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    Friday
    Jun122015

    New Featurette Released for 'Terminator Genisys'

    A new featurette has been released for the upcoming 5th entry in the Terminator franchise, Terminator Genisys. While the one released a few days ago centered on series creator James Cameron singing the film's praise (which I'm still shocked about and you can view here), this one details Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 character, or 'Guardian/Pops' as he's referred too:

    As a lifelong, die-hard Terminator fan, I am still very much on the fence about this movie, deciding if I should jump in or bail the heck out. While the visuals from the footage seen do look great along with some of the casting being spot-on (Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor), I'm not sure what to make of the the whole Back to the Future Part II twist on the first two films to create this one.

    I like how the filmmakers involved are trying to honor the beloved The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, I'm just wary of them tarnishing the story from both those films by completely messing with that timeline. But as they say, that's Hollywood for you.

    One last thing, why has there been no footage shown of Matt Smith in this movie? You know, everyone's favorite Doctor Who who (no pun intended) hasn't been seen in any trailers or TV spots for this film. I remember last year when he was announced to be joining the cast, the studio never announced who he was playing and besides that awful Entertainment Weekly photoshoot the actors did last fall (see below), Mr. Smith has been nowhere to be found. I'm just surprised since the guy has a loyal following of fans who would be eager to see him in this movie if they actually knew he was in it. Maybe he's playing a surprise character and they're trying to keep it secret until the film's released? WHO knows (pun intended).

    Regardless, I very likely will be seeing Terminator Genisys opening weekend, I just hope it isn't a disappointment.

    The film opens Wednesday, July 1st starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Byung-hun Lee, J.K. Simmons and Matt Smith.

    Source: Paramount Pictures/Skydance Productions

    Tuesday
    Jun092015

    First Trailer for 'The Martian' Starring Matt Damon

    Matt Damon is in dire need of a hit, and so does Ridley Scott.

    Damon's last, real commercial and critical hit was The Bourne Ultimatum...and that was way back in 2007.  Sure, he's done True Grit (2010) and We Bought a Zoo (2011) since, but one was more so an ensemble piece while the other did only modest business (though I do like We Bought a Zoo a lot).

    Scott on the other hand - some would say - hasn't made a good movie since American Gangster (2007) and a great one since Black Hawk Down (2001).  That's almost a decade and a half ago, and the man has directed a lot since.

    Which brings us to The Martian.

    Based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, The Martian tells the story of astronaut Mark Watney, who's left for dead on Mars after the rest of his crew on a manned mission escapes during a fierce storm.  Armed with meager resources and facing overwhelming odds, Watney must find a way to survive on the lone, hostile planet and use his intellect to signal to Earth he is still alive.

    The first trailer hit yesterday, and for all intents and purposes, it looks terrific.  The visuals look stunning, the story looks engaging and the acting looks top notch.  I'm actually quite curious to read to book now too (though I guess that would spoil the movie).

    The Martian lands in theaters November 25th.

    You can see the aforementioned trailer below along with the film's official synopsis:

    During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, THE MARTIAN features a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.

    Source: 20th Century Fox

    Sunday
    Jun072015

    Final Trailer for 'Jurassic World'

    Jurassic World hits theaters this Friday, and Universal has released the final look we're going to get at the action-adventure flick before it opens.

    The promotion for the film has been excellent with the studio holding back on showing a lot of big moments (the original Park, the original T-Rex) while at the same time building excitement and enthusiasm for a franchise whose last entry came 14 years ago.

    Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard look like serviceable leads with new director Colin Trevorrow seemingly capturing the first film's action, spectacle and danger all-in-one.  Steven Spielberg is back as well, taking on an executive producer role this time around.

    The word on this film is it's moreso a direct sequel to the original Jurassic Park with a lot of nods and mentions to what took place in the first film, and what's resulted from all that over 20 years later.

    The first wave of reviews actually hit last week with the film's world premiere in Paris...and they were overwhelmingly positive.  See for yourself this Friday.

    You can watch the newest (and last) trailer below.

    Source: Universal

    Sunday
    Jun072015

    Synopsis for 'Independence Day 2' Revealed

    We're a little under a month away from the 4th of July so it seems fitting we get some Independence Day 2 news.

    With filming currently underway, the sequel hitting theaters next summer (20 years since the original) and pretty much all previous cast members returning EXCEPT Will Smith (though don't be shocked if he makes a surprise cameo at the end...I have a gut feeling about that), we finally have an official synopsis about what the film's about...though it is rather vague:

    After Independence Day redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

    Like I stated, vague, but it does indeed give us an idea of what the plot will be, centered on the world's use of left behind alien technology to move civilization forward.  Oh, and those damn aliens come back to try destroy humanity again.

    The original Independence Day is an American classic and probably the best disaster/alien invasion movie ever made.  It has action, humor and most importantly, heart.  I try to watch the film around every 4th of July because it really is the perfect summer movie.

    Director Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow, 2012) returns to helm the flick with original writer/producer Dean Devlin back as well.  Jeff Goldblum (David Levinson), Bill Pullman (now former President Thomas J. Whitmore), Vivica A. Fox (Jasmine), Brett Spiner (the doctor with the long white hair who you thought died in the first movie but seems he actually didn't) and Judd Hirsch (Jeff Goldblum's hilarious dad) are reprising their roles.  They're joined by new cast members Liam Hemsworth (former President Whitmore's son-in-law), Maika Monroe (former President Whitmore's now married daughter) and Jessie Usher (Will Smith's now grown-up step-son).

    Sorry for all the info there, but like the original, the sequel is an ensemble piece so there's many characters involved.  Here's hoping the sequel lives up to the first one.

    Independence Day 2 his theaters June 24th, 2016.

    Source: 20th Century Fox

    Sunday
    Jun072015

    New Trailer for 'Southpaw' Starring Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal is one of those actors who - over the past few years - seems to have finally figured things out and gotten his head on straight.

    After 2010's attempt to launch a big-budget franchise as an action star with Disney's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (which bombed both critically and commercially), Gyllenhaal decided to take a step back and focus on taking quality roles in smaller movies.

    While he finished out 2010 with the so-so romance/drama/comedy Love & Other Drugs (it didn't know what it wanted to be), as well as trying his hand as an action star again in the more modest hit Source Code in 2011, it was 2012 where Gyllenhaal started to hit his stride.

    He did the David Ayer drama, End of Watch, which garnered both surprising box office success and critical acclaim, followed by 2013's child abduction thriller, Prisoners, which paired him with Hugh Jackman to find his kidnapped daughter.  This film also received critical success and did a strong showing at the box office.  Then there was last year's Nightcrawler, which placed Gyllenhaal front and center as a slightly psychotic freelance photographer looking to make it big.  It was a neo-noir thriller which once again hit with critics as well as garnering the actor some of the best reviews of his career, coming close to even landing an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

    Now, here we are in 2015 with the actor taking on probably his most challenging role yet, that of Billy Hope in Southpaw.  The boxing drama tells the story of Hope, a junior middleweight champion, who tragically loses everything only to decide he's going to fight his way back and not only earn his belt, but the love and affection of his daughter.

    The first trailer came earlier this year and it was mind-blowing how Gyllenhaal transformed himself for the role (reportedly training 5 hours a day every day for 5 months) to play a championship boxer.  The 2nd trailer has been released now, and though it's a shorter runtime then the previous one, it certainly is a leaner, meaner cut to promote what looks to be a powerful film.

    You can view the new trailer below for Southpaw, which is directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and written by Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy).  It also stars Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson and Naomie Harris.

    The film hits theaters July 24th.

    Source: The Weinstein Company

    Friday
    Jun052015

    Stephen King's 'The Stand' to Begin with 8-Part Miniseries

    Hot on the heels of news that Nikolaj Arcel will write and direct The Dark Tower comes another big announcement for Stephen King fans everywhere.  The famed author's other long in-development feature film adaptation - The Stand - will now reportedly begin with an 8-part television miniseries for Showtime, partnering with Warner Bros. and CBS Films.

    Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) will both write and direct the limited series event before moving onto the feature film (which Warners will distribute). Boone was announced to be taking on the project last year and it looked as if he would do a three-hour, standalone film.  However, it now seems that Boone will be able to cover more of King's epic novel by starting off with eight, 1-hour episodes, culminating with a big-budget feature film.  This is indeed great news and is unprecedented in terms of a film adaptation.

    The miniseries is expected to attract big A-list talent with Matthew McConaughey heavily rumored to be taking on the role of Antichrist figure Randall Flagg as well as Boone's The Fault in Our Stars actor, Nat Wolff, being eyed for a role.  With the success of HBO's True Detective last year, many Hollywood superstars are now more open than ever to doing a limited series, especially with writing quality as high as The Stand.

    For those unfamiliar, The Stand tells an epic saga of good vs. evil after a deadly virus wipes out most of the world's population with a group of survivors fighting against Flagg and his followers.

    While it's important to note that nothing is set in stone yet, multiple sources are reporting the ambitious, multi-platform deal is in the works with high-level meetings taking place next week involving Boone, Stephen King himself, as well as execs from Warner Bros., Showtime and CBS Films.  Production is expected to get underway early next year.

    If things are finalized (which I think they will be), this certainly gives great hope to King's other epic, The Dark Tower, which has been trying for years to do this blend of both TV and film to tell such a massive story.

    We will definitely keep you posted on all things involved in this project as it becomes available.

    Source: The Wrap

    Wednesday
    Jun032015

    Nikolaj Arcel to Write & Direct Stephen King's 'The Dark Tower'

    Word came out yesterday that Nikolaj Arcel - who wrote the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and directed the Oscar nominated Best Foreign Film, A Royal Affair - is in negotiations to helm what would be the first entry in Stephen King's long in-development The Dark Tower series for Sony Pictures and Media Rights Capital.  Arcel will do a rewrite from the film's original script.

    This isn't the first time we've heard movement on this project as over the past few years there's been such things as a film trilogy coinciding with a TV series (in which Ron Howard would have directed all), Javier Bardem or Russell Crowe playing the role of Roland Deschain, as well as Universal and HBO taking on the lofty financing for the massive undertaking.

    Now with Sony Pictures on-board (led by new studio head Tom Rothman) to co-finance with Media Rights Capital, their trying to get the project off the ground by focusing on just one film first.  The project's original director (Ron Howard) and producer (Brian Grazer) still remain involved to get the series made, but in what has always been the case with The Dark Tower series being adapted for the silver screen: keep your hopes in-check.

    Personally, it doesn't inspire much confidence that those involved landed a foreign director who has little-to-no clout in ensuring their artistic vision becomes a reality.  On top of the fact, Tom Rothman is overseeing the project, a studio bigwig who is widely-known to meddle with filmmakers and cause problems, resulting in disasters such as X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

    Keep in mind though, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer are heavily involved which does inspire much confidence (see Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind).

    We'll keep you posted on more developments as this project moves forward.

    Source: Deadline

    Friday
    May222015

    Paramount Dates 'World War Z' Sequel for June 9th, 2017

    Two years ago, Paramount Pictures released World War Z starring Brad Pitt, a zombie apocalypse movie that had gone through numerous production problems (including the filming of an entirely new third act).  It was destined to be a disappointment and bomb at the box office given its well known issues behind the scenes; however, to the surprise of many, it was a sizable hit, grossing $540 million at the global box office along with being well-received by critics.

    The studio didn't expect to make a sequel (they were just hoping to make some kind of profit given the film's issues), but since it hit all the high marks, they have now officially set a release date of June 9th, 2017.

    It was announced a while back that star Brad Pitt would return to lead the sequel, but the original film's director, Marc Forster (Quantum of Solace, Machine Gun Preacher), would not be returning.  Instead, Juan Antonia Bayona (The Impossible) will take the helm with Steven Knight (Eastern Promises) writing the script.

    It's not known what the plot of the sequel will be about, but based on how the first film ended, the 'world war' with zombies was still happening with a possible remedy found (though since it's a sequel, expect something to go wrong).

    Much has been written about the brilliant quality of Max Brooks' novel of the same name for which the film is based, so here's hoping the makers this time around do a better job in executing from page to screen.

    Source: Paramount Pictures

    Thursday
    May212015

    Roger Deakins to Shoot 'Blade Runner 2'

    If its an impossible task to get people excited about a sequel to a movie that's 33 years old, the makers behind Blade Runner 2 are giving it their best shot.

    With Harrison Ford already signed-on to return, original director Ridley Scott executive producing as well as coming up with the story along with original writer Hampton Fancher (who co-write the script), Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) directing and Ryan Gosling in-talk to co-star, we now get news that 12-time Academy Award nominee Roger Deakins will serve as the film's cinematographer.

    If you have no clue who Roger Deakins is or what a cinematographer does, I suggest you go watch either SkyfallThe Shawshank Redemption or pretty much any Coen Brothers movie.  When you see how beautiful those films look in terms of lighting and shadows, that's what Roger Deakins does (his best work is widely regarded as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford).  He's a master in terms of making a shot for a film look gorgeous and it's pretty much why he's regarded as the greatest cinematographer of all time (oh, and he's coincidentally never actually won an Academy Award, just lost 12 times).

    Deakins has previously worked with director Villeneuve on both 2013's Prisoners and this year's Sicario, but it seemed like a long-shot the 65 year-old would want to work on a sequel to a film that came out back in 1982.  I guess he does.

    Read below for the official press release on Deakins joining the film, which is set to start shooting next summer for a likely 2017-2018 release.

    Twelve-time Academy Award-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins will join director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Incendies) on Alcon Entertainment’s sequel to BLADE RUNNER, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-CEO’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson.

    Deakins, who will be presented with the Pierre Angénieux Excellens in Cinematography Award at the Cannes Film Festival on May 22 reteams with Villeneuve on what will be their third feature collaboration, having previously worked together on Alcon’s Prisoners, starring Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal as well as Villeneuve’s upcoming film Sicario, a drug-trafficking drama starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro from Black Label Media, which is in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival.

    Deakins received his latest Academy Award nomination this year for his work on Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. He was previously nominated for Joel and Ethan Coen’s Fargo, The Man Who Wasn’t There, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men and True Grit; Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption; Martin Scorsese’s Kundun; Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Stephen Daldry’s The Reader, which he shared with Chris Menges; and, more recently, Prisoners and Sam Mendes’ Skyfall.

    Film is scheduled to start principal photography in summer of 2016. Hampton Fancher (co-writer of the original) and Michael Green have written the original screenplay based on an idea by Fancher and Ridley Scott. The story takes place several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original. Harrison Ford will reprise his role as Rick Deckard.

    Villeneuve previously worked with Kosove and Johnson as the director of Alcon’s critically acclaimed Prisoners.

    Kosove and Johnson state: “Roger is an extraordinary talent and we are very excited that Denis and Roger have chosen to continue their collaboration in bringing the sequel to BLADE RUNNER to the big screen.”

    Alcon Entertainment acquired the film, television and ancillary franchise rights to BLADE RUNNER in 2011 from producer Bud Yorkin to produce prequels and sequels to the iconic science-fiction thriller. Yorkin will serve as a producer on the sequel along with Kosove and Johnson. Cynthia Sikes Yorkin will also produce.

    Frank Giustra and Tim Gamble, CEO’s of Thunderbird Films, will serve as executive producers. Ridley Scott will also executive produce.

    Among its many distinctions, BLADE RUNNER has been singled out as one of the greatest movies of all time by innumerable polls and media outlets, and overwhelmingly as the greatest science-fiction film of all time by a majority of genre publications.

    Released by Warner Bros., BLADE RUNNER was adapted by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples from Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and was directed by Ridley Scott following his landmark Alien.” The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Visual Effects, and Best Art Direction).

    BLADE RUNNER was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry in 1993 and is frequently taught in university courses. In 2007, it was named the 2nd most visually influential film of all time by the Visual Effects Society.

    Source: Alcon Entertainment

    Thursday
    May072015

    'Beverly Hills Cop 4' Pulled from Release Date

    It seems that March 25th, 2016 release for Beverly Hills Cop 4 was too good to be true.

    Paramount has pulled the film from next year's scheduled release date but the film still remains in active development with Eddie Murphy attached as well as director Brett Ratner (Rush Hour) and producer Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Carribbean).

    The studio had announced a year ago that the film would hit theaters in 2016 but it seems slow progress has been made on the project since then to go along with 'executive changes' for the company over the past year as well.

    It certainly doesn't help that Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is to open that same day next year, so it sounds like the studio made a smart move in avoiding going head-to-head with that monster.

    There is also apparently script issues, which Murphy himself admitted early this year to Rolling Stone magazine, citing the fact he wouldn't do the film unless it was worth the effort:

    “They[‘re] still trying to get that script right.  I’m not doing a ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ unless they have a really incredible script.  I’ve read a couple things that look like they can make some paper, but I’m not doing a shitty movie just to make some paper.  The shit got to be right.”

    Last we heard, the script was being written by Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec (Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) which was said to bring Axel Foley back to Detroit during the 'coldest winter on record'.  It's unknown if this plot will still be used but we can only hope they come up with a worthy story to bring back the character after 1994's poorly received Beverly Hills Cop 3.

    Source: The Wrap, Rolling Stone

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