Xerxes Film To Be Retitled; Two Potential Directors Found

Despite the box office juggernaut that Zack Snyder’s 300 was to moviegoers, raking in more than $450 million worldwide on a mere $65 million budget, the spin-off film that was announced back in 2007 under the working title Xerxes, has had no so luck. In fact, the film has been in development hell for the past three years, and although small bits of information have been revealed, it has already been reported that Zach Snyder will not reprise his role in the director’s helm, instead committed to creating the upcoming Superman reboot, Man Of Steel.

However, Deadline has reported that Warner Bros. Has now narrowed down the director choices to one of two directors. The two contenders for the project are Noam Murro, director of Smart People and Jaume Collet-Serra, director of the House of Wax remake, Orphan and most recently, Unknown. In addition, the film will now be titled 300: Battle of Artemisia.

Historically, Artemisia was a female Ionian ruler who fell into rule after the untimely death of her husband. Being the only female commander on the battlefield, she allied with Xerxes, and concocted a sound battle plan for the Persian armies, which Xerxes quickly dismissed, instead opting to follow an alternate battle plan which resulted in Persia’s defeat by the Greek city-states.

The historical premise may be a little convoluted in the politics of the time, but a film with a strong female lead beside Rodrigo Santoro, who will be reprising his role as Xerxes from 300, is bound to be original in at least some capacity. The film is still in pre-production, but more information will be available as it is released.

‘Weeds’ Season 7 Premiere Review: Kohan Reboots Series Direction

After every third season of Weeds, creator Jenji Kohan decides to take her beloved series into a new direction. In the Weeds Season 7 premiere, Kohan took her characters three years forward and in less than thirty minutes wiped the slate clean of all past transgressions.

Esteban is dead. The Pilar Zuazo and cartel investigation has been closed thanks to Nancy Botwin’s (Mary-Louise Parker) cooperation. Now, that Nancy has no need for witness protection, Agent Lipschitz (John Fleck) has pulled a few strings to allow Nancy to spend the rest of her jail sentence in a halfway house. In the past three years, Lipschitz apparently made his career thanks to Nancy’s help. So an early release was his way of saying thanks. Inmate #81426-370 – Botwin, N. – has been freed.

weeds season 7 premiere

As for the Botwin boys, Andy (Justin Kirk), Silas (Hunter Parrish) and Shane (Alexander Gould) have been spending the past few years in Copenhagen, Denmark with Doug (Kevin Nealon). Episode 7.1, “Bags”, showed a more adult Shane getting kicked out of the house by a cougar that he refused to get pregnant. In a few minutes we learned that Shane had taken up life as a puppeteer, had a show that featured a puppet named the “Naked King”, and had been labeled a “cruel man” by an older woman whose biological clock couldn’t be satiated. It was a funny scene that reminded us why we loved Weeds so much. Afterwards, we saw that Silas had become a model of sorts, while Andy had shifted his life towards tourism and politics. The logistics of what Andy and Doug were doing felt boggled down in cumbersome details, which at the end of the day didn’t matter. The Botwin family is gearing up to head back home to see their beloved, or in the case of Silas not-so beloved, matriarch.

Has Nancy been rehabilitated? Not in the least bit. It didn’t take Nancy long to lie her way into a 2-hour hiatus from the halfway house. Kohan dived back into her days as a writer on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and threw in a cliché African American character who runs the halfway house by talking in rhymes. “Come in late, you seal your fate.” He sounded like Roadblock from the 80s G.I. Joe cartoon series.

weeds season 7 nancy botwin mary louise parker

Nancy used part of her free time to reach out to her sister, who has been raising young Stevie as her own son. Once she was done with the ‘motherly pleasantries’ it was back to business. While in prison, Nancy found herself in the arms of her cellmate Z. Ravitch. After sharing a farewell kiss, Ravitch gave Nancy a pair of gloves and told her that the gloves held the secret to her future. While this seemed to be an ambiguous throwaway to viewers, we later learned that the oven mitts were given to Nancy to grab a key infused to a steam room’s coal lump. She used the key to unlock the trunk of a car; in the back there was a suitcase loaded with grenades and other heavy arms. Yes, it looks like Ms. Botwin is heading into the weapons business.

Although we only saw about five-minutes of Nancy in jail, it looks like we’ll be seeing how much jail has affected her over the course of this season. Also, we’ll be looking to see if her family joins Nancy in her new crime life or tries to bring her back from the dark side. One thing is for sure, Silas will not be happy to see his mom dealing weapons.

What were your thoughts on the season premiere? Let us know! I thought it was funny that the episode and I share the same name!

‘True Blood': Tara Turned-Out Poll

In Season 3, True Blood showrunner Alan Ball had us wondering if Tara (Rutina Wesley) would be turned by vampire Franklin Mott (James Frain). In the Season 4 premiere, Ball decided to simply turn Tara out.

Throughout the first three seasons of True Blood we’ve seen Tara go after Jason (Ryan Kwanten) and later Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell). However, she’s never expressed interest in women until now. In the premiere, Tara – left Bon Temps in her dust in last season’s finale – was seen engaging in mixed martial arts. Wesley has always had guns for arms so there was no real shock in seeing her fight, besides the obvious additional layer to her character. However, now she has a friend with benefits (it hasn’t officially been stated whether their a couple) in Naomi (Vedette Lim). We got to see a slightly steamy scene between the two get interrupted by a text from back home in Bon Temps.

true blood tara rutina wesley

Is this new relationship jumping the shark for Tara’s character or just a way to shift Tara’s character to be more in line with her cousin Lafayette (Nelsan Ellis)? Personally, I’m just happy to see Tara smiling, instead of recovering from a constant lip quiver due to deaths, mommy issues and abusive sexual affairs.

[poll=115]

Let us know your thoughts below. And, speaking of Lafayette, what’s the deal with his hair?! It’s like seeing Michael Jordan with a wig on.

Falling Skies Episode 1.02 Review: Skitter Done

After lots of set up in the two-hour pilot, Falling Skies’ picked up the pace in its second week. Both sides gained leverage by capturing a prisoner. Tom (Noah Wylie) took John Pope’s (Colin Cunningham) advice to take down a skitter. In trying to retrieve his son, Ben (Connor Jessup), Tom’s oldest, Hal (Drew Roy) and his girlfriend Karen (Jesse Schram) are captured. Instead of rescuing Ben, Mike (Martin Roach) selfishly saves his son Ricky (Daniyah Ysrayl) instead, ruining the mission. Hal is let go, but not before he sees a mech gun several children (none of them conveniently were Ben) down to share his experience to the camp.

What was most intriguing to me about the pilot and was further explored this week was how the skitters used spinal harnesses to enslave children to perform remedial tasks, basically using them to gather raw materials of scrap metal and other industrial wreckage from the attacks. So in one frame you can get aliens, mech robots, and zombie children. What the motive is behind this? Is it tied to the large structures that have popped up in every major city? Is it to weaken the spirit of survivors? Attempts have been made in the past to dislodge the harness, leading to instantaneous death.

Steven Weber guest-starred as Dr. Michael Harris who is found by the 2nd Mass resistance. He believes he has a way to successfully remove the harness. The harnesses attach with needles slow-dripping some chemical or drug into the spinal column. Removing that harness sends the body into a state of shock. He believes if he cuts the harnesses in the middle of the needles, he can pump a child with morphine while slowly taking the needles out. Harris’ theory would be wrong.

By the end of “Prisoner of War we see that skitters don’t need the harnesses to control the children making next week’s episode one not to miss.

Pope continues to be the human of interest in the whole bunch. While his amoral ways, questionable past and prejudiced views are reminiscent of Lost’s Sawyer or The Walking Dead’s Merle Dixon, we come to find out he’s a man of culinary skill. He’s far from being the next Dos Equis spokesman, but currently he’s the only survivor that’s shown any kind of personality and is not permanently stuck in a state of grief.

We get the impression that Tom’s wife died under his Dr. Harris’ care. He makes a dreadful promise that he can turn his son back to normal thus setting up another potential disappointment for Tom.

The first three hours of Falling Skies have been so entrenched in military strategy and clashing personalities that there hasn’t been any time to warm up to any character. Weaver (Will Patton) vs. Tom, Weaver vs. Captain Porter (Dale Dye) and yes, Weaver vs. Pope dominate the storylines in the survivor camp. We get it, Weaver is a difficult and is repeatedly proven wrong; all of his Gulf War experience and textbook training has been useless against this moment of crisis. His preferential treatment of fighters over the “eaters” doesn’t win him any fans especially with Anne (Moon Bloodgood). The question is will Weaver be the character to come around, or will he continue to be an additional antagonist survivors have to worry about?

One of the big problems for me still is the preservation of Matt’s innocence. I know as a surviving civilization it’s a big priority to maintain a classroom environment to stimulate the mind and keep the mind off the resistance and aliens. Isn’t surviving enough to stimulate the young minds? Shouldn’t everyone be training how to kill skitters, find a way to eat, or build other weapons? It’s early but this need to cling onto what we valued seems unnecessary. I’d just like to see Falling Skies push the envelope more.

I like the idea of being thrust into this world and slowly pulling away to see the bigger picture, but right now we’re still hovering over the hot coals. There are still plenty of layers to unwrap in Falling Skies and that’s a good thing. I want to see how some of these threads play out but I’d like to see more punches thrown than pulled. “Prisoner of War” is a big step in the right direction; hopefully we can get a few more paces and a rate at which more pieces fall into place on a regular basis.

Catch new episodes of Falling Skies Sundays at 10PM ET/PT on TNT.

‘Cars 2′ Siddeley Foam Glider is Great for Outdoor Summer Fun

Growing up, my parents never had the money to buy most of the toys I asked (or rather begged them) for. So, I used to improvise. I would piece together styrofoam, tissue boxes, paper towel rolls, used poster board, duck tape and just about every piece of junk I could get my hands on in order to make the toys (specifically vehicles like cars, trucks and spaceships) I could couldn’t buy in the stores.

It may sound like a scrappy set of Frankenstein-like toys, but they were actually visual delights, with movable parts and/or wheels that other kids loved to check out and play with. Jumping forward several years, it was probably no wonder I went to college and studied engineering.

Spin Master’s new Siddeley Foam Glider toy from the Cars 2 Air hogs series is a throwback to those simpler days. The Glider is made entirely out of foam and comes in 6 easy to assemble parts.

siddeley glider

Now, when I say easy to assemble, I don’t mean “easy” in the phony way some toys claim. Each piece, comfortably fits into a corresponding shape on the main Siddeley cabin. If you ever played with a “Baby’s First Blocks” kit, you’ll get the idea instantaneously without the need for directions. The stickers are just as easy to apply. And, the actual foam unit gives creative children an excellent way to custom design their Siddeley ship using standard markers or paint sets.

The foam unit, priced at an extremely reasonable price of 12.99 may seem a little flimsy when you first spot the packaging. It’s just a giant plastic bag. However, when you put it together, you’ll get the quick feeling that the light weight of this craft was meant for air travel.

If you’re a city-dweller, it may not be suited for you unless you live close to a park or have a reasonably sized backyard. However, if you do, this ship is pure awesomeness to fly. With just a little throwing motion of your arm, it can catch the smallest of breezes and glide through the air without a problem. I tried it out first on the a very humid day in New York City, without the faintest trace of wind. The glider was still able to catch the breeze and fly several yards before slowly coming back to the ground. On a slightly more windy day, the glider would continuously catch a breeze and soar much like a kite. It was really cool to see it start to come back to the ground, before a new gust of wind would take it up to new heights.

Now, I don’t recommend this for everyone, but being the curious individual that I am I tried the glider while standing on different elevations off the ground. I won’t go into the details, but at least one height was off of a two story rooftop. Siddeley was a pro int he air. Also by flipping the tail, the Siddeley Foam glider performed additional loops that would make high school physics teachers giggle with delight.

The Siddeley Foam Glider is an excellent toy that can give children who love to hang out in parks and backyards several hours of enjoyment. It’s also a great way to test out your artistic skills with a few custom designs. For 12.99, you can buy two and hold summer and fall seasonal competitions with friends.

Cars 2 Siddeley Glider
Cars 2 Siddeley Glider

Manufactured by: Spin Master
Rating: 8/10

Tom Hanks Says ‘Toy Story 4′ is ‘Being Worked On’

So Cars 2 is an apparent critical failure (which sucks because I thoroughly enjoyed it), but does that mean Pixar should hang up the sequel game for now? According to Tom Hanks, the answer is no. In fact, Pixar may already be working on another sequel.

During an interview with BBC, Hanks mentioned that Toy Story 4 is “being worked on.” Of course, Toy Story 3 was both a critical and box office smash, garnering almost universal acclaim as well as an enviable $1 Billion plus box office tally. From that standpoint and considering the fact that the franchise is a big money maker with respect to merchandise, another movie would be akin to printing money.

All of that said, this makes perfect sense because the franchise is certainly showing no signs of being jaded. The Toy Story Toons: Hawaii Vacation short that ran before Cars 2 was cute, hilarious and proof that we may have written these characters off too soon. As long as Pixar continues to recreate the magic with Woody, Buzz, Slinky, Rex and the rest of the gang, I suspect we’ll all be watching.

Of course, Pixar’s releases for the next several years have already been planned out, with Brave releasing next year and Monster’s University the following year. These projects can also take the better portion of a decade to complete, so if Pixar is working on something, there’s no guarantees we’ll see a movie within the near future.

Jurassic Park Trilogy Invades Blu-ray this October

Like many trilogies, the Jurassic Park franchise started off with an amazing first installment (back in 1993) and then cranked out two so-so followups (The Lost World in 1997 and Jurassic Park III in 2001). But that’s besides the point, because you’ll be able to score the trilogy in hi-def video and audio glory when it comes to Blu-ray on October 25.

Universal is packing this release to the brim with a whole new round of special features. Check out the included bonuses below as well as box art.

ALL-NEW BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAY™ & DVD

  • Return to Jurassic Park” – this six-part documentary features all-new interviews with the many of the cast members from all three films, the filmmakers and Steven Spielberg.

o Dawn of a New Era

o Making Pre-history

o The Next Step in Evolution

o Finding The Lost World

o Something Survived

o The Third Adventure

ADDITIONAL FEATURES EXCLUSIVE TO BLU-RAY™

· BD-LIVE™ – Access the BD-Live™ Center through your Internet-connected player to watch exclusive content, the latest trailers, and more!

  • MY SCENES: Bookmark your favorite scenes from the film.
  • pocket BLU™: The groundbreaking pocket BLU app uses iPad®, iPhone®, iPod® touch, Android, PC and Mac® to work seamlessly with a network-connected Blu-ray player.  Plus iPad® owners can enjoy a new, enhanced edition of pocket BLU™ made especially to take advantage of the tablet’s larger screen and high resolution display.  Consumers will be able to browse through a library of Blu-ray content and watch entertaining extras on-the-go in a way that’s bigger and better than ever before.  pocket BLU offers advanced features such as:

o ADVANCED REMOTE CONTROL: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live functions with ease.

o VIDEO TIMELINE: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.

o MOBILE-TO-GO: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere.

o BROWSE TITLES: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray.  They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.

o KEYBOARD: Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard.



The following bonus features also appear on the both the Blu-ray and DVD:

  • The Making of Jurassic Park
  • The Making of The Lost World: Jurassic Park
  • The Making of Jurassic Park III
  • Steven Spielberg Directs Jurassic Park
  • Early Pre-Production Meetings
  • The World of Jurassic Park
  • The Magic of Industrial Light & Magic
  • Location Scouting
  • Phil Tippett Animatics: Raptors In The Kitchen
  • The Jurassic Park Phenomenon: A Discussion with Author Michael Crichton
  • Industrial Light & Magic and Jurassic Park: Before and After The Visual Effects
  • Industrial Light & Magic and The Lost World: Jurassic Park Before & After
  • The Industrial Light & Magic Press Reel
  • A Visit to Industrial Light & Magic
  • Hurricane in Kauai Featurette
  • Dinosaur Turntables
  • The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park III
  • Montana: Finding New Dinosaurs
  • Animatics: T-Rex Attack
  • The Special Effects of Jurassic Park III
  • The Sounds of Jurassic Park III
  • The Art of Jurassic Park III
  • Tour of Stan Winston Studio
  • Feature Commentary with Special Effects Team
  • Production Archives: Storyboards, Models, Photographs, Design Sketches and Conceptual Drawings
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailers
  • And MORE!

'Saints Row 3' Babes-Wash Preview and Soap Suds Pics

Why limit booth babes to a booth, when you can give them the run of an entire parking lot? THQ booth babes took over the Los Angeles convention center parking lot for E3 in anticipation of one of the most wacked-out games that will hit the home console this fall.

Saints Row: The Third or Saints Row 3 as it is popularly referred to will be hitting the home consoles this fall (currently, expected on Nov 15, 2011). The game is all about taking Grand Theft Auto carnage to the nth level, topped off with as many thematic sexual innuendos as you can imagine.

So what better way to preview the game than with a few bikini wearing models, with dollars in their panties and soap suds on their hands. That’s not my opinion, just the promotion THQ brought to LA in early June, giving gamers a chance to park their cars for free and get a rim job car wash.

saints row booth babes car wash

As far as crazy game antics are concerned. In Saints Row 3, you’ll be able to run through the streets bashing people over the head with a giant purple dildo. If that’s not your cup of tea, how about breaking out the Apocofits – giant Incredible Hulk like hands – and making people explode with one punch. It’s like Fist of the North Star on steroids.

Fans of the 3rd Street Saints can also call in air box in this sandbox game or hop in a tank to earn respect too. Several of the standard hand-to-hand combat techniques feel like they were ripped right out of WWE wrestling so gamers have new ways to torment pedestrians. You can also outfit your character in crazy outfits worthy of Dead Rising 2, like the space suit.

saints row booth babes car wash

If aerial strikes sounded cool, you also get a VTOL ship (vertical-take-off and landing). It has homing missiles and a jet mode as well as microwave lasers. There are cigarette flamethrower cars with vacuums. You can also launch yourself in a rocket launcher and come down to earth safely with a parachute.

In GTA, you just stole cars, in Saints Row 3 you will dive into a car window to steal your car of choice. It’s throwback to Miami Vice. Speaking of cops, one of the missions we demoed involved a bank robbery gone horribly wrong. Without giving away too many spoilers, gamers can expect this bank to retaliate with military grade hardware. It’s balls-out fun, crazy gameplay.

Comic-Con News – Sarah Michelle Gellar Attending to Show Off ‘Ringer’

Buffy the Vampire Slayer fans that will be on hand at San Diego Comic Con next month have a reason to rejoice: Sarah Michelle Gellar is confirmed to attend the show in order to show off her new CW series, Ringer.

In Ringer, she’ll play a woman who witnesses a murder and then goes on the lam. To hide from her would be pursuers, she hides in plain sight by assuming the life of her wealthy identical twin sister.

Gellar will be joined by Nestor Carbonell (“Lost,” “The Dark Knight”), Ioan Gruffudd  (“Fantastic Four”), Kristoffer Polaha (“Life Unexpected”), Executive Producer Pam Veasey (“CSI: NY”) and Co-Executive Producers Nicole Snyder (“Supernatural”) and Eric Charmelo (“Supernatural”).

The Ringer panel (which will go down on Thursday, July 21 at 1:45-2:45PM, Ballroom 20) will shows off a brand new trailer for the show and there will be exclusive fan giveaways during the session.

Of course, if you’re not already going and you want to go, SDCC is completely sold out.

'Boardwalk Empire' Seeks to Return with a Vengeance – New Teaser Trailer

Not to be overshadowed by its overachieving HBO sibling Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire looks like it’ll back with a vengeance this Fall, according to the Season Two teaser trailer the cable giant has just released. Check it out:

So what we can gather from this teaser is that the new season is going to be Nucky Thompson (Golden Globe-winner Steve Buscemi), with the help of Chalky White (Michael Kenneth Williams) vs. Jimmy Darmody (Leonardo DiCap…. er, Michael Pitt) and THE ENTIRE ATLANTIC CITY ESTABLISHMENT.

And even though there’s barely a glimpse of Kelly Macdonald’s Margaret Schroeder, we get plenty of Gretchen Mol as Jimmy’s very young — and very sexually active — mother.

Oh, and there’s the creepy FBI Agent Nelson Van Alden (Michael Shannon), who looks like he’s sitting in a hospital waiting room in anticipation of showgirl Lucy (Paz de la Huerta) to deliver his bastard baby (pretty sure that’s the exact words the character is thinking).

So, what do you think of the trailer? Is it getting you pumped up for Season Two?