Viggo Mortensen

Theater or Renter: November 2009

Theater or Renter: November includes eight SF movies 1/2 of them are books adapted into movies: A Christmas Carol, The Fourth Kind, 2012, Planet 51, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Ninja Assassin, The Road.  Will we watch? Will we rent? or do we even care? Rules of the Game: Watch the trailers. Rate the Trailer. Then share with us your comments: does the movie, it’s trailer and buzz make you want to watch it in the theater, rent it, or not interested at all, and why?

A Christmas Carol:

Release Date:  NOVEMBER 6th

Listed as:  Animation, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Studio:  Walt Disney Pictures

Director:  Robert Zemeckis

Produced by:  Jack Rapke, Steve Starkey, Robert Zemeckis

Written by:  Robert Zemeckis

Stars:  Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Cary Elwes, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins, Robin Wright Penn, Molly C. Quinn

The Plot / Story: An animated retelling of the Victorian morality tale A Christmas Carol.  Ebenezer Scrooge an old and bitter miser undergoes a profound experience of redemption over the course of one night. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

The Fourth Kind:

Release Date:  NOVEMBER 6th

Listed as:  Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi

Studio:  Universal Pictures

Director:  Olatunde Osunsanmi

Produced by:  Paul Brooks, Joe Carnahan

Written by:  Olatunde Osunsanmi

Stars:  Milla Jovovich, Elias Koteas, Will Patton

The Plot / Story: The Fourth Kind is a reenactment of alien abduction events that are claimed to have actually happened.  An investigator is dispatched to Nome, Alaska to puzzle out a 40-year-long mystery involving an extraordinary number of unexplained disappearances in the town. Her videotaped evidence looks to present the most convincing evidence of alien abduction ever documented. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

2012:

Release Date:  NOVEMBER 13th

Listed as:  Action, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Director:  Roland Emmerich

Produced by:  Roland Emmerich, Mark Gordon, Harald Kloser, Larry J. Franco, Ute Emmerich

Written by:  Harald Kloser, Roland Emmerich

Stars:  John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover, Woody Harrelson

The Plot / Story: The film explores the idea of a global doomsday event coinciding with the end of the Mayan Calendar in 2012.  In Guatemala reports start coming in of mass suicides in the Mayan jungles of people attempting to avoid the impending apocalypse.  A secret organization that realizes the world is ending and is constructing of vast arks beneath the Himalayan mountains to save both the Human race and significant animal species when doomsday finally happens.  The disaster strikes all over with super volcano and mega earthquakes from dramatic shifting in the earths crust.  A group of survivors, including Jackson Curtis and his family fight their way to China before they can board the great arks and save themselves from the gigantic tidal waves sweeping across the Earth. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Planet 51:

Release Date:  NOVEMBER 20th

Listed as:  Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy

Studio:  TriStar Pictures

Director:  Jorge Blanco

Produced by:  Ignacio Perez Dolset, Guy Colins

Written by:  Joe Stillman

Stars:  Dwayne Johnson, Jessica Biel, Justin Long, Seann William Scott, Gary Oldman, John Cleese

The Plot / Story: The film follows a human astronaut, Captain Charles "Chuck" Baker who lands on Planet 51 thinking he's the first to set foot on it. However, he discovers it's inhabited by little green people who live in a white picket-fenced world reminiscent of 1950s America.  The inhabitants of planet 51 are struck with alien fear and Captain Baker struggles to survive and get off the planet before they capture him. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

The Twilight Saga: New Moon:

Release Date:  NOVEMBER 20th

Listed as:  Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Romance, Thriller

Studio:  Summit Entertainment

Director:  Chris Weitz

Produced by:  Mark Morgan, Wyck Godfrey

Written by:  Melissa Rosenberg (screen play)

Stars:  Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner

The Plot / Story: Based on the book The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Bella Swan is devastated by the abrupt departure of her vampire love, Edward Cullen, but her spirit is rekindled by her growing friendship with the irresistible Jacob Black. Suddenly she finds herself drawn into the world of the werewolves, ancestral enemies of the vampires, and finds her loyalties tested.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Fantastic Mr. Fox:

Release Date:  NOVEMBER 20th

Listed as:  Adventure, Animation, Comedy

Studio:  Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Allison Abbate, Steven Rales

Director:  Wes Anderson

Produced by:  Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Allison Abbate, Steven Rales

Written by:  Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach

Stars:  George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Jarvis Cocker, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, Helen McCrory

The Plot / Story: Animated kids film based on Roald Dahl's book Fantastic Mr. Fox.  Mr. Fantastic lives next to the three meanest farmers who push too far.  Now it is time to strike back at them.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

Ninja Assassin:

Release Date:  NOVEMBER 25th

Listed as:  Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller

Studio:  Legendary Pictures, Dark Castle Entertainment, Silver Pictures

Director:  James McTeigue

Produced by:  Joel Silver, Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski, Grant Hill

Written by:  Story: Matthew Sand  Screenplay: Matthew Sand, J. Michael Straczynski

Stars:  Rain, Naomie Harris

The Plot / Story: Raizo, kidnapped as a child and raised by the Ozunu Clan, is one of the world’s deadliest assassins.  When Raizo’s friend is executed by the clan, he flees into hiding.  Meanwhile, Mika Coretti, a Europol agent, retrieves secret agency files on The Clan. Finding out about the investigation, The Clan attempts to assassinate her, but she is rescued by Raizo.  Reemerging, seeking revenge he must find a way to take down the Ozunu Clan. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

The Road:

Release Date:  NOVEMBER 25th

Listed as:  Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Studio:  2929 Productions

Director:  John Hillcoat

Produced by:  Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz, Paula Mae Schwartz

Written by:  Joe Penhall

Stars:  Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce, Charlize Theron

The Plot / Story: Based on the book The Road.  A father and his young son struggle to survive after an unspecified apocalypse and make their way toward the coast for possible food, shelter, safety, or to potentially find other survivors of the cataclysmic events. Along the way, they encounter grave struggles and hardships across the barren landscapes, with scarce shelter and resources available to them, and having to avoid bands of cannibals and other desperate gangs looking to pillage valuables and food. (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)


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Del Toro and the Hobbit

guillermo-del-toro_hobbit As I wait for Guillermo del Toro to finish writing and directing the Hobbit film, I cannot help but scrutinize every word that he says.

Have you brought up the possibility of Viggo Mortensen reprising the role of Aragorn in The Hobbit?

Del Toro: You know, when the time comes. I hope New Line buys lunch.

Have you made any casting decisions?

Del Toro: Not yet. Just the ones that have been announced [Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Andy Serkis as Gollum]. There's not lack of information. It's not withholding. We really don't have more information, because we're writing. And literally, like every week, what you discover writing the two movies, writing the two stories, it changes. So every week there's a discovery, and anything we say this week would be contradicted next week. Certainly that would be true in casting. Why create hopes or why create expectations if down the line you're going to go, "You know what? That was not a good idea." So we won't cast it until we finish writing (Scifi Wire).

I love that he is not wanting to get our hopes up only to dash them.  I wish he would have given more information about what will be in each movie, and I assume that is what he is talking about when he says that it changes every day.

I cannot help but wonder how much of the story is being shaped by what he perceives as the limitations of the medium, or the cost of doing some of the scenes.  There is one character he has given a lot of thought too.

smaug How are you going to do Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit?

Del Toro: Smaug is THE creature in The Hobbit. The way Tolkien wrote it already is magnificent. It's already a fantastic character. So, obviously, dragons, you ask every person what their best favorite dragon is, they will give you a different answer. In my mind, what we're going to attempt on the design of this creature and the creation of this creature needs to push the envelope beyond anything you've ever seen on that kind of creature.

That's a lot to overcome.

Del Toro: Yes and no. Yes and no, because, normally, the creature, there is some stuff that has been done with dragons that I find there are very few landmarks created for me. One of the best, one of the strongest landmarks that almost nobody can overcome is Dragonslayer. The design of the Vermithrax Pejorative is perhaps one of the most perfect creature designs ever made. So what you have to be careful is not to try to be distinctive just to be distinctive, but Smaug has certain characteristics that make him unique already. I cannot. I am bursting at the seams about spilling the beans, but I won't, because I would be shot. ... (Scifi Wire)

Smaug is the Achilles’ Heel of the movie.  The Wyverns in the Lord of the Rings movies looked a little strange, and as a fan of dragons and dragon-kin, they really let me down.  Smaug plays a pivotal role in the book, and should also in the movie.  I pray to Eru Ilúvatar they do not mess it up.