to action on climate change that it wants to be. The star of the first film, Mumble (Elijah Wood), is a father now, struggling to connect with his adolescent son Erik (Ava Acres), who feels misunderstood and marginalized because he can’t dance. For Erik, a surrogate role model of sorts emerges in The Mighty Sven (Hank Azaria), a flying penguin who preaches messages of empowerment. After a shifting glacier traps their community of emperor penguins in a vast valley, little Erik will need all the confidence he can muster when he, his dad, and two of his friends are called upon to save the day.

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Alexander Aja continues his work with remakes as the producer of a forthcoming remake of William Lustig‘s brilliant Maniac – whose ultra-violence caused Gene Siskel to famously storm out of the theater and rail against it on his show with Roger Ebert. The movie will be directed by Franck Khalfoun – a talent who delivered the parking garage stalker flick P2 and who has an extra C in his first name. News of a remake, especially something as grisly and revered as this movie, needs some sort of sugar to help the medicine go down. The sugar this time is Elijah Wood – a giant spoonful of happy feet who will be stepping well outside his wheelhouse to play the serial killer. Say what you will about his role in Sin City, but that was not the blood-soaked mayhem and confusion that this murdering character demands. They are as different as the black and white Wood was painted with as Kevin, the silent cannibal. Also, in a strange turn of rumored events, Badass Digest is reporting that unnamed sources are claiming the movie (or at least its kills) will be shot POV. It’s an interesting, if unoriginal, idea, and it could very well work beautifully. The only real concern is when the camera will cut away (if it’s just the kills in POV), because so much of Maniac was brought to life by Joe Spinell‘s performance. He killed without mercy or understanding, and him staring on at his own work […]

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When people are talking about the best horror movies of all time, they often use the term “horror classic.” I’m not exactly sure how that’s different from a movie that’s just a “classic,” but I think it’s somehow implying that movies where people get decapitated aren’t as good as serious dramas. I often hear the 1976 version of The Omen referred to as a “horror classic,” so I guess what that means is that it’s really good for a movie where people get decapitated. In 1993 a couple of superstar little kids named Elijah Wood and Macaulay Culkin starred in a movie called The Good Son. It’s never been called either a “classic” or a “horror classic,” but that might be because nobody gets decapitated in it.

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Two nights ago, a great battle was waged in Austin, TX. It’s an annual Fantastic Fest tradition known as The “Knuckle” Fantastic Debates. Here’s how it works: two combatants enter the ring, debate a geek-friendly topic, then settle the argument not with words, but with fists. This year saw an impressive fightcard, including Knuckle (the film that sponsored the event) lead subject James Quinn McDonagh squaring off against Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League. There was also a bout between a noted NASA hater and an astrophysicist. But the marquee match-up was two men, diminutive in stature but large in fame, two long-time friends, who decided to answer the question eternal: which Hobbit is more of a badass. Debating the topic of World of Warcraft and whether or not it is a complete waste of time, actors Elijah Wood and Dominic Monaghan went toe-to-toe for the belt of Middle Earth. You can watch it for yourself in the embedded video found after the jump.

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Wilfred is… Wilfred is…. I honestly have no idea what Wilfred is. Recently, FX afforded me the opportunity to watch the latest edition to their comedy line-up, an adaptation of an Australian show called Wilfred starring Elijah Wood and Jason Gaan (who is the creator of both versions of the show and stars as the title character in both). The plot of the show follows Wood’s character Ryan as he’s going through a massive case of depression, to the point where he attempts suicide at the start of the series. After the failed attempt, he meets his new neighbor Jenna and her dog Wilfred. The only problem is that while everyone else sees a dog, Ryan sees a man in a dog costume that speaks to him and smokes a crap load of pot.

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If you were hoping for a trailer that created a mass of internal conflict, how about animated penguin babies singing about bringing sexy back? Would that do it for you? If not, you’ve probably already got some serious internal conflict. Happy Feet Two bursts onto the scene with some rap, some dance pop, and an elephant-nosed seal that looks like a real-life Snuffaluffagus got converted to CGI. Heartwarming or truly, deeply terrifying? You be the judge:

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It seems like it’s pretty much always been the plan to have The Hobbit bleed into The Fellowship of the Ring, creating two earnest prequel movies for the giant trilogy. However, Drew McWeeny over at HitFix is right to point out how fascinating the speed of information is coming these days about projects like this. Ian Holm will be returning in his role as Bilbo Baggins which either means Peter Jackson is bravely making Bilbo an elderly man battling dragons (and Martin Freeman is just a decoy) or that we’ll get some degree of bookending with Holm bouncing Elijah Wood on his knee. Maybe the film will open with the storyteller, maybe it will simply close, but at this point, the most fascinating mystery left is the possibility that we’re reading casting news that we might not get to experience on screen until over 2 years from now (when the second installment comes out). Of course, he might very well be in the first installment, too, but can’t we at least pretend to have a few unknowns since the movies haven’t even finished filming?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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With this entry, we will have made it an entire week with my new-fangled column, known to you as Movie News After Dark. Congratulations to the seven (or so) of you who have been following along. It’s been a blast. It seems fitting that on a day when I spent more than the necessary amount of time on Twitter bemoaning the fact that most movie blogs don’t care about real movie discussions (they only — I argued — want to republish the top ten lists of filmmakers who saw 11 movies in 2010), that I bring you several news stories that are rather silly. It may be hypocritical in your minds, but what makes it okay is the fact that I really love you, dear readers. And those other sites don’t love you. Trust me, I heard them say it.

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As the only literate Reject, it’s my duty to find the latest, the greatest and the untouched classics that would make great source material for film adaptations. I read so you don’t have to. This week, Print to Projector presents the story of a young man joining an ad agency in the early 1960s, but instead of drinking scotch, chain smoking, and wearing nice suits all day, he stumbles upon the Milgram Experiment, a mysterious suicide of a close friend and is haunted by his true murderous nature.

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We’ve reported on The Home before because of the shiver-inducing concept art created by WETA, and it looks like the show might finally be on the road to getting off the road at a secure location where they can start filming frightening things attacking senior citizens. The list of senior citizens now includes Oscar winner (and film nerd favorite) Louise Fletcher, Oscar winner Louis Gossett Jr, Ed Asner, and Fionnula Flanagan (a veteran of stage, screen, and the creepiest character on Lost). Plus, the production is in talks to secure both Brian Cox and Cloris Leachman.

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At Fantastic Fest, chaos does, in fact, reign. Any attentive reader of this fine publication would know that. Last year, filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo coined the phrase as the somewhat unofficial motto of the fest. Based on a line from Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist, “chaos reigns” means simply that at all times, the unexpected and strange is to be expected. How’s this for unexpected? Alamo Drafthouse founder Tim League, actor Elijah Wood, Vigalondo and The Rza from Wu Tang walked onto the stage at The Highball last evening during the Chaos Reigns Karaoke event. The following video is what transpired. It is well worth a few minutes of your time…

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There’s a chance I may be reading a bit too much into the trailer below… The Romantics stars Katie Holmes as a young woman who reunites with six college friends the night before two of them are to be married. The bride (Anna Paquin) has been her best friend for years, and the groom (Josh Duhamel) is the man they’ve both loved. Over the course of this final evening relationships will be tested, hidden truths will be revealed, and someone may just be out a big deposit on a reception hall. And if we’re lucky Holmes and Paquin will send fists flying and clothes ripping while fighting in the wet ocean surf. The film is written and directed by Galt Niederhoffer from her own novel, and it also stars Malin Akerman, Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, and Candice Bergen. We won’t fully understand the casting of Bergen as a thirty-something until we see the film, but the smart money is on a science fiction twist in the third act. Check after the jump for the new trailer…

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The Oxford Murders

Magnolia Pictures has provided us with the opportunity to premiere the poster for their upcoming thriller The Oxford Murders, starring Elijah Wood and John Hurt. The film is due to hit VOD on July 7, then open in limited theaters on August 6. It’s the next film from Álex de la Iglesia, perhaps best known for his 1995 films The Day of the Beast.

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Kevin Carr takes a look at this week’s movie releases, including 9, Sorority Row, Whiteout and Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All By Myself..

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TheHomeWETA

I really want to see dolls gnawing on an old woman as she goes insane, so obviously I’m stoked to see Elijah Wood anxious to get cameras rolling on the forthcoming horror flick The Home.

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Scott Beggs

Review: 9

Movie Reviews By Scott Beggs on September 8, 2009 | Comments (7)

9movie

A movie that (I swear to you) wasn’t directed by Tim Burton explores the limits of ragdoll action sequences with a gorgeously envisioned post-robot-devastated world where the population is sparse and so is the story line.

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We have no doubt that 9 is a desperate fight for survival, packed with amazing visuals, as evidence by this cool new featurette that Focus Features has released this week.

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A new international trailer for Shane Acker’s numeric post-apocalyptic adventure has hit the web, and boy is it swell.

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Focus Features has provided FSR with a fantastic first look at the characters from the upcoming CG-animated thriller 9, from director Shane Acker and producers Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov.

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