The past seven days

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy delayed by Universal

Universal's upcoming release, The Purge: Anarchy, has received almost a full month delay from June 20th to July 18th. This is an attempt to avoid some box office competition as the film was originally set to face-off against Think Like a Man Too and Jersey Boys. It will now compete with Jupiter Ascending and Disney's Planes: Fire and Rescue.

I often wonder if these release shifts are even worth it in the end given the amount of money it takes to reprint posters, re-edit trailers, etc.. But whatever. It seems to be the way of things now.

Paramount adds disclaimer to Noah

There has been a lot of controversy surrounding Darren Aronofsky's Biblical epic, Noah. After test screenings a few months ago many religious groups were criticizing the film claiming it is inaccurate and offensive. Paramount even approached Aronofsky and challenged his choices on editing and writing but eventually caved in after he threatened to leave the project.

Now, Paramount has taken a step in an attempt to please all viewers by adding a disclaimer prior to the film. It states:
“The film is inspired by the story of Noah.
While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide.
The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis.”

This move comes after the President and CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, proposed the idea to add the disclaimer. The intent is to warn and inform audiences that Noah is a dramatization of the Biblical story and not a line by line portrayal of the written events. Paramount intends to add this disclaimer to all upcoming posters, trailers, tv spots, and media publications surrounding the film.

Noah, starring Russell Crowe in the title role, is one of a decent number of Biblical films being released this year. Son of God, produced by The Bible producer Roma Downey, was released today and we have Exodus arriving later this year. Noah is set for release on March 28th.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rob Zombie to make Charles Manson TV series for Fox

Fox and Alcon Entertainment have tapped Rob Zombie and Bret Easton Ellis to develop a television series about the Manson murders in 1969. This is very early in development, but if all goes according to plan the material will be written by Ellis with Zombie directing. The task at hand is to develop a multi-part series into the storytelling of people and events from different points of view leading up to the murders.
Rob Zombie has been venturing into the world of film since his directorial debut in 2003 with House of 1000 Corpses. He has since directed films such as The Devil's Rejects, Lords of Salem, The Haunted World of El Superbeasto, and the 2007 remake of Halloween. Zombie stated, "I have been obsessed with this insane story since I was a kid, so obviously I jumped at the chance to be involved in this incredible project. After speaking with Bret, I immediately realized that we shared the same vision for this epic madness." Zombie's 2013 haunted house, Rob Zombie's Great American Nightmare, included segments inspired by the Manson Family murders.

If you are unaware of the Charles Manson murders, it is a very short timetable taking place in just two days in August 1969. Manson led a small group of followers (aka, the Manson Family) and on his command they murdered a total of seven people from August 8th through the 10th. The most famous victims included Roman Polanski's pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, along with coffee heiress Abigail Folger. Charles Manson, along with his "family," were convicted of first-degree murder in 1971 with Manson, Patricia Krenwinkel, Susan Atkins, Charles Watson, and Leslie Van Houten all receiving the death penalty. In 1972 the state of California abolished the death penalty, so all sentences were transformed to life in prison.

Charles Manson was denied parole for the 12th time in April 2012.
Patricia Krenwinkle was denied parole for the 13th time in January 2011.
Charles Watson was denied parole for the 16th time in November 2011.
Leslie Van Houten was denied parole for the 19th time in July 2010.
Susan Atkins died in prison in September 2009.

Fast & Furious 7 to resume in April

After taking an extended hiatus after the sudden death of Paul Walker, Universal announced their intent to pick production back up on Fast & Furious 7 in April. There is an estimated 6-8 weeks left of filming and the hiatus, so far, has lasted almost three months. Production will pick up in Atlanta which is where it was scheduled to go after Thanksgiving.

They also announced their intent to use the footage of Walker that had been filmed prior to his death in a tasteful way to "retire" his character, not kill him off. Fast & Furious 7 is being directed by horror director James Wan and received a new release date of April 10, 2015. It was originally set for release this July.

Dallas Buyers Club - Review

After being unexpectedly diagnosed with HIV, Ron Woodroof begins an underground drug business to expand the usage of non-FDA approved HIV/AIDS therapies among fellow sufferers. As a result, he begins facing legal opposition by the Food & Drug Administration and his own doctors in Dallas Buyers Club.

I went into Dallas Buyers Club with very minor information in terms of plot and characters, and I think that it was better that way. I loved the acting, loved the story, and I thought it was very well put together. Matthew McConaughey really was on point along with Jared Leto.
The character of Ron was really brought to life by McConaughey. The transformation he endures after his diagnosis was very present and well paced. It was believable and it showed that this rugged, cowboy had a side that wanted people to be as successful as he was. Jared Leto took the show with the character of Rayon, though. He was loveable, positive, and you just felt connected to him immediately. I don't know why it was but I was pulled in very quickly. I haven't seen Leto nail a role right on the head since Requiem for a Dream. After seeing this movie it fully solidifies my prediction that both Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey should, and probably will, win Oscars for this film. I am somewhat surprised no one gave Jennifer Garner a Best Supporting Actress nod. Just putting that out there.
As far as the plot goes, like I said it was very well put together. I never once felt that it was rushed or too slow. I haven't read up on the real events with Ron Woodroof so I can't really comment on how accurate it was. I do recall hearing the character of Rayon is fictional, so who knows what else might be.

I think, as disturbing as it may be, they portrayed the time very well. It was a scary and desperate time for both physicians and citizens when the AIDS crisis hit. People who had it didn't have much hope other than drug trials and the doctors and pharmaceutical companies didn't know what else to do but use the patients as guinea pigs and tell them that was their only option. Ron just took a step back and figured if he could find another way to help himself and others with the same disease he would fight to give people that option. I thought it was very well done.
As far as Oscar predictions go, I think this could be a dark horse and might just sweep the major categories. I don't know if it has the street cred to beat out Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, or American Hustle for best picture, but it might. I am also banking on Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto winning in their categories. Easily.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Adam Driver nearing deal for Star Wars: Episode VII

Adam Driver (Girls) is apparently nearing a deal for the main antagonist (aka, villain) in Star Wars: Episode VII. There are no details on exactly who or what this villain is, or if this is even true, but it is assumed to be similar to Darth Vader.
If this is true, Driver will have beaten out the competition of actors like Michael Fassbender and Hugo Weaving for this role. He is currently a series regular on the HBO show Girls, so his schedule makes time for multiple Star Wars installments.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Conjuring 2 gets a release date

Warner Bros. is moving pretty fast with the potential future of The Conjuring franchise. In addition to the Annabelle spin-off, we have a release date for the direct sequel to James Wan's 2013 film.

The Conjuring 2 is currently scheduled for October 23, 2015. With that weekend, it is expected to directly compete with the assumed sixth Paranormal Activity installment. Warner Bros. currently has a slot reserved for an untitled horror film on October 3rd of this year, so some are speculating on if that might be Annabelle. It was announced as a VOD release, but with the success of The Conjuring they might decide to put it in theaters after all.

James Wan has departed from the franchise after the first film, but the sequel is being written by Carey and Chad Hayes. 

EDIT - Universal confirmed the October 2014 slot is not for Annabelle.

Sony to release Spider-Man films every year; Marc Webb attached to TASM3

This is pretty hefty news.

In addition to the confirmation of director Marc Webb officially directing The Amazing Spider-Man 3, we have confirmation from Sony that they plan to have a Spider-Man release every year up until The Amazing Spider-Man 4 in 2018. This possibly includes, and is not limited to, a Venom spin-off and a Sinister Six movie.

All I have to say is these actors must have some seriously extended contracts to include this many movies. Either that or not every main character in the Amazing Spider-Man films will appear in these separate movies. It has already come out that Andrew Garfield might not extend his role as Peter Parker past his obligation of TASM4, so we will see what happens then. They might have to recast Peter at some point.
It is expected for this once a year schedule to begin in 2016 with the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and my bet is we will see a Venom movie before a Sinister Six movie which means the main villain for TASM3 will most likely be Venom. Either that or he will be a minor to major part of it in order to introduce the character and give enough interest for a standalone film. Venom (aka, Eddie Brock) was previously butchered by Topher Grace in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3.

Some people are suggesting that this is a very dangerous move for Sony because it could overload viewers on Spider-Man. It's unlike the Marvel universe Disney has going on with the fact that they have multiple characters with different story arcs going on. With Spider-Man, it is generally one story arc with the same characters over and over again because it is the only character Sony has rights to. Unless the studios want to compromise and pay for it, that's how it will remain.

Either way, this will be interesting to see how this unfolds. I thought The Amazing Spider-Man was pretty bad and the sequel doesn't look much better so far. I'm not too excited for any of this. I think they will burn everyone out releasing a movie every year. 

Godzilla - Full Trailer

We have the first, full-length trailer for Godzilla set to hit theaters this May. I wasn't totally on board, but I will admit I kind of am now. It looks pretty legit.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Harold Ramis passes at age 69

Harold Ramis, writer of classic films such as Animal House and Ghostbusters, has passed away at the age of 69. He started as a head writer of Second City Television (SCTV) and went on to write others such as National Lampoon's Vacation, Groundhog Day (for which he won an Oscar), and Caddyshack. He was also an accomplished actor often starring in the films he wrote. His most famous role is Dr. Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters.

He was a funny guy and will definitely be missed.

Yet another trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Sony... stop it. Just stop it! I don't even have to see the movie now. Whoever is head of their marketing department should be fired.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

NBC reviving Heroes as a mini-series

For those of us who loved Heroes, NBC has announced they are reviving the show as a 13 episode mini-series. The show will be called Heroes: Reborn and will premiere in 2015 with a new story arc. Even with a new arc, the network did mention they will consider the possibility of bringing back certain characters for cameos.

This isn't very surprising with the rise of superhero popularity. Not to exclude a loyal fanbase as well. I think Heroes was a great show and could have been greater if it wasn't released when it was. I'm excited to see where this is going to go.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Green Goblin surfaces for Amazing Spider-Man 2

As if we still had doubts, we now have a clear image of Green Goblin for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Harry Osbourn is being played by Dane DeHaan and in the photo it does seem like he is giving Peter a hard time.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and all its bad CGI hits theaters in 3D on May 2nd.

First poster for Guardians of the Galaxy

And it has a pretty hilarious and awesome lagline.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Fantastic Four finally has a cast

After much speculation and rumor, we finally have an official casting announcement for the upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four.

As rumored and expected, Miles Teller has signed on to play Reid Richards/Mr. Fantastic and Michael B. Jordan will play Johnny Storm/The Human Torch. In addition to those two, Kate Mara has landed the role of Sue Storm/The Invisible Woman and Jamie Bell is in final negotiations to play Ben Grimm/The Thing.
The new Fantastic Four will be based off the "Ultimate Fantastic Four" comic arc with the young cast being cast to show the origins of the characters and show them as young people. A villain is set to be cast in the coming weeks. Josh Trank (Chronicle) is set to direct the film slated for release on June 19, 2015. 

I personally don't like these casting choices at all. I think Jamie Bell is probably the best choice and he shouldn't be The Thing. He should be playing Mr. Fantastic. And not trying to be so-called racist, but how does it work to have Sue Storm be white and Johnny Storm be black? Unless they make one of them adopted or something.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy - Trailer Premieres

I just have to say that this trailer put the biggest smile on my face. It is so James Gunn, I love it. Marvel, thank you for giving this man a chance. I think this looks great and I cannot wait to see it. It's a bummer we don't have voices for Rocket Raccoon and Groot yet, but I can wait.  

Guardians of the Galaxy opens on August 1st.

Guardians of the Galaxy - 15 Second Teaser

I'm not a fan of the teasers for teasers, but I decided to watch this one to try and get a feel for Guardians of the Galaxy. Judging from this it looks like a typical Marvel movie. Lots of action, maybe some humor (knowing Chris Pratt), and spot on costumes. I'm eager to hear Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel voice Groot and Rocket Raccoon. Just putting that out there. 

The full trailer premieres tonight on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Compliance - Review

A small fast food restaurant becomes the victim of a prank caller pretending to be a police officer investigating a cashier for theft in Compliance.

All I really have to say is I don't know how or why these people didn't realize this was fake. That is when you hang up, call the police, and inquire about why one of their officers is making a fast food manager run their investigation. Ridiculous.

The saddest part is this is based off a true story. I wouldn't say this is a bad movie, it's just confusing.  I didn't think people were this dumb. I don't even have anything else to say.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Michael Keaton to return for Beetlejuice 2 under one condition...

Similar to what Winona Ryder stated about her conditions regarding Beetlejuice 2, Michael Keaton has also stated he will return under one condition...

If Tim Burton returns to direct.

Yes, Keaton has gone on record saying he won't return as the freelance bio-exorcist if Tim Burton isn't directing. While speaking with MTV, he did say that the sequel is still in very preliminary stages and he is hopeful that Burton will return.
Seth Grahame-Smith has been working on the Beetlejuice sequel for close to two years now and there is still no real development on the project. It has just been announced and the actors from the first movie are just saying they'll return if Burton returns.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Marvel considering Black Widow spin-off film

For whatever reason, Black Widow is becoming quite popular with viewers when it comes to Marvel. After Scarlett Johansson's character was introduced in Iron Man 2, she has appeared in The Avengers and has a big role in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It has also been said that her role in The Avengers: Age of Ultron is a lot bigger and more relevant. With that, naturally, Marvel is apparently considering a spin-off solo Black Widow film.

Kevin Feige describes her role in Age of Ultron as "very big" and stated that filming begins in late March. We are set to learn more about who she is and what she was prior to S.H.I.E.L.D. Now with that said, it is possible that we could see a solo film. Feige states they are brainstorming ideas but nothing is set in stone. I would bet if they are to do one it will be in Phase Three prior to the third Avengers movie. That's just my prediction.
I personally have never been a big fan of Black Widow, so if this never happens I won't be upset. I think the further expansion of every single character is a mistake. Not every member of The Avengers needs their own major story arc and/or their own movie(s). I always saw Black Widow and Hawkeye as supporting characters that are just there. There are already rumors that the Hulk will get another solo treatment which leaves Hawkeye completely in the dust. I don't think this is a smart move.

Freddie Prinze Jr. joins Star Wars: Rebels

Freddie Prinze Jr. has joined the voice cast of Star Wars: Rebels as Kanan, the "coolest guy in the universe." Kanan is described by producer Dave Filoni as a cowboy Jedi, similar to Han Solo, who is quick with both a blaster and a lightsaber.

Kanan was forced underground after the Emperor's execution of Order 66 and has hidden his Jedi skill. He is captain of a cargo ship called the Ghost. Filioni and Prinze describe the character's storyline as a rogue to hero transformation.

Star Wars: Rebels is set to premiere this fall on Disney Channel. It will air regularly on Disney XD and takes place in between the events of Episode III and Episode IV.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy - First trailer

I just don't see the point. The Purge sucked and this looks like it will, too. Sorry.
I can appreciate that they will actually show what it's like outside during The Purge, but I just can't get interested.

The Purge: Anarchy is set for release on June 20th.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy trailer hits tomorrow

Universal is set to release the first trailer for The Purge: Anarchy, the fast-tracked sequel to The Purge. This sequel will be released in theaters on June 20th. We don't really have much info on this sequel, but they did give us a teaser photo.

The Purge: Anarchy stars Frank Grillo, Michael K. Williams, Zach Gifford, and Carmen Ejogo.

#ThePurge #ThePurge2 #SurviveTheNight

Idina Menzel to perform at Oscar ceremony

The Oscars are less than a month away at this point and many were speculating on exactly who would perform the Oscar nominated song, "Let It Go," from Frozen. Would it be Idina Menzel who voiced the character of Elsa or would it be Demi Lovato who released the radio version of the song?

The news was released today that Idina Menzel will be performing the Best Original Song nominee during the ceremony and not Demi Lovato. In addition to Menzel performing, we will also see "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 performed by Pharrell Williams during the ceremony. "Let It Go" is the clear frontrunner as it is part of the longest standing #1 soundtrack since 2003 and prompted Disney to re-release Frozen in sing-a-long formats.

I wasn't a huge fan of Frozen, but I will admit that "Let It Go" is a great song. I think it's right for them to choose Menzel to perform, as well. If you haven't heard "Let It Go" just yet I would give it a try.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron begins shooting

Production for the anticipated Avengers sequel has begun shooting in Johannesburg. In addition to this location, production will eventually move to locations in London and northern Italy.
South African mayor Parks Tau thanked Marvel due to the economic boost it is sure to produce and the creation of jobs. The shoot in Johannesburg will use over 1,000 people over the course of two weeks.

The Avengers: Age of Ultron is set to hit theaters on May 1, 2015. It brings back Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, and Mark Ruffalo and will introduce Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and James Spader.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The LEGO Movie - Review

After President Business vows to permanently super glue the LEGO universe together, an average construction worker named Emmet is recruited by a secret group of master builders to try and save their world in The LEGO Movie.

I will admit that I went into this movie excited for a couple reasons. First of all, Lego's are awesome. No question. Second off, the trailers were funny and the movie genuinely looked good. After seeing it I am happy to say that not only was the animation fantastic but the movie itself was also very fun. I haven't enjoyed a movie like this in a while.
Starting off with the premise, I thought making a movie about a Lego universe was very cool and like many others, I don't know what took them so long. The concept is just so open for interpretation and creativity. The plot itself had a nice message as well showing that without creativity we don't really have a future. Making a normal, average construction worker "the special" because he thought of things that didn't seem important to most but were cool to him was a nice touch.
Along with the plot being great, the animation rendered was so fantastic. I loved how everything was made of Lego's. If there was a fire it was out of Lego pieces. If there was smoke, it was made out of Lego pieces. Even liquids and the opening credits were Lego pieces. The characters maintained classic Lego form, but the voices and facial rendering gave them so much life.
Speaking of voices, I thought the voice cast was perfect. Morgan Freeman, Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, and Elizabeth Banks all killed it and they made the seemingly simple Lego figures really come to life. I applaud them for that. The characters themselves were absolutely hilarious, too. I thought Emmet was a very endearing character and extremely likeable. The police officer voiced by Liam Neeson was also great. I laughed a lot at him. 
One main thing that I loved about this movie was the absolute immersion of the Lego universe. There were Lego characters in this movie that I played with as a kid, like the 80's space guy and the basic construction workers. I think I even had pirate Lego's as a kid. They were all included and the way they wrapped them all together into the same universe was a lot of fun. Warner Bros. really did their research on this one and the end product was fantastic.

If you have little kids they will absolutely love The LEGO Movie. I saw it with my 10-year old nephew and we were both laughing throughout the entire movie. Aside from that, I think people of any age will enjoy this movie. Most of the people in my theater were adults with no children and everyone seemed to be having a good time. I never thought I would say this with such enthusiasm, but bring on a sequel. I am totally on board to see more Lego movies because I sure loved this one.

As much as it pains me to say it, I think this movie surpassed Monsters University and definitely crushed Frozen. This definitely should give Disney and Pixar something to think about because it was a lot better than the last couple offerings we've had. Now excuse me while I go sing "Everything is Awesome" around the house all week.

Oh, and there is a Star Wars cameo. Just saying =^D

Star Wars filming dates set for 2014

We still don't have official casting news, but we learned today that Star Wars Episode VII will be shooting from May through September in London. This shoot gives the production enough time to finish principal photography in enough time for the December 2015 release along with allowing time for reshoots, post-production, and special effects.

Seeing that it's already February, I would expect some solid casting news in the next month or so. They might hold us off until April but either way it has to be coming soon enough.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

I will resume very shortly

After a nice week long escape to California, I am back and trying to catch up to everything I missed this past week. I will resume posting very shortly so keep your eyes open.

Probably by tomorrow or Tuesday I should be back to posting regularly.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Super Bowl spots for Captain America, Spider-Man, and Transformers hit

The Transformers spot looks typical to me. An overuse of CGI and an expected appearance by Grimlock. Captain America: The Winter Soldier looks so good it's ridiculous. The main problem I have is with this damn Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailer. Not only is the use of CGI retarded, but they show you the entire movie in the trailer. Like seriously, people don't even have to go to the theater anymore. It's a rehash of the marketing for the first movie when they show how the Lizard is defeated in the trailer. Sony needs to fire their marketing team and start fresh because it's ridiculous. There is no excuse to make your second trailer over 3 minutes long and practically make it a summary of the movie.

Philip Seymour Hoffman dead at 46

Oscar winner Philip Seymour Hoffman has died at the age of 46 due to a suspected drug overdose. He was found in his apartment in New York City by an unidentified source. No confirmed cause of death has been noted, but the actor has struggled with Heroin addiction throughout his life.

He was currently filming The Hunger Games trilogy with Mockingjay Part 2 and also completed a television series titled Happyish. Hoffman had recently starred in Moneyball, The Master, A Most Wanted Man, and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. He previously won an Oscar and a Golden Globe in 2005 for his role as Truman Capote in Capote. He also earned Oscar nominations for his roles in The Master, Doubt, and Charlie Wilson's War.

I find this very sad. He was a great actor and it will be sad to not see him on the big screen anymore. Rest in peace, good sir.