Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Disney Buys Lucas, The Star Wars Saga Continues, And the Internet Breaks in Half

Yesterday afternoon my cell phone was buzzing with so many texts one after the other that I sort of felt like I was a character on The West Wing after some geopolitical crisis has just occurred. Thankfully it was nothing as serious as all that, but in geek terms, the day's events were probably just as momentous. The story of the day -- and probably the week -- is that the Walt Disney Company got one step further in its eventual goal of owning every piece of intellectual property ever created by gobbling up the entirety of George Lucas' Lucasfilm, lock, stock, and barrel-shaped robot.

This is news I honestly never expected to hear, because it just never even occurred

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Still A Good Day

I was suitably impressed by the teaser trailer from earlier this month for next year's made-to-order Valentine's Day date movie A Good Day to Die Hard (a.k.a. Die Hard 5) that I started to have a really good feeling about Bruce Willis' impending return to the screen as Det. John McClane for the character's silver anniversary celebration. Now, I established earlier that I'm kind of an easy sell for all things McClane, so maybe I'm just betraying my biases here, but I continue to feel the positive vibes with the second, more story-centric assemblage (embed after the jump), which boasts a cameo by Mary-Elizabeth Winstead as daughter Lucy, and has Our Man John butting heads with son John Jr. (Jai Courtney) as the pair get up to trouble in the former Soviet Union. And as far as the teaser poster to the left, I know that some folks online have been dogging on it as lame and forced, but come on, how can you not love that tagline?

I Love the Matrix Sequels

There. I said it.

It wasn't always that way, mind you. When The Matrix Reloaded hit theaters in May of '03 on the back of an anticipation so suffocating that I doubt any movie could have measured up, I attended the midnight show opening night -- and when I wasn't baffled by the philosophical mumbo-jumbo (and don't get me started on that rave/orgy thing...), I slept through the rest. Based on the immediate negative reaction, this clearly wasn't the sequel that I (or most people) had expected. I skipped the third film, Revolutions, entirely when it hit theaters a few months later, and the conventional wisdom quickly hardened that the Matrix sequels, like the Star Wars prequels, were an idea better left unrealized.

Then, on a lark, I got the massive 10-DVD box set (now available in an insanely affordable blu-ray iteration) that was released during Christmas of '04, packed to the gills with supplements, add-ons, and most importantly, a running commentary track by noted Wise Men Cornel West and Ken Wilber, whose conversational explication of the series' ins-and-outs was like a flint finding a spark. Without the weight of

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Nostalgia Theater: Extreme Ghostbusters -- Like Regular Ghostbusters, But Extreme!

L-R: Slimer, Wheelchair Guy, Goth Girl, Grunge Guy, Black Guy, and Egon
One of my most popular posts of all time is my Nostalgia Theater piece from exactly one year ago looking back at Filmation's also-ran animated Ghostbusters from the mid-'80s. That series, which I affectionately refer to as "The Fake Ghostbusters" (as contrasted with the officially licensed Real Ghostbusters show that ran concurrently), tried to ride the coattails of the very successful Columbia Pictures film to less-than-successful results, but it at least had the benefit of a concept that actually predated the film, making it seem slightly -- only slightly -- less mercenary. I'll give no such quarter to this week's Nostalgia Theater pick: just in time for Halloween, it's Extreme Ghostbusters!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

X-Over: Vaughn Out, Singer In For X-Men?

Two summers ago, I lavished praise on X-Men: First Class, the prequel/reboot film that washed away the bilious aftertaste of the the previous two X-Men flicks (2006's The Last Stand and 2009's Origins), so I was happy to report late last year that director Matthew Vaughn, who played such a key role in leading the X-franchise out of the wasteland, was back onboard to shepherd a return visit to the First Class prequel-verse. With the director and stars James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender confirmed to return, it looked like full steam ahead for the sequel, titled Days of Future Past (from a famed X-Men comic book storyline by Chris Claremont and John Byrne) to meet its July 2014 release date.

However, a wrench got thrown into the works earlier this week when Vaughn, who'd been developing the story with producer Bryan Singer, decided to bail on the project in favor of another collaboration with Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar (though he would apparently still remain aboard as a producer). Oddly enough, this comes just weeks after another returning director exited another fast-tracked Fox sequel. Is this a

Friday, October 26, 2012

Conan Returns...And So Does Arnold?

In yet another example of the insta-reboot culture that's permeating Hollywood, we're staring in the face of yet another try at bringing Robert E. Howard's literary Conan the Barbarian character to the big screen -- and just one year after Lionsgate's 2011 remake starring Jason Momoa as the legendary rogue famously fizzled. This time around, Universal, which released the two cinematic Conan spectacles of the 1980s, has picked up the reins and apparently roped in original star Arnold Schwarzenegger to again tell us about "da lamentations of da wimmen."

The project, called The Legend of Conan, would be a sequel to the John Milius-directed 1982 original, which would ignore not only the Momoa version but also the watered-down Schwarzenegger sequel Conan the Destroyer from 1984 (and let's not even mention Red Sonja spin-off, which starred Big Arnie, but not as

Obama on Ayn

President Obama sat down recently for an in-depth chat with Rolling Stone that's remarkably far-reaching and candid (just read what he says kids think of Mitt Romney) and worth checking out in its entirety. However, given my longstanding antipathy towards the Objectevist teachings of Ayn Rand, which have of late merged with mainstream Republicanism to form about as unhealthy an ideological Molotov cocktail as possible, this small bit in particular jumped out at me:
What do you think Paul Ryan's obsession with her work would mean if he were vice president? 
Well, you'd have to ask Paul Ryan what that means to him. Ayn Rand is one of those things that a lot of us, when we were 17 or 18 and feeling misunderstood, we'd pick up. Then, as we get older, we realize that a world in which we're only thinking about ourselves and not thinking about anybody else, in which we're considering the entire project of developing ourselves as more important than our relationships to other people and making sure that everybody else has opportunity – that that's a pretty narrow vision. It's not one that, I think, describes what's best in America. Unfortunately, it does seem as if sometimes that vision of a "you're on your own" society has consumed a big chunk of the Republican Party.
Couldn't have said it better. Read the rest here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Amazing.

Right now, Muslims from all over the world have gathered to perform the Hajj, the ritual pilgrimage to Mecca that every adherent of Islam is required to perform once in their life. I haven't done it yet, but hopefully soon. To get a sense of the sheer scope and scale of the mammoth crowds this annual event draws, check out these beautiful pictures of the great mosque in Mecca taken earlier this week.

From The Onion...

In reference to Donald Trump's promise of a blockbuster revelation about President Obama yesterday, which turned out to a big fat bust:
Trump Announces He's A Very Sad Man 
NEW YORK—In a blockbuster announcement today, Donald Trump announced that he is a very sad man who has nothing to live for other than drawing attention to himself. "I'm a sad, pathetic human being and a complete waste of life," said Trump, adding that he lives an empty existence, and that he is nothing more than a corporate shill, as well as a failed husband, father, and human being. "I am the piece of sh__ you stepped in on your way to work. I am the vomit that hurls out of your mouth when you are sick. I want to kill myself very badly. Thank you." Trump then slit his throat from ear to ear.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

"Optimal" Noise

Last Thursday, President Obama appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart -- check out the vid here -- and before the interview had even aired, the pundits populating the "anti-Obama" class had seized on one sentence, stripped of all context, and used it as one more reason to tar-and-feather the man as, what else, the Worst President Ever (remember that chestnut?). Normally this kind of thing would be shameful and disgraceful and outrageous, but as Stewart explained Monday night, for Fox News, it's just another day on Bullsh#%t Mountain. Catch part one below, and part two after the break.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Iron Man 3 Looks Freakin' Epic!

The folks at Marvel Studios are clearly not resting on their laurels after the record-setting success of The Avengers last summer. Their next big opus is Iron Man 3, due to hit theaters the first week of May, which serves as the opening volley in their "Phase 2" which will, one presumes, culminate in 2015's Avengers sequel. For Tony Stark's third solo go, star Robert Downey Jr. is joined by writer/director Shane Black, who steps into the chair previously occupied by Jon Favreau.

And the new helmer sure seems intent on putting the playboy billionaire through his paces, as this new trailer shows. Some nice effects shots, plus a very good look at Ben Kingley as the Mandarin, the archenemy who is to Iron Man what the Joker is to Batman. Been waiting a long time to see the two square off on the silver screen, and if this first look is anything to go by, it'll be one for the ages:

Post-Debate Thoughts

With last night's final face-off between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, the trilogy was finally concluded, and the wild and wacky debate season of 2012, which started with a chorus line of potential prezzes vying for the job before getting whittled down to the final two, took its place in the history books. As with last week's rematch, this one was often contentious and -- if the flop sweat on Mitt Romney's brow late in the game was anything to go by -- heated, with moderator Bob Schieffer seeming at times like he took a coffee break while the two combatants tossed verbal volleys at one another.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Recommended Reading

It's no great shock that the editorial board of The New Yorker has endorsed President Obama for re-election. However, one thing their lengthy and expansive overview of the choice driving this election does underscore is my issue with disheartened Obama supporters choosing -- however nobly -- to sit the election out in a "pox on both their houses" pique. Check out the contrasting visions for where the two tickets are likely to take the country and see why this choice matters:
The Romney-Ryan ticket represents a constricted and backward-looking vision of America: the privatization of the public good. In contrast, the sort of public investment championed by Obama—and exemplified by both the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Affordable Care Act—takes to heart the old civil-rights motto “Lifting as we climb.” That effort cannot, by itself, reverse the rise of inequality that has been under way for at least three decades. But we’ve already seen the future that Romney represents, and it doesn’t work.
It certainly doesn't. There's a whole heckuvalot more here. Read it all.

The MovieFilm Podcast: Episode 7

The horror, the horror! This week we make our picks for best Halloween movies without the word "Halloween" in the title. But that's not all! We also take some time to answer some of your most pressing queries, discuss the new trailers for Jack Reacher and Django Unchained, and riff on all the latest news out of Hollywood and beyond. We had plenty to say in this latest installment, and hopefully you'll have plenty to enjoy! As usual, stream it below or download it from iTunes. Be sure to send us your questions and comments at MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com, and while you're at it, hit "like" on the official MovieFilm Facebook page.


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Sunday, October 21, 2012

SNL Takes on the Second Debate

Funny stuff from last night's show. Glad that, thanks to Jay Pharoah, they finally have an Obama who looks and sounds like Obama. Hopefully he gets to keep the job longer than few weeks.

Nostalgia Theater: Misfits of Science --
TV's X-Men Before TV's X-Men


Mighty Mutants: (L-R) Mark Thomas Miller, Courteney Cox, Kevin Peter Hall, Dean Paul Martin
When I look at old timey artifacts here in Nostalgia Theater, they generally fall into one of two broad categories: shows that were embarrassing to watch then and have only gotten more so in the interim, and shows that clearly went before their time because they were so far ahead of their time. Misfits of Science falls into the latter category, a short-lived superhero skein that aired too briefly on NBC in late 1985 and early '86, but sadly disappeared from the airwaves before it ever really had a chance to make its mark.

The brainchild of late NBC head Brandon Tartikoff, and produced by James Parriott (Forever Knight), Misfits starred Dean Paul Martin (son of crooner Dino) as Dr. Billy Hayes, a researcher in "human anomalies" (read: mutants) who assembles and leads the titular team, which is comprised of his colleague Elvin Lincoln (Kevin Peter Hall, who would later play the title creature in Predator), a seven-foot giant who can shrink to a few inches, "Johnny B" Bukowski (Mark Thomas Miller), a rock musician who can exude electricity, and Gloria Dinallo (Courteney Cox, in one of her earliest roles), a teenager with telekinetic abilities. Here's the intro:

Friday, October 19, 2012

On Libya and the Right Wing Bubble

On Wednesday, I mentioned Mitt Romney's mid-debate pratfall in regards to Libya, as he fell all over himself attempting to parse whether "acts of terror" means "acts of terror" when it's said by President Obama. But I have to say, the most amusing thing for me has probably been how the right wing spin cycle (mostly the Fox News crowed, natch) kicked into overdrive in its immediate aftermath. "Candy Crowley was bought and paid for." "Obama said 'terror,' but he meant error." You name it. Rather than simply say, "Yeah, Mitt walked into that one," take the ding, and move on, they'll claw for whatever rationale they could can to not have their guy be the one with egg on his face.

I saw Republican strategist Ron Christie, who seems like a decent enough guy, on MSNBC yesterday calling the Obama administration's delay in definitively stating that the attack was pre-planned a scandal that outpaces Watergate. Someone on TV actually said that with a straight face, and we wonder why our discourse is so out-of-

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Post-Debate Thoughts

Last night was a remarkable turnaround for President Obama on the debate stage. Whether that translates into a turnaround on the national stage is anyone's guess, but I'd say his performance during the second face-off with Mitt Romney squelched any notions from his squeamish supporters that he wasn't up to the task of defending his record and what he plans to do going forward. Indeed, both candidates came armed for bear, with facts, stats, and yes, talking points flying fast and furious during the brisk ninety-plus minute confrontation.

But while Mitt Romney likely didn't do anything to embarrass himself with his base, his awkward, tough guy physicality and verbal dismissiveness, both towards moderator Candy Crowley and President Obama himself, sure didn't do much to dispel the notions about him that are already out there and part of the ether. I have a feeling it'll be those moments that are played and re-played in the days ahead, the same way Romney's reference to "binders full of women" went viral pretty much the instant he said it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Recommended Reading

The polls have been see-sawing up and down ever since the first presidential debate, with Mitt Romney gaining a slight lead nationally, which puts an inordinate amount of pressure on President Obama to make the case for his accomplishments and his agenda in tonight's second debate. And in case you don't already know that those stakes are extraordinarily high, Jonathan Chait lays out how stark a Romney-Ryan legislative agenda would likely be when it comes to domestic spending and the social safety net:
Let’s first imagine that, on January 20, Romney takes the oath of office. Of the many secret post-victory plans floating around in the inner circles of the campaigns, the least secret is Romney’s intention to implement Paul Ryan’s budget. The Ryan budget has come to be almost synonymous with the Republican Party agenda, and Romney has embraced it with only slight variations. It would repeal Obamacare, cut income-tax rates, turn Medicare for people under 55 years old into subsidized private insurance, increase defense spending, and cut domestic spending, with especially large cuts for Medicaid, food stamps, and other programs targeted to the very poor. 

"Battle for the Historical Footnote"

Jon Stewart chimes in with his take on the vice-presidential debate, then moves on to dismantling the media post-game. Guess which Rupert Murdoch-owned news org gets a particular shellacking? Also, I gotta say, between the Quantum Leap reference while covering the last debate and his name-check of CBS series Beauty & The Beast here, Jon's geek credentials are well and truly cemented. Bravo. Part one is below, and part two is after the jump.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Zaki Talks Hulk!

Here's one I meant to post a few weeks back, but hey, better late than never! As many of you already know, the Hulk has been in my personal top tier of comic book heroes going back to when I was a wee one watching Bill Bixby get glassy-eyed and turn into Lou Ferrigno whenever he got angry. Thus, it was with great enthusiasm that I joined J. David Weter, curator of the Incredible Hulk Homepage and host of the excellent PADSmash podcast, on the occasion of the Green Goliath's 50th anniversary to answer the question of whether the Hulk is a hero or a menace. Given my longtime affection for Mr. Greenjeans, I had plenty to say, and we got a solid hour's worth of conversation out of pondering that question. One might even say it was...wait for it...smashing! You can stream the episode here or download it from iTunes. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Nostalgia Theater: The (Brief) Return of Masters of the Universe

This past Friday marked thirty years since Mattel's mighty Masters of the Universe debuted in toy aisles across the country. And while I looked at the short-lived The New Adventures of He-Man iteration of the brand a scant two months ago, we now examine an even shorter-lived try at breathing life back into the dormant powers of Grayskull. In 2002, after a sudden rush of nostalgic interest by aging '80s kids in dormant properties like G.I. Joe and Transformers, and more than ten years after Prince Adam's spray-tanned alter ego last haunted toy store pegs, Mattel followed suit and relaunched Masters of the Universe (with snazzy new anime-inspired designs and minus one pageboy haircut). Here's the first TV spot promoting the line:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Post-Veep Debate Thoughts

Here's what I tweeted last night at the close of the veep debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan:
A great debate. Ryan held his own, no doubt, but my guess is the narrative will favor Biden, who did exactly what he needed to do.
And that's pretty much true the morning after. I'm seeing a lot of tut-tutting in the right wing blogosphere about Biden supposedly being too jocular in his replies to Ryan, and interrupting a few too many times, but honestly, after President Obama essentially got out of Mitt Romney's way during last week's first debate, this is exactly what needed to happen -- not so much to win over the ever-elusive undecideds, but to staunch the "woe is us" pants-crapping by the Democratic base. Here's a pretty good summation by Slate's Dave Weigel of what Biden managed last night:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

From The Onion...


Romney Proudly Explains How He's Turned Campaign Around; 'I'm Lying More,' He Says
Ah, now it makes sense.
“I’m lying a lot more, and my lies are far more egregious than they’ve ever been,” a smiling Romney told reporters while sitting in the back of his campaign bus, adding that when faced with a choice to either lie or tell the truth, he will more than likely lie. “It’s a strategy that works because when I lie, I’m essentially telling people what they want to hear, and people really like hearing things they want to hear. Even if they sort of know that nothing I’m saying is true.”

“It’s a freeing strategy, really, because I don’t have to worry about facts or being accurate or having any concrete positions of any kind,” Romney added.
Read more here.

Muslim For Obama

My friend Amanda Quraishi makes the case for why she's a Muslim who's voting for Obama. I concur.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

The Hidden History of Muslims in America

While far-right antipathy towards Islam and Muslim continues unabated, especially in light of the events of the past month in the Mid-East, one key fact continually overlooked in all of this noise, either willfully or out of ignorance, is just how deeply woven American Muslims have been with the American experience going all the way back to our country's earliest days. To this end, AlterNet's Lynn Parramore digs into this lost history and comes away with some heretofore hidden surprises.

Bartlet to Obama: "A Bad Night to Have a Bad Night"

Just over four years ago, The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin imagined what a meeting between his fictional president Josiah Bartlet and then-candidate Barack Obama might go like in the final stretch of that campaign. Well, Sorkin was clearly nonplussed by the aftermath of last Wednesday's debate, but rather than stew about it, he took to his keyboard at the prodding of New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd and posited a follow-up to that previous scene, this time imagining an aggravated Bartlet laying into Obama's listless performance and unwillingness to call out untruths. I've said it before, and I'll never get tired of saying it again: I really miss The West Wing.

Monday, October 08, 2012

The MovieFilm Podcast: Episode 6

"The Time (Travel) of Our Lives!" The Mr. Boy gang is back for our sixth MovieFilm go-round. This week, we discuss the trailers for Die Hard 5 and The Lone Ranger, question whether Taken 2 is one sequel too many, attempt to figure out the time travel antics of Looper, and use that to segue into a brain-freezing discussion about our favorite time travel flicks of all time, as well as plenty of other fun and frivolity. At two hours and change, this is our longest podcast yet, so join in by streaming below or downloading at iTunes. Also, remember to send us a note at MovieFilmPodcast@gmail.com to let us know how we're doing!


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Sunday, October 07, 2012

Nostalgia Theater:
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adequate Adventures

In 1989, Orion Pictures released Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and history was made. The time travel comedy, chronicling the escapades of the titular dim-witted teens as they interact with various historical figures, is perhaps most notable today for launching the headlining career of star Keanu Reeves, but at the time, its out-of-the-blue success at the turnstile ($40 million against a $10 mil budget) led to the two "Wyld Stallyns" (air guitar) manifesting across the space-time continuum of merchandising and tie-ins. Let's take a brief trip through time as we look back at Bill & Ted's excellent franchise.

First up, animation house Hanna-Barbera spun the premise of the film into Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventures, a Saturday morning cartoon that aired on CBS in fall of 1990. The biggest coup of this show was that they managed to rope in movie actors Reeves (Ted), Alex Winter (Bill), and the late, great George Carlin (mentor from the future, Rufus) to reprise their roles via voiceover. The premise stuck pretty rigidly to the movie's format: the boys use their phone booth time machine to journey through time and meet various historical figures. Wash, rinse, repeat. Check out the intro:

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Taibbi on the Debate: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Matt Taibbi thinks both candidates muffed Wednesday's debate pretty badly, Mitt Romney by twisting the truth into a pretzel, and President Obama for duly eating said pretzel when it was offered him. But more than heaping scorn on the two contenders, who he considers a pick-your-poison proposition, Taibbi has special disdain for the media's gladiator arena mentality, which just serves to minimize the actual stakes:
Romney's performance was better than Obama's, but only if you throw out criteria like "wasn't 100% full of $#*! from the opening bell" and "made an actual attempt to explain who he is and what his plans are." Unfortunately, that is good enough for our news media, which drools over the gamesmanship aspects of these debates, because it loves candidates who sink their teeth into the horse-race nonsense that they think validates their professional lives.
He goes on to surgically pick apart Mendacious Mitt's greatest debate fibs in a way the president completely failed to. Read it all here.

Yippee-Ki-Yay! John McClane Returns in A Good Day to Die Hard

Believe it or not, next year marks a quarter-century since the first time Bruce Willis' Det. John McClane got in over his head squaring off with terrorist baddies in Die Hard. To mark the occasion, Twentieth Century Fox has a fifth installment of the game-changing action franchise that's been so good to their bottom line primed and ready to go. A Good Day to Die Hard, directed by John Moore, has McClane battling world-beating shenanigans in Russia while bantering with police officer son John Jr. (Jai Courtney). Here's the first trailer:

Friday, October 05, 2012

"O Bama, Where Art Thou?"

Jon Stewart chimes in with his take on the debate festivities Wednesday night. Hilarious as always, and extra special bonus points for managing to work in a Quantum Leap reference. Catch part two after the jump.


Thursday, October 04, 2012

Post-Debate Thoughts

I had a screening of Argo last night the same time as the presidential debate (review coming soon!), so I ended up listening to the first forty-five minutes or so in my car. This actually proved beneficial for me, as I was able to focus more on the content of what was said rather than how it was being delivered. But even while listening, the sense I got was that Romney came prepped and ready to play, freely interrupting whenever it suited him and riding roughshod over moderator Jim Lehrer, while President Obama seemed to be on defense most of the time.

Later in the evening, after watching the thing in its entirety on my DVR, my earlier suspicions were pretty much confirmed. It isn't even that Romney came out ahead on poise or looking presidential. If anything, his constant interruptions and omnipresent smirk just cemented his pre-existing rep as abrasive and aloof. But if politics is perception, that didn't matter. Nor did it matter that he was letting fly so many contradictory and flat-out untrue statements about his policy initiatives. Nope, in the perceptions game, Romney was on-task, and Obama was out to lunch.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Loving Hate

David Wong over at Cracked provides us with a pretty bang-on list of "5 Reasons Humanity Desperately Wants Monsters to be Real." There's some remarkably cogent analysis here, and the sad part is how much of this is totally true and can be evidenced by our own lives. Well worth a look just for his take on Liam Neeson's famous "I will find you, and I will kill you" speech from Taken, which mirrors my own reaction when I first saw it.

New Direction For New Apes

The last time we talked about the sequel to the 2011 surprise (though not to me) hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes was nearly a year ago, when I noted that star Andy Serkis had signed to reprise super-chimp Caesar, and that scenarists Rick Jaffa & Amanda Silver and director Rupert Wyatt were all roped in for sequel duties. Well, there's one change to that lineup as of this week, with Wyatt exiting due to difficulties meeting the Memorial Day, 2014 release date. Stepping into this breach is director Matt Reeves, who first came to prominence a few years ago with Cloverfield (though producer JJ Abrams seemed to take the lion's share of accolades for that) and last year's under-the-radar vampire flick Let Me In, and is now going to shepherd Caesar through the next stage of his journey.

I have to be honest in saying that really I hoped Wyatt would remain involved, as he brought a relatable veracity to the proceedings last time, and he had some interesting ideas for where to take the sequel (now titled Dawn of the Planet of the Apes*), and I would have liked to see them come to fruition. Also in the back of my mind, the previous Apes series suffered badly from musical directors' chairs, with four directors over five movies. All that said, I do think Reeves is a fine choice, and I certainly don't think he's a step down from Wyatt. With Reeves locked in and production set to commence shortly, I'm sure we'll have a lot more to discuss about Dawn of the Planet of the Planet of the Apes as its May 23, 2014 release gets closer.

*  Anyone else find that title a bit redundant? Rise of the Planet of the Apes followed immediately by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. Is the next one going to be Awakening of the Planet of the Apes?