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Hey folks, Harry here with a great update from the Winter NATO event, where previews of just about everything was screened. Sounds like the SHREK 2 preview piece and HELLBOY were the real winners here. Here ya go...

NATO Winter Update - News on Aliens vs. Predator, Shrek 2, Hellboy and more...


I just got back from attending the latest NATO showcase. First of all, maybe last year spoiled me, but man, this year wasn't nearly as impressive as last. Still, I wanted to get the word out on a few films, good or bad, that they talked about there.

First of all, Shrek 2... this is going to be HUGE. We were treated to the voice acting, and later a few actual shots, of Shrek and Donkey running into Puss in Boots played by the one and only Antonio Banderas. and I can only hope the footage of these recording sessions makes it into the public eye. Antonio had a LOT of fun playing the part, and the scene is a riot. If it's indicative of the movie, it's going to be even better than the first.

Basic story - Shrek goes to meet the parents, while Prince Charming comes and finds Fiona already gone. Shrek gets sent on another quest, and comic mayhem insues. I've heard that John Lithgow is back, but he's nowhere to be seen in the trailers... it seems Prince Charming will serve as the film's new nemesis. Some great scenes in here, and I'm looking forward to this one's opening day quite a bit.

Next up, came a rough look at the trailer for Hellboy, and I mean ROUGH. A lot of temp CGI and such, but wow... the make-up looks incredible. I'm ashamed to admit, I know almost nothing about the character, but I'm intrigued by what I saw. I think the big question is, can Ron Perlman carry the movie? Having been a fan of Perlman's for a long time, I think he can, but it'll be interesting to see the verdict when the grosses come in.

One of the best aspects of this trailer is that you don't immediately see Hellboy, as the whole scenario is built up slowly, and it takes a while before it starts to get "strange". The trailer gives it a sort of "Men in Black" vibe, which I'm not sure is what they want to go for, but when the effects are in, I think this trailer will really intrigue audiences and delight fans.

We didn't get to see the rough Spiderman trailer, but we have poster details-Doc Ock and Spidey character sheets, with the reflection of the other in their eyes. Sounds like they'll be nice.

We got to see a rough trailer for Walking Tall, the much maligned Dwayne Johnson(it appears he'll be dropping "The Rock" as his billing with this film) film. Well, it looks like they took the original premise and made it click. The nemesis is an old high school buddy of Chris Vaughn's who runs a local casino, and he's apparently running a drug business on the side. In comes Vaughn, armed with two by four, and even after committing assault and damaging property, he runs for and is elected sheriff. He brings in Johnny Knoxville as a deputy(Knoxville, by the way, is playing a bit more subdued role and, as best one can judge from the trailers, is doing good). Improbable premise, but it looks well shot and Dwayne is continuing his assent, though I think his potential role in the Get Shorty sequel will do a lot more for his career in terms of showing a bit of range.

Okay, on to another film that fanboys might get curious about... AVP. Haven't heard of it? Oh, that's the "hip" billing for Aliens vs. Predator. We were treated to the teaser that will appear on the Alien reissue. They didn't have this footage for the show last week, and we joked that was because they shot it the night before. Tight close ups on the two sides, and then a threat that "Whoever wins, we lose". Nevermind the fact that AVP sounds like an update on a classic convenience shop rather than a long awaiting team-up/battle movie. This trailer is awful, and will get more laughs than Freddy vs. Jason.

Home on the Range will be Disney's last traditionally animated feature, at least for now, and this one looks great, quirky in the same way that Emperor's New Groove was. The three cows are trying to capture an infamous outlaw to save their ranch. Sounds kind of strange? Well, consider this: one of the trailer's best jokes involves the bad guy facing off against the lead cow(played by Roseanne Barr), we see her udder, and she informs us, "Yeah, they're real. Stop staring." If the reactions in the room were any indication, this one might pull in a lot of money, and give traditional animation another shot.

Josh Duhamel. Pronounced "Doo-mel". Get used to saying it, because this guy is going to be a star, and it could happen soon if Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!!! strikes as big as it probably will. The plot follows a famous movie star who has "image problems", and so he and his agent create a contest for him to date a small town girl, Rosalee, played by Kate Bosworth. The date goes well, Rosalee goes home, Tad follows and Rosalee's best friend Pete(Topher Grace) tries to win Rosalee over. Sure, this is nothing new, but judging from the trailer, it boasts a clever script, a talented cast that includes Nathan Lane and Gary Cole, and three charming leads. Duhamel and Bosworth show great chemistry in the trailer, and Grace has some great comedic moments. This is going to be huge, and it's going to make the careers of its two stars.

The Perfect Score looks like a fun, quirky little movie from MTV, that should appeal to a wide audience if it gets the chance. It's about a group of kids who try to steal the SAT, and if they didn't spend all the funny moments in the trailer, it might not be a bad way to spend two hours.

Another movie to look for is Anchorman, with Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate, if only because Ferrell and his castmates seem to have their act down, and it's nice to see Ferrell in something different from his over-the-top antics in Elf.

Finally, a first look at 50 First Dates, with Drew Barrymore playing a victim of short term memory loss and Adam Sandler as the man who loves her, might prove to be a Sandler film to appeal to his Wedding Singer audience.

And I'll close with a few flops(which will assure the studios hate me...)

The Day After Tomorrow, by the ID4 team, goes where The Core already boldly went-showing us that there really isn't a market for diaster flicks. You know, maybe once, people would have liked watching the White House get blown up. For some strange reason, that's not as appealing anymore.

Man on Fire, with Denzel Washington, might not be bad, but judging from the trailer, it seems geared toward a different kind of actor(I get the feeling the script was written with Arnold, Rock or Vin Diesel in mind). Even after Training Day, I can't help but think of Denzel as a nice guy. This might end up being better than I expect, but who knows.

Finally, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights. Okay, forget about the original. This is its own movie. Sure, it has scenes from the original movie inserted inexplicably into the trailer, but... Yeah. Well, the up side is the film stars Romola Garai, who is absolutely gorgeous. Too bad she's starring in this...

We also got a few trailer dates: Van Helsing's first teaser will appear on Matrix Revolutions, Spiderman 2 should be ready for mid-November, and Shrek 2 should hit about the same time, if not sooner, on Elf. We may also get a new Punisher in mid-November as well.

Other than that, not a whole lot of news... nothing new on Azkaban, Garfield, I, Robot or any of the other big summer releases, though they were mentioned. I also hoped for some kind of official word on the rumored Mega Man movie, but nothing came up... maybe some intrepid spies out there could get digging?

Domon Kasshu

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 23, 2003, 4:37 a.m. CST

    definitely NOT first

    by gravy_suckin_pig

    um-okay..i lied.byte me,fanboys!

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 4:39 a.m. CST

    Okay, maybe the White House blowing up wouldn't fly today....

    by exit272

    ...but GWB fired from a cannon mounted on its roof would be brilliant.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 5:51 a.m. CST

    "Tad Hamiliton" Looks Promising, But

    by OsamaBinPlayaH8a

    It's Dreamworks. With the exception of "Ring" and whatever Spielberg directs, they've missed a lot of easy lay-ups. "Time Machine," for instance. Any other company would still be printing money off that one.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 5:52 a.m. CST

    I'm hoping Man on Fire goes mental...

    by AdonisFigure

    I was surprised with this guy's take on Denzel being "too nice" for Man on Fire. Am I the only one who remember the bad ass motherfucker he was in Training Day? More to the point though, the premise for Man on Fire is one of the great Vendetta stories: Tough guy security expert softens up when he looks after adorable 8-year old girl, and when assassins take out the girl, he responds with total fury. Personally, I think a really good vengence story intrigues like no other; when the audience is forced to "root" for a good guy with rage and a nasty temperment, it forces us to define hero in unsual ways... I hope Denzel nails it.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 6:23 a.m. CST

    Alien vs Predator

    by djtrauma

    *Sigh* This weekend I caught the best two action horrormovies in existence: Alien (director's cut) and Aliens (unfortunately not the special edition. George take note: this is how a special edition should be like! but that's another discussion altogether) At my local multiplex they also showed Alien

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 6:43 a.m. CST


    by TheManFromUlster

    It would be wishful thinking that AVP (why the fuck to you yanks have to shorten everything down to capitals????) would be a kick-ass sci-fi dream but theres as much chance as that as Harry gettin laid. High hopes for Van Helsing but I hope Sommers does'nt make it like The Mummy.... or should that be M! But wait a minute, then it would get confused with Fritz Lang's classic, how about Mu???? No, wait.... My!!!! No, hold on....

  • 'Don't stop me if i'm going too fast, Brother'

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 7:43 a.m. CST

    This guy's an idiot

    by Supes13

    OK, I was at this NATO meeting and this guy has absolutely no idea what he's talking about. For one thing, the Hellboy trailer wasn't even THAT rough and looked amazing. This movie is going to kick major ass. Home on the Range is going to be a major piece...of CRAP. It's a cheap movie that looks cheap, sounds cheap, and was probably made using cheap talents (which means that little talent was involved and the whole thing looked stupid). Man, this guy is an idiot. ANYWAY... Don't get used to saying Josh Duhamel...he's a flash in the pan...IF that. Granted, Win a Date With Tad Hamilton will be a moderate success, but nowhere NEAR as big as this moron is claiming. It will do business, but it's nothing big, and no one will really benefit from him. Except maybe the kid from That 70's Show...since he's really the only recognizable person in the whole damn thing. The Day After Tomorrow looks EXCELLENT. Sure there isn't really much in the trailer, but the idea sounds pretty good. It's about a so-called mythical storm that struck the planet thousands of years ago and strikes again. Now the few survivors left on the planet have to pick up the pieces. It's not so much about destruction and looks like more of a human survival piece. Man on Fire looks AWESOME. Who cares how this dickweed looks at Denzel...this movie is the Bodyguard times ten. And when I say ten, I mean inTENsity. Violence, action, and revenge. Everything a growing boy needs. In closing, forget almost everything Kasshu wrote. The guy wouldn't know a hole in the ground from the one between his ass cheeks.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Mega Man, huh?

    by Terry_1978

    I was always pondering when they were gonna decide to go the live action route with that, seeing as how the character has lasted just as long as Mario and Zelda. It'd be interesting, seeing as how he's got more sequels than a horror franchise, and about 120 different enemy robots on his ass courtesy of Dr. Wily. On another note, that SAT movie might be interesting...never had a movie based on that concept before.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 9:03 a.m. CST

    Supes13 ... you're probably a plant ... or Domon Kasshu is

    by phanboi

    my vote goes for the supes13 guy! you?

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 12:47 p.m. CST

    I think they should make Pinhead vs. Leatherface with Hulk Hogan

    by Lord Shatner

    "We have such sights to show you, brother"

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 3:35 p.m. CST

    man on fire

    by small boy

    the original movie starring Scott Glenn was very good, it's got Joe Pesci in a small role, and is well worth checking out. I think the remake has Mickey Rourke in some part or other, too, and Christopher Walken. Plus, pretty much any Tony Scott film is worth my money, especially a violent thriller. I think Denzel could be good in a violent/disturbed part, dunno if anyone saw the movie Virtuosity, which isn't bad, but he shoots a few innocent people in it, gets his arm blown off and goes psycho, machine gunning the shit outta the bad guys. That's what i hope for from this movie. More violence please! The fuckin' kids just love it!

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 3:51 p.m. CST

    use spell-check, dumbass

    by PlantBoy!

    It's ensue, not "insue"...and it's "ascent" not "assent" in your context. "Assent" means agree. Maybe you had a Freudian slip when you were thinking about The Rock.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 6:38 p.m. CST

    fuck you haters, Aliens vs. Predator will fucking RULE

    by Tall_Boy

    goddamn you assholes, I've been waiting over a decade to see this flick and fuck you guys who say its going to suck.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 6:55 p.m. CST


    by Weasel474747

    Wow, there sure a lot of Boys and Kids in this talkback (I'm kust talking about the names, not trying to put anyone down). Anyway, in response to what Tall_Boy said about anticipating AVP: A lot of people have been anticipating this movie for a long time, and many of them are the ones who are afraid it will suck! Not because of the premise in general, but because of the way it's being handled. I would love a well-made AVP flick, but I'm not too sure that's what we'll get.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Okay, this gives me a good reason to see "Matrix Revolutions"

    by Lady_Hyde

    I am DYING to see "Van Helsing". But I'll have to rent "Reloaded" (Or as my BF and I call it, "Regurgitated".) so I can truly say I want to see the movie.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 7:52 p.m. CST

    Van Helsing teaser?

    by ToneTone

    That would be odd, as VH is coming out of Universal and Matrix is Warner Bros. I heard a TROY teaser was going out with Revolutions.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 8:18 p.m. CST

    Yes, even in these day of pretty-boy lead actors, Ron Perlman ca

    by FrankDrebin

    So rest assured, you timid studio weasels. He's probably the closest thing we have to a Bogart these days--Affleck, DiCaprio, Hartnett and "Doo-mel" are one estrogen injection away from being women.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Mega Man

    by God Of Forkery

    In the right hands, a "Mega Man" movie would OWN! I still play my NES copy of "Mega Man 2" . . .

  • IS 8 SYLLABLES REALLY SUCH A CHORE?? God help us, because we can't help ourselves.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 9:47 p.m. CST

    dammit how is there an indication that "AVP" would suck (aside f

    by Tall_Boy

    who cares about all the unfounded hate on for Anderson? (mostly at Harry's urging anyway) its ALIENS vs. PREDATOR. This is a no brainer. Blam Blam! shoot! bugs! cut! acid! kill! chest burst! spine ripping! heat vision! tounge lashing! You can't fuck this shit up, its impossible.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Hey tall boy, AVP is being directed by the worst hack in the bus

    by mwhelan67

    I hate to rain on your parade, but it's gonna suck. Want proof, see the other movies he's ruined like Mortal Kombat, Soldier, and Resident Evil, which he robbed of every, single thing that was good about the game.Anderson Sucks!

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 9:52 p.m. CST

    BTW, I knew Anderson sucked long before I'd ever heard of Knowl

    by mwhelan67

    I learned it the hard way by watching Mortal Kombat.

  • Oct. 23, 2003, 11:12 p.m. CST


    by SimpsonsQuoteMan

    "whoever wins, we lose" i thought would be something you would NOT want attached to your film...

  • Oct. 24, 2003, 12:40 a.m. CST

    Aliens vs Predator sounds like a piece of shit

    by Rcamacho2278

    WHY DOES IT HAVE TO TAKE PLACE ON EARTH??? the whole fucken point of sci-fi is that it can take place in outer fucken space! so why take 2 aliens and shove a back story on EARTH?? follow the story, aliens takes place hundreds of years after modern day, and WAY after Ahnold and glover took out those predators. Why can't they have they BALLS to follow up after the events of aliens 4, have marines that actually KNOW how to kill aliens but haven't had any experience with predators, have them land in a planet that is WAY outta earths way, and just pit the aliens vs predators vs marines in a unique planet with diffrent elements. Show how the aliens adapt to unique planets, Show how predators can use tough alien worlds to their advantage in their HUNT. and finally show how fucken resourceful humans can be when they are dealing with a no win situation. You know, if those fuck heads need a writer or someone to shit out script ideas, why not give me some fucken money and i'll help you make a better movie!!!

  • Oct. 24, 2003, 4:44 a.m. CST

    "whoever wins, we lose"

    by HappiWerld111

    That must be the most unintentionally precient tagline in history.

  • Oct. 24, 2003, 6:12 a.m. CST

    The final nail in AVP's coffin

    by kin pakal

    Just in from, where i read an update on AVP'S cast. Bad news, everyone: one of the major roles went to Raoul Bova. Does this ring a bell? ' course not. You're not italian (at least most of you ain't). Well guys, i happen to be italian, i know this Bova guy quite well 'cuz in my country he's quite a celebrity. And let me tell ya he's a mother of a crappy actor. I just hate the idea of seeing him alongside Lance Henriksen. I just hate the idea of seeing him ruin one, er, two of the best franchises in Hollywood history. I just hate him, period. I seriously think this is the final nail in AVP'S coffin. This is gonna be big time crap-o-rama. Sure thing.

  • I restate and rest my case.

  • Oct. 24, 2003, 10:10 p.m. CST

    No Colonial Marines

    by kabong

    Sanaa Lathan will play explorer-adventuress Lex Kline, who leads an expedition to Antarctica to uncover warring alien races. Lance Henriksen plays the industrialist who finances the expedition. Yes, they can--and will--fuck it up. Continuity with earlier movies is not even a consideration. Before they're finished, Alien and Predator will rumble at some high school.

  • Oct. 25, 2003, 2:22 a.m. CST

    Lance is playing Weyland-

    by Tall_Boy

    that WORKS with continuity, man! Didn't anyone here see ALIEN 3? Also, the fucking Company knew about the bugs beforehand when they sent the Nostromo out there. This will fit actually.

  • Oct. 25, 2003, 6:07 a.m. CST

    Crossovers crossovers we want crossovers

    by TheAquabatman

    i dont care what or who's in the movie but i wanna see crossovers... Worlds colliding! Woohoo!!! Aliens vs Terminators vs the Mummy vs Blade vs Jenna Jameson, whaterver... bring it on and bring it fast. AvP will be pure eye-candy, why don't people say eye-candy much anymore? Jason vs Freddy, FANtastic eyecandy fun. more more more

  • Oct. 25, 2003, 11:03 a.m. CST

    You could be right, Tall_Boy.

    by kabong

    The line did say the Company knew about the bugs, but my interpretation was that they knew about the derelict alien ship with the eggs and diverted the Nostromo. But as you indicate they could spin it that the Company knew about some Alien ship because Weyland found a similar ship in Antartica. I fear, though, that they'll screw it up. Most sequels tend to degrade--notable exception: Cameron's "Aliens". If Weyland is living in 2003, then that's a sign that the Alien series (if it keeps going) will be set in our time. We don't need that. We've got Predators on Earth. Keep the Aliens in space.

  • Oct. 25, 2003, 12:11 p.m. CST

    Man on Fire

    by Dingo865

    Personally, I thought the original movie with Glenn sucked shit through a thin straw. They took a wonderfully layered revenge-story and rewrote it for Hollywood with the kid surviving, long and pretentious dialogues, and minimal action with all the 'rough' scenes cut back or missing entirely. Trust me, this is one of the best action/thriller stories written by A.J.Quinnel in a sort of 'noir' style and peppered with a good dose of technical know-how a'la The Day of the Jackal. Denzel is a great actor, but he is a terribly bad choice for the part: he is neither beefy nor hulking, he is not white, and he sure as hell doesn't look like a burnt-out giant mercenary veteran of 20 years of colonial wars. JUST READ THE BOOK!

  • Oct. 25, 2003, 4:57 p.m. CST

    white house blown up ?

    by slkboxrman

    i dont dwell in the past or take real life situations and apply them to my movie going, i have a brain in my head and can differentiate between the two. so seeing the white house blown to smithereens in a movie is cool, heck blow up everything....shocking ? not at all...cuz here we go buddy....its a MOVIE say it with me M-O-V-I-E....having an attitude like that is as sickening as filmakers knee jerk reaction to pullin all images of our beloved twin towers from everyhwhere...or pulling the shots of the space shuttle from the awsome "CORE" movie trailers after the space shuttle tragedy. and yes that movie rocked..once again cuz it was a movie...there are lots of us in the movie viewing public that really wish u bible toting, parents group members, silly willy, pansy wansy asses would stop deciding whats best for us to see... i hope they make many more disaster movies, because me and all the other inteligent non mental people in the world can goto movies in peace without industry imposed censorship...peace

  • Nov. 8, 2003, 1:09 a.m. CST

    Long-Ass Cynical Post

    by Busboy on Drugs

    Lots of good bad ideas I see here better than what the actual script looks like. Here's my entry into best worst script contest--dare ya to top it: Alien Versus Predator: The Musical Poster Tagline: If you're gonna go out, go out in flames Curtain raises: Roll opening credits. Scientists working at one of The Company