23
Apr
2014

Sin City A Dame to Kill For logo

Usually a teaser trailer comes before the full trailer, but not in the case of Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

We saw a fuller trailer last month for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, but not a shorter one has shown up that seems to not really add anything new to what we saw previously, and it even uses the same lines. Not really sure why this one has been released, but as pumped as I am for this film, I’ll take anything.

I will say this, it oddly doesn’t look quite as polished as the first film in the graphics, and that is odd simply as the tech has advanced over the past decade. We’ll see how it looks when it is finally released.

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For hits theaters on Aug. 22.

22
Apr
2014

Star Wars Episode VII Mock Logo

At last we know: Star Wars: Episode VII will not be beholden to the Expanded Universe.

For those unfamiliar with the whole “Expanded Universe” concept, there are two Star Wars universes. The six films (maybe seven if you count the Clone Wars animated film) are considered the “canon” of the franchise. All of the novels, comics, video games and so on fall into what is known as the “Expanded Universe.” It all began with a novel released before The Empire Strikes Back called Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, and really snowballed after the Dark Empire comic series released in 1991. The side stories filled in gaps around the films and tried to broaden the scope of Star Wars.

The problem was, someone forgot to ask Lucas his exact plans.

The prequel trilogy blasted the ever loving guts out of the Expanded Universe, and was also what drove me to not read any further comics or novels as I realized they were pointless. I had read one trilogy of books that focused on who designed the Death Star, and then when Episode II: Attack of the Clones came out, everything in those books had been thrown out the window. So… I read three books for no good reason. I was done and out.

Speaking at WonderCon this past weekend, Simon Kinberg – who is writing one of the stand alone films – addressed the issues with the Expanded Universe and if they will factor into the new movies. “You know, it’s not off-limits, and it’s certainly inspiring — I’m working on an animated show for [Lucasfilm] as well,Star Wars: Rebels, that will take inspiration from everywhere, but — I know for the movies, the canon is the canon, and the canon is the six films that exist.”

So what does this tell us? Don’t walk in thinking you know what we’re going to see. There is no guarantee Chewie is dead. That Jacen Solo – if he even exists – becomes a Darth. We know nothing at this point, and I, for one, am pretty happy about this as a lot of the novels were horrible.

[ Source IGN ]

21
Apr
2014

Captain America The Winter Soldier banner

It seems there is just no stopping the first Avenger at the box office.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier claimed a third weekend at the box office with another $26.2 million to bring its domestic total to $201.5 domestically and $586.6 globally. It has far surpassed the first film ($370.6 million globally), and looks to keep bringing it in for some time yet.

Second place went to Rio 2 which dropped off a respectable 42.8 percent from last weekend to bring in $22.5 million for a new domestic total of $75.3 million off of a $103 million dollar budget. Globally it stands at $275 million, so don’t be too surprised when Rio 3 becomes a reality.

Third place went to Heaven is for Real that had a mid-week opening. It actually had the best per screen average this weekend and brought in $21.5 million for a total o $28.5 million off of a $12 million dollar budget.

Performing even worse than projected, Transcendence took in an anemic $11.15 million off of its $100 million dollar budget.

Rounding out the top five was A Haunted House 2 with $9.1 million off of a $4 million dollar budget.

Sabotage? It’s down to 130 screens in its fourth week and took in $81,200. It’s dead, as should be Schwarzenegger’s career.

Next weeks big releases are Brick Mansions, The Other Woman and The Quiet Ones. In short, Cap will probably win a fourth weekend.

Curious how I think these films will do? Check out my The Movies of 2014 – 2nd Quarter report.

20
Apr
2014

Transcendence - Depp

It is not a happy Easter weekend for Johnny Depp as Transcendence is bombing at the box office.

There is no doubt that Johnny Depp is one of the most successful actors in Hollywood today, but it’s beginning to appear as though you can not always count on him to open a film. Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger and The Rum Diary all did not do well for him in the past few years, and now it looks like you can add Transcendence to that list.

It appears the film is going to open in fourth place with $13 million for the weekend off of a $100 million dollar budget. Scathing reviews and a C+ CinemaScore (what average viewers rate it) means that this film is pretty much doomed in the U.S. There is apparently still some hope for the foreign markets, but not much.

One has to wonder if our one time love affair with Depp is fading away. It used to be his presence in any film guaranteed it success, but it seems that time may be fading just as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s has. I think Depp may still have some success left in him, especially with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, his fifth outing as Captain Jack Sparrow, on desk for a 2016 release. But, with the soft performance of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, even that former money maker may be on its way out.

I don’t think it’s time for Depp to hang up his hat quite yet, but I do think he needs to start being a bit more selective in the roles he takes up. This isn’t the Golden Age for him any more, and you can’t just plop him in any old story and expect the audiences to turn out in droves.

Take a breather Depp, you’ve earned it, and we don’t want you to rush to the finish line of your career any faster than you absolutely have to.

19
Apr
2014

Sabotage

Don’t think a box office flop hurts anyone? Ask the folks at QED International, the folks behind Sabotage.

Sabotage is clearly on its way to making the list of box office flops for 2014. While Arnold Schwarzenegger will go on to grace the screen in other films, five employees at QED International are currently looking for work. At the beginning of the week, just three weeks into the film’s release, the company let support staff and a junior lawyer go to save costs according to Deadline. Entering its fourth weekend, the film has only grossed $12.9 million globally off of a $35 million dollar budget.

While I always make jokes about flops, I have come to have a particular hatred for Arnold Schwarzenegger box office misses since he resumed acting after leaving the California governor’s office. His need to be a star again – for no good reason as he has plenty of money – has led to a string of flops that impact people far beyond him. While I suggest, in jest, Hollywood needs to stop him before he makes another, that is becoming a little less amusing and more of a reality.

Lets not beat around the bush, Schwarzenegger is back in films due to his ego. While he was a mega star in the 1980s thanks to a string of low-brow action films, that was the norm at the time. Audiences change, however. We are no longer looking for shoot-em up films with thread bare plots and catchy phrases. That era has passed as all things do in Hollywood. Sure one pops up here or there, but they are now more of a novelty, but someone seems to have forgotten to tell this relic that.

True, a film doesn’t get to the screen on the back of just one man, but would you tell Schwarzenegger “no” if he came to your studio and said, “I want to do this movie with you”? Probably not. The thing is, however, someone is finally going to have to tell him no. And not just someone, a lot of someones. Let him do cameos, let him produce, heck, maybe let him try directing, but do not, under any circumstances, let him lead the picture.

It isn’t funny any more. It’s time to jump in his Humvee and drive off into the sunset before he brings any more people down with him.

[ Source Deadline ]

18
Apr
2014

SNL logo

Saturday Night Live turns 40 next year and it looks like it is planning to celebrate in style.

NBC announced today that it will air a three hour live celebration of Saturday Night Live on Feb. 15, 2015 to mark the show’s 40th year on the air. Why February when the show debuted on Oct. 11, 1975 is anyone’s guess, but at least such a milestone is being celebrated.

I will also mourn the fact that I was 4-years-old when the series debuted and I can still remember watching it from day one. Yep, it’s true, I have.

Say what you will about the show, it’s quality has definitely varied over the years – and no cast will ever top the originals – but it has launched some comedians into very large careers. From Bill Murray to Tina Fey, the show has produced numerous stars over its run, and I think it still has the power to do so. (I’m keeping an eye on the recently departed Bill Hader and current Weekend Update co-anchor Cecily Strong in particular.)

NBC promises many past and present cast members will appear on the special, but no official list has been announced yet.

I know what I’m doing Feb. 15.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE’ TO CELEBRATE 40TH ANNIVERSARY ON FEB. 15, 2015

Present and Past Cast Members, as Well as Special and Musical Guests, to Appear on Three-Hour Live Special

NEW YORK — April 18, 2014 — NBC will air a three-hour live special on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the iconic franchise “Saturday Night Live.”

Past and present cast members, as well as special and musical guests from the show’s incredible five-decade run, will appear on the telecast, with the specific lineup of guests to be determined in the coming months.

“‘Saturday Night Live’ is an institution unlike anything else in television history,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “The many brilliant ‘Not Ready for Primetime Players’ over the years is a who’s who of film and television comedy for the last two generations. The roster includes everyone from the iconic first cast in 1975 to household names ranging from Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, and Adam Sandler, to Kristen Wiig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, and Seth Meyers — to name only a few. This brand, which is still one of the highest-rated comedies on television, was the brainchild of Lorne Michaels, who still presides over the whole enterprise today. This special is just one of the many ways we plan to celebrate ‘SNL’s historic 40th season next year.”  

“Saturday Night Live” has won 40 Emmy Awards, the most for any show in television history. “SNL” also holds the title for the most nominated television show in Emmy history with 171 nominations. “SNL” has been honored twice, in 1990 and 2009, with the prestigious George Foster Peabody Award and cited as “truly a national institution.”

“Saturday Night Live” was inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame by the National Association of Broadcasters. The show continues to garner the highest ratings of any late-night television program, entertaining millions each week.

Broadcast live from NBC’s famed Studio 8H in New York City’s Rockefeller Center, “Saturday Night Live” premiered Oct. 11, 1975. The program is a production of Broadway Video in association with SNL Studios. Lorne Michaels is the executive producer.

17
Apr
2014

X-MEN-DAYS-OF-FUTURE-PAST-chess-game

X-Men: Days of Future Past is in its last promotional stage and with that comes a final trailer.

While the first and second trailer were grim, this one manages to be grim while really getting you into the story and also showing you a taste of the humor you’ve come to expect from these films. Not that it’s going to be a laugh riot or anything, but a little levity never hurt anyone.

It’ll be interesting to see where the series goes from here in X-Men: Apocalypse, but I’m on board.

X-Men: Days of Future Past hits theaters on May 23.

16
Apr
2014

Paul-Walker-Fast-andåPaul Walker - Fast & Furious 6

The production team of Fast & Furious 7 has finally announced some of its plans to fill in scenes that would have required the presence of the late Paul Walker.

Taking to its Facebook page on Tuesday, it was announced that Paul Walker’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, will be standing in for their brother who passed away last November. Fast & Furious 7 recently resumed production after a hiatus to mourn the loss of Walker and retool the script so that they could write his character out of the series.

A Note to the Fans of FAST & FURIOUS

The FAST & FURIOUS saga is about family. The characters are connected by the bond of family, and it is how all of us who have worked together for more than thirteen years feel about each other. It certainly defines how we feel about our fans.

Our family experienced an unthinkable shock in November. We had to take time to grieve Paul, the brother we love and lost, and to figure out if we should move on with our film.

We came together and all felt the only choice was to continue. We believe our fans want that, and we believe Paul would want that too. Paul had already shot his dramatic scenes and most of his action for FAST & FURIOUS 7, and it’s among the strongest work of his career.

We have resumed shooting and now welcome Paul’s brothers, Caleb and Cody, into our FAST family. Caleb and Cody are helping us complete some remaining action for their brother and fill in small gaps left in production. Having them on set has made us all feel that Paul is with us too.

We are just under a year away from the release of FAST & FURIOUS 7, and this film is the most important we’ve ever done together. It will allow the character of Brian O’Conner to live on and let us celebrate Paul in his most defining role.

We wanted to take a moment to speak to our fans directly and thank you for the love and support you always show us as we resume our work.

Of all the ways this could have been handled, I have to say this is probably the most tasteful solution. Seeing as the sixth film pulled in $788.6 million globally off of a $160 million dollar budget, so canceling the film was never really in the cards. So long as Walker’s passing is handled tastefully, then I say more power to them.

Fast & Furious 7 is now scheduled to hit theaters on April 10, 2015.

[ Source Fast & Furious Facebook Page ]

15
Apr
2014

Gone Girl

If the Gone Girl trailer teaches us anything it’s that director David Finch always saves on his budget with a lack of lighting.

I always appreciate directors that play with light and use it in unique ways, but David Fincher (The Social Network, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) just seems to believe everything has to be as dark as possible so you strain to see what’s happening. It’s his thing, I get it, but come on, I shouldn’t have to strain to make things out quite this much.

This film will probably do well due to Affleck and Fincher, but this trailer pretty much bored me to death. Haven’t we seen similar stories before? What’s the new twist here (I looked it up, there is one), but this trailer does nothing to capture my interest. That’s never a good sign.

Gone Girl is also a horrible title for a book or a movie. Sorry, but it is.

Gone Girl hits theaters on Oct. 3.

14
Apr
2014

Captain America The Winter Soldier banner

In one of the closest fights I’ve seen for the top spot at the box office in some time, Marvel came out on top in the end.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier took the top spot at the box office this weekend with $41.3 million to bring its domestic total to $159 million and its global total to $476.7 million off of a $170 million dollar budget. It didn’t get there easily, however.

As of Friday it looked like Rio 2 was going to win the weekend, but the tide began to shift on Saturday and it wasn’t until Sunday that Cap flung his shield to cut off the animated birds. The sequel took in $225,000 less than the original did in its opening weekend and brought in $39 million. While that may sound disappointing, that is actually a darn good result.

Third place went to low-budget horror film Oculus. It took in $12 million off of a $5 million dollar budget. Despite the usual “double the budget to be profitable” rule, you have to figure any more spends a minimum of $20 million on advertising, so it’s doubtful this one is in the black yet.

Kevin Costner had a bit of a rude awakening despite generally positive reviews for is new film. Draft Day took in an anemic $9.75 million off of an unknown budget. Anyone who knows me Costner has to rank as one of my least favorite actors of all time, so can’t say this doesn’t bring me a little bit of happiness.

Divergent landed in fifth place with $7.5 million to bring it up to $124.87 million domestic/$175.1 million global off of an $85 million dollar budget. Lionsgate wasted no time last week announcing the third book would be split in to two films bringing the series to four movies. Can we just end this practice? Please?

Lets see… SabotageSabotage… oh there it is in 18th place for the weekend with $351,000 in its third week of release. It lost 1,735 screens and now stands at $10 million off of a $35 million dollar budget. The sad thing? Frozen, which is out on Blu-ray, and is on only 344 screens, 407 less than Sabotage, brought in $372,000 in its 21st week of release. Yep, someone needs to hold an intervention for Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Next week’s big release are Heaven is for Real on Wednesday and then Friday will see Bears, A Haunted House 2 and Transcendence. To be quite frank… I’m not sure what is going to happen next weekend. Heaven could make a run off the back of its popularity as a book, but those are hit and miss lately. The ad campaign for Transcendence has been, to be blunt, awful. I think we may be looking at Cap and Rio 2 at the top again.

Curious how I think these films will do? Check out my The Movies of 2014 – 2nd Quarter report.

13
Apr
2014

Guardians of the Galaxy logo - 640

If you thought Guardians of the Galaxy was going to be a totally random entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, think again.

Guardians of the Galaxy has seemed like the odd man out in Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for some time now. With numerous comments about how it takes place on the other side of the galaxy from Earth, it wasn’t quite clear how it fit in. When it was announced Karen Gillian would be playing Nebula, the adopted daughter of Thanos in this lore, it started to make some more sense. Add in the recent news that hinted at a larger role for the Mad Titan, and you can start to see how things are being constructed.

Now the cards are really on the table, however, as James Gunn, the director of the film, made an important comment to Entertainment Weekly - via CBM – recently.

[Guardians of the Galaxy] is definitely connected to Avengers 3.

And that pretty much caps it in my book. Between the “one down, five to go” comment at the end of Thor: The Dark World, and Thanos being moved into the forefront in Guardians from the background in the first Avengers film, we are moving towards the Infinity Gauntlet storyline in Avengers 3.

Hold on to your hats folks, it’s about to get really bumpy.

[ Via CBM ]

12
Apr
2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction - Optimus Prime - toy art

Hasbro has released some new toy are for Transformers: Age of Extinction that gives us some of our best looks yet at some of the upcoming robots from the new film.

The fourth Transformers film is almost upon us, and as much as I despise the stories, I still get a little giddy looking at the actual Transformers… except this time. I’m not sure what it is, but the new designs are just not jiving with me. They either seem too slick or silly (why does Hound have a bullet mimicking a cigar?) and just isn’t working for me.

A couple notes before you look through the gallery:

 

  • Why do some of them say “Autobot” or “Decepticon” before their names, but not others? Trademark issues.
  • Didn’t “Slug” used to be “Slag?” Yep. Someone finally let Hasbro in on the fact it’s a not so nice slang term in the U.K.
  • Blue backgrounds are Autobots, and purple are the Decepticons in case you don’t catch on.

 

Even better news, folks. Michael Bay said this week that this film is a kick-off to a second trilogy. He isn’t saying if he will direct all of them, but I’m sure his ego will make sure he does.

Transformers: Age of Extinction hits theaters on June 27.