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Despite the fact that they're meant to bring joy and laughter to children everywhere, clowns are inherently and undeniably frightening.  There's just something unnerving about their painted faces and artificial happiness.  With his would-be cult film The Last Circus, Spanish writer-director Álex de la Iglesia embraces the creepy factor of clowns and runs with it.  The new red-band trailer for the film shows clowns kitted out with automatic weapons, bandoliers, and grenades.  That's not all, though.  The trailer also includes gobs of phantasmagoric imagery and a tone that is distinctive, to say the very least.

“In brightest day … in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight, let those who worship evil’s might, beware my power … Green Lantern’s light!"

While hardcore comic book fans already recognize that passage as the famous Green Lantern oath, the rest of the world may not be as familiar with the intergalactic police force as fan-boys are. That will all change on June 17th, as the ring-wielding comic book superhero finally makes his debut on the silver screen.

Green Lantern is based on the immensely popular DC Comics character that first appeared in All-American Comics issue #16 in 1940 and has remained popular for almost sixty years. While the character has gone through many changes over the years and several different people have worn the powerful ring, the film will tell the tale of Hal Jordan, the most prominent and popular of all the Lanterns. In the comics, Jordan was a test pilot before the death of Abin Sur, the Lantern assigned to protect Earth’s sector of the universe. Eventually, Sur’s ring chose Jordan as Earth’s new protector. Upon taking the Lantern’s oath, Jordan was propelled into a world of extra-terrestrial creatures, emerald power rings and outer-space adventures.

Following the successful launch of Thor at the start of May, things have been pretty quiet on the Marvel Studios front as of late.  With just over a month until the final puzzle piece leading up to next summer's The Avengers, though, Marvel and Paramount are set to escalate the promotion of Captain America: The First Avenger like none other.  To wit: a whopping twelve new images from the film that mostly skip over Chris Evans in his full Cap costume, opting instead to highlight skinny Steve Rogers, supporting characters, and evocative WWII-era sets.  Also present are two menacing new looks at Hugo Weaving as the Red Skull, along with an entire army of HYDRA shock troops.

Yesterday, Warner Bros dropped the final theatrical trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, meaning that they also dropped the last trailer for a new Harry Potter film for the foreseeable future.  The running times of Harry Potter films have been a point of contention between fans who want a more accurate representation of JK Rowling's novels and muggle movie-goers who want to get out of the theater in less than three hours.  Bad news for anyone hoping to draw out their Potter experience and good news for anyone heartless enough to want to get it over with: the final film will be the shortest of them all.

Since Darren Aronofsky abruptly departed the X-Men spin-off/sequel The Wolverine back in March, his next project has been a big question mark.  He's been trying to find financing for an expensive interpretation of the Old Testament story of Noah and the Flood, but he's not sitting still while waiting for that would-be film to come together.  Instead, THR's Heat Vision reports that he'll direct the pilot episode of Hobgoblin, the HBO series from literary power-couple Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman.

How to Look Cool on a Movie Poster, a guide presented by the new one-sheet for Cowboys & Aliens, the latest summer blockbuster from all-around nice guy Jon Favreau.  Rule 1: Fashionable hats are indispensable.  Rule 2: Nice vests are also important.  Rule 3: Stoic looks are absolutely necessary.  Rule 4: The Ladies love a six-shooter on your belt.  Rule 4: Pocketwatch and chain optional.  Rule 5: Leather chaps are not required, but they sure do look good.  Rule 6: Never underestimate a lens flare.  Rule 7: Try to channel Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford, because those dudes know how to pose for a sweet-ass poster.

When Benedict Cumberbatch's potential involvement in The Hobbit was revealed several weeks ago, the big question – aside from whether or not he would actually appear – was who exactly the British actor would play in Peter Jackson's two-part adaptation of the novel by JRR Tolkein.  Given Cumberbatch's cheekbones and poise, it seemed possible that he would adopt an elfin persona, but alas, his role is far more important.  In fact, his roles are more important. Not only is Cumberbatch confirmed to appear in the films, but he'll voice two separate and significant characters: the dragon Smaug and the Necromancer.

Rogue of the Week: Peter Sarsgaard

Thursday, 16 June 2011 17:40

As Hal Jordan,  the hero of Green Lantern, leading man Ryan Reynolds sports a CGI supersuit, flies around the cosmos engaging in derring-do, and of course, gets the girl, played by Blake Lively.  While he's doing that, Peter Sarsgaard is playing Dr. Hector Hammond, a scientist whose contact with the entity Parallax turns him from an ordinary guy with a bad haircut and a worse mustache into a cackling menace who looks like the Elephant Man's evil cousin.  Guess which actor walks away with the movie?  For his performance in Lantern, and his years as an invaluable scene-stealer, Peter Sarsgaard is our latest Rogue of the Week.

Many fans of JK Rowling's novels were upset when the feature adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince did not end with the brief Hogwarts wand battle that capped off the book.  Director David Yates felt that such an action sequence would detract from the Battle of Hogwarts, which serves as the climax for the entire series.  Based on the final trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Yates needn't have worried.  The battle looks suitably spectacular, with Daniel Radcliffe's Harry engaged in a brutal, drawn out showdown with Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his Death Eaters.  See all the epic action for yourself.

The Hobbit, Peter Jackson's two-part adaptation of the Lord of the Rings prequel novel by JRR Tolkein, has been in production for almost three months now, but a major role had, until today, yet to be cast.  The role in question is Bard the Bowman, the last king of Dale, a small city of men in Middle Earth.  The grim-faced Bard, who will play a major part in the second film, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will be played by Welsh actor Luke Evans.

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