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Peter Dinklage

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Immutantable Time.

The second trailer for Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past is now online, starring both the original and First Class crew of mutants.

Hrm…I could still see this one going either way. Next to the Dark Phoenix saga, Days of Future Past is probably the quintessential X-Men tale, but this seems overstuffed, and screenwriter Simon Kinberg’s work on X3 does not inspire confidence.

Update: The third trailer has now dropped as well, along with this spiffy “25 Moments” sites chronicling the recent milestones in mutant history, a la Watchmen.

Scorpy, Get Your Drums | Doctor & Danny.

“[T]he film would follow John and Aeryn’s son, D’Argo (or Little D, as we will always refer to him). Because their baby was exhibiting a set of interesting powers that made him a magnet for galactic villains, we find that John and Aeryn hide their son on Earth to grow up. Now the kid is 19 and ready to go into space with his parents.”

I’ll believe it when I see it. Nonetheless, word comes that a possible Farscape movie is in the works. “Monjo is [also] said to be writing a show that would star Dinklage as a dwarf detective for HBO.” Er…wouldn’t “detective for HBO” get the point across?

Also in Sci-Fi TV news, Peter Capaldi’s forthcoming Doctor gains an additional companion in Samuel Anderson. “Anderson will play Danny Pink, a teacher at Coal Hill School where companion Clara Oswald (Jenna Coleman) also teaches.” — Coal Hill also being the school the Doctor’s granddaughter attended way back in 1963. (Also not surprising that, to compensate for the lack of a “good boyfriend” doctor, they’d add an age-appropriate foil for Clara.)

Know Your Mutants.

Also in comic news, I forgot to post this last update: Empire issues 25(!) different character covers for Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, including, above, Ian McKellen’s Magneto, Peter Dinklage’s Bolivar Trask, and an admirably creepy Sentinel from the future. Some of these are better than others, and in all honesty I’d rather see Matthew Vaughn helming this project, but here’s hoping this is close to Singer’s X2.

They Stand Watch.

“As the world’s leading full-spectrum genetic security and containment company, Trask Industries continues to uncover new ways to control the mounting X-gene threat…Our goal is to solve tomorrow’s problems, today.”

Following up on last week’s posters, the X-Men: Days of Future Past viral campaign kicks off with a spiffy corporate website and commercial for Trask Industries (Note Peter Dinklage, in period ‘stache), along the lines of the pre-Prometheus commercial for David — and we all know how Prometheus turned out. Still I’m a sucker for Watchmen-style alternate history, like the Sentinel presiding over Ronald Reagan’s inauguration, above.

The Lion and the Mutants.

From facing off against the wolves of the north to battling a Canadian wolverine, word breaks that Peter Dinklage is set to play the villain in Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past. (That may mean he’s Sentinel creator Bolivar Trask, although the jury’s still out. Note also the Season 3 scar across Tyrion’s face above.)

I get the feeling X:DFP is either going to be amazing or an overstuffed Last Stand-like disaster. Still, it’s yet another testament to just how decisively fanboys have won the culture war when they’re making a movie of one of the most iconic X-Men tales with both casts from the previous films — the McAvoy/Fassbender/Lawrence team of First Class and the Stewart/McKellen/Jackman team of the first three films. An ensemble movie and no mistake.

Update: Even more X-Men: Now Singer is teasing the return of Cyclops and Jean Grey.

Hand of the King, Beware the Loose Seal.

I’ve been remiss here in posting anything here about HBO’s Game of Thrones, which I’ve been greatly enjoying over the past few months. (AMC’s The Killingless so. What a disaster that turned out to be.) So to remedy that, here’s Arrested Westeros, i.e. what happens you add House Bluth to the Lannister-Stark-Baratheon-Targaryen mix. I particularly like the one above and this one, and you can’t go wrong with any variation of “I’ve made a huge mistake.

In related Game of Thrones fun, see also: Stupid Ned Stark and One and a Half Man, the buddy-movie version of the story. As an aside, I think I’m going to continue into Season 2 without reading the books (or without reading past the first book, at any rate.) As someone who’s usually entering into these sorts of genre properties with full knowledge of the backstory and reams of preconceived expectations, it feels mighty strange to be on the other side of the fanboy/general audience divide for once, and I think I kinda like it.

Thrones, Pierces.

On the eve of Martin Scorsese’s Boardwalk Empire — premiering this Sunday — HBO shows off some of the goods in its 2011 hopper: Tom McCarthy’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones, with Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, Charles Dance, and Lena Headey, and Todd Haynes’ five-part take on James Cain’s Mildred Pearce, with Kate Winslet, Guy Pearce, and Evan Rachel Wood. I already did the re-up a month ago — looking forward to catching up with Treme — but I’m glad to see HBO plans to keep ’em coming.

No New Tale to Tell.

As I noted of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe back in 2005, I could take or leave the Narnia books as a child, even despite my inordinate fondness for Tolkien. I liked LWW well enough, but as the “Famous Five“-style adventure of that book yielded more to high fantasy, and particularly as the lion became more overtly arch-Christian in the later tomes, I pretty much tuned out of the series, and if I read the last few books, I don’t remember them at all. So it was that I ventured into Andrew Adamson’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian yesterday evening out a sense of fanboy dutifulness more than anything else. (Also, I’m not sure what it says of summer movie culture that this is the third review in three weeks that I’ve had to preface with an explanation of my relationship to the kid-oriented source material.)

In any event, dutiful is a good way to sum up Prince Caspian. It’s a competently-made fantasy-war film, and it hits all the beats I remember — In fact, unlike PJ’s LotR, the best parts of the film may be the deviations from the book. But I found the overall experience somewhat lackluster and prosaic, and I had the vague sense throughout of being forced to watch a high-end BBC production of an acclaimed children’s fantasy novel in school somewhere. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure if that’s due to Adamson’s film or Lewis’ tome. Either way, unless you’re considerably more fond of the Narnia books than I (or are looking to prosletize to children) I’d probably skip it. Caspian isn’t a bad film per se — it just feels like a hollow one.

Prince Caspian begins with an eclipse, a birthing, a midnight assassination attempt, and a Ford of Bruinen-style horse race, all of which suggest that we’ve moved pretty far afield from the twee satyrs and beavers of the last Narnia outing into more Elizabethan fare. The target of said attempt is one Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes), the rightful heir to the Telmarine throne, who’s now been forced out of the picture by his uncle, Lord Miraz (Sergio Castellitto)…but not before being given a magical horn from the ancient days of yore. After being accosted by dwarves (Peter Dinklage, Warwick Davis), Caspian toots his own horn and, lo, we’re back with the Pevensie children — Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy — in wartime London, one year after the events of LWW. The horn’s spell soon shuttles the four back to Narnia (a good thing, since they seem to be having trouble adjusting to the real world)…but now it’s 1300 years after their last visit, the land has grown more savage, and the Narnians are all but extinct, thanks to the depredations of the Spaniards, uh, Telmarines. And so it falls upon the Pevensies to come to the aid of Caspian, and to try to make things right in their former kingdom. But where is Aslan? Only Lucy (Georgie Henley), the youngest, believes He still might around to help, here in this darkest hour of Narnia. But, who’s everyone else gonna believe? Lucy or their lion eyes?

What ensues, give or take some alpha-male grandstanding between Peter (William Moseley) and Caspian — and goo-goo-eyes made between Caspian and Susan (Anna Popplewell) — is basically a two-hour fantasy-war film: In other words, this is the Two Towers of the bunch, with sieges, cavalry, trebuchets, the whole nine. And, while it’s interesting to see how much Tolkien shared with and/or borrowed from his fellow Inkling — we have the dispossessed king of Men, a variation on the Ents, and the aforementioned Ford here — it’s hard not to get the impression that medieval fantasy-wars are a bit played out in cinema at the moment. Aside from a stealthy incursion upon the Telmarine fortress, one that ends rather horribly (and includes a minotaur pulling a Gan), there’s a lot of been-there, done-that to the proceedings here. And, despite the valiant efforts of Peter Dinklage (making a solid case that del Toro’s Hobbit might do well to take a page from Time Bandits when to comes to Thorin Oakenshield’s band), the cast from the rather-bland Caspian on down is mostly unmemorable, particularly compared to James McAvoy, Ray Winstone, et al from LWW. (And Eddie Izzard’s turn as a mouseketeer, basically Shrek‘s Puss-in-Boots spliced with the Ratatouille gang, reinforces the unfortunate sense that Caspian has mostly been beaten to the punch, film-wise.)

One of the best sequences in the film is a surprise appearance by Tilda Swinton’s White Witch (one apparently added by Adamson), which not only helps round out Edmund (Skandar Keynes)’s story arc from the first film but, for a few minutes, brings both personality and a real sense of menace to the tale. Otherwise, alas, Prince Caspian is mostly a lot of medieval grunting, centaurs and satyrs cheering, and we the audience waiting around for the inevitable leonis-ex-machina. O Lion, why has thou forsaken us?

Caspian See.

Timed to release with The Golden Compass this Friday, the trailer for Andrew Adamson’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian is now online. Liam Neeson and the kids are back again (if a little older), while replacing Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, and Ray Winstone in the support department are Ben Barnes (of Stardust), Warwick Davis, and Peter Dinklage (of The Station Agent.)

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