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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Land before time: 11 great prehistoric flicks

‘10,000 B.C.’ is the latest movie to take us back to when dinosaurs roamed

A woolly mammoth looks for a meal in Roland Emmerich's "10,000 B.C."


On March 8, moviegoers will jump back in time to an age of mammoths, saber-tooth cats and Stone Age humans fighting for survival in “10,000 BC,” the latest movie from director Roland Emmerich.

It probably won’t be a paragon of scientific accuracy, judging by Emmerich’s previous track record on “Independence Day,” “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Godzilla.” But Hollywood has a history of mining prehistory for entertainment value over archaeological exactness — or, as legendary animator Ray Harryhausen once put it, “professors probably don’t go to the cinema anyway.”

To extend your travels through the ancient world, here are some earlier high points of Hollywood’s trips back to the ages of cavemen and dinosaurs.

“Gertie The Dinosaur” (1914)
Dinosaurs and prehistoric life have inspired filmmakers since the very earliest days of the form, including this still-charming work by Winsor McCay, a simple animated short in which the title sauropod performs various tricks for our amusement, including dancing on command and drinking a whole lake in one gulp. Sure, it’s not much by today’s standards, but think of it as the prehistory of prehistory. (Watch it here.)

“The Lost World” (1925)
Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic novel about a South American plateau where dinosaurs never died out has been filmed many times, but the earliest and most influential was this silent version featuring effects work by Willis O’Brien, who would go on to create an even more enduring classic in “King Kong.” O’Brien’s creations are the real stars of the movie, but future Oscar winner Wallace Beery (for 1932's “The Champ”) is also wonderful as the violently irascible Professor Challenger, the pompous head of the expedition to the plateau. (Watch it here.)

“Fantasia” (1940)
Walt Disney’s most ambitious movie includes a bravura segment, topped only by the unforgettable “Night On Bald Mountain” and “Sorcerer’s Apprentice” sequences, in which the evolution of life on Earth is gorgeously animated and set to the music of Igor Stravinsky’s “Rite Of Spring.”

“One Million Years B.C.” (1966)
Throw your notions of historical accuracy out the window for this prehistoric adventure movie, which follows the travails of the Rock and Shell tribes in a world populated by killer dinosaurs (which actually died out 65 million years earlier) and a giant tarantula (which, of course, never existed). The real entertainment value here is provided by Ray Harryhausen’s classic stop-motion monster animation (including a climactic ceratosaur/triceratops fight), and of course the movie’s most well-remembered attraction, the sight of Raquel Welch in a fur bikini. Maybe historical accuracy’s not all it’s cracked up to be.

“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)
The brief first segment of Stanley Kubrick’s sprawling science-fiction epic, “The Dawn Of Man” tells the story of a small group of pre-human apes eking out a marginal existence on the African savannah. Life is difficult and brutal, and any moment could bring death from ravenous leopards or rival tribes. But one morning a mysterious black obelisk appears, bringing strange new ideas that will forever change the fate of the apes — and all their future descendants, namely us.

“Land of the Lost” (1974-76)
Sid and Marty Krofft are fondly remembered by those who grew up in the 1970s for their cheesy, brightly colored and bizarrely psychedelic kids’ shows like “H.R. Pufnstuf” and “Lidsville.” But their most successful show, “Land of the Lost,” stayed away from the deliberate campiness in favor of a serious and surprisingly complex sci-fi storyline involving the Marshall family’s exile in a strange alternate dimension where dinosaurs roam.

“The Land That Time Forgot” (1975)
Like “Lost World,” this movie was also based on a classic Victorian sci-fi novel, though Edgar Rice Burroughs was definitely the era’s version of Dan Brown — action-packed and fun, but not exactly high art. The movie version moves the time period forward to 1916, but captures the spirit of the book very well, as a group of mistrustful Germans and British on a World War I U-boat stumble on a lost Antarctic island populated by reptilian relics of a lost age.

“Quest For Fire” (1981)
Learning to control fire was one of the key successes in humanity’s rise up the evolutionary ladder, and French director Jean-Jacques Annaud’s compelling and nearly dialogue-free story depicts a time when our mastery over fire was not yet complete. Three Cro-Magnon cavemen (including a perfectly cast Ron Perlman) must go in search of life-giving flame after their tribe’s fire is extinguished during a fight. Along the way, they meet a more advanced tribe, including a fetching cavewoman played by Rae Dawn Chong, who teach them not only how to make fire, but various other advances including, er, the missionary position. Annaud’s movie was ambitious if not always successful in sticking closely to then-current anthropology, with zoologist and author Desmond Morris providing a gestural language for the actors to use.

“The Clan Of The Cave Bear” (1986)
Based on the novel by Jean M. Auel, this Stone Age drama stars Daryl Hannah as Ayla, a blond Cro-Magnon orphaned as a girl and raised by a small tribe of Neanderthals in ancient France. She struggles not only to survive, but to earn the respect of her adopted clan, which views her with suspicion and fear. Though well-meaning, director Michael Chapman’s shallow, slow-moving movie is ultimately a pale, derivative shadow of “2001” and “Quest For Fire,” though fans of the book shouldn’t miss it.

“Jurassic Park” (1993)
If there’s one movie on this list you already know, it’s certainly this one. But Steven Spielberg’s action-adventure about genetically reconstituted dinosaurs and the havoc they cause on a doomed theme-park island deserves praise for basing its giant lizards’ behavior on actual science, though it makes a few elisions in the name of better storytelling. It also deserves praise for the sequence where the tyrannosaur breaks through the fence and attacks the helpless cars, which is just plain awesome moviemaking.

“Walking With Cavemen” (2003)
The advent of computer animation has revolutionized the level of realism available to animators, and the BBC has capitalized on this with the ongoing “Walking With…” series, a set of smart, informative and amazingly lifelike documentaries that brings dozens of species back from extinction, from 8-foot sea scorpions to 100-ton brachiosaurs to the ape-descended creatures who would eventually become humans. “Walking With Cavemen” covers four branches of our hairy ancestry, from the monkeylike Australopithecus to the great Ice Age mammoth hunters.

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Paramount to release last HD DVD titles in further sign of victory for Sony's Blu-ray

In a further sign that Sony Corp.'s Blu-ray has won the high-definition format war, Paramount Pictures home entertainment unit has said it will release its last HD DVD titles on Tuesday.

The company intends to switch to Blu-ray after it offers "Things We Lost in the Fire" and "Into the Wild" in HD DVD.

Paramount said Friday it is in the process of determining its Blu-ray release schedule.

Universal Studios said last week it was shifting its focus to Sony's Blu-ray standard.

That announcement came after Toshiba Corp. said it would no longer develop, make or market players and recorders in HD DVD, the standard it invented.

Blu-ray won another key battle last month when Warner Bros. Entertainment chose it as the exclusive format for its releases.

Other Blu-ray backers are Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Co. and News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox.

Paramount is a division of Viacom Inc.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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The Top 25 Pieces of Movie Merchandise Too Awesome To Exist

Between those sad plastic light sabers and the even sadder Vote for Pedro shirts, the movie merchandise industry clearly doesn't try very hard.

We asked you about the merchandise that would exist if only Hollywood had the balls to make it, and offered money to whoever could photoshop the most ball-flatteningly awesome example.

That winner is below, but first the runners-up:

by Sanchez

by chefwit

by codespyder

by College Binary

by Lord Cownostril

by Fairview

by fancytaco

by FoodStampDavis

by Fortey

by Gibbo69

by AnnArrogance

by Bishopwhitet

by AnnArrogance

by Bishopwhitet

by boredatwork

by Krick

by codespyder

by Mella

by Mella

by Pr3

by Rubbin Hood

by Sanchez

by ginchael

by Zaws

And the winner is...

by Sanchez

Congrats, Sanchez. You win money. Again.

Want in on this?

You'll have another chance. This week's Photoshop contest theme is:

Terrible Movie Adaptation Ideas.

You've probably heard that they're making a Monopoly movie, so you'll have to work extra hard to get more ridiculous than a movie based on a board game. We have faith, though. Post your entries in the forums.

If you'd like to see the other entries from this week that didn't make it, see them here. If this is your first time visiting the Photoshop contest, you should probably check out The 40 Most Inappropriate Children's Book Covers. Or, for some pictures that even we couldn't make up, check out The 25 Most Insane Protester Signs You're Likely to See Today.

Got an idea for a future Cracked photoshop contest? Let us know.

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Evolution of Optimus Prime's Dance [VIDEO]

The Matrix Resurrection

The Matrix Resurrection

Mr. Anderson. Welcome back, we missed you...

Ask a geek about any major sci-fi or fantasy franchise and they will almost certainly give you numerous reasons either as to why filmmakers should either commence making another movie in the series; or as to why it should be avoided like pestilence.

No other movie series suffers from this wide range of opinions than The Matrix. The original movie, strongly regarded as a classic by both fans and critics alike, was a stand-alone epic. It was revolutionary and visually exciting.

...& then the sequels came out.

The previous two chapters of The Matrix tale, Reloaded and Revolutions, were met with mixed reviews and thoughts from viewers. Reloaded gained much critical praise, though Revolutions was not as fortunate. The two films to this day suffer from perhaps the widest ranges of judgments that any movie probably ever has. For every person that said the sequels sucked, there is another person that found them just as exciting as the original film.

So, when conversation on the issue of whether or not the Wachowski Brothers should ever make a fourth Matrix movie; as in the case with the sequels - reactions and opinions become very polarized. Those disenchanted with the follow ups usually reply in the negative; while those who loved the movies continue to hope that the brothers will intend to return to "the desert of the real" sometime in the future.

At the end of the day, however, the decision to make a fourth Matrix movie will not hinge on the wide range of opinions the films have generated. It will come down to an argument of money.

Neo Combined, the three Matrix films were budgeted an estimated $363,000,000 by Warner Brothers.

Worldwide, all three films made a total of $1,615,900,000. That is nearly a $1.2 billion profit. Yes, that’s right: $1.2 Billion.

That does not include revenue generated from DVD rentals and purchases, video games, merchandise, and the rest.

In short, two factors will determine whether there will be a Matrix 4. Factor number one is obviously the money, the bottom line, and the earnings. Despite your opinion on the movies, they make money.

And factor number two is whether the Wachowski's essentially want to make the film or not; which eventually at some point, they probably will.

Take a look at George Lucas as an example. Back in the mid-1980s, he shrugged off the likelihood of any further Star Wars films. Over 15 years later he announced Star Wars Episodes I, II, and III. My point is the people who make these films have the liberty at any point to change their minds and return to their sagas.

The Wachowski Brothers could undoubtedly do that.

But, some people might ask, what could the film probably be about? Some feel that The Matrix Revolutions wrapped up the trilogy. Whilst it could be easily perceived that Revolutions closed the story arc nicely, there are still unanswered questions, and further possibilities.

So, let us take a look what a 4th Matrix movie could possibly investigate...

The Death of Neo

Neo is not dead I am not convinced that Neo is truly dead. It certainly appeared that way at a glance in Revolutions, but right at the very end, the Wachowski brothers in actuality left it wide open. It was not made clear whether Neo, in the "arms" of the machinery, was dead or unconscious. The positioning of Neo at the end of the movie is deliberate, in a crucifix style position, hinting that with sacrifice comes the resurrection of the One. Neo, fundamentally, is the messianic figure of the Matrix on the traditional hero's journey. Though the fall of Neo does indeed look sacrificial, the Oracle herself says at the end of the film that she suspects they will be seeing Neo again in the future. Like with every scene she has in the three films, she knows something that the viewers do not.

The Human Objective Changed

Into the rabbit hole... In the first two movies, the Human Resistance is fighting for the total freedom of the human species; for their fellow people to be free from the bondage they were born (or grown) into - from imprisonment to total and unconditional freedom.

But by the time Revolutions comes around, the goal has changed. When Neo faces Deus Ex Machina in the Machine City, when asked what he wants, he responds with, "Peace". The notion, though related to freedom, is actually very different. Neo's battle becomes one of instituting a truce or peace time between humanity and machines; as opposed to complete human freedom from the Matrix.

Essentially, while his efforts did undeniably end the war to that point, even The Architect states his doubts to The Oracle on how long this "peace" would actually last.

The Predecessors

The Merovingian.  The First Predecessor? In the second and third films, references are made to the Predecessors by The Merovingian, The Architect, The Oracle, et cetera. The Predecessors are the previous "Ones" that were placed into previous versions of The Matrix. What if, as part of the mathematic code established by the Architect, at the 'reboot' of each Matrix, a digital program version of a Predecessor was loaded with the new Matrix to balance the equation.

That could ascertain characters such as the Merovingian and Seraph as "Predecessor Bots"; they are the software inserted into a new Matrix based upon previous Ones. In other words, they are consequential effects from the reloading of a new Matrix - an imaging of a previous One, in software format.

The reintegration of this imaged version of the One into an updated Matrix is principally the sum of an unbalanced equation; the system is trying to self-correct from the universal anomaly, as outlined by the Architect in the second film. It could explain also the Merovingian's fascination with "cause and effect" - the One fulfilling his destiny and the reloading of a reloaded Matrix is the cause; the reintegration of the imaged One (the Predecessor Bot) an effect. In actual fact, this would make a lot of sense if the Merovingian was the First One.

This also matches up with the mythological establishment of Merv. The Merovingian is the holder of "lost souls" (exiled programs marked for deletion), and is the owner of Club Hel. The parallel is, of course, with that of the tale of Lucifer: the first fallen angel. Perhaps The Merovingian was the First One, and then subsequently, the First Predecessor Bot. This would have, indeed placed him in a position of power strong enough to reign over and capture (whether through care, temptation, or force) lost exiles.

Seraph: The Prodigal Child - another Predecessor? While some expanded sources identify Seraph as a former agent of the Matrix (often depicted as an angel), it is also likely that Seraph is an imaged version of a Predecessor. If Merv was the first One, his dialogue of "The prodigal child returns" has more meaning in Revolutions. Agent Smith also recollects, "I remember chasing you was like chasing a ghost"; to which Seraph answers back in a very Neo-like fashion, "I have beaten you before". I believe Smith is alluding to an era when Seraph was The One ("It is happening exactly like before..."), and he was being hunted down.

There is much discussed in Reloaded and Revolutions that suggest at the similarities between Neo and these characters like the Merovingian and Seraph. They can all see the coding of the Matrix, just like Neo does. They can all "bend the rules" established by the programming of the Matrix. Persephone speaks to Neo and says of the Merovingian, "He was like you". As a matter of fact, she compares herself to Trinity also by saying, "I envy you, but such a thing was not meant to last".

Merv and Seraph are just two examples of possible Predecessor Bots. They understand much about the history of the Matrix before Neo learns the many truths from the Architect. Merv talks of surviving the predecessors to advance into the newer versions of the Matrix.

Deleting the Smith Virus So, the theory, in concept at any rate, is that the Matrix as established by the Architect is a harmony of mathematical meticulousness. However, the math suffers from a systemic anomaly, from which the hypothesis of "The One" was created to help balance the equation. In other words, by means of logic, the machines attempt to self-correct the Matrix as things become unequal. As the Matrix moves into a new version, a bot image of the previous One is inserted into the Matrix. That is the speculative theory anyway.

Having said that, when the Matrix was restarted after the Smith virus was deleted, could it have been possible that the algorithm imaged or ghosted a Neo program bot? Neo, in the eyes of the Architect, had already fulfilled his function: he had returned to the Source (a mental connection made that was exploited by Merv in Revolutions - when Neo was a captive of the Trainman). Neo is also far out of the ordinary from the Five Predecessors; his general attachment manifested itself as love for Trinity (a relationship I believe was purposefully engineered and directed by the Oracle). When you come right down to it, Neo is set apart from the Previous Ones, and it could be possible that with the equation trying to correct itself, a Neo bot could have been reimaged into the Matrix to "help balance the unbalanced equation caused by the systemic anomaly".

Face it: the Machines are evil

The Machines are evil Come on - do you really think that the Machines are going to keep the peace? Do you really think that the Human Resistance is going to stop trying to free humans that have not opted out of the Matrix? Neo's deal with the machines was the deletion of Smith for "peace". If Neo survived and was merely unconscious at the end of Revolutions, then it is entirely possible that he was taken into confinement by the machines.

If Neo had been let go from the Machine City, he would be living proof that he bargained for human freedom. By keeping him as prisoner, the machines are hiding this particular deal from the humans, which gives them a tactical advantage. If the machines, at any time, compute the necessity to move back to the "old ways" for survival, they can do so. Keeping Neo unseen gives them another tactical advantage: Why send back the most powerful human being to their enemies?

Or maybe the actual enemy of humanity is humanity itself?

The beginning of the war I mentioned earlier that The Architect expresses uncertainties and doubts on how genuine and how long the new peace will last between the machines and the humans. In the story of The Second Renaissance, from The Animatrix, it is the humans who first turn on the machines they have created; in proceedings that spiral beyond control in which eventually evolves into The War. The Machines have an extensive memory, and the doubt expressed over this peace is perhaps justified.

The past, as it seems, has a habit of repeating itself. Or rather, those who ignore history are the ones who are condemned to repeat it. In the newfound era of peace between humanity and machines, it is entirely possible that it is a human or group of humans (perhaps obsessed with the original Resistance goal of total freedom as opposed to simply a truce) that give rise to a new battle; a new war. The characters of Neo and Morpheus may be required to not necessarily fight for peace; but to help maintain it - even if it means battling humans instead of machines.

Morpheus is dead - Morpheus is not dead.

Morpheus According to the storyline established by The Matrix Online, Morpheus demands the return of Neo's body to the humans. This never happens, and so he begins to take matters into his own hands, through sophisticated "terrorist attacks" within the Matrix itself: he creates and detonates 'code bombs'; weaponry designed to show the truth to humans (bluepills) the truth behind the Matrix. His dealings cause him to lose many allies both in Zion and within the Matrix.

Morpheus is hunted down and murdered by a bounty hunter (perhaps a program) known as The Assassin. He is believed to be dead. However, prior to the murder many of the redpill players of the game (the players representing the human resistance within the Matrix) were informed that Morpheus needs to 'fade away' to "lay low".

In other words, Morpheus is in all probability hiding; his "death" orchestrated to enable him to fade away and lay low. This progression of events is done purposefully in the game. The crews behind the scenes of the Matrix clearly want Morpheus (at least temporarily) out of the picture in the expanded universe, as this would free them up to reclaim his character for any future film ventures they undertake.

Discovery of Neo's Captivity

Neo Lives Let us say that members of the human resistance spot the Neo Program in the Matrix. Intelligence gets back to Morpheus, and the humans discover, (shock and horror) that Neo is actually alive, though not in the Matrix. That is his "copy" - a Predecessor Bot - but in actuality, he is held captive by the machines. This would prompt the Human Resistance into a movement to free Neo.

In fact, a holographic version of Morpheus appears in one point of The Matrix Online making claims that Neo is alive and the Machines have him held captive.

The Neo Bot alternatively, could be the antagonist of the story. Maybe he is like "Evil Neo", and is destructively affecting both the humans, the hiding programs (like the Merovingian), and the machines. Perhaps the only way to stop Neo Bot is to bring the real Neo in.

This could sound hackneyed, but when you think about it, which other character is more powerful or equivalent in power to Neo? No-one... the only logical step forward in a Matrix sequel (if it follows the Predecessor bot theory outlined above) would be if Neo fought his "clone" - in this argument, The Neo Bot - it could be a cool scene.

However, some may argue that this conceptualization has previously been done with the Neo vs. Smith battles. Smith is literally the polar opposite of Neo; he is the Anti Neo.

Okay, so who is "the bad guy" then?

The Architect The Matrix Trilogy established that Agent Smith was Neo's enemy of the saga. Smith to Neo is like Darth Vader to Luke Skywalker; despite being the major antagonist and protagonist of the story, the bad guy always has a boss. In Star Wars, it was Emperor Palpatine aka Darth Sidious. In The Matrix, this role is fulfilled by the character that would become known as The Architect.

Now, I Am not suggesting for a minute that The Architect ought to get out and jump around going all kung-fu on Keanu Reeve's ass. That would look dismal; but it would also run contradictory to the story... A program is designed with a function, and the purpose of the Architect is not to fight, but to develop and build. In other words, like Palpatine, he is the master strategist. For the heroes to win the day, he must be taken out. The Oracle's protector is Seraph; and it would stand to reason that The Architect would have some kind of protector also – another possible rival.

If not, there are existing characters that could fulfill that role. Agent Johnson or the Merovingian both come to mind as possibilities. Merv would stand out as a great nemesis for Neo in a 4th film because he has already proven himself as a bad-ass, and secondly, we've only seen him send his thugs after Neo. There is certainly much more than meets the eye with this meticulous chap; and if The Matrix IV was ever made, I would guarantee he would be in it.

Smith could still be the adversary. Meet Smith 2.0

Smith The great thing about software is that it can be recreated, reghosted, reimaged, redeveloped, and upgraded. While Smith was primarily destroyed by Neo, eventually freed from the system, and finally obliterated (like a Trojan being wiped by AVG). But unlike humans, machines do not forget to "back-up". Somewhere, contained by the confines of the world of the machines, is another version of Smith (perhaps improved), ready to be deployed as a weapon at any given moment.

Expanding on the personality of Smith could also be more enlightening for the audience as well. Through the route of the original trilogy, he eludes to his chasing of Predecessors and exiles. He bestows the audience with a connection between him and Seraph. Any connection he may have had with Merv though never was explored. Perhaps this is an avenue that could be taken as well.

But wait, isn't The Matrix a trilogy?

Neo If you recall to when the first movie came out, the initial concept was pitched to producers and studios as a trilogy, should the original film be successful. The Wachowski brothers had every intention of developing the concept into more than one film.

When the time came to put together a sequel, according to a variety of sources, including Wikipedia and IMDB, several concepts and script treatments were developed, but most knocked back by Warner for further revision. As time developed, rumor has it that the Wachowski's had written one script, which was way too long. Rather than sacrifice certain scenes, they decided to divide the script in half.

So, essentially speaking, Reloaded and Revolutions were initially conceived as ONE film, not TWO. Which goes forth to say that perhaps there were and/or are plans for a third screenplay, or now in hindsight, a fourth film.

Moreover, it is up to the Wachowski's whether The Matrix is a trilogy, quadrilogy, nonilogy, or whatever. If the celebrated genius Douglas Adams can go out of his way to make "a trilogy in four parts", then so can these guys.

At any rate that is my rant. It may all be just speculation, but... it is inevitable...

I know you're out there. I can feel you now. I know that you're afraid... you're afraid of us. You're afraid of change. I don't know the future. I didn't come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it's going to begin. I'm going to hang up this phone, and then I'm going to show these people what you don't want them to see. I'm going to show them a world without you: a world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries; a world where anything is possible… Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.

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Breaking: Warner Bros absorbs New Line Cinema

New Line Logo

Update: WB/New Line - What Does it Mean?

You’ve heard the rumors, and it now looks to be true. This afternoon Time Warner has announced that New Line Cinema will become part of Warner Bros. This is the expected result of the companies string of recent box office failures, topped with the mega failure of The Golden Compass. Read the letter from Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne which is currently circulating the interwebs, followed by the official Time Warner press release:

February 28, 2008

To: New Line Colleagues

From: Bob Shaye and Michael Lynne

Subject: Our Company

This afternoon, Time Warner is announcing that New Line will become a unit of Warner Bros. This is, of course, a very difficult and emotional time for all of us who have worked at New Line. While there is not much we can say that can lessen the impact of this announcement, we did want you to know about the decision before you read about it in the press.

New Line will maintain its own identity and will continue to produce, market, and distribute movies. But New Line will now do so as part of Warner Bros. and will probably be a much smaller operation than in the past. Time Warner hopes that operating New Line as a unit of Warner Bros. will allow New Line to focus on the creative side of movie-making, while reducing costs and taking advantage of Warner Bros.’ distribution systems. The company will be holding group meeting with New Line employees tomorrow in Los Angeles and New York to discuss this announcement, and is committed to letting employees know as soon as possible about how this change affects them individually.

For our part, we will be stepping down as Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOS of New Line. This was a painful decision, because we love New Line and the people who work here have been like our second families. But we will be leaving the company with enormous pride in what all of us at New Line have accomplished together. From its humble beginnings 40 years ago, our studio has created some of the most popular and successful movies of all time. Those movies are a tribute to the amazing creative energy and entrepreneurial abilities of the talented people at New Line. They are a legacy that will endure forever.

Although we are stepping out of New Line, we intend to remain actively involved in the industry in an entrepreneurial capacity, and will keep you advised of developments.

We thank all of you who have worked so hard to make New Line such a success. We are very proud of every one of you.

Bob & Michael


New Line Cinema To Be A Unit Of Warner Bros. Entertainment

NEW YORK, February 28, 2008 – Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) announced today the consolidation of its filmed entertainment businesses, Warner Bros. Entertainment and New Line Cinema. The combination brings together New Line’s 40-year legacy as the world’s most successful and innovative independent film studio with Warner Bros.’ creative leadership and unparalleled scale and reach in global distribution and marketing.

As part of the consolidation, New Line will be operated as a unit of Warner Bros. New Line will maintain separate development, production, marketing, distribution and business affairs operations, but will closely integrate and coordinate those functions with Warner Bros. to maximize film performance and operating efficiencies, achieve significant cost savings, and improve margins.

In making the announcement, Time Warner’s President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes said: “We are moving quickly to improve our business performance and financial returns. New Line has built a strong franchise of cutting-edge entertainment. We can enhance its value by combining it with Warner Bros. Given the trend toward fewer movie releases, New Line and Warner Bros. will now have more complementary release slates, with New Line focusing on genres that have been its strength. With the growing importance of international revenues, it makes sense for New Line to retain its international film rights and to exploit them through Warner Bros.’ global distribution infrastructure. We can also take better advantage of digital distribution platforms by combining our studios. These changes will enhance our revenue opportunities and drive dramatic cost efficiencies and higher margins at New Line.”

New Line’s Co-Chairmen and Co-CEOs Robert Shaye and Michael Lynne have elected to leave the studio, but are in discussions about possible future business relationships with the company.

Mr. Bewkes said: “Bob and Michael have a unique partnership that is noteworthy not only for its stability and longevity, but for its record of innovation and success. They have guided New Line’s growth from a privately held art film distributor to the world’s leading independent film studio that is home to some of the most popular films in entertainment history, including The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Mask, Austin Powers, Blade, Rush Hour, Elf, Wedding Crashers and Hairspray. We thank Bob and Michael for their enduring contributions to Time Warner and look forward to a continuing working relationship with them.”

Mr. Shaye and Mr. Lynne said: “New Line has been our respective life’s work as well as our second family. While we’re sad to be leaving, we’re enormously proud to have overseen its extraordinary growth and worked with so many dedicated and talented colleagues. New Line represents innovation, creativity, and independent success. We hope that the company can continue to be a leader in creating entertainment that resonates around the world. We will now focus our efforts on exploring new entrepreneurial opportunities.”

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Another Full Iron Man Trailer Launches - Holy Sh*t!

Iron Man Trailer

Just when you thought this incredible day was over, Iron Man decides to drop in and make one hell of an appearance! A brand new two-and-a-half minute trailer for Iron Man has just launched over at MySpace and it's epic. This is the same trailer we were gushing about from WonderCon. This the same trailer that had me saying this would easily be the best comic book movie of 2008. I'm glad we didn't have to wait too long, because now it's here for all of you to enjoy in premium quality and to watch over and over again for three more months. Check it out below and get ready for Iron Man this May!

Everything about this trailer and this movie look perfect. From Robert Downey Jr., to Jon Favreau, to Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts, to Terrence Howard as Roadie, to Jeff Bridges as Obadiah Stane. I seriously cannot wait - this movie is going to kick so much ass!! I only wish I could be sitting in a theater hearing people cheer next to me when the Mark III armor is shown for the first time in the trailer!

Watch the new trailer for Iron Man:

You can also watch the new Iron Man trailer in High Definition on MySpace

For more on the movie, head to the official Iron Man website at:

Iron Man is directed by Jon Favreau, of Zathura and Elf previously. The movie was written by Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Mark Fergus (Children of Men, First Snow), and Hawk Ostby (Children of Men, First Snow). Iron Man hits theaters everywhere this summer on May 2nd. The latest poster for Iron Man is featured below.

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The 17 Greatest Horror Movie Weapons Ever

#17: Modern Day Barbwire Mace
From: High Tension
Used by: Marie
If you only walk away from French gorefest High Tension with one thing, it'll be the shock you get from the heinous ways people get wrecked in the film. One dude, who's head is clamped in between wooden staircase beams, gets his head torn clean off when an armoire is slammed into him. Another person gets sliced up like a Christmas ham by a circular saw. But the nastiest weapon used in High Tension is a piece of wood that barbwire is wrapped around to make a modern day mace. As Marie bashed the face of the killer with this barbwire club a bagillion times, the prongs actually stuck to his flesh every time.

#16: Necktie
From: Frenzy
Used by: Robert Rusk
Normally, the necktie is an item of formal dress. You wear one if you're going to a wedding, an anniversary dinner, a funeral, a shunting ceremony, or if you have a 6 figure job. However, in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy, the necktie is used by the film's redheaded killer (who appears on the surface to be a well-mannered gentleman) to asphyxiate females in order to get off. The next time your mother or loved one bugs you about putting on a tie so you look "nice" for whatever event you're going, you can always bring up Frenzy's necktie killer.

#15: Gynecological Tools for Mutant Women
From: Dead Ringers
Used by: Beverly Mantle
If you haven't experienced David Cronenberg's unsettling masterpiece Dead Ringers, go see it. It's about two identical twin brothers who both work together as gynecologists and share everything, including the women they're boinking. To make things even creepier, Beverly (the nicer brother) starts to lose his mind and gets some vagina-mutilating gynecological tools custom made for "mutant women." After he attempts to use them on a patient, Dr. Beverly gets fired and eventually murders his twin brother with the tools. While not originally intended to be weapons but something to operate on chicks with 3 cervical entrances ("trifurcate uterus") , the tools in Dead Ringers gain a new deadlier purpose, making our list for one of the greatest things used to kill in horror films.

#14: Pizza Cutter
From: Into the Mirror (Geoul Sokeuro)
Used by: Choi Mi-jeong's Reflection
In this Korean horror film, a girl is slain by a reflection of herself. As she gazes into the mirror, her mirror image slashes her throat wide open with a pizza cutter, causing the girl to choke on her own blood. While it's hard to look at a pizza cutter the same way after seeing Into the Mirror, we're just glad it wasn't caked in old pizza cheese and crumbs like the ones we're used to seeing. Food + deep wounds = one fucking disgusting infection.

#13: Razor-Sharp Clawed-Glove
From: A Nightmare on Elm Street series
Used by: Freddy Krueger
A list of the best weapons ever used in horror films would be no list at all if it didn't include one of the most recognizable weapons of all, Freddy Krueger's clawed glove. The iconic burn victim has butchered countless teenagers in a variety of artistic ways over the course of the 8 films he's starred in, but Fred's signature deathblow is sinking his razor-sharp talons into the flesh of his victims. It's a sight we'll never get sick of seeing.

#12: Television Set
From: Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
Used by: Henry
In the gritty 1986 movie Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (which is loosely based on the confessions of real life murderer Henry Lee Lucas), Henry and his prison buddy Otis are insulted by a black market merchant who tells them they only have enough money for a black and white television. Henry doesn't like the idea of watching his homemade snuff films on a black and white set, so he takes the TV and smashes it over the head of the dealer. What a great way to kill someone... in a movie that is.

#11: Pogo Stick
From: Leprechaun
Used by: The Leprechaun
There's only one thing worse than having a disproportionate Irishman punch holes all across your torso with a pogo stick--and it's if he clowns you in a horribly-rhyming song while repeatedly gouging you under his weight. And that's exactly what happens in this short video from the awesomely cheesy 1993 horror movie Leprechaun. Who would have thought this child's toy could be put to a better use than making you look like a bouncing idiot?

#10: Elaborate Torture Devices
From: Saw series
Used by: Jigsaw
Imagine that you wake up and you're stuck in a grimy room faced with nothing but a machine that has been custom built to destroy you (often in a manner that symbolizes your life in some way) or maim you horribly if you manage to escape. That's what Jonathan Kramer, "The Jigsaw Killer", does to his victims and if you've never seen a Saw film, you're missing out on some of the most imaginatively inhumane movie deaths ever. One of the best torture devices from any of the Saw films is from Saw III where a man is shackled to the bottom of a huge steel vat and then slowly drowned by bloated rotting pig carcasses which are grinded up into putrid sludge that is used to slowly fill up the vat. Talk about one fucked up screenwriter.

#9: Basketball
From: Deadly Friend
Used by: Samantha Pringle
If there's one thing that can be learned from watching Wes Craven's relatively unknown film Deadly Friend, it's that you shouldn't screw with teenagers who are severely abused by their parents. You especially don't mess with them if they are an immortal cyborg that can explode your face with a basketball using their unholy might. Watch as the beastly actress who played Mama Fratelli in The Goonies gets pulverized in this clip.

#8: American Flag
From: The Hills Have Eyes (2006)
Used by: Doug
Nothing brings a patriotic tear to my eye more than witnessing an American flag being used to impale the freakishly deformed head of one of the mutants in The Hills Have Eyes, pulled out of its skull, and then used again to stab straight through the throat of another mutant--We're being facetious here, but we're not joking when we say that this makeshift weapon is unforgettable in the realm of horror.

#8: Rusty Hook
From: Candyman series
Used by: Candyman
People have been getting gutted by pirates, incensed amputees, and other assorted hooked maniacs way before the days of Candyman, but never have people been ravaged by such a nasty looking hook. Not only is the corroded hook of Candyman hundreds of years old, it's so sloppily jammed into the mangled hunk of flesh where his hand used to be, making this horror movie weapon one of the single most terrifying things to be gored with. Just watch this clip and tell us it doesn't send shivers down your spine.

#6: Scythe
From: Hostel: Part II
Used by: Mrs. Bathory
In an excruciatingly difficult to watch scene from Hostel: Part II, a naked girl (Weinerdog from Welcome to the Dollhouse) is suspended upside down directly over a bathtub where an older nude woman, Mrs. Bathory, waits to bathe in her blood. Mrs. Bathory, an obvious reference to the real life Hungarian Countess Bathory who is believed to have bathed in the blood of virgins, then slices the girl's youthful flesh to ribbons with a scythe. If the copious amount of blood flowing all over this woman's ample, yet wrinkly, breasts doesn't get some sort of reaction out of you (whether it's revulsion or arousal), the harrowing sounds of the sharpened tip of the scythe scraping the girl will.

#5: Lawnmower
From: Dead Alive
Used by: Lionel Cosgrove
In what's arguably the single bloodiest scene in any movie ever made, the gangly protagonist in Peter Jackson's Dead Alive uses a lawnmower towards the end of the movie to liquefy an entire house loaded with zombies, splattering blood, bowels, and body parts everywhere in the process. Any fan of gore will tell you that this classic scene will show you a level of violence you've never been exposed to.

#4: Pimped Out Chainsaw
From: Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III
Used by: Leatherface
Everyone's favorite chainsaw wielding retarded killer got an upgrade in the third installment in the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. For his birthday, Leatherface receives a new ornate chainsaw with the words "The Saw is Family" engraved on it. To make matters even more ridiculous, the filmmakers tried to push this lame idea even further by putting the image of this gold-plated chainsaw on the official posters and VHS/DVD covers of the movie. But even though we laughed out loud after seeing Leatherface's new toy, doesn't mean we didnt enjoy watching him rip through people in style. The blinged-up chainsaw from TCM III is one of the most memorably horror movie weapons ever.

#3: Cotton Candy Gun
From: Killer Klowns from Outer Space
Used by: The Killer Klowns
Easily one of the most inventive guns ever to be featured in a movie, horror or otherwise, is the cotton candy guns wielded by the grotesque alien Klowns of Killer Klowns from Outer Space. When fired, the guns discharge a beam of electricity that covers the target in a flesh-melting cocoon of cotton candy. Trapped in the pink cocoon, the person inside slowly gelatinizes, bones and all, so the Killer Klowns can drink their juicy remains. Delicious!

#2: Stone Phallus
From: Cannibal Holocaust
Used by: Pissed-Off Yacumo Husband
The price of committing adultery among the fictional Yacumo tribe is demonstrated in the tremendously controversial Italian exploitation flick Cannibal Holocaust. What happens (presumably only if you're a cheating female) is a giant rock dildo is bulldozed into your genitals... over and over again. Yeah, don't show this film to your girlfriend.

#1: Chainsaw Hand
From: Evil Dead II / Army of Darkness
Used by: Ash
What do you do when your right hand becomes demonically possessed and tries to kill you? Ash Williams from the legendary Evil Dead trilogy had an answer to that question and it was to amputate his evil appendage with a crusty chainsaw. In Evil Dead II, after severing his hand, Ash attaches the chainsaw to his bloodied stump, giving him the most killer prosthesis of all time. There's really nothing more satisfying than shredding through hellish enemies with a chainsaw hand.

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