The past seven days

Monday, March 31, 2014

Harry Potter spin-off to be a trilogy

Warner Bros. is planning another big, blockbuster trilogy with the Harry Potter spin-off by J.K. Rowling. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them will receive the trilogy treatment by the studio, revealed by WB CEO Kevin Tsujihara. Early in the planning staged Tsujihara wanted it to be a new franchise but was hesitant to give details.

Rowling was persuaded to expand on the 2001 Hogwarts textbook, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, into a film adaptation and credits Tsujihara for the push. She states to this day that it wouldn't be happening if it wasn't for him.
Fantastic Beasts will be set in New York seven decades prior to the Potter series. It follows magizoologist Newt Scamander and is not considered either a prequel or sequel, but an extension of the wizard universe.

Personally, I think WB is hurting financially when it comes to blockbusters and figured trying to revive the HP world was the best way to do it. Rowling has no life outside of HP either, so I guess it makes sense.

New poster for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

This is getting exciting.

We also have a new TV spot.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Frozen makes box office history

It's no secret that Disney it the jackpot with Frozen, both fan-wise and financially. The Oscar-winning animated feature has now marked another milestone becoming the highest grossing animated film worldwide.

Frozen has surpassed Pixar's Toy Story 3 with a total of $1.07 billion at the box office. That not only puts it in first in the record books, but it puts Walt Disney Animation on top of Pixar for the first time. It also marks the first animated feature released by Walt Disney Animation to reach $1 billion. The runner up, Tangled, only produced $591 million worldwide. The film also managed to become the biggest digital seller of all time and sold 3.2 million Blu-Ray/DVD copies in the first day. That is the best in over a decade.
That doesn't even include how well the soundtrack is doing. The original soundtrack, composed by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, has sold 1.6 million copies with 5 million individual tracks. The video for "Let It Go" has also reached over 160 million views on YouTube, sold over 2.6 million copies, and managed to take home the Oscar for Best Original Song.

It's a no brainer that Disney will bank on this franchise. There is an average of a 2-3 hour wait to meet Anna and Elsa at Disneyland and there are rumors of both a sequel and a Frozen ride in the Disney parks. With this movie continuing to make money, I don't think we will see the end of Frozen for quite sometime. They will push it until it reaches direct-to-DVD status.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Michael Chiklis joins American Horror Story: Freak Show

The cast for the fourth installment of American Horror Story is already beginning to grow and grow. In addition to returning season veterans, it was confirmed that Michael Chiklis has joined the cast of Freak Show. His character will be the ex-husband of Kathy Bates and the father of Evan Peters.
You might recognize Chiklis from his television work in The Shield, Vegas, and The Commish. He has also starred in Fantastic Four as Ben Grimm (aka, The Thing).

Returning cast members for Freak Show include Jessica Lange, Evan Peters, Kathy Bates, Angela Basset, Frances Conroy, and Sarah Paulson. Rumored to be in negotiations are Emma Roberts and Denis O'Hare. American Horror Story airs on FX in the fall/winter season on Wednesday nights.
Freak Show brings us to Jupiter, Florida in 1950 where we will be following one of the last traveling freak shows in the US.

Magic Mike 2 lands a director and an official title

Just yesterday I wrote about Joe Manganiello claiming filming for the Magic Mike sequel began this fall. We now have confirmation about a director and an official title.

Magic Mike XXL will be directed by Gregory Jacobs and is still rumored to begin production this fall. Jacobs is a long-time second unit director and assistant director and has done the duty for such films as Ocean's Eleven, Contagion, Erin Brockovich, Side Effects, and the Golden Globe winner Behind the Candelabra. He has also produced a number of the films he has directed.
It was previously rumored that Channing Tatum would co-direct with Reid Carolin, but that doesn't seem to be working out.

No telling exactly when production will officially start or if this info is completely true, but there it is.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Magic Mike 2 planned for the fall

After the rather unexpected success of the male stripper movie Magic Mike, a sequel was pretty much a given. However, with busy schedules for Channing Tatum and Stephen Soderbergh the timeframe has been a bit rusty and not too definite. We now have some quotes from Joe Manganiello that Magic Mike 2 will start up in the fall of this year.

Manganiello claims that the announcement should be coming soon and that filming will start up this fall. The sequel has no definitive cast or a director, but it was rumored that Channing Tatum will either co-direct with Reid Carolin or will make his directorial debut with the sequel. Tatum recently went to social media to share a photo of himself working on the screenplay for Magic Mike 2, so it is in the works. We just don't know for sure when.

I personally didn't like Magic Mike and I guarantee the only reason it was so successful is because people got to see Channing Tatum and Matthew McConaughey strip dance. The plot was terrible, Alex Pettyfer shouldn't quit his day job, and it wasn't that interesting. It was mild played drama underneath drama at a male strip club. I listed it in my "Worst of 2012" list which can be seen here. 

Second trailer for The Purge: Anarchy

I will admit it looks more interesting with a full look, but I am still going to pass. Originally set for release in June, the new release date for The Purge: Anarchy is July 18th.

First teaser for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I can't do this anymore.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Lollapalooza 2014 announces full lineup

In its 10th year in Chicago, the Lollapalooza music festival announced the lineup they will present to guests. The 10th anniversary of Chicago is following up a killer lineup last year which featured bands like Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Mumford & Sons, and more. There are a few standouts this year, but I wouldn't say anything too spectacular. Two of the headliners are hip-hop artists which is a bit unusual.

August 1st:

Eminem, Arctic Monkeys, Lorde, Zedd, Above & Beyond, Broken Bells, Interpol, Lykke Li, Phantogram, Chvrches, The Glitch Mob, Portugal the Man, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, AFI, J. Roddy Walston & the Business, the Kooks, Rudimental, Iggy Azalea, Bombay Bicycle Club, Warpaint, Kodaline, Sander Kleinenberg, Lucius, Blood Orange, Perry/Etty vs Joachim Garraud, Jagwar Ma, Temples, Vic Mensa, Francisca Valenzuela, Into It. Over It, Courtney Barnett, San Fermin, Roadkill Ghost Choir, Brillz, Jacob Plant, the So So Glos, Cash Cash, Bebe Rexha, Wallpaper, Dugas, Bagheera, Of Verona, Highly Suspect.

August 2nd:

Outkast, Calvin Harris, Foster the People, Krewella, Nas, Spoon, the Head and the Heart, Chase & Status, Cut Copy, Fitz & the Tantrums, Grouplove, Gramatik, Jenny Lewis, Manchester Orchestra, John Butler Trio, Martin Garrix, Phosphorescent, Duke Dumont, the Temper Trap, Joachim Garraud, Typhoon, Z-Trip, Kate Nash, Vance Joy, Rich Homie Quan, Parquet Courts, Smallpools, Jungle, Wildcat! Wildcat!, Papa, the Districts, heRobust, Royal Blood, Ratking, Meg Myers, Joywave, Desert Noises, Jon Batiste and Stay Human, Benjamin Booker, The Last Internationale, Johnnyswim, Charlie Hirsch, Anna Lunoe, Rocky Business.

August 3rd:

Kings of Leon, Skrillex, the Avett Brothers, Sebastian Ingrosso, Childish Gambino, Cage the Elephant, Young the Giant, Chance the Rapper, Flosstradamus, Chromeo, Darkside, The 1975, Rebelution, Glen Hansard, Gesaffelstein, Flume, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, Run the Jewels, The Airborne Toxic Event, London Grammar, White Denim, Delta Rae, RAC, GTA, jhene aiko, Kongos, Nonono, Gemini Club, Crizzly, Bomba Estereo, Bleachers, Bear Hands, Kausea, Bronze Radio Return, Lindsay Lowend, Betty Who, Fly Golden Eagle, Crass Mammoth, Cardiknox, Space Capone, Plastic Visions, Oyinda.

You can catch Lollapalooza in Chicago, IL in Grant Park. 3-day passes are sold out already, but there are VIP tickets left. Single day passes go up today.

Yet another look at The Amazing Spider-Man 2

I swear, I feel like I have already seen this movie.

Today we have yet another look at Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn (aka, Green Goblin) in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. You might recall that production tried to convince people he wouldn't show up until the third movie, but apparently after including him on one of the many teaser posters and trailers they just decided to go all out with the reveal... along with the reveal of just about everything else. Whoever is head of Sony's marketing department should be fired.

Anyway, here is the newest look at DeHaan in full costume:

If you want to pay and see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 instead of just looking at the promo pics and piecing together the five trailers we have, you can do so on May 2nd. It stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field, and Paul Giamatti.

Monday, March 24, 2014

CGI doubles for Paul Walker to be used in Fast and Furious 7

When Paul Walker passed unexpectedly in November, a lot were wondering if CGI was going to be used to fill the void in Fast and Furious 7. There is now a report stating that Universal will indeed utilize CGI and body doubles in place of Paul Walker in certain scenes that had not been filmed at the time of his death. The report states that four actors similar to Walker's height and features have been hired to fill the void.

This isn't the first time this has happened. Ridley Scott and the production of Gladiator did the exact same thing in 1999 when Oliver Reed passed away during the production. Fast and Furious 7 is set to resume filming in April.

First look at The Avengers: Age of Ultron

We got some set photos from Italy today regarding The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Within these we got a first peek at Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and Ultron (James Spader).

I will admit I wasn't feeling the whole emo, goth thing at first for Scarlet Witch but I have warmed up to it. I still do not like the Quicksilver look, but at least it looks better than the Ramona Flowers lookalike in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

American Horror Story: Freak Show to premiere in October

The freak show has arrived :)

We now have a confirmed title for the fourth season of American Horror Story on FX. Appropriately titled Freak Show, this season will focus on a traveling freak show run by a German woman in 1950. It follows as she does anything to protect her show and her freaks.
So far Jessica Lange, Angela Bassett, Kathy Bates, Evan Peters, and Sarah Paulson are set to return. Emma Roberts and Denis O'Hare are both in negotiations at the moment. As it seems right now, the only series regular not set to return is Lily Rabe, who was the Coven fan-favorite Misty Day and Asylum looney Sister Mary Eunice.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bella Thorne joins Amityville Horror

I must have missed something because I didn't know they were making yet another Amityville movie, but Disney Channel star Bella Thorne has joined the upcoming version also starring Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Dimension Films and Blumhouse Productions  are pushing this new version and it will be directed by Franck Khalfoun. Originally Dimension was set to release it in the found-footage format, but popularity of the format has declined so the idea was scrapped. Amityville is, however, following the post-Halloween trend as it is scheduled for January 2, 2015. This will be the second reboot since the original was released in 1979. The first reboot, starring Ryan Reynolds and Chloe Moretz, was released in 2005.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

First poster for Rosemary's Baby

NBC is busy promoting the new Rosemary's Baby mini-series starring Zoe Saldana. We have the first poster for the event which can be seen below.

The official synopsis is as follows:
“It centers on Rosemary Woodhouse (Zoe Saldana), a young wife and would-be mother who, with her husband Guy (Patrick J. Adams), moves into a Paris apartment that has a dark past. After finally getting pregnant, she becomes increasingly suspicious that both her husband and their mysterious neighbors have ulterior motives about the future of her child.”

WIll AMC drop a Walking Dead bombshell?

Questions, rumors, and claims are swirling around regarding the "those who survive" and "who will survive" campaigns for The Walking Dead finale. TV Line has even been bold enough to claim AMC is going to kill off their main character, Rick Grimes.

The following promo features Rick with his son Carl and Michonne. It could just be an overlooked promotion for the Terminus plot line, but there is no telling.

Personally, I think it's just a bloated promotion that people are overlooking. The catch of "those who survive" isn't group specific as far as I'm concerned. We have already lost members of the group, especially with Lizzie and Mika last week. Who knows where Beth is at this point, too. This poster probably hit now because we haven't seen Rick, Carl, and Michonne in weeks.

But I must admit... I hope Carl is the one killed off. I can't stand that little shit.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Fox announced release dates including Wolverine sequel

Fox isn't wasting any time pushing their own Marvel franchises and yet another installment of Taken. The following release dates have been made official:
  • Fantastic Four 2 will hit on July 14, 2017
  • A sequel to The Wolverine is set for March 3, 2017
  • Taken 3 has reserved January 9, 2015
  • The Secret Service has switched from March 6, 2015 to October 24, 2015. It swapped places with an untitled Vince Vaughn flick. 
  • Frankenstein, starring Daniel Radcliffe, has moved from January 16, 2015 to October 2, 2015
  • An untitled Marvel project has reserved the date of July 13, 2018

Call me crazy, but I am expecting the untitled Marvel film to be yet another X-Men movie. There would be no telling whether it will be a solo origins movie or a continuation of X-Men: Apocalypse, set for release on May 27, 2016. At least not until we see Days of Future Past this May and Fantastic Four. I would bet if a FF sequel is hitting in 2017 that we won't see those characters again the very next year. Fox just doesn't own that many Marvel properties so we have limited options here. Especially since they gave up Daredevil.
However, Fox has already hired Simon Kinberg and given him the task to create an Avengers-like movie for with the Marvel properties they own, so it could very well be an X-Men/Fantastic Four crossover movie. Maybe something that takes place the same time as The Avengers, but without the other characters actively showing up.

Personally, I am still hoping for a Deadpool movie but who knows if they will ever have the guts to make it happen.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Andy Serkis will direct The Jungle Book reboot

Warner Bros. has hired Andy Serkis to direct the upcoming live-action version of The Jungle Book. Serkis is already on board to produce the film alongside Steve Kloves and Jonathan Cavendish. This is Warner Bros. attempt to compete with the Disney produced Jungle Book adaptation to be directed by Jon Favreau.

You might recognize Serkis' voice more than him in person. He provided motion capture and voice work to Peter Jackson as Gollum in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong as well as lending his body once again to motion capture as Caesar for Rise of the Planet of the Apes. He is also reprising the role of Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
Despite being a second unit director for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, this will be Serkis' directorial debut.

First posters for Dumb & Dumber To

These tuxedos are... shall I say, fabulous?

Sam Raimi to produce reboot of The Grudge

It's been 10 years. Quick, we need to reboot The Grudge!

Apparently that's what Ghost House thought as they announced their intent to reboot the film with franchise intent. Although the original remake of the Japanese film Ju-On spawned three films total, Ghost House Pictures and Good Universe are counting on Sam Raimi to revive the story and kickstart a new horror franchise.
The Grudge told the story of a home cursed by a dead family. The curse affected anyone who came in contact with it. The 2004 film starred Sarah Michelle Gellar and was smack dab in the middle of Hollywood's Americanized versions of Asian horror which also included The Ring, Shutter, The Eye, and One Missed Call.

For me personally, The Grudge should have never happened so naturally I am feeling the same way about another revival of it. Ju-On wasn't all that great, but it was better than the American trilogy for sure. The Ring was the best Asian remake film of the early to mid 2000's and even that was destroyed with a sequel. I expect more from Sam Raimi.

Star Wars Episode VII will be in IMAX; Disney extends partnership with IMAX

Disney put out a press release today stating they have renewed their partnership with IMAX and will continue releasing major films in the IMAX format. Films included in the release are Marvel releases Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers: Age of Ultron as well as Maleficent, Tomorrowland and Star Wars Episode VII. I would also expect all of these to receive IMAX 3D branding as well since that seems to be the trend. It's a bad trend but what can you do.
According to the release, the extended partnership between IMAX and Disney will act as a strategy for IMAX action releases and highly anticipated live-action ventures.

This doesn't really surprise me as Disney films have been released in the IMAX format for many years already. I still remember when they first started doing theatrical re-releases in IMAX because I saw Fantasia 2000, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King in IMAX back in the day. Due to disappointing box office numbers the re-releases of Aladdin and The Little Mermaid were canceled. However, since then we have seen films such as Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, John Carter, Tron: Legacy, Alice in Wonderland, The Avengers, and Frankenweenie receive IMAX engagements along with regular theatrical release. 
Plus, IMAX tickets cost a little bit more and so do 3D tickets, so it makes sense to bump up the theatrical experience for major blockbusters and make a little more profit out of it. I personally prefer IMAX screens so this is perfectly fine with me.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Levi Miller to play Peter Pan

The search for Peter Pan has ended with newcomer Levi Miller.

When I say newcomer I mean it. Miller was a young version of a main character in Terra Nova and starred in two short films. Other than that there really isn't anything else on his resume.
Miller joins Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund, and Rooney Mara in Joe Wright's Pan. It is set in the wake of WWII and follows a young orphan as he is kidnapped by pirates and brought to Neverland. The orphan learns his destiny to defeat Blackbeard.

We will see Pan in theaters on July 17, 2015.

Star Wars Episode VII timeframe revealed

Disney CEO, Bob Iger, has leaked some information about the severely secretive Star Wars Episode VII plot. Iger stated that  the new Star Wars will take place 30 years after the events of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. He also mentioned a trio of new lead characters will lead familiar characters. So far, the only official cast member announced is R2-D2 but it has been rumored for months that Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill will be returning as well.

This is just more to add to the rumor pot regarding Episode VII. We literally know nothing about this movie other than the director, writers, R2-D2, and that filming starts in May.

First teaser for Peanuts

And I must say, it looks as adorable as can be.

Pixar announces Cars 3 and Incredibles 2

Just a day after announcing the intent to re-release The Incredibles and Ratatouille in 3D, Pixar has now announced they are indeed working on a third installment of Cars and a sequel to The Incredibles.

Let this be a confirmation that critics don't control the Pixar team. After overwhelming fan and professional disappointment, and some hate, for Cars 2 the animation mogul is still pushing forward with the Cars franchise because it is profitable. Despite the negativity, Cars 2 netted $560 million worldwide at the box office. Not to mention the ridiculously successful Cars Land opening at Disneyland in Anaheim in 2012.
As far as The Incredibles goes, viewers and critics have been calling for a sequel pretty much since the movie was released back in 2004. The characters remain popular to this day and in addition to the planned 3D re-release, a sequel does make sense.

Personally, I was never a fan of either Cars or The Incredibles so I don't really have much to say other than nothing but sequels for Pixar once again.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Veronica Mars upsets Kickstarter backers with download issues

When the Kickstarter campaign started to fund a much demanded, among the fanbase, movie for the canceled TV show Veronica Mars, the backers were promised a free digital download of the film on the theatrical release date. Due to demand and some lousy download production, many fans were unable to download the movie.

A consumer download company, VHX, works with Kickstarter to give the backers their downloads and they released a lengthy statement regarding the issue. It urges the distributors to "think like fans" and is blaming the difficulties on the production for not thinking like their backers. They cite the DRM-based Ultraviolet download template for the failures claiming the technology is not versatile and prevented downloads of Veronica Mars on any and all mobile devices. If you weren't downloading on a computer you couldn't get your free download.

You can read the full statement here.

Basically, this was an oops. I never really saw the point in offering the free download because a majority of people who backed the Kickstarter are the ones who would be seeing it in theaters... but you are giving them the movie at home for free. *shrug*

American Horror Story season four theme revealed

After speculation and some casting confirmation, we have word that the fourth season of American Horror Story will indeed be a carnival theme.

While we don't have an official title yet, co-executive producer Douglas Petrie confirmed that the fourth season will be set in a spooky carnival. Co-creator Ryan Murphy dismissed early rumors of a circus theme claiming fans hadn't completely guessed the theme yet. Call me crazy, but a carnival and a circus are pretty similar when it comes down to it. He would confirm that the fourth season will follow suit of Asylum in the sense that it takes place during two different time periods beginning in 1950.
Confirmed cast members so far include Jessica Lange and Sarah Paulson with Angela Bassett returning as well. All three are series vets and I won't be surprised to see more.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pixar developing Incredibles 3D re-release

Seeing that Pixar has no 2014 release thanks to a delay of The Good Dinosaur, it seems that they have nothing better to do than plan more 3D re-releases. We have already had re-releases of Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, and Monsters Inc. Next up on the agenda is none other than the 2004 Oscar-winning feature The Incredibles. Also on the slate is a planned rendering of a less popular Pixar film, Ratatouille.
Josh Hollander, Pixar Director of 3D Production, spoke at the 3D Creative Summit in London about these upcoming projects. Regarding The Incredibles, Hollander said, "It’s been an interesting challenge to work on technology because - while the film was released 10 years ago - the technology is even older as it took four years to make." Apparently there is already a version of Ratatouille finished and they are brainstorming release strategies for it.

This is sort of surprising as Disney seemed to scrap the 3D re-releases after disappointing box office numbers for Beauty and the Beast. We were supposed to get the 3D re-release of The Little Mermaid in September, but it was canceled or indefinitely delayed. However you want to take that one.
The re-releases of Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo weren't that successful at the box office either. Not to mention many have been calling for an Incredibles sequel, not just a 3D re-release.

There is no telling how fast these will hit theaters, but if everything stays the same as it is now we won't see a Pixar film until Inside Out is released on June 19, 2015.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Nine Inch Nails announces tour with Soundgarden

To follow up the stunning Tension 2013 tour, Trent Reznor has announced a summer tour featuring Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden with support from Death Grips. NIN members receive a presale similar to the one done for Tension, with a 4 ticket limit instead of 2, on March 17th while tickets go up for the general public on March 21st.
NIN just wrapped up tour dates in Japan and is currently touring New Zealand and Australia with Brody Dalle and Queens of the Stone Age. After that they are touring Latin America and then the UK/Europe until June 11th.

This acts as sort of an ironic 20th anniversary for both NIN and Soundgarden as The Downward Spiral and Superunknown both celebrated their 1994 anniversaries last week. Nine Inch Nails is still riding the wave set by the release of Hesitation Marks last September along with the overwhelmingly positive reviews of Tension 2013. I saw the Tension tour last November and out of all the NIN shows I have been to it was by far the best one. The production was just out of this world.
Soundgarden is set to release a 20th anniversary edition of Superunknown on June 3rd. They released their latest album, King Animal, in 2012.
As for Death Grips, I have no idea who they are but the moment I Googled and saw the phrase "experimental hip-hop" I facepalmed. Did Trent not learn after the failure of the Street Sweeper Social Club opener back in 2009?

Anyway, here are the summer tour dates for North America:

7.19 - Planet Hollywood (Las Vegas, NV)
7.21 - Red Rocks Amphitheatre (Morrison, CO)
7.24 - First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre (Tinley Park, IL)
7.26 - DTE Energy Music Theatre (Clarkston, MI)
7.27 - Molson Canadian Amphitheatre (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
7.29 - XFINITY Center (Mansfield, MA)
7.30 - Susquehanna Bank Center (Camden, NJ)
8.01 - Nikon at Jones Beach Theatre (Wantagh, NY)
8.02 - PNC Bank Arts Center (Holmdel, NJ)
8.04 - Jiffy Lube Live (Bristow, VA)
8.05 - Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach (Virginia Beach, VA)
8.07 - PNC Music Pavilion (Charlotte, NC)
8.08 - Aaron's Amphitheater at Lakewood (Atlanta, GA)
8.10 - Cruzan Amphitheatre (West Palm Beach, FL)
8.11 - MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre (Tampa, FL)
8.14 - Austin360 Amphitheater (Austin, TX)
8.16 - Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (Woodlands, TX)
8.17 - Gexa Energy Pavilion (Dallas, TX)
8.19 - Isleta Amphitheater (Albuquerque, NM)
8.21 - Sleep Train Amphitheatre (Chula Vista, CA)
8.22 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Irvine, CA)
8.24 - Shoreline Amphitheatre (Mountain View, CA)
8.25 - Hollywood Bowl (Hollywood, CA)

I must admit that I am pissed. I am happy they are coming back to Colorado, but I am not happy about Red Rocks. That venue is so overrated. It takes forever to get to, the sound doesn't distribute evenly, it's expensive, etc.. I could keep going about how much I despise that venue. I skipped Lights in the Sky in 2008 because it was at Red Rocks.

Halle Berry cut from X-Men: Days of Future Past

Yet another victim of the cutting floor.

It was first announced that Anna Paquin (Rogue) had been cut entirely from X-Men: Days of Future Past and that we would most likely only see her on the DVD/Blu-Ray. We now learned that Halle Berry (Storm) has also been cut. Well, at least been cut down to just one scene.

This hasn't been officially announced as Paquin's cut was, but I would assume director Bryan Singer will cite the same problem; the movie is running too long. He cited irrelevance, confusion, and running too long as reason to cut Rogue out of the movie. This comes just shy of two month prior to the release of X-Men: Days of Future Past and after all the Empire covers showcasing the new and returning mutants.
Some are suggesting that Berry's pregnancy had to do with this move in the end due to the fact that she was unable to be as active as they would have liked and there was some visibility of a baby bump. Berry has already admitted to the pregnancy limiting her movement because shooting conflicted with the timing.

All I have to say is I hope the cutting is over with. If they cut any more returning mutants I don't understand why they brought them back in the first place. Not acceptable.

X-Men: Days of Future Past stars James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Omar Sy, Evan Peters, and Nicolas Hoult. The film brings back mutants such as Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellan, Hugh Jackman, and more. It hits theaters on May 23rd.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Lupita Nyong'o for Star Wars?

Even more casting rumors ahead.

Reports claim that Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o has met with J.J. Abrams for an undisclosed role in Star Wars Episode VII. Nyong'o just won an Oscar for her role in 12 Years a Slave at the beginning of the month and recently starred in Non-Stop. Rumor has it the role is a "non-Caucasian descendent of Obi-Wan Kenobi."
Previously we learned of a short-list of male actors up for the coveted lead role, so it is possible that there is a female lead we don't know much about yet.

Dexter Fletcher exits Freddie Mercury biopic

Maybe this is even more of a sign that this shouldn't happen.

After Sacha Baron Cohen departed the Freddie Mercury biopic last year, we learned today that director Dexter Fletcher has also left the project. Cohen cited creative differences when he left the project and Fletcher has also cited creative differences as reason for his departure.
Cohen was replaced with Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) and although he is still attached at this point there is no telling how Sony and GK Films is going to move forward at this point. The surviving members of Queen basically hold all creative power at this point because they own the rights to the songs. Word had it when Cohen left that they wanted the project to be a PG-rated family movie about Queen and Mercury. Needless to say, Cohen said no way and it seems that Fletcher feels the same.

The project was set to start production this summer, so they will have to find a new director soon if they want it to start on schedule.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Marvel unveils 2016 release to be...

Make way for the third installment of Captain America!

Marvel has had an untitled 2016 slot reserved for quite sometime now. Many speculated it to be a Doctor Strange movie or potentially another Iron Man. We now have confirmation that Captain America 3 is set for theaters in May 6, 2016. There is still an untitled Marvel project slated for May 2017, so it is very possible Doctor Strange is still coming to the big screen. There is still a summer 2016 date open as well.
This comes in the wake of overwhelming positive reviews, so far, of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Early screenings have yielded reviews saying it is captivating, thrilling, and has an incredibly strong plot. It seems that Captain America could be taking the cake away from Thor and Iron Man a little bit. Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters in less than a month on April 4th.

And just in case you didn't catch it, this release date puts it directly head to head against WB's Batman vs Superman project which shifted from 2015 to 2016 a few months back. Now the heat is on to see which date changes first because it is very unlikely these will stay in direct contention. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has already said he won't budge on the release, so this is a smart move by Marvel to put some more sweat onto the brow of WB and DC Comics.

Marvel still has the jump on WB/DC seeing that the next film from WB isn't set until 2016 and we will be getting a total of four Marvel films in that time. Those films being Captain America: The Winter Solider, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Ant-Man. Add the third Captain America and that is five films against one. Unless a surprise project involving other Justice League members surfaces, Marvel wins once again.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Star Wars Episode VII casting shortlist narrowed down

We still don't have any official casting news for Star Wars Episode VII, other than Adam Driver apparently being cast as the villain, but rumor has it the shortlist for the highly coveted male lead has been narrowed down to five actors. This list includes Jesse Plemons, John Boyega, and Ed Speleers. Some lists also include theater actors Matthew James Thomas and Ray Fisher.

You might not recognize any of these guys except for Jesse Plemons who gained a rather cult following due to his role as Todd on Breaking Bad. I recognize all of them except for the theater guys simply because I've seen both Attack the Block and Eragon. Boyega hasn't been in anything too mainstream since Attack the Block while Speleers has been a series regular on the award winning series Downton Abbey since 2012. Either way, we should hear official news on Episode VII soon as production is set to begin in May and go through September.  It is currently set for theatrical release on December 18, 2015.

Rooney Mara cast in Pan

Pan has its Tiger Lilly.

Rooney Mara, most recently known for her role as Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, has been cast as Tiger Lilly in Joe Wright's upcoming reboot of Peter Pan. Tiger Lilly is the tribe princess of Native Americans residing in Neverland. Mara joins Garrett Hedlund and Hugh Jackman in Pan. The title role has yet to be cast, but we can expect this one to hit theaters on July 17, 2015.

The Lego Movie sequel has its director

It was announced a few weeks back that a sequel to The Lego Movie will hit theaters on May 26, 2017. The Lego Movie received overwhelming success, popularity, and positive reviews after the initial release this past February and it's all been uphill since then.

We now have confirmation that the sequel will be directed by Chris McKay. He served as animation co-director for the first film. Directors/writers Chris Miller and Phil Lord will only return as producers for the sequel while Michelle Morgan and Jared Stern will take over the screenwriting. It is unclear whether the next one will follow the same characters and plot line or if it will just expand the popular "Ninjago" Lego universe.
McKay has worked on animated shows such as Robot Chicken and Titan Maximum and directed the Robot Chicken Star Wars: Episode III special. He will make his feature film directorial debut with The Lego Movie 2.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Charlie Sheen absent from Anger Management tapings

Looks like the winning, tiger blood Sheen is back.

Lionsgate has apparently been forced to delay production past the scheduled date and use stand-ins for filming of Anger Management as Charlie Sheen has stopped coming to work. Sheen's publicist claims he did not show up due to the illness of another cast member and Lionsgate refused to comment, but this is rumored to have angered other cast members, even to the point that some are threatening to stop working if this persists.
Anger Management was greenlit by FX for 100 more episodes after just one, 10-episode season in 2012 due to the overwhelming success of the show's debut. After Sheen was made famous due to his struggle with substance abuse during his stint on Two and a Half Men, many speculated if he could complete a 110 episode commitment to a new sitcom after being very publicly fired and replaced with Ashton Kutcher. Anger Management is currently 2/3 of the way there with the intensive filming schedule of two episodes per week. It is still scheduled to be completed this fall even with the attendance issue.

This is not the first hiccup this sitcom has experienced. Early in the show, co-star Selma Blair was dismissed from the show after she brought accusations about Sheen's work ethic to light. Sheen responded on Twitter and even busted out the dreaded "c-word." She is not the only one to question Sheen as many viewers brought up his decline on Two and a Half Men and claimed the show was doomed at some point.
Despite all of this, Anger Management has been steady for FX. The ratings are consistent despite retaining a fraction of the first season viewership. If the show can complete the 110+ episodes it is set to bring in an international revenue of up to $800 million.

Sheen's regular co-stars include Shawnee Smith, Noureen DeWulf, Brett Butler, and Martin Sheen. Guest stars, so far, include Lindsay Lohan, Denise Richards, LeAnn Rimes, CeeLo Green, and Carol Kane.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For - First Trailer

Finally! Looks like it will be worth the wait, for sure.

Archer renewed for seasons 6-7 by FX

It appears that viewers are enjoying the fifth season of Archer (aka, Archer Vice) as FX announced they renewed the show for two more seasons. This leaves Archer guaranteed for cable and broadcast syndication and also gives it a possibility for an eighth season or beyond. Each season will be at least 13-episodes and pushed forward the show dominating the 18-49 demographic.

Archer premiered back in 2010 on FX and has had a steady fanbase for the animated spy comedy ever since. Created by Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, the show is currently undergoing an overhaul with "Archer Vice" which took it away from the entire premise of spies and the lackluster spy agency, ISIS. Season five will wrap up at the end of this month on the 24th and it is assumed that season six will premiere in January 2015 with season seven sometime in 2016.
This is an interesting move, but there is no real way to tell where the character development is going to go until this season is over. With Cheryl becoming a country star, Pam being a drug addict, Ray walking once again, and Lana still pregnant there are tons of directions the next two seasons could go. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Blue is the Warmest Color - Review

After a chance encounter with an artist with blue hair, Adele begins a multiple year journey to learn how to discover herself, her needs, and her wants as an adult in Blue is the Warmest Color.

I went into this movie fully knowing what to expect because of the reputation it gained after Cannes. It was both praised and criticized for it's NC-17, graphic portrayal of a same-sex relationship involving a confused, underage girl. There was also a lot of complaining after it failed to receive a Best Foreign Film nomination at the Academy Awards. After seeing it for myself, I wouldn't say it's the masterpiece people made it out to be. 

The way I see it... this would have been a decent movie if it was about 90min shorter and wasn't full of the random, graphic sex scenes. I feel like the scenes were there primarily for shock value as they didn't really hold any relevance to the plot and had absolutely no reason to be that graphic. As a result it took away from the plot. If I wanted to see something like that I could go to a porn website and see the exact same thing.
The length was an issue primarily because a majority of the film was filler. By the time the main character Adele even meets Emma, the girl with blue hair, I was bored and had been wondering what the past 45min had to do with the plot. Even after she enters a relationship with Emma, I felt there were a lot of scenes that did not have to be there or ran too long. Watching Adele teach a kindergarten class for 10min is a perfect example. We get it, she became a teacher. Watching her teach has no importance to her relationship with Emma. It didn't need to be there. It was almost like each hour was an act and I mean it when I say it could have been cut in half and been as effective.

The bright spot by far was the performance by Adele Exarchopoulos. She truly was fantastic, but I think she was overshadowed by overall poor execution and poor, underdeveloped supporting characters. Reading a synopsis of the movie gives you more than the actual film does.
I am glad the Academy excluded this movie because it didn't deserve to be there. Bottom line. I would have been happy if Exarchopoulos received a nomination for her work, but it would have justified the critics praise that I honestly feel is undeserved.

Sorry to say it, but this was another average lovers quarrel that ran too long and had unnecessarily raunchy sex scenes. Nothing special.

Annie - Trailer Debut

I'm not the biggest fan of Annie, and I definitely don't like Jamie Foxx, but I will admit this looks pretty cute.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Age of Ultron schedule to fast-track Scarlett Johansson

Yesterday it was announced that Scarlett Johansson is pregnant with her fiance which is obviously happy news. However, one of my first comments was so much for Black Widow having a huge part in The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Apparently Marvel thought the same as they announced their intent to fast-track all of Johansson's scenes beginning right after her press tour for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Filming is set to begin overseas on April 5th.

This is a no brainer, in my opinion. Not only is there no way of telling when she will begin to show or exactly how pregnant she currently is, but it isn't necessarily safe to have a pregnant woman tumbling around doing stunts. Unless they have a major shift in their plans for Black Widow, I wouldn't expect too much at this point. This doesn't really bother me as Black Widow isn't necessarily a favorite of mine.

The Devil's Carnival episodes 2-3 complete

After the pretty decent success of Darren Lynn Bousman's short film effort, The Devil's Carnival, many have been pondering the progress and fate of the early announced sequels. The film's Facebook page announced tonight that the scripts for the second and third "episodes" are completed. Along with that good news, the music for the second episode is also finished and it will be a full length film, not a short film. Both scripts have been written by Terrance Zdunich who played Satan in the first episode.

However, there is a catch. Due to the higher production cost and longer scheduling we will still have to wait. I would assume they are doing what they do best and fundraising like crazy. I would also expect the cast to all return given the cult following the project gained as a result of the road tour and the surprise Comic-Con event. Long story short, there is no time table for the second and third.

The Devil's Carnival starred Sean Patrick Flanery, Terrance Zdunich, Alexa Vega, Emilie Autumn, Briana Evigan, Ivan Moody, Bill Moseley, and more.

Monday, March 3, 2014

2014 Academy Award winners & review

Last night we celebrated the 2014 Academy Awards hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. Gravity was the big winner of the night taking home a total of seven statues including Best Director while 12 Years a Slave took home Best Picture. There weren't really any big surprises in terms of where the awards went this year, but overall I think the night went well.
As far as the total production and the host, I thought everything looked nice and flowed very well. Ellen was fun to watch and she didn't go over the top with anything. It was a night full of selfies, Tweeting, and pizza. I have seen people already complaining about the inevitable drag in the middle of the show and I know how it could have been avoided; they should have put Pharrell in the middle of the show instead of at the beginning. "Happy" is such a fun song in general and it would have definitely given the energy a needed boost.
Speaking of the musical performances, I feel a bit sorry for Idina Menzel because on top of John Travolta butchering her name and introduction she was obviously very nervous. As a result she rushed the hell out of the song. Pink was very nice and sounded great as did Karen O. The questionable one was Bette Midler mainly because she couldn't even sing her own song. She kept taking the pitch all over the place and lost track of the song. It was a bit gross.

Anyway, here are the winners!

Best Picture - 12 Years a Slave
Best Actor - Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Actress - Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)
Best Director - Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Best Supporting Actor - Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Supporting Actress - Lupita Nyong'o (12 Years a Slave)
Best Original Screenplay - Spike Jonze (Her)
Best Adapted Screenplay - John Ridley (12 Years a Slave)
Best Animated Feature - Frozen
Best Original Score - Steven Price (Gravity)
Best Original Song - Robert Lopez & Kristen Anderson-Lopez ("Let It Go" from Frozen)
Best Foreign Film - The Great Beauty
Best Documentary Feature - 20 Feet from Stardom
Best Documentary Short - The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Best Animated Short - Mr. Hublot
Best Live Action Short - Helium
Best Production Design - The Great Gatsby
Best Costume Design - The Great Gatsby
Best Cinematography - Gravity
Best Editing - Gravity
Best Visual Effects - Gravity
Best Hair & Makeup - Dallas Buyers Club
Best Sound Editing - Gravity
Best Sound Mixing - Gravity

In other fun news, Robert Lopez is now the youngest person to "EGOT." That meaning he has now won a Golden Globe, Oscar, Tony, and Emmy award. He also has won Grammys for The Book of Mormon. He joins the short list including Mel Brooks, Whoopi Goldberg, Mike Nichols, Scott Rudin, and Audrey Hepburn.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Lionsgate pays $7 million for American Ultra

Lionsgate must believe in the chemistry between Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg. The company just paid out $7 million to acquire the rights to the new indie action-comedy, American Ultra. Filming on the project begins next month in New Orleans.
The film tells the story of a stoner (Eisenberg) and his girlfriend (Stewart) after his life is turned around when he discovers the government is plotting to wipe him out due to his past. This is the second pairing of the actors who first collaborated in Greg Mottola's indie success, Adventureland, back in 2009. 

Kristen Stewart spent 2013 fairly under the radar in terms of film. She didn't even have a release last year. The last time we saw her was in 2012 when she starred in On the Road, Snow White and the Huntsman, and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2. She recently starred in the military indie, Camp X-Ray, which premiered to so-so reviews at Sundance. She is also set to appear in Sils Maria and Anesthesia later this year.
Eisenberg was recently cast as Lex Luthor in the upcoming Batman vs Superman project and can be seen this year in The Double and Rio 2. At this point it's probably safe to say he's most famous for his roles in Now You See Me and Zombieland.

Escape From Tomorrow - Review

During his family's visit to Disney World, Jim begins experiencing hallucinations and odd coincidences that test his sanity after a chance encounter with French teenagers in Escape From Tomorrow.

I'm the first to admit that I only watched this movie mainly because of the controversy it stirred up. When I heard about a guerilla movie filmed inside the Disney Parks I was intrigued to see exactly what it was about. However, I will admit that I don't really understand what the hell happened in this movie.
Regarding the main character of Jim, I don't really understand what the significance of his "madness" was exactly. Was he really hated by his wife because he had wandering eyes? Was he insane and/or had blackouts and came to during weird events? How did his daughter not tell the mother what was happening but the son was verbal about the weird things? While on the subject of the son, what was that kid's problem? Was he a robot or something?

There are just too many questions with this movie. I wouldn't go far enough to say I didn't enjoy it, but nothing really came together. It was just a bunch of weird events shoved into one movie and they tried to tie them all together with one central character. It didn't quite work.
I will say that for an undercover film it was pretty well shot. I have been to Disneyland many times and the camera policy isn't really there. I've seen guests walk around with GoPro cams on hand-held tripods and stuff like that, so I'm a bit surprised that this was such a big deal. Go on YouTube and you'll find hundreds of videos shot inside Disney Parks. I appreciated the use of black and white, too.

I don't know. Anyone else watch Escape From Tomorrow? What was your take on it?