ConnectiCon Happens this Weekend

ConnectiCon runs from Friday, July 13 through Sunday, July 15 at the Connecticut Convention Center, located at 100 Columbus Blvd. in Hartford.

Convention guests include Amanda Winn Lee, Jim Cummings, and Margaret Killjoy. For a complete list and guest bios, click here.

The convention brings people the RKO Army, out of Rhode Island, which will perform scenes from the Joss Whedon Universe and “Repo.” There are also events such as ComicStripTease and Cosplay Chess. For a complete list, click here.

According to its website, “ConnectiCon is New England’s ONLY massively, multi-genre pop culture convention, the convention’s focus is on all things pop culture and does every genre of pop culture in as big a way as possible.”

For more information about the convention, click here.

‘Avengers’ DVD Arrives this Fall

THE RECORD-SHATTERING MOVIE

ASSEMBLES AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE ON BLU-RAY 3D™, BLU-RAY™, DVD, DIGITAL & ON-DEMAND on SEPTEMBER 25, 2012

And For The First Time Ever, Marvel Launches An All-New Second Screen App That Provides Fans With Unprecedented Access To Exclusive Content

BURBANK, Calif. June 29, 2012— Coming this fall, the third highest-grossing movie of all time and the #1 movie in the world, “Marvel’s The Avengers” assembles as you’ve never seen it before on Blu-ray 3D™, Blu-ray™, DVD, Digital and On-Demand platforms on September 25, 2012. In anticipation of this release, Marvel is also launching an all-new App in July – “The Avengers Initiative: A Marvel Second Screen App” (available for the first time on iPhone) – that gives fans unprecedented access to exclusive content building up to the home entertainment release.

The announcement comes as Marvel’s The Avengers crossed the incredible $600 million domestic box office threshold on June 26 – only the third film in history to do so. It has now grossed an estimated $1.44 billion globally.

Providing viewers with the ultimate in-home experience, the premium 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack provides 5-unique ways to enjoy Marvel’s The Avengers (on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy and Digital Download of “Avengers Assembled” Music from and inspired by the film) and brings to life the Super Hero team-up of a lifetime in a whole new dimension on Blu-ray hi-def with stunning visual effects, superior sound and unparalleled bonus content.

Extras include a gag reel, a first for a Marvel Studios film, the chance to hear from the cast and Joss Whedon on their experiences in bringing these larger than life characters to the big screen, a behind-the-scenes look at the groundbreaking visual effects and stunning cinematography, the creation of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Helicarrier, Soundgarden’s “Live to Rise” Music Video, deleted scenes and more!

Also for the first time ever, fans will be able to enjoy even more of the Marvel Universe via the all-new “The Avengers Initiative: A Marvel Second Screen App.” By downloading this onto a secondary device, consumers will be able to gain unprecedented access to exclusive content building up to the home entertainment release on September 25. Pieces will be unleashed bi-weekly in July & August and weekly in September leading up to a full immersive experience accompanying the film on Blu-ray. Content includes special access to the S.H.I.E.L.D. database, becoming a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, invitations to “special missions” either remotely or in the field, links to character profiles, stories and scenes, interactive Marvel digital reader comic books and more. App owners will receive push notifications whenever new content is uploaded and available for their viewing.

The full range of Marvel’s The Avengers home entertainment offerings and bonus features are as follows:

PACKAGING & BONUS FEATURES:

4-Disc Combo Pack (Blu-ray 3D+Blu-ray+DVD+Digital Copy+Digital Download of the “Inspired By” album)

Bonus Includes:

  • Second Screen
  • Assembling the Ultimate Team
  • A Visual Journey
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Audio Commentary—With Joss Whedon
  • Soundgarden Music Video—“Live to Rise”
  • And more!

2-Disc Combo Pack (Blu-ray + DVD)

Bonus Includes:

  • Same as the 4-Disc Combo Pack above

1-Disc DVD

Bonus Includes:

  • Assembling the Ultimate Team
  • Audio Commentary—With Joss Whedon

High-Definition & Standard Definition Digital

Bonus Includes:

  • Second Screen
  • Assembling the Ultimate Team
  • A Visual Journey
  • Gag Reel
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Soundgarden Music Video—“Live to Rise”
  • And more!

DISC SPECIFICATIONS:

Street Date:                       September 25, 2012

Suggested Retail:    4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack = $49.99 U.S./$59.99 Canada

Pricing:          2-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack =$39.99 U.S./$46.99 Canada

1-Disc DVD = $29.99 U.S./$35.99 Canada

Digital & On-Demand = please check with your television provider or favorite digital retailer for pricing

Feature Run Time:    143 Minutes

Ratings:       U.S.: PG-13 (bonus features not rated)

Aspect Ratio:     Blu-ray & DVD = 1.78:1

Audio:     Blu-ray 3D & Blu-ray 2D = English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, French-Canadian 7.1 DTS-HDHR, Latin Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital

DVD = English/Latin Spanish/French Canadian 5.1 Dolby, English DVS 2.0 Dolby Digital

Languages/Subtitles:      English, French & Spanish

Social Media:

Stay connected with the latest news and information about Marvel’s The Avengers:

ABOUT MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS

Marvel Studios presents Marvel’s The Avengers—the team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgard and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and directed by Joss Whedon, Marvel’s The Avengers is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series The Avengers, first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Marvel’s The Avengers is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures. The film was produced by Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige and executive produced by Alan Fine, Jon Favreau, Stan Lee, Louis D’Esposito, Patricia Whitcher, Victoria Alonso and Jeremy Latcham. The story was by Zak Penn and Joss Whedon and the screenplay was by Joss Whedon. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the film smashed the industry record for the biggest domestic opening of all time with $207.4M, crossed the $1 billion global box office threshold in 19 days, and currently stands as the #3 global and domestic release of all time.

ABOUT MARVEL ENTERTAINMENT, LLC

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world’s most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com.

ABOUT THE WALT DISNEY STUDIOS:

For more than 85 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under the following banners: Disney, including Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios; Disneynature; Marvel Studios; and Touchstone Pictures, the banner under which live-action films from DreamWorks Studios are distributed. The Disney Music Group encompasses the Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records labels, as well as Disney Music Publishing. The Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Disney on Broadway, Disney On Ice and Disney Live!.

‘Safe House’ Screenwriter Talks about His Heroes and His Movie

‘Safe House’ Screenwriter Talks about His Heroes and His Movie

by Jason Harris

What do actors Denzel Washington, Ryan Reynolds, and Nicolas Cage and directors Simon West and Antoine Fuqua all have in common? They all have worked on projects written by David Guggenheim.

Safe HouseGuggenheim’s first screenplay, Safe House, was just released on DVD this past Tuesday. This was his first spec script sold.

“I got spoiled with this one.”

According to Guggenheim, a spec script is a screenplay written by someone who is not getting paid for it.

“You can spend a year of your own time and still not get paid. But the good news is that you have a fully completed script as opposed to a pitch where you go in with a sort of broad idea. This is a good way of packaging your whole story.”

The screenplay was sold in February of 2010, which was two years and a day before it was released in theaters, Guggenheim said. It took him about three months to write it.

“I was running out of time. I had a kid literally coming around the corner. If I didn’t sell something I wasn’t sure if I would be able to sustain a full-time job and full-time family and a writing career.”

If a screenwriter is living in New York, a spec script is the way to break into Hollywood and get people excited, he said. He had been writing them for 10 to 12 years before selling his first one.

“I couldn’t even process what was happening,” Guggenheim said about the sale of his first screenplay.

According to Wikipedia, Safe House was Washington’s second highest grossing movie to date. Guggenheim is “really proud of [his movie].”

“I didn’t think it would make $40 million opening weekend. I’m happy people liked it.”

He believes Washington was the first one cast in the movie and Reynolds was cast second.

“I can’t imagine anyone else doing it,” Guggenheim said about Reynolds portraying Matt Weston. “I think you see a totally different side of Ryan that you don’t usually get to see.”

Guggenheim has been inspired by a number of Hollywood writers such as Robert Goldman, Robert Towne, Lawrence Kasdan, Shane Black, and Joss Whedon. He considers all these writers, “character driven writers who have written huge action movies.”

“All these guys are amazing teachers.”

He considers Shane to be living the writer’s life, whom he considers a person who went off to write his own movies, which started with Lethal Weapon.

“I like that his scripts are his voice,” he said about Black, who is “generating new original material.”

Whedon’s name came up because Guggenheim had recently seen The Avengers, which he considers “incredible writing.”

“This is writing you try to achieve.”

The advice to would-be writers is always “write what you know,” he said. He claims he “doesn’t really know that much.” He does have five movies from the 1970s that have inspired him. Those movies are Three Days of the Condor, The Parallax View, Marathon Man, All the Presidents’ Men, and The Conversation, which Guggenheim considers “incredible.”

His advice to writers is to “keep writing.”

“If one script doesn’t work for you, it doesn’t mean you are not a good writer. That script had issues. Learn from that and keep writing. Just don’t give up.”

Guggenheim has worked with Tony Scott and Ron Howard and is working with McG right now, but would love to work with Stephen Spielberg, he said. He loves working with other writers too.

“Those are my idols,” he said, referring to other writers. “I get much more nervous about meeting writers that I have been following then, like, the biggest director in Hollywood.”

This screenwriter doesn’t have any other aspirations other than to write.

“I would prefer just sitting in a room writing …”

Along with his next movie Stolen, which is in post-production, directed by West and starring Cage, he is co-writing a novel, Exile, with his friend, Nick Mennuti, which will be published by Little Brown.

This article appears on the DVD Snapshot website.

Experience ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ this Weekend

Experience The Cabin in the Woods this Weekend

by Jason Harris

It has been two years since the little mutant in the Mutant Enemy logo graced a screen, the small screen. It’s back and it’s on the big screen, which is great to see. From the moment The Cabin in the Woods starts, it doesn’t begin like a typical horror movie with the introduction of the potential victims the protagonists.

This movie begins like it does because it is written by Joss Whedon, creator of the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse, and Firefly and Drew Goddard, who wrote for both Buffy and Angel. They threw out the rule book because they don’t follow the rules. They want to be original. Whedon and Goddard fans know this.

The movie starts with Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under) and Bradley Whitford (The West Wing) in an underground location just having a conversation about consequences and a certain “scenario.” They could be two business men or friends just talking until Whedon alum Amy Acker (Angel, Dollhouse) shows up in her lab coat. I think Acker has kept the same wardrobe from her days on Angel and Dollhouse. The audience has no clue what is going on. After Acker appears on screen, it opens up numerous possibilities that these three characters are working at a research lab, at a government agency, or any other possibility that could cross a person’s mind. This question is eventually answered.

Fran Kraz (Dollhouse), another Whedon alum, portrays drug smoking Marty. He is smoking an interesting bong when he first arrives on the scene. He is the funniest character in the movie and is one of the five friends who go on vacation together. Marty and the other friends, who are portrayed by Kristen Connolly (As the World Turns), Chris Hemsworth (2009s Star Trek), Anna Hutchison (Wild Boys), and Jesse Williams (Grey’s Anamony), are introduced after the interesting set-up of the introduction of the movie’s title.

The other known face in the movie is Hemsworth who audiences will know as the title character in Thor. He will be back in theaters in May when Whedon’s The Avengers come out. He was filming this movie in 2009 when he received the title role in Kenneth Branagh’s Thor.

Tom Lenk (Buffy, Angel), another Whedon alum, makes an appearance in the movie playing a minor character, Ronald the Intern.

Just like any horror movie, you will start liking these characters and wish they could all survive, but you know that won’t happen. This is a horror movie after all and when you start out with five characters, you know that most of them will be dead by the end of the movie.

The movie has many great moments in it. There is one scene where all these monsters are locked up then get freed. There are recognizable monsters like the Wolfman, a giant cobra and this evil looking Transformer-type with multiple sawblades. When these monsters break free and people began to die, it is reminiscent of the Buffy episode, “Primeval,” where all hell breaks loose in the Initiative. This is the one scene in the movie that will require multiple viewings just to see every single creature causing mayhem.

If you like Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, you will love The Cabin in the Woods. It is filled with his style of humor and horror mixed together in one entertaining movie. This review is vague so it won’t ruin the movie for you and because one of the joys of this movie is experiencing it for the first time. Just sit back and enjoy the ride Whedon and Goddard take you on.

Two Actors Leave the Forest to Discuss ‘The Cabin in the Woods’

Two Actors Leave the Woods to Discuss The Cabin in the Woods

by Jason Harris

Actors Kristen Connolly and Fran Krantz. Photo by Jason Harris.

Kristen Connolly and Fran Krantz, two of the stars of The Cabin in the Woods, recently sat down in a Boston hotel to discuss their movie, which opens in theaters on Friday.

The movie was written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard and directed by Goddard.

Krantz thought the script was “perfect” while Connolly was “surprised” by it.

“I was blown away when I first read it,” Krantz said. “I worked with Joss so I expected it to be more than what the title suggested.”

He never could have predicted in his “wildest imagination” where this movie was going.

The Cabin in the Woods movie poster. Photo by Jason Harris.

“The poster says, you think you know the story, but it couldn’t be more accurate,” Krantz said.

As Connolly was reading the script, it was hard for her to picture some parts including the scene where her character is getting the crap beat out of her, she said. But in the finish product, the music in that scene is “really amazing.”

Krantz felt such a strong connection to the script and felt an “ownership” to it, which he considers “rare in an actor.”

“It was difficult if I didn’t get it, it was going to haunt me for the rest of my life because I loved the movie so much on paper.”

Even though the movie was shot in 2009, Krantz never lost faith that it would see the inside of a movie theater even though other people didn’t think it would.

“I knew how good the movie was,” Krantz said. “I was always confident that it would come out. It’s satisfying now that you can already feel the buzz around it.”

Connolly said, “it was cool to watch [the movie] at South by Southwest. It was so crazy, it was like a rock show. There was cheering and laughing. It was so cool that there was so much energy in that room. It was a truly extraordinary experience.”

Both Connolly and Krantz auditioned for their parts in the movie. At the time, Krantz was working on Whedon’s newest television series, but that didn’t give him a leg up on anyone else.

“I auditioned like any other movie, which was weird since I was working on Dollhouse,” Krantz said.

When Goddard visited the set to talk over possible shooting locations with Whedon before Krantz even got a call about auditioning for a part, he walked over to where they were talking.

“I’m a big horror film fan so I just kind of wandered over. I wanted to see what they were talking about. They were looking at potential lakes for potential shooting locations.”

Krantz said, one of those locations was “the original Friday the 13th Camp Crystal Lake.”

“I started geeking out,” Krantz said. “I was a big fan of those movies.”

He told them it would be so cool if they would film the movie there, but the movie ended up being filmed in Vancouver.

Krantz and Connolly had good things to say about some of their co-stars.

“I think Richard [Jenkins] and Bradley’s [Whitford] performances are so funny,” Connolly said.

Krantz thought everyone on the movie brought their “’A’ game.”

Krantz said, “the performances are so great across the board.”

During filming, he saw the dailies of co-star Chris Hemsworth and thought he was “a movie star.” Hemsworth received his role in Thor and the Red Dawn remake while filming The Cabin in the Woods. Chris’ younger brother, Liam, was considered for the role of Thor first before it went to Chris, Krantz said.

“I know Joss called Kenneth Branagh and at some point it started shifting gears in his direction,” Krantz said. “I was not surprised at all.”

Connolly thought it was a great break and a “no brainer” that Hemsworth received the role of Thor.

The Cabin in the Woods is full of scares and fears. Everything a person can be afraid of is in the movie, Connolly said.

“I think what I feel most afraid of is drowning or being buried alive.”

She mentioned a particular scene in the movie where she is in a pond. She also found it hard to watch the scene in Kill Bill:Vol. 2, where Uma Thurman’s character is buried alive.

“I have to get up and leave the room because [that scene] is so intense,” Connolly said about Kill Bill.

The fear that bothers Krantz is “claustrophobia.”

The Descent killed me because of that. The monsters were scary, but I was far more uncomfortable with the earlier tight space moments.”

You can travel tomorrow to see what fears The Cabin in the Woods contains when it opens in theaters nationwide.

Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods Looks Like Every Horror Movie (You’re Gonna Love It)

This article originally appeared on Wired.com.

Joss Whedon’s Cabin in the Woods Looks Like Every Horror Movie (You’re Gonna Love It)

by Angela Watercutter

The new trailer for the Joss Whedon-produced film The Cabin in the Woods comes stamped with the very evocative message “You think you know the story….” It’s a tease of the best kind because the fact that the first trailer looks like every horror film ever made is what makes it look so freaking awesome.

The movie’s premise is simple: A group of friends go to a very remote cabin in the woods for a weekend of fun. The group (lead by a pre-Thor Chris Hemsworth) gets a little lost, but then the semi-friendly owner of a dilapidated country store helps them find their way to their decidedly freaky-looking shack.

Then, get this, the store owner says, “The lambs have passed through the gate. They’re come to the killing floor.” Things proceed to go wrong — very, very wrong (and very weird). Marilyn Manson’s “I Put a Spell on You” (from the Lost Highway soundtrack, obviously) is playing in the background. It’s so on-the-nose it’s really hard not to feel like you’re watching it at a junior-high sleepover.

But this is a film co-written by Whedon with Cloverfield/Lost/Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Drew Goddard, who also directed the movie. All the predictability feels very intentional, and it’s hard not to imagine that when things get even worse for your pretty young things that there will be great horror moments of the highest order (our guess is that the hot doctor from Grey’s Anatomy — Jesse Williams — eats it first). Also, there are some unexplained shots of a mission-control-type place — the kind of high-tech headquarters that typically aren’t seen in your run-of-the-mill horror flick.

There will also be plenty of tongue-in-cheek lines like, “We have to stay together,” and lots of winks to the audience. We’re counting on the stoner friend to be the narrator who points out all things intentionally over-the-top.

And since it’s a Whedon-and-Goddard production, we’re also expecting the third act to be more surprising than even this twisted teaser lets on. As the trailer notes, you might think you know the story, but “think again.”

The Cabin in the Woods hits theaters April 13, 2012.