Tagged: Universal Studios

Box Office Democracy: The Mummy

You would think Universal would be happy with the money they’re making.

The last two Fast & Furious movies made over a billion dollars each.  They were the top grossing studio in 2015 and this year are on track for a second place finish.  No one is worried about the studio going broke or the lot being shut down or even serious cutbacks at their amusement parks.  Things are good.  I have no idea why they feel the need to invest so much in this Dark Universe nonsense that gave us this version of The Mummy.

They take what could be a perfectly good story about a scary, driven, magical lady mummy and fill it with exposition for movies that won’t be out for years and a “shared universe” with nothing anyone has any real attachment to.  There’s no one out there dying for a Creature From the Black Lagoon reboot, but here we are with pregnant pauses on a jar with a flipper in it in hopes it becomes the next Avengers or some such nonsense.  The Mummy is overloaded with ideas and starved for coherent storytelling, and it’s not a good combination.

The Mummy opens, like all good movies about an ancient Egyptian monster, in 12th century England.  I’m not entirely sure why we need the movie to start with a bit about crusaders except to start laying pipe for the insane shared universe they start building to later, but whatever.  We quickly move to ancient Egypt and the story of Prnicess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), the titular Mummy, and her thwarted inheritance and the horrible revenge she took that led to her being turned in to the kind of being that lives more than 3000 years and throws curses every which way.  It’s an interesting story and her character is more immediately gripping than any of the other characters.  You have Tom Cruise in this movie playing an army officer who loots antiquities and the movie spends the whole time falling over itself to praise him for the smallest bit of human decency.  Then you have Annabelle Wallis as an archaeologist who spends so much time keeping and revealing secrets that we never get to an actual character.  We spend 70% of the movies with those boring nothings of characters, while a much more electric villain languishes on the sidelines causing wordless havoc.

I get that this is trying to build to some bigger set of movies and that you would much rather have Tom Cruise as your linchpin than Sofia Boutella, but it isn’t just star power that makes Robert Downey Jr. the best part of The Avengers, it’s that they give him things to say or do that feel like they matter.  As someone who sees a lot of movies and plans to continue to do so I’m interested in the story hooks they leave at the end of The Mummy, but I’m not excited to spend any more time in this world or with this thieving soldier turned supernatural figure if his defining character trait is going to be “mostly a prick but not to this one woman he slept with” for an indefinite number of films.  That said, he’s got some A+ costuming in the last scene and Cruise is the biggest movie star of a generation, so there’s reason to hope there.

Otherwise you’ve got a horror action movie that isn’t particularly scary and has few memorable action beats.  The sequence with the crashing airplane is wonderful and something I haven’t seen before.  Or, rather, it would be something I haven’t seen before if it hadn’t been in all the trailers.  Other than that, it has a bunch of zombie-esque chase beats, and a fight scene that was a redux version of Black Widow and the Hulk.  There were better action beats in the 1999 Brendan Fraser version and that movie wasn’t very good either.  We don’t even get a good Tom Cruise running sequence and why even hire the guy at that point.

The Mummy is a frustrating movie not because it’s objectively bad or anything but because it’s so very boring.  Maybe it wouldn’t be so boring if they hadn’t been compelled to cram so much material in to build to more Dark Universe films.  If the story they’re actually telling in this film had gotten more room, instead of being dedicated to stuff that might be in movies we never see after the poor box office reception this weekend, it could have been saved.  We could have gotten more time with the supporting characters that were more interesting than the mains.  We could have focused on the mythology we were interacting with here, instead of needing to tie all evil in to one amorphous blob we could draw on later or being force-fed quite so much Dr. Jekyll.  Rather than get a nearly two-hour commercial for a product I’m not sure I want, The Mummy should have tried harder to be something worthwhile in its own right.

REVIEW: 2Guns

2-Guns-DVD-CoverThe buddy picture was a staple of the 1970s and 1980s, possibly dating back to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but it’s been largely missing from more recent Hollywood fare. As a result, you have to given Universal Studios credit for recognizing the somewhat fresh approach in the Boom! Studios graphic novel 2Guns. Steve Grant paired two men in a drug story that felt familiar but with every action, things were never what they appeared, freshening the entire concept. Add in the charismatic Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, stir, and you have a crime story worth taking a look.

Out now on Blu-ray from Universal Home Entertainment, the film starts off with a robbery and never really slows down. Washington is Robert Trench, Bobby T, and Wahlberg is Michael Stigman, Stig, paired up to rob Mexican criminal drug lord  Papi Greco (Edward James Olmos) of $3 million in cash. Neither is ware that both men are phonies with Bobby working undercover for the DEA while Stig is a member of Naval Intelligence, hoping to obtain the money to fund their cover operations.

Instead, they wind up robbing a bank in Tres Cruces, New Mexico and walking away with over $40 million in kickbacks paid by the drug lords to the CIA. The agency dispatches Earl (Bill Paxton) to recover the money and he cuts a bloody swath as he nears the truth and the cash. Along the way, the friends discover the truth about one another but then the revelations keep on coming as Bobby realizes he’s been set up by his sometime lover Deb (Paula Patton) and Stig discovers the Navy would rather sweep the scandal under the rug than do the honorable thing.

And chasing them all is Papi, who wants revenge for being robbed and humiliated by the pair. Olmos looks like he’s having the most fun although the two lead performers also banter nicely. The problem with the film is that Blake Masters’ screenplay never properly develops a single character so they feel sketchy. We don’t know what drives Bobby to spend three years undercover and what he’s had to give up or why Stig thinks it’s okay to use drug money for government purposes.

Under Baltasar Kormakur’s direction, we get lots of nice scenes set in New Orleans, and New Mexico and some inventive action sequences but everything feels like it’s on the surface. It’s a cleverly constructed plot and no one seems interested in exploring the larger themes or motivations. Maybe this is why it was aimed at late summer, when most audiences stop thinking and accept whatever’s on the screen.

Watching at home, you stop and realize how little of the story holds up under scrutiny, especially the whole Deb betrays Bobby sub-plot. The disc includes several extended and deleted scenes, none of which add anything to a deeper understanding of the story. Koramakur and producer Adam Siegel provide a standard commentary that shows no one seemed interested in making this a more complex tale. The movie comes with “Undercover and into Action”,  a fairly by the number Making Of featurette.

REVIEW: Hitchcock

hitchcock-blu-ray-Hitchcock_Combo_Ori-8C60008_rgbThe great innovators and popular entertainers of previous generations often fade from sight from they retire or die. A new generation discovers them afresh, either on their own, or someone has done some digging. In the case of the famed director Alfred Hitchcock, he has spawned a cottage industry with recent biographies and films. Hitchcock, with Anthony Hopkins nearly unrecognizable under the latex, is based on Stephen Rebello’s Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho, and portrays a particular point of view about the Englishman.

Psycho is currently his best known work, especially with this week’s debut of Bates Motel on cable but critics tend to pick his other, earlier works as among his best. Sure, this thriller is terrifying and exciting and surprising thanks to the Robert Bloch story, direction, and performances. And the making of the film is worthy of exploration. Director Sacha Gervasi has a rich source of material and some fascinating players to explore but the end result is surprisingly slight. Rebello shone a much-needed spotlight on Hitch’s wife Alma (Helen Mirren), the secret engine behind his successes and Gervasi tries to milk tension out of the largely fictitious tension between spouses. When Universal refused to allow access to the source material, Gervasi needed something to hang the film on but clearly chose poorly.

The story picks up in 1959, with Hitch riding the success of North by Northwest and his popular television anthology series that made his silhouette the most recognizable in the country. Seeking his next project, he assigned the research to Peggy Robertson (Toni Colette), his assistant. She came up with Bloch’s novel, loosely based on the famed Ed Gein murders. It had just the right amount of lurid tension that would let him explore something different, something he did throughout his storied career.

Not everyone agreed with the choice with agent (Michael Stuhlbarg), Paramount president Barney Balaban (Richard Portnow), and Alma all thinking it beneath the director, who insisted he wanted the change of pace. When Paramount balked, he moved the film to Universal Studios which welcomed him with open arms. Hitch cast  Anthony Perkins (James D’Arcy) as Norman, Janet Leigh (Scarlett Johansson) as Marion Crane and Vera Miles (Jessica Biel) as sister Lila. There’s plenty of behind the scenes intrigue, saving only the original film’s most famous moments for on camera action where we discover the tyrannical Hitchcock is as prurient as Norman himself.  He later bullies Hays Office censor Geoffrey Shurlock (Kurtwood Smith) into approving the shower scene since more is implied than ever shown.

HITCHCOCKThe movie’s more interesting dynamic is between husband and wife and here the film should sing but lacks spark which is odd considering how strong the performers are so the fault clearly lies in the script. There are other missteps along the way including Gein’s ghost, but by then, the film has lost its audience rather than gripped them.

The digital film is well-transferred to Blu-ray and sounds just fine. The combo edition comes complete with Audio Commentary from Gervasi and Rebello, and I wish the film was as interesting as their conversation. There is also a single Deleted Scene (1:41); Becoming the Master: From Hopkins to Hitchcock (12:28) all about Hopkins’ makeup and performance; Obsessed with Hitchcock (29:09), the usual making of documentary; Sacha Gervasi’s Behind-the-Scenes Cell Phone Footage (13:31) which is far more entertaining and informative than you imagine and gets credit for being a unique bonus; Hitchcock Cell Phone PSA (:41); The Story  (3:54); The Cast (4:25) which features with interviews with the director, Mirren, Hopkins, and others; Danny Elfman Maestro (2:16) which is an all-too-brief piece on the evocative score;  Hitch and Alma (3:15), which honestly needed to be more expansive and in-depth; Remembering Hitchcock (4:44): Hitchcock’s former cast and crew members trip down memory lane; Theatrical Trailer (2:33); and, Sneak Peek (14:31).

Overall, the extras bolster a weak production and makes it worth a look. Or, you might be better off reading the bios and watching the actual films from the great master. Hitchcock was terrific at building suspense, adjusting to new technologies and exploring the human psyche in ways his peers at the time avoided, giving him freedom to explore and entertain.

Soderbergh’s “Last” Film, Side Effects, Due on Disc in May

SideEffects_Final-PosterUniversal City, California – From Academy Award®-winning director Steven Soderbergh (Traffic, Contagion) comes this suspenseful tale of intrigue starring Channing Tatum (Magic Mike, 21 Jump Street), Academy Award® nominees Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network) and Jude Law (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Anna Karenina), and Academy Award® winner Catherine Zeta-Jones (Chicago, Ocean’s Twelve).Side Effects will be available on Digital Download on May 7, 2013 as well as Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand on May 21, 2013 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

After her husband (Tatum) is released from prison for insider trading, Emily (Mara) begins suffering from terrifying anxiety and turns to psychiatrist Dr. Banks (Law) for help.  But when Banks prescribes an experimental drug for her, the side effects have chilling and deadly consequences. Full of unexpected twists, Side Effects is the sexy psychological thriller that critics are calling “wildly unpredictable!” (Marlow Stern, Newsweek).

The Blu-ray Combo Pack allows fans to watch Side Effects anytime, anywhere on the device of their choice.  It includes a Blu-ray disc, a DVD, a Digital Copy and UltraViolet™ for the ultimate, complete viewing experience.

•                Blu-ray disc unleashes the power of your HDTV and is the best way to watch movies at home, featuring perfect hi-def picture and perfect hi-def sound.

•                DVD offers the flexibility and convenience of playing the movie in more places, both at home and while away.

•                Digital Copy provides fans with a choice of digital options to watch on devices such as iPhone®, iPad®, Android, computers and more.

•                UltraViolet is a revolutionary new way for fans to collect their moves and TV shows in the cloud.  UltraViolet™ lets consumers instantly stream and download to tablets, smartphones, computers and TVs.  Now available in both the United States and Canada.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/Bxy4ThBd1PM[/youtube]

BONUS FEATURES (BLU-RAY™ and DVD):

•                ALIZA WEBSITE EXPERIENCE

•                BEHIND-THE-SCENES OF SIDE EFFECTS

•                ABLIXA COMMERCIAL – the fictional drug portrayed in the film

•                INTENIN COMMERCIAL

CAST AND FILMMAKERS:

Cast: Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum, Vinessa Shaw and Ann Dowd

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

Written by: Scott Z. Burns

Casting by: Carmen Cuba, c.s.a.

Executive Producers: James D. Stern, Michael Polaire and Douglas E. Hansen

Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Gregory Jacobs and Scott Z. Burns

Co-Producers: A. Sasha Bardey and Elena de Leonardis

Director of Photography: Peter Andrews

Production Designer: Howard Cummings

Editor: Mary Ann Bernard

Costume Designer: Susan Lyall

Music by: Thomas Newman

TECHNICAL INFORMATION – BLU-RAY™ COMBO PACK:

Street Date: May 21, 2013

Copyright:  2013 Universal Studios.  All Rights Reserved.

Selection Number:  61123859

Running time:  1 Hour, 47 Minutes

Layers:  BD-50

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen

Rating:  Rated R for sexuality, nudity, violence and language

Languages/Subtitles:  English SDH, Spanish, French

Sound:  DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

TECHNICAL INFORMATION – DVD:

Street Date:  May 21, 2013

Copyright:  2013 Universal Studios.  All Rights Reserved.

Selection Number: 61123858

Running time: 1 Hour, 47 Minutes

Layers: Dual Layer

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen

Rating:  Rated R for sexuality, nudity, violence and language

Languages/Subtitles:  English SDH, Spanish, French

Sound:  Dolby Digital 5.1

Ode to Oswald

Ode to Oswald

One would think that of all the major conglomerates in the world, The Walt Disney Company would have the greatest empathy and respect for creators who have made bad deals that resulted in their characters being torn from them. Disney, in fact owes its own success to its founder’s resolution resulting from having his creation hijacked by corporate greed. (more…)

“Cowboys & Aliens” Studios Sued For Copyright Infringement

Scott Rosenberg involved in legal problems and accused of theft? What are the odds?

Cowboys & Aliens studios Universal Pictures and Platinum Studios have been sued by cartoonist Stephen Busti, who claims that the graphic novel and Jon Favreau movie infringes on his strip ‘Cowboys and Aliens’, which appeared in Bizarre Fantasy #1 in 1994.

TMZ reports that Busti’s story was spotlighted in a 1995 issue of Comic Shop News on the same page that ran a story about Platinum’s Scott Rosenberg. The studio executive later presented the Cowboys & Aliens concept to the studio.

Platinum produced a Cowboys & Aliens poster in 1997 and sold the rights to the property to Universal and Dreamworks. It did not appear in graphic novel form until 2006.

Interview: Will Meugniot on EXO Squad, X-Men

Ask me to name my favorite cartoon shows growing up. Suffice to say, nearly every one I have feelings for was in some way, shape, or form was touched by the amazing Will Meugniot. That’s pronounced Min-EE-Oh, just in case you missed the boat yesterday. What’s that? You missed our last installment? Shame on you! For the rest who didn’t though, we pick up where I left off, as I casually shifted our conversation towards Will’s amazing career in animation! Roll the tape…

COMICMIX:: I’d be remiss if I didn’t start pelting you with questions on all the series you worked on that literally defined my childhood into early teens… Let’s start with my personal favorite…EXO SQUAD! Tell the fine ComicMixers out there what you did on the show.

WILL MEUGNIOT: Well, I’d been working on the first season of X-Men, but with the production delays on the show, no episodes had aired and no one knew for sure it was going to be a hit, and we were headed for a gap in the production schedule.  Then I was offered a chance to work on a pilot by Universal Studios. At that time, the series was called Exo-Force. They already had a huge ‘bible’ (guidebook) written, and Playmates had already partnered with Universal to create the toys. Before I got there, Playmates did their proposed designs for J.T. Marsh, Alex De Leon and Phaeton’s e-frames and the studio went through a parallel design process which resulted in some very generic Syd Mead-style designs. After seeing both, my first decision was to push for the Playmates version of the key E-Frames. They reminded me of some of my favorite anime like Ideon and Dougram with that feeling of being real-looking, but funky hardware. I designed most of the actual human characters in the show, and really hit it off with Jeff Segal, who was running Universal’s TV animation division. Long story short, they let me make the pilot, which was a 45 second piece animated by my friends at Sunrise in Japan. By the time the film was delivered, Exo-Force’s title was changed to Exo-Squad.

COMICMIX: Oh to have been a fly on that wall, Will. I mean as a fly I’d be dead in 24 hours. But to have seen that show in it’s infancy? Worth it. Can you tell I loved the show a bit too much?

One of my favorite things about the show was how it rooted itself in an amazing continuity and complex plot. It never shied away from being something above the standard toy-tie-in series. Do you think shows today are drawing inspiration from it?

WILL MEUGNIOT: Not so much. One of my real disappointments with the medium is that I felt through the 80’s and early 90s, many shows, like X-Men, Batman, and Phantom 2040 showed a new maturity, a real rising in their adult sensibilities and quality of animation. Today? I’m not seeing it so much. Today, I feel like the new shows are structured more like cartoons were back in the early 80’s or even late 70’s. Shows are really just one off stories. Not too much serialized continuity. And sadly, I think it’s going to be that way for a while longer.

COMICMIX: Geeky question: Which is your favorite Exo-Suit, and if you don’t say Wolf Bronsky’s, I’ll cry.

WILL MEUGNIOT: I designed Wolf’s, and I do like it. But my favorite? It’d be a later E-Frame which wasn’t assigned to a character, but which had a motor and could actually walk! I’m not an engineer mind you, but I’m such a fan of the Japanese toys, I figured out how it could walk with the body working like a weighted pendulum swinging on ratchet mechanisms in the shoulder joints. I did a sketch and Playmates took it from there, resulting in a walking toy which looked very much like the original sketch.

COMICMIX: Easily one of the deepest and most complex villains in the series was Phaeton. Was he inspired by similar villains at the time (like Megatron, or Cobra Commander) or something else?

WILL MEUGNIOT: He’s really more an original creation, I believe. Phaeton was already created as a written character when I came on board. Louis Williams and I designed him for animation. As a side note, it’s a common misconception that I “created” the show, when in fact there was plenty of development done by the time I signed on to do it. I helped to refine it, but the series’ actual creator is Jeff Segal. My contribution was in the designs of the characters, and helping to make them internally consistent as scripts came in. The concept of the show was tied largely to Jeff and my love of Japan, and the shows coming out of there. We’d both spent time in Tokyo, and felt like the time was right to bring an anime-like level of sophistication to the market in the states via Exosquad.

COMICMIX: The themes the show itself covered topics ranging from the horrors and loss in war, to politics and trade, and even class warfare. How exactly did you get a these things into a kid’s cartoon and not scare every suit tied to the project?

WILL MEUGNIOT: The show was picked up as a syndicated show. The only constraint we were ever given was to keep it “in good taste”, and ensure standards and practices didn’t have any issues with the final product. It was the blessing and curse of working with Universal. Nearly complete freedom from censorship, but the downside of that was because Exo was taken into syndication, we couldn’t get the show put in the time slot we’d hoped for… on after X-Men with Fox.

COMICMIX: That certainly would have affected the target audience! Since we’ve name dropped them a few dozen times already, let’s talk a bit about the X-Men, Shall we?

You were integral to bringing the X-Men to the television with your work first on Pryde of the X-Men, and then the Fox Kids show, and finally X-Men: Evolution. Why do you think the X-Men have been such a TV staple?

WILL MEUGNIOT: If you use a sports term: I’d say it’s because the bench is so deep. Plenty of great characters, and plenty of great stories to mine from. I’m actually a bit surprised that Pryde of the X-Men didn’t take off when we put it out. Even though that wasn’t “quite right”, there was plenty to work with there. But I remember after we’d finished it, and I showed it to some network exec friends and they said “Who is Wolverine guy? What’s with him, and why is he so mean?”

And before I forget — one of the things that drove all of us nuts: At the time we put Pryde out, Marvel was under the “New World” umbrella, and they were working on a Wolverine film treatment that moved the character to Australia, ergo the much-hated Australian accent.

COMICMIX: OK, you see, I always wondered by he sounded like he wanted to put another shrimp on the barbie… Now if we move to the Fox Kids show– I’m curious. Whose idea was it to put Morph into the show?

WILL MEUGNIOT: Actually? That was me! You see, originally I wanted to have Thunderbird be the pilot and have him die as in the comic book. This would make a contract with the audience that someone could die in the show. Now, as it turned out, during our production of the first episode, Marvel did a story in their short-lived ‘Super-Pro’ comic with a villain using a Native American symbol for evil, which created all sorts of public relations problems for Marvel. The network and Marvel were afraid that showing a Native American dying on the pilot might cause similar problems for the series.

With that in mind, Eric Lewald and I created Morph, with the idea to make Morph the “designated die-er”.  Of course standards and practices didn’t want him “dead-dead”. So we made the deal that the death wouldn’t be shown in a manner that prevented us from bringing him back later. And then, much to our surprise, Morph broke out as a character! Kids loved him.

COMICMIX: Well, without Morph, the only comic relief / tie to the kids who are watching would basically be just Jubilee…

WILL MEUGNIOT: I know. Sometimes you have to create a character to fit a need in the story. And as it turns out I prize my ‘Morph’ action figure. Who knew that he’d be so popular?

COMICMIX: Any regrets concerning X-Men?

WILL MEUGNIOT: I wish we could have had the production values of X-Men Evolution for our first X-Men series. That series by my friends the late Boyd Kirkland and Steve Gordon simply had better animation than we did. I always felt like we had better stories though.

COMICMIX: OK. Last geeky question (for now….). Who is your favorite X-Man to draw?

WILL MEUGNIOT: Well, I’ve always been drawn to Rogue. She has such a great unique look to her. And aside from the women, who I love to draw, I’m a fan of the bigger-than-normal-human-proportions guys. I’ve always been a fan of Beast.

Will Meugniot is a writer / artist / producer / director of countless shows, including Slimer and the Real Ghostbusters, Exo-Squad, Jem, Captain Planet, and several incarnations of the X-Men. He’s currently promoting his homage to the 60’s by way of the 40’s with the N.E.D.O.R. Agents! Do yourself a solid, and check out some great previews of the said book (from FemForce #157) on Comics Continuum on Comics Continuum.

You can also check out a promotional video:

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2o-mtVp15A[/youtube]

Review: “Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy”

The advent of CGI allowed anything to become a reality if you could afford it. The promise seen in Terminator 2 quickly led the big budget producers to play with the new technology and the 1990s saw a shift in storytelling as these extravaganzas grew larger. When Steven Spielberg announced he was adapting Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park for the screen, we knew this was going to be the pinnacle of an era. From the lush and note-perfect John Williams score to the familiar and welcome cast, we were in for a treat. That first establishing shot of the park and its legendary inhabitants was a jaw-dropping moment in cinema. Done right, the CGI didn’t overwhelm, but fit seamlessly to convincingly tell a story.

Unfortunately, as CGI technology became widespread and cheaper, it got used and misused with abandon. Similarly, the wild box office success of the first Jurassic film prompted Universal Studios to go ahead with a second and third installment when really all you needed was the first with a satisfying beginning, middle and conclusion. Still, kids love dinosaurs and the movies did well enough that even today talk of a fourth film surfaces now and then.

In time for the holidays Universal Home Entertainment has collected the trilogy, spiffed them up a bit and collected them as the Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy, a three-disc Blu-ray box set in a handsome case. (more…)

Blu-ray Releases Of “Big Lebowski”, “Scarface” Gain Special Theaterical Screenings

Some eagerly anticipated Blu-ray debuts are making noise by hosting limited screenings in theaters. First up is the Coen Brothers’ now classic The Big Lebowski. The DVD comes out on August 16 and that day there will be a screening at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York. that will include a special Q & A with Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, Julianne Moore and T Bone Burnett, as well as a screening of the film and other festivities. Not only will the Blu-ray be out that day but it also is the debut of Jeff Bridges’ self-titled album.

Tickets are now on sale on Ticketmaster. 

A few weeks later, on August 31, Universal Studios will release their Al Pacino hit, Scarface, for a one night run at more than 475 theaters across the country. The showing will be a t7:30 local time from coast to coast and is being presented by NCM Fathom and Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Fans who attend this special event will also get an exclusive look at a 20-minute special feature that showcases interviews with popular filmmakers and talent expressing how this epic feature redefined the gangster genre, leaving an enduring influence on cinema.

Tickets for the Scarface Special Event are available at participating theater box offices and online. For a complete list of theater locations and prices, visit the NCM Fathom website (theaters and participants are subject to change). The Scarface Special Event will appear in more than 475 select movie theaters across the country via the new digital cinema projection systems.

The newly restored print will make its appearance on disc September 6. For a limited time only, the Scarface Special Limited Edition Blu-ray comes with collectible SteelBookTM packaging, 10 exclusive art cards, a digital copy of the film and a DVD of the original 1932 Scarface.

Gregory Noveck Leaves DC, Takes Helm at Syfy Films

The press release came out late yesterday:

Gregory Noveck has been named to the newly created position of Senior Vice President, Production, Syfy Films, charged with launching projects for the new film company which the two companies announced in December. Noveck will report jointly to Mark Stern, President of Original Content, Syfy and Co-Head of Content for Universal Cable Productions, and Co-Chairman, Universal Pictures, Donna Langley. Noveck will work closely with the Universal and Syfy creative teams to find projects to develop by leveraging Syfy’s experience in developing genre content.

Noveck most recently served as Senior Vice President, Creative Affairs and Executive Producer for DC Comics where he established a new Film and TV division to help deliver quality content by mining the extensive DC Comics library. Feature projects included Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Watchmen, Red (for Summit Entertainment), and the upcoming Green Lantern, with television projects ranging from Smallville and Human Target to over ten animated DTV features. Prior to that he was Senior Vice President of Silver Pictures Television, developing and producing series and pilots for producer Joel Silver. Noveck previously served as Senior Vice President, Creative Affairs and Producer at Platinum Studios, where he established and grew the Creative Affairs department for Film and Television, overseeing all aspects of production and development. Projects included Cowboys & Aliens (Universal/DreamWorks) and Jeremiah (Showtime).

Syfy Ventures and Universal Pictures joined forces in December 2010 to create Syfy Films, a new film company that will develop and produce Syfy branded theatrical motion pictures to be distributed by Universal. The new entity will leverage Syfy’s genre expertise to produce human and relatable theatrical releases from the worlds of science fiction, fantasy, supernatural and horror. Beginning in 2012, Syfy Films will distribute one to two films a year through Universal Pictures. Mark Stern and Donna Langley jointly oversee the operation.

Very interesting. Diane Nelson is consolidating her position.

As for Gregory, he’s certainly shown the ability to do a lot with limited budgets, which will serve him well at his new job, as Syfy, and Universal’s new owner Comcast, have a reputation for keeping a tight control on purse strings. We wish him the best of luck.