5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

November 29, 2012 at 7:43 am

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

Growing up, I was always interested in showing my family the latest technology. Imagine playing with an iPad having been around when television was just getting warmed up.  I’m starting to get that feeling myself.  I still remember our first modem and what it meant.  Back then, I used to log in to a primitive forum that only let you online for an hour a day.  Even then, I was interested in movies.  That was the first forum I visited and the majority of my hour was spent discussing movies.

Technology kept getting better.  The world got faster modems, better websites, more engaging content and up to the minute second information.  Just before I graduated high school, I remember scouring the web for any piece of information I could find on The Matrix sequels.  I had to know details immediately.  This desperate search led me to many of the websites I still visit every day.  Since that time, technology evolved and movie news has never been easier to consume.

Now I look back on how I used to get my movie news and I’m blown away by how far we’ve come.  Now there are thousands of websites and blogs out there.  The internet has a pulse and I’m no longer solely a reader,  I’m a contributor. It’s so much fun.

Looking back, I decided to focus on 5 announcements that blew my mind and kick started my addiction to movie news.

XTRA | Movies that changed everything: A 12 Part Series


My favorite Superhero.  When I found out that Sam Raimi was creating a live action Spider-Man movie I was speechless.  CG technology was exploding and the very thought of live action web slinging was too good to be true.

I still get goosebumps watching that trailer.  It’s Spider-Man!  I still can’t believe it’s been over 10 years since Peter Parker changed the Superhero movie forever.  I also can’t believe the series has already been rebooted but I enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man and I’m looking forward to following the ‘electrifying‘ sequel.

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements


“Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, Hulk, Nick Fury, Black Widow & Hawk Eye are on stage together!”

Marvel had done it.  4 movie franchises would come together in the biggest Superhero movie of all time:  The Avengers. Years later, I’m still stunned they not only pulled it off but exceeded expectations.  The ‘official’ hype began with a press conference at Comic Con in 2010…

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements

XTRA | Top 10 Moments: The Avengers

I loved The Avengers but beyond that, I loved following the film’s development.  I loved the Easter eggs they built into the movies that preceded it.  What threat could possibly exist that would challenge these larger than life heroes?  I was actually sad after I saw The Avengers.  I had so much fun reading about the film.  Then I remembered PHASE TWO!  Another round of phenomenal Marvel movies is on the way and it all leads to The Avengers 2 in 2015.

Until then, we must wonder what Thanos will do to make these heroes assemble again.

XTRA | I’m glad I don’t know anything about Guardians of the Galaxy


The Lord of the Rings.  Three movies that I watch at least twice a year.  That includes the hours of amazing special features included in the extended editions.  LOTR is a remarkable achievement and an adaptation that captured the imaginations of millions around the world.  I absolutely adored The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The next logical step was the Hobbit but the film was plagued with legal issues causing endless delays.  Not to mention the concern fans had knowing Peter Jackson planned on handing over the keys to Middle Earth to another filmmaker.  Those concerns were alleviated when they announced that Guillermo Del Toro was on board.  Unfortunately, the production ran into more delays and Del Toro departed.  Heart break once again…

Until Peter Jackson himself stepped up and vowed to return to Middle Earth.  That was an unbelievable announcement.  Then they announced three movies instead of two!  Another trilogy directed by Peter Jackson featuring the same dedicated team of filmmakers.  A dream come true.


“They are making a sequel to The Matrix!? …  Hold on…  There is going to be two AND they are filming them back to back?”

The Matrix Reloaded.  Some people love it, others think the original should have been left alone.  Even those who hated the sequels were still curious at some point. Where will the Wachowski’s take Neo next?  I was obsessed.  I read every article I could.  I was searching for Matrix news before I checked my own email on a daily basis for months.  How could they possibly continue such a complex story? (Insert Architect joke here)

XTRA | Top 10 Matrix Moments

When The Matrix Reloaded came to an abrupt end, I was even more addicted to news and rumors.  Thousands posted theories on what could happen next and I read all of them.  Speculation was as endless and I was addicted.  The Matrix Revolutions delivered a fitting end even though it wasn’t as spectacular as I hoped.  The Matrix will always be my favorite but I loved Reloaded because it inspired the movie nerd in me.

The day I found out they were making two sequels changed everything…

XTRA | What The Matrix Screenplay Taught Me

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements


I thought we had seen the last of the galaxy far far away…  I didn’t hate Episodes 1,2 & 3 but they definitely didn’t rise to the level of the original trilogy.  I never imagined that one day, we would FINALLY get true sequels to Star Wars.  Then Disney announced the acquisition of LucasFilm.  One single press release literally blew up the internet.  The hype began instantly and speculation will dominate movie websites until the day Star Wars Episode VII is released in 2015.  This doesn’t even include the sequels and spin offs the mouse house is planning.

I don’t normally cover news on my blog but I couldn’t resist.  It’s Star Wars Episode VII!

What will it be about?  Will Luke Skywalker and the rest of the original cast return?  Who will direct it?  When will we find out more!?

XTRA | Star Wars Episode VII Story Round Up

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There’s also an interesting battle brewing in the Summer of 2015.  Which film will gross more?  Star Wars 7 or The Avengers 2?    The culmination of Marvel Phase 2 and a sequel movie fans have been waiting decades to see. (Disney wins the Summer 2015 box office battle by the way.  I’m prepared to make that call now since they own both franchises.)

5 Super Massive Gigantic Game Changing Movie News Announcements


I grew up searching for my favorite movies and devouring the articles I found.  Every new trailer, tv spot, poster, synopsis, casting announcement, set pic and interview makes me smile.  I’m addicted to movie hype.  Today, it’s easier than ever to find information on the movies you can’t wait to see.  Technology has indeed come a long way since I was young.

However, one thought makes me smile more than all of the massive announcements combined: Back then I used to search for articles.  Today, I write my own.  It’s funny how people evolve just like the technology we use to tell our stories.

Click here for more Movies

Click here for links to tons of GREAT movie blogs around the web.

XTRA | Follow this conversation on REDDIT

Top 10 Cinematic Video Game Studios

November 29, 2012 at 6:07 am

Top 10 Cinematic Game Studios

People go to the movies for a cinematic experience.  Video games can provide a similar experience with an added level of immersion and interactivity.  Over the last few years, I’ve become obsessed with video games that play out like movies.

We’ve been given countless movie like experiences in video games but today I’d like to focus on the studios behind them.  The top 10 cinematic game studios.


I’m currently wrapped up in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.  It’s been dominating most of my free time for a while.  Giant RPGs are tricky because they don’t really present a single narrative but that’s also an advantage.  The ‘movie’ is different for every single player depending on the choices they make.

The big draw in games like Skyrim is the world itself.  Bethesda Softworks creates incredibly detailed and wonderful worlds to explore.

10. BLIZZARD – World of Warcraft

You hear stories about divorces being blamed on Azeroth.  While I never got into World of Warcraft, I was completely obsessed with the Warcraft real time strategy games.  It was worth it for the cut scenes alone.  Blizzard has always created amazing animated cut scenes that weave their plots together between the action.  These scenes have always been beautiful and compelling.

Is there a movie?

Sam Raimi has long been attached to a World of Warcraft adaptation but nothing concrete has come along in a while.  If you want to follow the film (or the rumors) check out this site.

9. ROCKSTEADY – Batman: Arkham Asylum

In my humble opinion, the geniuses at Rocksteady created the best superhero video game of all time when they unleashed Batman: Arkham Asylum.  At least until they topped it with an equally brilliant and fun sequel, Arkham City.  These games are love letters to superhero fans with tons of hidden references and cameos.   People want to be Batman and these games are the closest thing to it.

The real stand out here are the voice actor’s amazing performances.  Especially Mark Hamill as The Joker.

Is there a movie?

You really can’t plan a Batman movie until Christopher Nolan wraps up his legendary trilogy when The Dark Knight Rises is released.  Still, I’m sure Warner Brothers is already planning some kind of sequel/reboot/remake/re imagining…  Thing.  It’s not a stretch to think they have considered these games at some point.  Though I’m thinking Nolan will return as a producer and the series will continue the amazing style and tone he developed and mastered.

8. SQUARE ENIX – Final Fantasy

Final Fantasy is one of the most recognizable video game franchises on the planet.  It’s a world that has already inspired numerous film adaptations.

Is there a movie?

Yes.  Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was released in 2011 with Advent Children following in 2005.


Hideo Kojima is a legend. Of all the franchises listed here without a movie, Metal Gear is by far the most surprising. No movie yet? Come on Hollywood!

Is there a movie?

It’s listed on IMDB but right now it’s safe to say no movie will be coming any time soon.

6. BIOWARE – Mass Effect

I’m obsessed with the Mass Effect series.  This is literally an infinite universe that Bioware has created full of amazing characters and massive battles.  Not only is the series a blast to play but it allows you to carry your character over to the sequels.  Nice!  I can’t wait for my character’s third adventure aboard The Normandy.

Is there a movie?

Legendary Pictures are currently developing a Mass Effect movie.


Grand Theft Auto 3 changed the way we looked at games forever. It paved the way for so many incredibly deep sandbox games. Grand Theft Auto 4 raised the bar and with the anticipated 5th installment on the way, you would think Hollywood would capitalize on the franchise’s popularity right? Everyone loves a good heist movie and these games are packed with cinematic heist sequences. Not too mention cars, crime, violence and more.  Somebody make a Grand Theft Auto summer action movie please?

Is there a movie?

A little digging revealed some rights issues behind the scenes but there hasn’t been a ton of talk out there about getting a production started.


I would love to see the world of Rapture on the big screen.  The original Bioshock had one of the best stories I’ve ever played through.  I was totally captivated by the world, the art style, the Big Daddy/Little Sister relationships, the twists and so much more.  (Jean Dujardin as Andrew Ryan?  I don’t mean to type cast the guy but it could definitely work.)

Is there a movie?

A while back, Director Gore Verbinski (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Ring) was on board and Bioshock was in the early stages of pre-production.

However, budget issues forced the project to the sidelines.  This movie has to happen and it HAS to be R rated.  I’m happy waiting as long as they don’t sacrifice the elements that made the game so memorable.

XTRA | Wouldn’t it be Awesome if the Bioshock movie happened?

3. BUNGIE – Halo

Halo redefined the first person shooter when it was released in 2001. It introduced us to an action hero made for the big screen. Master Chief. The game is full of imaginative and exciting set pieces that MUST be filmed eventually… Right?

Is there a movie?

Peter Jackson led a team that included director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) in a phenomenal pairing that every geek loved…

Unfortunately budget issues at Microsoft put a stop to it and they moved on. To date, no official word has surfaced on the Halo movie.


The Modern Warfare franchise pretty much functions as a movie already.  Each level is full of amazing heart stopping moments.  I still go back and play the sniper level from the first Modern Warfare.  Crawling on that grass hoping to avoid capture gets me every time.  Great franchise.

Is there a movie?

Nope.  Still no word in any official capacity.  You have to assume that somewhere there is a studio agonizing over who would play Soap if they ever made a movie…  All I found was a couple old articles on MTV and /Film.  However, you can’t ignore the original games or the recent Black Ops either…


THE cinematic video game experience.  The Uncharted series has successfully blurred the line between video games and movies.  When you play Uncharted, you ARE Nathan Drake and you are most definitely IN a movie.

Is there a movie?

David O. Russell was gearing up to direct Uncharted with Mark Walberg attached to star.  The casting alone caused some controversy as many fans out there wanted Nathan Fillion to win the role.  Just when people got used to the idea of David O. Russell’s approach to the material the project fell apart.  What intrigued me were the rumors that Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci would potentially be involved.

This movie WILL happen especially after the huge success of Uncharted 3.  It’s just a matter of when and who the artists behind the project will be.

The Summer of Screenwriting: The Journey Ends

November 28, 2012 at 8:08 am

The Summer of Screenwriting: The Journey Ends


The Summer of Screenwriting ends with this post.  The journey is over.

It began as a simple challenge because I felt guilty.  I felt guilty about the lack of effort I put into my screenwriting.  I couldn’t find time to write.  I thought I had lost the passion.  It turns out, I was whining for no reason.  I hadn’t lost the passion at all.  I just let opportunities to write pass me by.

So I issued a challenge to myself.  Finish a screenplay before Summer’s end.  That gave me 3 months.  In order to leave myself with no excuses, I decided to put this blog on hold and really focus on writing something to be proud of.

The day I finished the first draft of my screenplay was one of my proudest moments.  Shut up, sit down & write screenplays.  That’s all I needed to do.  No more excuses.

Then I felt guilty for a different reason.  Why did I wait so long in the first place?  I’m thankful that I don’t currently write for anyone except myself.  (At this point.) There isn’t any pressure to sell it, impress a producer or score an agent.  I’m wasn’t thinking about those things.  I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.

This blog resumed on September 15 and since then, I’ve posted 19 articles detailing my summer of screenwriting.  This is number 20.  The final chapter but it is also my opportunity to issue a new challenge.

Finish a NEW feature length screenplay.

I won’t have to impose any deadlines this time.  I’ve learned my lesson.  I love to write screenplays and I’m still baffled that I let so much time go by without writing.  I feel so much better about myself when I’m creative.  I rediscovered my passion because I dared myself to do better.  I can’t guarantee my last screenplay is any good.  But I CAN guarantee my next screenplay will be better.

The next time you get stuck think about this: You have the complete freedom to travel anywhere your imagination will take you.  You can tell any story you want.  That’s inspiring!  Don’t let the pressure get to you.  Remember how much fun it is to write.  I forgot and I’ll regret the year I lost making excuses.

Never again.

Click here for more Screenwriting.

Stay tuned next week for The Complete Series.

The Summer of Screenwriting: The Journey Ends

Why Didn’t I LOVE Moonrise Kingdom?

November 28, 2012 at 8:04 am

I Should Have LOVED Moonrise Kingdom.  Except I Didn't. | Moonrise Kingdom Review


I wouldn’t call myself a huge fan of Wes Anderson’s work but I’ve enjoyed all of his films.  They share a wonderful uniqueness that I find inspiring.  Especially when it comes to the sheer originality and detail he pours into his screenplays.

I didn’t get a chance to see Moonrise Kingdom in theaters but thankfully, a friend of mine (and HUGE Wes Anderson fan) loaned me his Blu Ray.  From the moment Bob Balaban’s character explained the setting of the movie, I was hooked.  This was going to be another refreshing & original tale.

“Jiminy cricket he flew the coup!”

The story of two young lovers who run away together is a simple set up but the world and it’s inhabitants are so incredibly detailed you’re drawn in immediately.  Moonrise Kingdom also boasts an incredible cast who bring these wonderful characters to life.


I wish I could pin point the reason behind my fading interest as the movie rolled along.  But slowly, I reached for my iPad and began to surf the web.  Suddenly, Moonrise Kingdom didn’t have my full attention.

I put the iPad down right around the time the lightning struck.  I realized that, while Moonrise Kingdom is a beautiful film, it just wasn’t for me.  And that’s okay.  I didn’t hate it but sometimes movies just don’t stick with everyone.

When the film ended, I packed up the Blu Ray and thought about how much my friend loved the film.  I find the differing opinions of movie fans fascinating.  He loved Moonrise Kingdom.  It will easily crack his top 5 of the year.

It won’t be on mine but it won’t be anywhere near the bottom either.  Still, I’m happy I saw it.  I’ve always been a fan of Wes Anderson’s style and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.  I just hope it sticks.

Click here for more reviews.

Why Didn't I LOVE Moonrise Kingdom? | Moonrise Kingdom Review

8 Independent Film Projects: Shorts, Features, Animation and More

November 26, 2012 at 9:36 am

8 Independent Film Projects: Shorts, Features, Animation and More | Independent Film Blog

Have you watched a short film today?


Here is a fantastic short film directed by Kerry Conran (Sky Captain & The World of Tomorrow)

Here is a behind the scenes look:


A short film by Jake Ross & Jake Dolgy about the shift in the way we communicate with each other.

“Journey into the world of contemporary online social interaction.”

Visit Pocket Jakes for more.


An animated short film by Nate Milton.

“A boy finds a connection between his fish tank and a pond in the woods. There looms inside the pond, a giant amphibian.

Click here for more on the film.




This feature film by Fabrizio Federico premiered at the Raindance Film Festival.  You can watch the entire film here.

Click here for more.


WEBSITE | James Bond 007 Cars

FEATURE FILM | The Dying Eye by Shiphrah Meditz (Official Blog)

FEATURE FILM | Once Upon A Whitsun by Samuel Hathaway

SHORT FILM | By the Light of the Silvery Moon by Evgueni Mlodik

WEBSITE | Classic Movie Woodcuts


Email me at jason@17west.ca and be sure to include links to your project/website. (Note: I don’t review submissions)

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