Jonathan Aibel

Monster Trucks

Following the success of The LEGO Movie, it’s naturally en vogue for studios to immediately rush out and peg the next toy-based film to match the same magic. Though there have been toy centric films in the past that haven’t quite mustered up as much sheer joy, rave reviews or the approval of entire families – giving you very pointed side-eye, Battleship — now that it’s safe to say that LEGO is a box office hit, it’s time to move on to the next big adventure. The latest film to make it out of Toys ‘R Us and toward the big screen is Monster Trucks, Paramount’s big-budget answer to the Transformers franchise, except starring some Hasbro branded Tonka trucks. Few details are given about the film at this point, except to say that the flick, directed by Ice Age‘s Chris Wedge and written by Kung Fu Panda‘s Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, has a plot that’s a cross between The Goonies and Transformers. So, what it sounds like the world is getting sometime in the near future is a Transformers Lite for the kiddie set, minus the LaBeouf and the violence and very PG-13 suggestive sexual content.

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If there’s one family movie franchise I wouldn’t mind seeing more of it’s the epic tale of Po the Kung Fu Panda and his merry band of fighting creature friends, the Furious Five. This sequel to the 2008 hit resurrects and expands upon the original’s blend of creatively filmed action, appealingly broad comedy and classic Chinese motifs interspersed with that age-old animation standard: cute animals. This time, Po the Dragon Warrior (Jack Black) and his team are called upon to protect China from Lord Shen (Gary Oldman), a peacock with a devious plan to right a past wrong and heavy machinery to back it up. The kung fu masters must face immense obstacles, not the least of which is Po’s sudden, shocking realization that his noodle-shop owning goose father (James Hong) isn’t his biological paterfamilias.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we talk with The Hangover Part II screenwriter Craig Mazin and continue the screenwriting/sequel theme with Kung Fu Panda 2 writers Jon Aibel and Glenn Berger. Plus, Katey Rich from Cinema Blend battles Jordan Raup of The Film Stage in the Movie News Pop Quiz Arena of Death. The result? You’ll have to listen to find out, but we end up talking about the bad week that 3D has been having. Reject Radio brings it on home this week, so kick off you shoes and stay awhile. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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Jack Black to play a spy-wannabe

After delivering solid performances in three very good films in 2008, Jack Black is now looking toward the future, and it appears that he is bringing his Kung Fu Panda writers with him.

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