31 July 2013

American Hustle Trailer


The critical and commercial successes of The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook have made David O. Russell is a major name to look for in awards season now. American Hustle will be one of the major contenders this winter and the number one reason is that it features one hell of a cast made up of Russell regulars Bale, Cooper, Lawrence and Adams. The Abscam Sting of the 1970s is a juicy story and, judging from the trailer, this cast and crew is going to make a winner out of it.

30 July 2013

X-Men: Days of Future Past Reveals Its Villains


We got a few small looks at the future foes of the X-Men at Comic-Con, but this newly released viral video is a plug for Trask Industries, the company founded by Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage), creator of the sentinels. How big the finished products will look in Bryan Singer‘s X-Men: Days of Future Past isn't certain yet, but there appears to be a discrepancy between the size of the sentinel in the video and the sentinels in the photos from the Trask Industries site.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is scheduled to hit theatres May 23, 2014.




23 July 2013

2013: The Year of the Sequel


You’re bound to be excited by the prospect of some of the great sequels that are due to hit the big screen over the remainder of 2013 if you love film, and probably even if you don’t.

First up is Monsters University the eagerly awaited sequel to Monsters Inc. Billy Crystal and John Goodman return to voices of Mike and Sulley but, despite the sequel hitting the screens 12 years after the original, Hollywood’s two favourite animated monsters appear younger than before. That’s because audiences are getting the chance to see how Mike and Sulley first met at university whilst taking Scaring Degrees – what’s not to like!


X-Men fans we also be delighted to see Hugh Jackman return as Wolverine for the sixth time in The Wolverine; a film which is likely to see the part-man, part-adamantium comic-book hero slaying some bad guys.


The hugely popular trio of ageing spies Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malcovich return in Red 2, this time with the added bonus of Anthony Hopkins playing the film’s baddie this time and Catherine Zeta Jones also shows up.


Peter Jackson hits us with the second part of his Hobbit trilogy The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug – and another fantastic CGI epic hobbit/dwarf adventure beckons.


Talking of Jacksons, Percy Jackson is also setting out on a new adventure in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters when the intrepid young hero goes in search of the fabled Golden Fleece.
Other great shouldn’t-miss sequels include Despicable Me 2, Kick Ass 2, Riddick, Paranormal Activity 5, Thor: The Dark World, Jack Ryan, The Best Man 2, 300: Rise of an Empire, Cloudy 2: Revenge of the Leftovers, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, and Anchorman 2.

And don’t forget you can catch-up with these movies online with all the prequels at LOVEFiLM, Netflix or another streaming service before you start enjoying the movie madness 2013 has to offer.

20 July 2013

Avengers Gets Official Title


While there was no line-up of all the Avengers as there was in 2011, director Joss Whedon made waves as he took the stage and announced the official title, and with it, the villain of the upcoming film. Ultron is a new name to many mainstream Marvel fans so the recent ten issue run also titled "Age of Ultron" is more than likely serve as an introduction to the baddie. If that run of comics is any indicator, Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) and co. will have much more to worry about than a partially destroyed New York City, especially with Whedon's penchant for killing off characters.

Avengers: Age of Ultron is scheduled to hit theatres in May 1, 2015.

New Comic-Con Trailer for 'Catching Fire'


Lionsgate released a new trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire today at Comic-Con. If you thought the first trailer wasn't tense enough, you'll enjoy this one which also features a ton of new footage from the film.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire hits theaters on November 22nd.

Hit Me With Your Best Shot #35

The game where I throw out one of cinema's more obscure quotes and you try to guess it. Readers are currently 25 for 34. Best of luck on this week's quote.

" I killed the president of Paraguay with a fork. How've you been?"

Batman/Superman Team-Up Could Arrive in 2015


Remember that scene in I Am Legend where Will Smith drives through a decimated New York City where a Batman and Superman film was teased? That could very soon become a reality.

According to a report by the LA Times, Warner Bros. will be announcing a Batman/Superman team-up that will follow Man of Steel.

Henry Cavill will reprise the Superman role, and Zack Snyder is slated to direct from a David Goyer script. There is no Batman at the moment, but Christian Bale is unlikely to don the cape and cowl again as he announced that he has moved on from the role recently. Christopher Nolan's involvement is not addressed, but it is expected that he will act as producer again. This move comes as a suprise as it was expected that a Man of Steel sequel and Batman reboot would take place prior to any film starring both icons.

Tentatively titled World's Finest, Warner Bros. is aiming for a 2015 release.

19 July 2013

House Party 5 Giveaway


Warner Bros. and PartnersHub are teaming up to host a giveaway for House Party 5. To promote the release of the film, PartnersHub put out this soundboard with unlockable GIFS exclusive to users of the app.

To win a copy of the movie, leave a comment (and email address to contact you) below by August 2nd and the winner will be notified.

Review: Red 2

 

Retirement didn't suit black-ops CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) well the first time he tried it and, in Red 2, it seems like domestic bliss with girlfriend, Sarah (Mary Louise Parker) isn't all it is cracked up to be. Frank is getting up there in years and shopping trips at CostCo is not how he wants to spend his remaining time on this Earth. Springing up from the tupperware, Marvin (John Malkovich) informs Frank that he won't have to.

A portable nuclear device, missing from the pages of history until WikiLeaks dragged it back up, is back on the market and just waiting for evildoers to destroy the world with it. Sensing an opportunity to get back in the game one more time, Frank reunites his crew of retired operatives for one last hurrah.

With Morgan Freeman and Ernest Borgnine missing in action, Anthony Hopkins and Byung Hun Lee are added as Dr. Bailey and a super assassin in a crisp suit, respectively.

The trio's little chase catches the eye of many international players and suddenly they wind up targeted by their former employers (again), with Victoria (Helen Mirren, smashing as always) given the contract this time around. Of course one assassin after Frank and Marvin just wouldn't do, so a legion of assassins, terrorists and corrupted government officials will have to suffice.

Sarah still plays the outsider as Frank and Marvin track the device around Europe while Willis's exasperated reactions to Malkovich's eccentricities prove to be as entertaining as ever. But the fun doesn't end there for Frank, he also gets to manage a relationship on the run as an old flame (Catherine Zeta-Jones) finds her way back into his life, much to Sarah's chagrin. The back and forth between the main cast is a rich well waiting to be returned to again and again.

No more fun could be derived from an action flick than placing acting greats in a completely tongue-in-cheek genre movie in which they can mug and chew scenery and have a blast doing so. Mirren, above all others, gets what Red is about and provides exactly what the audience wants: disposing of bodies in evening-wear, rifling at a picnic and taking part in car chases and so on. Watching Mirren relish in all of the shenanigans that older actresses aren't typically privy to is an unfettered joy.

As entertaining as this cast can be, the fact that Red 2 is almost a shot-for-shot recreation of the last film makes every high a little more disappointing when you feel it coming before it happens. Nowhere is this highlighted more than this move (that smacks of studio tinkering) where there are three recreations of the car spin from the predecessor. The plot is serviceable enough, but when you spend the entire film waiting for the next scene to thrill you only for it to be a repeat, it grows tiresome.

Red director Robert Schwentke is replaced by Galaxy Quest's Dean Parisot, which leaves the film a little more dull stylistically, but Parisot is right to place the focus on his crew of three Oscar winners, they can save the world, just not quite the film.

16 July 2013

Review: Pacific Rim

 The concept of monsters and giant robots bashing each other is certainly not new (Godzilla, several anime shows, etc.), but Pacific Rim has a secret weapon up its sleeve: Guillermo del Toro. Every picture Del Toro makes is infused with an enthusiasm for creatures and fantastical elements that could only come from the mind of the man who brought us Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy and Cronos.

In the year 2020, a collision of techtonic plates in the Pacific has created a breach in the Earth's crust releasing massive beasts called the "kaiju" that plague cities around the world. To combat the threat, humans build gigantic mechas (named jaegers) in hopes that they can ward off the monsters threatening humanity. Instead of remote operation, these mechas can only be operated by two pilots mentally linked in "drift space".

(As a quick aside, as cool as it looks for two people to pilot the jaegers, but why a robot needs a human to act out a punch in this age of remote control warfare is just a little puzzling.)

The Jaegers prove to only delay the destruction a little longer and in the midst of the chaos, world leaders decide to shelter themselves inside kaiju-proof compounds. It goes without saying that these kaiju-proof compounds work in name only and with the jaegers out of operation, there aren't many options left.

Marshal Stacker Pentecost (Idris Elba) crafts a plan to use nukes to close the breach from the inside. To do so, he needs to convince former jaeger pilot Raleigh Beckett (Charlie Hunnam), to end a self-enforced exile and partner up with Pentecost's assistant, Mako (Rinko Kikuchi). Even if Pentecost manages to bring Raleigh onboard, the odds look slim, the only weapon at their disposal is an obsolete jaeger.

It was proposed by critics that the thrill of Pacific Rim would be less palpable because of the Transformers series, but those critics were very wrong. The fight scenes are beautifully choreographed, with each kaiju battle unique in its aesthetic, placing the audience right into the heart of the action. Everything is shot cleanly, without any of the shaky-cam mess or the extreme close-ups that diminish the grand scale with which everything unfolds. So thanks should be given to del Toro's regular cinematography Guillermo Navarro as well as editors John Gilroy and Peter Amundson for capturing the essence of a movie featuring giant robots should be.

Pacific Rim doesn't just shine in its action, but it also beats Transformers in another aspect where that franchise failed: humanity. The human factor that was completely missing in Michael Bay's efforts, is available in abundance with their central cast proving to be very capable in creating characters worth caring about. del Toro's picture succeeds because Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi and Idirs Elba take characters frequented in many pictures and layer them with charm, warmth and unity. When an audience is watching robots beat up monsters it's easy to forget the human stakes involved, but with this talented cast, that is never a worry.

That's not to say the film works completely. Years worth of character backgrounds and initial battles are fit into a 20 minute prologue and while that part works fine, the rhythm is lost afterward. Leaving sags during the film where it feels like del Toro is just following a blueprint with story elements feeling too similar to moments other big-budget flicks. Luckily, the highlight of the action sequences and the cast outweigh any of those problems.

Traditionally, Guillermo del Toro films tend to be more rewarding when they are on a more intimate scale, but Pacific Rim is... not really intimate. Still, with all that spectacle onscreen, it's hard to take in this clash of mechanical and monstrous titans without enjoying yourself. Monster movies like this are seldom seen anymore, but del Toro's child-like glee offers a promise to the audience: you will have a blast.

12 Years a Slave Trailer


The first trailer for 12 Years a Slave was released today and it offers the first look at the footage of Steve McQueen's capturing of Solomon Northup's harrowing true story of living in captivity for twelve years before obtaining his freedom.

McQueen's last two films haven't fared well during Oscar season, but given the cast and the prestigious material, this should be the film that catches the Academy's eye for McQueen.

15 July 2013

New Concept Art Features Captain America and The Winter Soldier


Entertainment Weekly has released some unseen concept art from the upcoming Marvel picture Captain America: The Winter Soldier and it promises a showdown of outstanding proportions. Captured in the chaos below is Cap (Chris Evans) going toe-to-toe with The Winter Soldier in a match-up that we will have to wait another nine months or so to see. Of all the phase two movies Marvel has launched thus far, this is perhaps the most appealing and I can't wait to see what directors Joe and Anthony Russo can do with a political thriller set within the confines of the Marvel universe.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theatres April 4, 2014

11 July 2013

Make a Difference with Givver


Givver.com is awesome. It enables you to donate quickly and easily to your favorite causes with a single tweet! Whether it’s a non-profit, educational, or political organization you want to support, Givver is here to help you fund and raise awareness for the issues that matter, all by simply using Twitter. 

Givver is a great way to show your friends, family, and followers on Twitter that you care in a tech-savvy way! Let's all tweet to #give to at least one organization that needs our help by using Givver and make social giving go viral this Social Media Giving Day on!

Post your twitter handle below and the contestant who tweets the most about their cause can win a Givver #Give Limited Edition T-shirt and sticker for their effort. Hurry though, the contest ends on July 18th.

Another Look at Electro in Amazing Spider-man 2


Entertainment Weekly offers us another look at Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Spider-man (Andrew Garfield) in this week's Comic-Con issue. Spider-man fans have already gotten a look at Jamie Foxx's Electro earlier this year, but the new cover has a much better with all of the post-production effects added. The blue-skin Electro has looks vaguely like Mr. Freeze from Batman and Robin, but as long as there aren't any shockingly awful puns, I think they will be ok.

10 July 2013

The Politics of Ender's Game

At a Comic-con panel for Summit Entertainment's Ender's Game there is a noticeable absence at their table, writer of the novel, Orson Scott Card. The reason is not sickness, or that the writer is uncomfortable in public arenas, the reason is that Card is has made a spectacle of himself regarding his anti-gay beliefs. Card being asked to stay home isn't a surprise (he was also let go by DC Comics after the announcement that he would be the lead writer for a new Superman comic) but Ender's Game is a much more public platform.

Backlash will continue against Card as promotions for the film begin to ramp up, but he can't be hidden from the media forever, and even if he could, the boycott of the film won't go away.

Card isn't the first person in filmmaking with a controversial opinion (screenwriter Roberto Orci believes that the U.S. government was behind 9/11 and the Boston Marathon horrors), but his entrenched position in his beliefs and his need to be very vocal about those beliefs may exacerbate the matter. Oddly enough, no fuss was made when Orci announced he would be showing up at the panel.

Read more at GotchaMovies!

09 July 2013

Zeebox Shows Fans the Love

zeebox, the award-winning second screen companion app, today launched the “Get a Room!” contest to celebrate and reward TV watchers for their passion by inviting them to get creative with TV Rooms – the latest feature within the app allowing users to create vibrant communities around their favorite shows, stars and TV topics. zeebox is calling on all fans to create their own TV Rooms, share the love with comments, photos and videos, invite friends and earn the chance to win $10,000 for the most awesome TV Room. Leading up to the grand prize, zeebox is also giving away $1,000 per day for the next 30 days to TV Room members who create the biggest buzz in rooms.

How to Win

1. Any US-resident user of the free zeebox app for iPhone, iPad, Android or the web can take part. Make sure to download the latest version for the full set of TV Room features.

2.“Get A Room!” - The top TV Room will be selected by zeebox to win the grand prize of $10,000. Judges will select the winning TV Room based on three criteria: membership growth, highest quality of content (taking advantage of image, video, GIF and link-sharing) and greatest activity (volume of quality comments and posts). TV Rooms can be created around one show or a number of shows and unified by a show, star, topic, brand or broader theme (e.g. ‘Reality TV Lovers’).

3.“Show The Love” in a room to be eligible to be one of the thirty $1,000 daily winners. zeebox will be rewarding diversity including funniest, wittiest and most engaging posts, comments or image, video and link contributions as well as best sharing across a user’s social networks to bring others into the experience.

The winner of the “Get A Room!” $10,000 grand prize will be selected within five days of the close of the contest on August 9, 2013 and will be notified within 10 business days via a notification in the zeebox app.

For more information, visit zeebox.com

05 July 2013

Why Box-Office Shouldn't Matter


Disney's The Lone Ranger made a lot of news this week. Not because of glowing reviews, or even the controversy of Johnny Depp playing a Native American, the big news about Lone Ranger was its poor grosses from the weekend thus far.

The Lone Ranger only made $9.7 million on Wednesday, with many blaming the film poor performance on negative word of mouth from critics. The projected opening weekend take is around $50 million (BoxOffice.com), far below what Disney expected from the picture initially. This isn't the first time Disney has dealt with something like this--John Carter similarly flopped in theatres in 2012.

Read more at GotchaMovies

04 July 2013

The Best of Viggo Mortensen


You know him as Aragorn, but Viggo Mortensen is much more than that. He is a chameleon. Whether he be playing Satan, an unassuming diner owner, or a Russian hitman, Viggo Mortensen is one of today’s top actors around. Here’s a look at some of Viggo Mortensen’s best roles.

HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
Unassuming local Tom Stall inadvertently commits an act of heroism and sends shock waves throughout his community when the truth that comes to light isn’t as it seems. When a mobster (Ed Harris) comes through and starts posing questions about Tom’s ability to save the day, suddenly everything about Tom comes into question.

Read the rest over at Gotcha Movies!

Hit Me With Your Best Shot #34

The game where I throw out one of cinema's more obscure quotes and you try to guess it. Readers are currently 24 for 33. Last week was a tough one, so this week's quote should be a little easier.

Well, I don't want to be accused of micro-managing, but I cannot understand why I Heart Huckabees is on a list of DVDs considered suitable for armed forces entertainment.

03 July 2013

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Trailer


A very punny new trailer for the sequel to Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs was released today and the same zany brand of humor that made the first film so fun looks to be infused here as well. With Bill Hader off of Saturday Night Live now, we have to get our fix of him where we can.