20
Aug
2014

Gotham cast

I have to admit, the more I see of Gotham, the higher my hopes climb.

As a lifelong Batman fan, it’s always off putting to see someone mucking around in the canon. While every iteration has changed small things, this one is looking to change quite a bit. Poison Ivy looks to be getting a new origin. The Penguin is certainly changing things up. But at the end of the day, I’m still willing to give it a shot.

This new trailer for the U.K. debut is the best yet, and has me the most sucked in yet. I’m willing to try this journey, and I can always bail if it’s not good, but something tells me I’m along for the ride for a while.

Gotham will debut in the U.S. on Fox on Sept. 22.

19
Aug
2014

Ant-Man Paul Rudd

How do you dispel all the naysaying about whether Ant-Man would ever be made? You release a really generic photo!

Marvel announced this week that Ant-Man was finally entering production, but there were still many questions following the shake up in directors. To get out ahead of some of that, Marvel followed up yesterday’s announcement with the first picture of Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, the thief who will take up the helmet of the title’s hero.

It may keep some fears at bay, but we’ll just have to see what the final film looks like once it’s released. There has been a lot of turmoil around this project, and I can’t help but think it will impact the end result in some way.

We’ll find out when Ant-Man hits theaters on July 17, 2015.

18
Aug
2014

Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-Banner

Apparently the Turtles really do still have a lot of power at the box office.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles won a second weekend at the box office as it took in $28.4 million this weekend, bringing its domestic total to $117.6 million off of its $125 million dollar budget. It now stands at $185.1 million globally.

Second place went to Guardians of the Galaxy which took in $24.7 million. It now stands at $222.2 domestic and $418.6 million globally off of a $170 million dollar budget.

Let’s Be Cops took third place with $17.7 million and stands at $26.1 due to its early opening off of a $17 million dollar budget.

It looks like The Expendables 3 could be proving folks are tired of the franchise. With the weakest opening of the series, it took in $16.2 million off of a $90 million dollar budget. Hopes are high it will do better overseas.

Rounding out the top five was The Giver which took in $12.76 million off of a $25 million dollar budget.

Arriving next week is Sin City: A Dame to Kill, If I Stay and When the Game Stands Tall.

Curious how I think these films will do? Check out my The Movies of 2014 – 3rd Quarter report.

17
Aug
2014

WSMS

Have you ever wondered what makes a sucky movie? Have you ever wanted to know how these train wrecks can happen? I’m here to help.

During a recent weekend I decided to burn through some of the movies I rage about on this site on Netflix. Since they’re included in my subscription and I’m not spending money on them directly, why not? I watched eight movies over the course of a couple days and came to the conclusion that someone needs to explain exactly why these movies should be hated. You can say all day long you hated a movie, but if you can’t put your finger on why they were so bad, how can you avoid watching more of them in the future?

More importantly, how can we finally tell the movie studios what they are doing wrong? One or two lone people screaming about a movie being bad won’t do anything, but if movie goers would finally stand up in unison, they might.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have some delusion that my little blog will reach enough people to make a difference, but every revolution starts with a spark, and I hope to be that ignition for at least a few of them.

So join me as I launch this new (irregularly released) series where I will sit down and watch a universally panned movie and tell you why it deserved to be hated. And there may be some occasions where I feel it didn’t deserve all the hate it received, but my suspicion is that will be quite rare. I do, however, make you this promise, I am going to go in to all of these movies with an open mind and try to judge them strictly on their merits without any outside views tainting me beyond, “I know people said this movie sucked.”

Also, do not confuse these with being reviews, these will be in-depth looks at these films and will get into the nitty gritty of what I feel went wrong.

I have no set release schedule for this series, but more than likely they will appear on Sundays – the day that is always the toughest for finding something worth writing – and hopefully, together, we can finally start to bring some of this drivel Hollywood unleashes upon us under control.

To give you just a taste of what I have already watched for this series: The Last Stand, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Movie 43, Green Lantern, The Dictator and Red Dawn. Prepare for pain, folks.

16
Aug
2014

Rian Johnson

If you want to get into a true geek’s heart, mention “practical effects.” It makes us all gooey inside.

Rian Johnson is set to direct Star Wars Episode VIII, but during a recent interview on the Girls in Hoodies podcast Johnson was asked about his thoughts on the whole experience of journeying to a galaxy far, far away. While he naturally can’t say much as of yet, he mentioned visiting the set for Episode VII, being directed by J.J. Abrams, and confirmed that many sets and props are being handled via practical effects.

They’re doing so much practical building for this one, its awesome. They’re doing it all right, yeah. … I think people are coming back around [to practical effects] yeah, it seems like there’s a gravity pulling us back towards it. … I think more and more people are hitting a critical mass as far as the CG-driven action scene, lending itself towards a very specific type of action film, where physics go out the window and it becomes so big so quick, and I probably sound like a grumpy old man talking about it. I do wonder, kids are growing up watching those and that’s the thing they love now. So I don’t know if it’s a generational thing.

For those of you not in on the lingo of film making, CG (or CGI) are computer generated effects. Over the past two decades or so they have become the most commonly used special effects in films, but sometimes they are raised to insane proportions. For instance, in the prequel Star Wars trilogy, no Clone Trooper armor was built for actors as none of the suits were real. All of the clones were computer generated except for when they removed their helmets, and then it was motion capture. Practical effects are physical sets and props that are used on set that you can interact with. For instance, this would be considered a practical effect.

star-wars-x-wing-episode-vii-5

Yes, it could have just been computer generated, but it has been confirmed by multiple sources and leaked photos that this new version of the X-Wing is a practical effect and exists on the set.

I know you’re asking yourself, “Why does this matter?” It matters in a slew of small ways in it allows the actors to interact with the environment in a more natural manner. It also means you don’t feel like you’re watching a cartoon. Avatar, for instance, did use motion capture, so all of the actors did act out those motions, but it still felt to me like I was watching a cartoon. Sure it was pretty to look at, but none of it was real in the jungles of Pandora. In the Transformers movies, when actors are talking to the Autobots or Decepticons they are speaking either to cardboard cutouts of the robots head on a poll or a tennis ball on a stick.

The other beauty of going practical effects for the new Star Wars films is the pace they are coming out at. Take for instance the fully realized Millennium Falcon we’ve heard so much about. That is a set that can now be left standing throughout all of these films and the cost for building it can be spread either across each film’s production budget, or they can offload it all on to the first film and it then essentially becomes a free prop for the follow-up films. No computer graphics guy is going to have to sit there for each film and keep manipulating the same wire frames over and over either. If a character walks up the ramp in every film, they walk up the ramp. Someone won’t have to sit at a computer and shade the ramp different each time and align the markers.

Also? It just makes geeks happy to know that somewhere in the world right now there is an X-Wing you can touch, or a Millennium Falcon you can walk on to. Sure we will probably never get to touch or see them, but we know they’re out there.

So, kudos to Disney for going the practical effects route with these new films. We appreciate it.

[ Source Girls in Hoodies ]

[ Via Slashfilm ]

15
Aug
2014

star-wars-x-wing-episode-vii-1

More than likely there are executives scrambling all over Disney right now trying to figure out just where all the Star Wars: Episode VII leaks came from… if they’re even true.

Through out the day Friday images and possible plot points leaked all over the place. Having dealt once with a studio that didn’t like me running some photos – and losing my website for 18 hours – I’ll skip running those. But as to the plot details… I’m not quite sure how I feel about them.

If you want to remain spoiler free, stop reading.

So, the Empire appears to exist in some form still. While you can believe that it wouldn’t all just fall apart with the death of the Emperor and Darth Vader, the fact that 30 years later it’s still running around is a jarring though. But even more jarring is… Han Solo and Chewbacca are in command of a Super Star Destroyer?

According to Badass Digest he is indeed involved with an Imperial ship somehow, and Oscar Isaac’s character is the newish owner of the Millennium Falcon. I’ve been hearing some crazy ass theories along the way, but this one is just way over the top for me. (The less said about the rumor of a hand falling through a planet’s atmosphere rumor, the better) Han was always a rogue, unless this is a Super Star Destroyer now in the service of the Alliance, which I could buy as a captured ship, the better. But the idea he wouldn’t keep the Falcon for himself? Hard to swallow.

And then there is a rumor that the Sith Inquisitors will play a big role.

Star Wars Revels Inquisitor

This image is from the upcoming Star Wars Rebels animated series that will introduce the Inquisitors, so I can kinda buy this. Latino Review was the one to break this one, but then IndieRevolver ran a picture of what is supposedly the lead Inquisitor in the film. Go view it at your own risk. If true, he does look fairly frightening. Supposedly the Inquisitors captured Luke shortly after Return of the Jedi… and for some reason held him captive for 30 years? Okay, that makes sense.

Honestly, some of this stuff I imagine is indeed true, but some of the rest feels like a giant game of telephone where the message you receive isn’t the same as the one at the beginning. We’ll learn more real stuff down the road, but until then, I recommend taking everything with a huge helping of salt.

Star Wars Episode VII hits theaters on Dec. 18, 2015.

[ Source Badass Digest, Latino Review ]

14
Aug
2014

Inhumans group

With the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy, it appears Marvel may be moving forward with another space film based on the Inhumans.

According to Collider, Marvel is eyeing the Inhumans for a future movie and already have a script draft by Joe Robert Cole. It comes from the same writing program that saw Nicole Perlman write the first draft of Guardians.

There is also some speculation that Vin Diesel may be up for a role in the film as he has been dropping hints along those lines. You may wonder how he could pull this off as he is already the voice of Groot, but more than likely he would play the leader of the Inhumans, Black Bolt. This would make a lot of sense as he does not speak as his voice is a weapon that can destroy a large radius around him.

As for the rest of the Inhumans, they are a group of humans that were experimented on by the Kree race. By being introduced to the Terrigen Mist, each was given different powers and they now live on the Moon, ruled by Black Bolt. Some of the other notable Inhumans include Medusa, Cryctal, Gorgon, Triton and Lockjaw, the giant dog.

It would certainly be an odd film, but a lot of us thought the same before Guardians of the Galaxy.

No indication when this film could move forward.

[ Source Collider ]

13
Aug
2014

Aquaman

The rumors are true, Aquaman is not only joining the Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice film, but he looks set for his own movie as well.

Lets get this out of the way: Aquaman doesn’t suck as much as people make him out to in jokes. He is actually quite powerful, and was also one of the seven founding members of the Justice League. He can also be very strong willed and isn’t afraid to tell Superman or Batman what he think when they make a poor choice.

So, now, who is playing Aquaman? Well, the rumors were true and it’s going to be Jason Momoa (Stargate: AtlantisGame of Thrones). I think this is excellent casting and it shows they are going with the edgier version of the character. As for the writers, Warner Brothers has tapped Will Beall (Gangster Squad) and Kurt Johnstad (300) to write separate scripts to see what they come up with. This is of course post Dawn of Justice, and may also be post Justice League.

There’s no word on when we can expect Aquaman to hit screens as of yet, but it certainly looks as though Warner Brothers and DC are not messing around when it comes to hitting the depths of the character vault now.

12
Aug
2014

Michael Bay directing

Michael Bay may have given us the ultimate gift this week: His departure from the Transformers films.

Speaking with USA Today, Michael Bay, 49, has said that it may be time for him to pass the Transformers baton on to someone else.

Bay, 49, believes he will pass the baton for future Transformer movies to a new director while he turns his focus elsewhere.

“There’s kind of a new chapter, a new direction in movies I want to make,” says Bay, who is eyeing a passion project, a documentary on elephant poaching. “I have a lot of stories to tell. And it’s about flexing new muscles.”

Don’t toy with me this way, Bay. I can’t take having my emotions toyed with. Could I finally be lucky enough to see you leave this series alone and go make some other terrible movie? Has my dream finally come true?

He can say all day long he has all of these “stories to tell,” and I can tell you they will all be filled with flat, meaningless characters that can be summed up in one line of dialogue. He will then follow this up with pointless slo-mo and sparkly explosions.

Look, there’s an audience out there for his work – why, I have no idea – but I am just so sick and tired of seeing talentless hacks like Bay soaking up funds for films that could be going to young filmmakers looking to get into the industry. Enough… let him go off and make some little documentaries or something.

[ Source USA Today ]

11
Aug
2014

Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-Banner

Apparently the Turtles still have a lot of power at the box office.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles took in a healthy $65 million this weekend off of its $125 million dollar budget. Seeing as the sequel has already been announced, obviously the studio is happy, but it will be interesting to see how this one performs.

Second place went to Guardians of the Galaxy which took in $41.5 million, down 56 percent from its opening weekend. It now stands at $175.9 domestic and $312.2 million globally off of a $170 million dollar budget.

Nature disaster film Into the Storm took in $18 million off of a $50 million dollar budget and appears to be on its way to being a flop. With a B grade from CinemaScore, things are not looking good.

The Hundred-Foot Journey took in $11.1 million in its opening off of a $22 million budget. Hard to say where this one will end up.

Rounding out the top five was Lucy with another $9.3 million to bring it to $97.3 million off of a $40 million budget.

Arriving next week is The Expendables 3 and The Giver.

Curious how I think these films will do? Check out my The Movies of 2014 – 3rd Quarter report.

10
Aug
2014

TMNT-2014

It’s official, a release date has been set for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2.

Following $65 million at the domestic box office and $28.7 million overseas, Paramount has gone ahead announced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 will arrive in theaters on June 3, 2016. Michael Bay will produce again, so don’t expect much to change.

Speaking of the announcement, Adam Goodman, President of Paramount’s Film Group said in a statement “Launching a new take on the Turtles into the feature film world was a daunting task because as fans of them ourselves, we felt a great responsibility to ensure audiences were going to experience everything they loved about the Turtles, while also getting to see them brought to life in a way they had never been seen before.” He went on to add, “The result exceeded our high expectations and the response to the film is beyond great, making it all the more fun to get started on the continuation of their story.”

Considering this first film had a rumored budget of $125 million, it needs to hit $250 million globally to be safely in the black. It might make it, it might not, but Paramount seems to be thinking that it will.

9
Aug
2014

Daisy Ridley

Stop the presses everyone, it looks like Daisy Ridley is sticking around for Star Wars: Episode VIII and Star Wars: Episode IX!

In other news, the sky sky is still blue, and water is still wet.

Why the sarcasm? During its reporting that Ridley had signed with talent agency UTA, Deadline included the following comment:

Why would there be heated competition for an actress I’ve never heard of? Well, she is the female lead in the J.J Abrams-directed resuscitation of Star Wars, and the plan is for her carry through to the second and third films that will be directed by Looper helmer Rian Johnson. Ridley was hired for Star Wars: Episode VII after a worldwide casting search.

Despite this being nothing more than speculation as nothing official has been reported, every movie and sci-fi blog in the world has picked it up and ran with it as the gospel. What is maddening to me is, was this ever even really a question. Lets take a look back at the original cast announcement photo for Star Wars: Episode VII.

Star Wars Episode VII cast

The woman on the couch next to Harrison Ford and engaged in conversation with Carrie Fisher is Ridley. While this may sound a tad insane to those who don’t follow film production, where you sit at a script table read actually means something. Her placement between Ford and Fisher is not some random occurrence. Also notice that all of the other newcomers are off in the top left corner. Ridley did not just plop down on the couch between Fisher and Ford and simply look at the other new actors and go, “Deal with it.”

There has never been a question in my mind Ridley is a major focus of this trilogy and that she will be sticking around for all three films. For whatever reason, this does seem to shock other folks.

[ Source Deadline ]