Archive for October, 2013

Fox released the first trailer for their much hyped and anticipated trailer to the X-Men: First Class sequel, X-Men: Days of Future Past, yesterday.  While the trailer doesn’t show much action or special effects (probably because the effects have not been finalized yet) the trailer opts to play on the dramatic flare.

The trailer focuses on old Professor Charles Xavier – Sir Patrick Stewart – and old Magneto – Sir Ian McKellen – enlisting older Wolverine to go back in time to convince young Charles Xavier that fighting for mutant rights is the right way to go.

We don’t see much of Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) or any Sentinels, but we see much of the old gang and some new characters making their debut.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is out in May 2014.

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Everyone loves them a jackass, well all things considered this weekend audiences loved Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa.  Johnny Knoxville dons the old makeup and pulls some pranks on unsuspecting real people in this weekend’s top grosser.  It’s not that I don’t like the Jackass films or anything of the sort, I just don’t understand how so many people can flock to the movie theaters – while paying $10+ for a movie ticket – to see a film about a guy who dresses up like a perverted old man.  It’s baffling, but oh well.  The film pulled in a whooping $32M over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Second at the box office this weekend is the mega-hit Gravity, which has totaled nearly $200M, made $20M.  After having a budget of $100M, there were some in the business that didn’t think the film would make back its budget.  It’s amazing that the film has done so well.  It’s an even bigger feat that that for three weeks now the film has surpassed everyone’s expectations.  With it’s dominant showing at the box office you can be assured that Gravity is your Best Picture Oscar front runner.

Coming in at third this weekend at the cinema is the Tom Hanks biopic Captain Phillips, which has done extremely well considering it debuted only a week after Gravity.   The film made $11.8M this weekend and has grossed over $70M while having a budget of $55M.  It’s generally expected that Captain Phillips will creep over the $100M mark at some point before Christmas and once that happens you can officially enter it in the Best Picture sweepstakes.

Rounding out the top five was Ridley Scott’s critically panned flop The Counselor and the mildly successful sequel Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.  The film’s made $8M and $6M respectively.

Here’s the full top 10:

*Numbers in millions* (TOTAL)

1) Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa – $32 (NEW)

2) Gravity – $20.3 ($199.8)

3) Captain Phillips – $11.8 ($70)

4) The Counselor – $8 (NEW)

5) Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 – $6.1 ($100.6)

6) Carrie – $5.9 ($26)

7) Escape Plan – $4.3 ($17.4)

8) 12 Years a Slave – $2.1 ($3.4)

9) Enough Said – $1.5 ($13)

10) Prisoners – $1 ($59.1)

 

Via Box Office Mojo

Marvel released the debut trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier today to much anticipation.  The trailer, which showcases all sorts of action, features a heavy dose Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson as well as Chris Evans, however we don’t get the opportunity to see much of Anthony Mackie’s character The Falcon – which is disappointing.

We also get a glimpse at The Winter Soldier, who is the film’s main nemesis – which is exciting.

The movie is out in April 2014.

Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man isn’t slated for release until 2015 but Marvel is quite busy – at least at the rumor bin – rounding up actors to star in the film.  While certain rumors have suggested that popular actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt is lined up to play scientist Hank Pym, aka Ant-Man, Marvel Studio president Kevin Feige seems to like funny man Paul Rudd a bit better.

While Gordon-Levitt has denied the rumors that he’s in the running for the role, Feige was more forthcoming – but not by much.

“Nothing is true yet,” Feige said. “I like Paul Rudd, too.”

Paul Rudd is a particularly interesting choice as he’s not known – at all – as any type of action actor.  As a matter of fact, Rudd has never appeared in an action film.  However, he fits the mold of an Edgar Wright chosen actor – much like Simon Pegg.  Nothing’s been confirmed, but I would expect Rudd to be announced as Pym sooner rather than later.

Another actor being heavily eyed for a role in Wright’s Ant-Man is actress Rashida Jones.  Jones’ is being rumored for the role of Janet Van Dyne.  Van Dyne is the alter ego of The Wasp – both Van Dyne and Pym are founding members of the original Avengers in the comics.  The two originally get their powers from the same place and later get married.  However, it remains to be seen how Wright and Whedon follow the comic story arc.

Rashida Jones and Paul Rudd have a long working relationship as both have co-starred together in a handful of roles.  I Love You, Man and Our Idiot Brother are their most notable roles together.   The site to which the rumor originated from doesn’t have any sort of credible track record for breaking news, which seems questionable in of itself.  However, this is a rather low-key “breaking news” story for a site to hang their hat on, so we shall see.

Via CinemaBlend

 

With the economy in the crapper, a flux in terrible films, and rising ticket prices – there’s not a whole lot of good reasons to go to the movie theaters these days.  However, once every blue moon there comes along a film that is so well done, so mesmerizing, so beautiful – in the literal sense – that the only place it can be seen is on the big screen.  Gravity is that film.  An ode to traditional cinema, back to an age where films made you believe you were transported to the locale.  Gravity is beautiful, capturing, chilling, scary, and lonely – all rolled into one.  It’s the perfect film.  And the first place you should see it is on a screen so big you feel as if you were in space yourself.

Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity, a film about two astronauts stranded in space after a shuttle mission gone wrong, is shot with impeccable direction and artful movement.  It’s Cuaron’s attention to detail – no matter how minor – that really make the film worth seeing.  Make no mistake, the star of the film is Sandra Bullock’s character – mission specialist Dr. Ryan Stone – but Cuaron behind the camera steals the show.

The film starts off with nearly 10 minutes of straight shot, meaning you’re seeing 10 minutes of straight footage, no editing, no splicing just footage.  And it’s the first 10 minutes that set the tone for the rest of the film.  We’re briefly introduced to Bullock’s character, who is on her first spacewalk attempting to fix the Hubble telescope and George Clooney’s character – mission commander Lt. Matt Kowalski – who is on his final space flight before retirement and is attempting to break the record for longest spacewalk.  It’s a three man job, but we’re never introduced to the third astronaut before things go completely wrong.  A Russian satellite is blown up by a missile sending debris into orbit and heading straight for the space crew.  Next thing you know the debris is traveling at ten times the speed of a bullet and destroys the shuttle and sends Stone spinning out of control – untethered – into space.  The only survivors are Stone and Kowalski and the rest of the film, which clocks in at a superior running time of only one hour and thirty minutes.

One of the film’s most intricate moments comes with Stone’s character spinning out of control into space with Clooney talking to her through her earpiece telling her she needs to calm down and tell him her coordinates.  It’s an overwhelming task for someone on their first spacewalk but Bullock handles the character with such ease and fluid movements its as if we’re never really sure if her character is going to make it but we have faith.  By the time the film reaches the halfway point, your blood pressure will probably already be on the rise.  That’s Cuaron’s point.  He wants the audience to feel like they are there, that they are the same survival mission as Stone and Kowalski.  He succeeds over and over and over, almost to the point where you don’t want to participate in trying to survive anymore.  You’re as tired as the characters, your will has already been tested more than you thought possible (for a movie).  It’s the first time I’ve ever wanted to give up on a movie for a character – and that’s a magical thing when discussing cinema.

We’ve always been taught that movies are meant to take you away from your everyday worries and teleport you to a time and place that only in your mind is possible.  Well, now we can say that film has succeeded.  Gravity is a throw back film with state-of-the-art visuals and cinematography.  It’s the first film I’ve seen since James Cameron’s Avatar (and James Cameron wishes he could have directed a film this good with all of his nifty film gadgets) that completely revolutionizes the use of 3D technology.  There are no three dimensional gimmicks in Gravity, just visual enhancers that make you more apart of the film than without them.  It’s really the only to see the movie in a theater.

The film, in all of its glory, has its flaws (besides some realism inconsistencies – I’ll never hold a film accountable for that) such as the cheesy dialogue that goes on throughout.  Did George Clooney’s character really have to be written as George Clooney playing Matt Kowalski playing George Clooney?   How come we didn’t get more of a backstory to Ryan Stone’s motivation for isolation?  We’re told she once had a daughter but she died unexpectedly – “I had a daughter once, she died.  She was playing at school, fell and hit her head, and that was it.  Stupidest thing ever.”  I’m pretty sure I got that quote right, but really?  The way Bullock expresses the sentiment, it makes it seem like it was just another thing to her.  Maybe that’s the point.  Maybe Stone is so over life that she’s just “spacewalking” through it hoping she’ll one day get to see her daughter again.  The way the scene is written gave me a bad taste in my mouth because Stone later pulls emotions for her daughter’s passing as motivation to survive.   It’s a conflicted script point, but minor in the grand scheme of things.

We’re never told the complete backstory to the characters, but really, it’s not needed.  They are astronauts for crying out loud.  We don’t need to know how they know how to do something, they wouldn’t be in space if they didn’t know how to pilot an escape pod.  Kowalski isn’t in the film enough for a backstory.  It’s Bullock’s film and she makes the most out of it.

Gravity is the first heavy Academy Award contender – for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress – all of which I expect nominations for.  It’s a beautiful scary film in which you should pay the $20 to see in an IMAX 3D theater, because you owe it to films of generations past that inspired it.

The first teaser trailer for next summer’s blockbuster destruction flick, Godzilla, has been leaked – Warner Bros. does have plans to officially release the trailer at some point today though.

The teaser showcases a lot of smashed buildings and trains and destruction as a whole while the voice of Robert Oppenheimer plays over the footage.  Oppenheimer was the leader of the Manhattan Project and one of the main inventors of the atomic bomb.  Here’s the quote in full:

We knew the world would not be the same. Few people laughed, few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.

Godzilla stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Bryan Cranston.  It’s out next summer.

It’s always a good day when Sam Jackson is out in the world breaking big casting news.  The long time actor, and current cast as Nick Fury, has confirmed that talented young actress Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) has been cast in The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron to play the role of The Scarlet Witch, sister to the character Quicksilver.

Jackson let the casting news slip during an interview about his upcoming cameo on the ABC action series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., when asked about Age of Ultron, Jackson stated;

”I know we’re shooting in London, that James Spader is Ultron and going to be the bad guy, and that we added Ms. [Elizabeth] Olsen [who will play the Scarlet Witch], but I don’t know what she’s doing, if she’s on the inside or the outside. I haven’t seen a script.”

Olsen isn’t as well known as her two older twin sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley, but she’s by far the most talented and far better looking of the bunch.  She’s been in a number of indie hits – including the critically acclaimed Martha Marcy May Marlene and Peace, Love and Misunderstanding.  She was also in the main-stream horror title Silent House and stars in the upcoming Spike Lee remake Old Boy and next summer’s blockbuster Godzilla.  However, this is Olsen’s first foray into the action genre and a role in an ensemble this big.  I don’t know if Olsen has ever been approached about starring in more mainstream films or even the action genre itself, I do know that households will soon know her name.

The Scarlet Witch has the ability to create hexes and manipulating probability but other than that she’s a rather bland mutant character, however it’s her association with her brother, Quicksilver, that makes her most interesting.  The character of Quicksilver does not have a confirmed actor as of yet, but negotiations have begun with Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Kick-Ass) to play the role.  It’s unconfirmed what roles the two characters will play as it concerns to The Avengers and whether or not they will be associated with the group or Ultron – the films villain.

The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron is out in 2015.

 

Via CinemaBlend