The past seven days

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hailee Steinfeld joins Pitch Perfect 2

Outside of the group of returning cast members, we have confirmation that Oscar-nominee Hailee Steinfeld has joined the cast of Pitch Perfect 2. There is also talk that if the movie does well that Steinfeld will lead the franchise for future installments.
A decent number of people are returning for the sequel including Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Brittany Snow. Elizabeth Banks is also returning and will direct. It is obviously a story about singing so it's pretty safe to say Steinfeld must have impressed the powers that be with her vocal skills.

Pitch Perfect 2 hits theaters on May 15, 2015.

Bob Hoskins passes away at age 71

Legendary actor Bob Hoskins has passed away. Hoskins had been suffering from Parkinsons Disease and succumbed to pneumonia on Tuesday. He is survived by his wife and four children.

Hoskins has over 100 acting credits to his name including roles in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Hook, Mona Lisa, Super Mario Bros., and The Long Good Friday. He had retired from acting in 2012 due to his illness and was last seen in Snow White and the Huntsman as the blind dwarf, Muir.

Rest in peace, good sir.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Star Wars Episode VII cast revealed!

It is a few days before the expected May the 4th announcement, but we do have an official rock-solid casting announcement for Star Wars Episode VII as well as a photo.

Our initial casting announcement for the upcoming continuation of the Star Wars saga includes:

Harrison Ford
Carrie Fisher
Mark Hamill
Anthony Daniels
Kenny Baker
Peter Mayhew
John Boyega
Daisy Ridley
Oscar Isaac
Adam Driver
Andy Serkis
Domhnall Gleeson
Max von Sydow

You may recognize the first six names as they are Star Wars veterans. Ford is reprising the role of Han Solo, Fisher is reprising Leia Organa, Hamill returns to Luke Skywalker, Mayhew will don the Chewbacca suit again, Anthony Daniels will come back as C-3PO, and Baker will go "back in the can" as R2-D2. It has been rumored for months that these actors would be reprising these roles, so it is a rather welcome confirmation.
The new faces have yet to have any roles attached to them, but there is a lot of speculation that the leads have gone to John Boyega and Daisy Ridley. It was already previously "confirmed" that Adam Driver would be playing a villain so that is pretty much set. As for Oscar Isaac, it is a toss up as he can easily portray a protagonist or a villain. It is also expected that Andy Serkis will be in a motion capture suit. He has been praised as the best motion capture actor of the modern film age, so it would be a bit silly to utilize him in anything else. All I ask is that he isn't a Gungan. Let's just hope the Gungans are extinct by now.
You might recognize Boyega from Attack the Block (if you saw it) and Imperial Dreams. Isaac recently starred in Inside Llewyn Davis and is also known for Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch.  Adam Driver is known from the HBO series Girls as well as Inside Llewyn Davis. Andy Serkis, of course, is known for The Lord of the Rings saga as well as the new Planet of the Apes films.

Now, keep in mind that this is just the initial announcement. I am positive we will slowly be receiving more casting news and other information about characters in the following weeks. J.J. Abrams mentioned in the announcement that filming starts in a few weeks.

Just for fun, here are some names that did not show up in this announcement. I am not completely ruling anyone out just yet.

Benedict Cumberbatch
Zac Efron
Jesse Plemons
Lupita Nyong'o
Hugo Weaving
Miles Teller
Gary Oldman
Saoirse Ronan
Alex Pettyfer
Michael Fassbender

Honestly, the list goes on. Practically every actor on the planet read for this movie. The interesting thing for me is the fact that we have no kids yet. Each announced actor so far is over the age of 21. Either way, we will find out soon. Star Wars Episode VII is set for theaters on December 18, 2015.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

[Updated] Zack Snyder to direct Justice League

We still won't see the Batman vs. Superman project until 2016, but Warner Bros. is moving quickly to lock down director Zack Snyder for their DC universe. It was announced that not only is Zack Snyder locked to direct Justice League, but that Batman vs. Superman will be a direct lead into the film.

In addition to this, there is also word that Justice League won't see the big screen until 2018 which is a year after the tentative 2017 date already announced. There is no confirmation if the superhero team will include the original group of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter.

Not like we didn't see this coming.

[Update] Some people are spreading around, specifically @Borys_kit, that Batman vs. Superman and Justice League will film back to back. If that is true then it would explain the high level of superhero presence in BvS and would also put Justice League back on track for 2017. That ups a possibility of Justice League opening opposite a third Avengers movie, unless The Avengers 3 is set for 2018. Either way, a likely announcement for anything regarding this entire situation is SDCC this summer.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Bates Motel: Season One - Review

Bates Motel explores the psyche of Alfred Hitchcock's notorious character of Norman Bates as he moves to a small Oregon town with his mother at the age of 17.

I will admit I am a bit late to the party when it comes to Bates Motel. But, it is never too late to binge watch shows on Netflix and now that I have I must admit it is a pretty decent show. That is for being a modern day prequel.
I think the bright spot is the cast with Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore. I was skeptical about this show which is why I didn't watch it when it premiered last year. I wanted to wait and see what people thought and I had seen pretty decent reviews of it. I was nervous about Highmore, but I am the first to say he plays creepy and awkward perfectly. You really believe how socially awkward he is. Aside from his presence, I think Vera Farmiga is knocking it out of the park as Norma. She has a great mixture of crazy, protective, and being somewhat distant from reality. The only character I find somewhat annoying is Dylan played by Max Thieriot. I think it's more the character than the acting, but I had a lot of moments where I just wanted him to shut up and disappear.
Oddly enough, the modern day setting didn't bother me either. I don't think the qualities possessed by the original characters necessarily is outdated and Norman's psyche is just as believable in the year 2013 as it was back in 1960.

As far as the plot of the first season goes, I thought it was a bit interesting. Having two high school kids magically discover an Asian sex-slave ring in their small town was a bit unrealistic, but it was carried out with intensity. When the cops get involved and there is murder you pretty much are adding perfect ingredients for a nail biter. As soon as the second episode was over I was hooked and continued watching until episode six without a break.
The discovery of Norman having memory issues and forgetting things and imagining things is a nice setup for future seasons. It pretty much shows that his mother is just covering for him most of the time and her only objective is to protect him. That's enough to drive anyone a little crazy sometimes, eh?

Either way, I am really looking forward to seeing season two at some point. I think this show has a lot of promise if they stick to the elements introduced already.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jessabelle - First Trailer

We now see the first peek at the latest effort from longtime editor turned director, Kevin Greutert. I'm a bit disappointed that Jessabelle is PG-13, but what can you do.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Disney halts Frozen sequel to develop musical

It seems that Disney sees more of a future in a theatrical production than a sequel. At least for now.

It was assumed due to the massive success of Frozen that a sequel would be fast-tracked into theaters. Disney Chairman Alan Horn recently touched on the subject and not only claims that a sequel hasn't even been discussed yet, but he also brought up the subject of a Frozen musical.
Disney is no stranger to Broadway as we have seen stage productions of several films such as Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, and Tarzan. There are even musicals for The Jungle Book and Alice in Wonderland coming before too long. It appears that due to the success of Disney's plays (aka, The Lion King being the seventh longest running stage production in history) it would make sense for Frozen to be expanded in that way.

I personally would rather have a musical done than a sequel. Without expanding on stupid storylines and bringing in unnecessary characters, like kids, I think this would be a good way to interpret the story in a different setting. Walt Disney Imagineers would definitely be able to come up with a cool show to go along with this story. I have seen both The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin on stage and I must say that Disney knows how to put on a great stage production.

For those of you who don't quite understand what is brought to the table at a Disney stage show, go ahead and check this out from The Lion King.

[UPDATE] Marilyn Manson joins Salem

The new WGN witch-themed show, Salem, has added a somewhat notorious cast member. Shock rocker Marilyn Manson has joined the show as a "master heathen" according to the show's Twitter account. It is unclear whether he will be a recurring character or just a guest star, or just contributing music, but either way we can expect to see him at some point.
This won't be Manson's first venture into film and television as he has made cameos in Party Monster, Jawbreaker, Bowling for Columbine, Eastbound and Down, and Californication just to name a few. 

Salem premiered this past Sunday on WGN America. I chose to skip it but if I gain the motivation I'll catch the episodes on demand and see what it's like. I've read mixed reviews on it so far.

[Update] Apparently Manson has teamed up with composer Tyler Bates to create the show's theme song. "Cupid Carries a Gun" will play as the opening credits song starting at this week's second episode. It will also be included on Manson's new album.

Star Wars Episode VII budget revealed; casting almost complete

Disney Chairman Alan Horn has been giving some information regarding Star Wars Episode VII. Some are still speculating a full announcement regarding casting and whatnot will happen on May 4th (aka, May the Fourth be with You). Either way, it is coming soon as principal photography starts in May. However, for now we have some news on the budget, filming, and casting.

Horn revealed that the budget Disney has granted the film will range between $175 and $200 million. This includes Episodes VII, VIII, and IX as well as any potential spin-off movies. This shows that Disney is being a bit more cautious with their money after the flops of John Carter ($250 million) and The Lone Ranger ($215 million). This also puts the Star Wars franchise on track with the Marvel films in terms of budget and will give J.J. Abrams his biggest budget yet as Star Trek Into Darkness only topped at $190 million.
He also gave some info regarding the casting which is still not 100% completed but is evidently close. The only thing that worries me in terms of casting is how much preparation is needed for any physical scenes. I recall the actors signing contracts for Episode I back in 1997 and the film wasn't released until 1999. Similar things went down for Episodes II and III because the actors had to train for lightsaber battles and fight scenes. If they are casting people just weeks prior to shooting I am nervous about preparation and quality. Either that or the budget is going full CGI.
As for the news that Episode VII had already started filming, he did confirm that second unit filming has already begun. George Lucas is also consulting with Abrams, so let's hope that isn't a sign of another shit storm.

Horn also gave some insight on future releases and stated that the tradition of May release dates might be returning for Episodes VIII and IX. The main reason for the December release of Episode VII is primarily because Disney refused to grant Abrams any extra time. They wanted it out in 2015 and told him to get it done.

Patience. We must have patience.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Jessica Chastain in talks to play Marilyn Monroe

Yes, yet another film about Marilyn Monroe is coming and we will see yet another actress tackle the role. Blonde, to be directed by Andrew Dominik and produced by Brad Pitt, is apparently negotiating to have Jessica Chastain to play Monroe. This film is said to be an adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates' novel which is more of an emotional look at Monroe rather than a "cradle to grave" story.
Originally, Naomi Watts was attached to the role but she dropped out of the project months ago. Apparently Brad Pitt has been instrumental in persuading Chastain to accept the role seeing that the role comes with a lot of criticism and expectation. She already is set to film The Zookeeper's Wife this year and is currently wrapping up a new film by Guillermo del Toro called Crimson Peak. She is also part of Christopher Nolan's upcoming film Interstellar.

Personally, I don't mind this so much. If she can act similar to how she did in The Help I'm sure she will be just fine. She has also shown versatility with Zero Dark Thirty, The Tree of Life, Mama, and Take Shelter.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Quentin Tarantino rewriting The Hateful Eight

As you might know, Quentin Tarantino was developing a Western. It was put on indefinite hold after Gawker leaked a copy of the screenplay after Tarantino had given it to a handful of people. After the leak Tarantino decided to scrap the project, as well as file a lawsuit, but the project might be seeing new life.

Tarantino is apparently rewriting the screenplay to The Hateful Eight. He stated during a live reading that he will be writing a third draft of the script. Whether or not this will still become a film is up in the air, but sources are claiming he still hopes to film the new draft in the winter.
Given the readers at the live reading, it is predicted that if the film ever happens that it will star Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Madsen, and Kurt Russell. Now that isn't guaranteed but it is somewhat likely especially given Tarantino's casting history.

First footage of True Blood's final season

I'm not excited, but at the same time I am happy it is ending.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Transcendence - Review

While researching technology which would allow computers to interpret the human brain's full potential, Dr. Will Caster is poisoned by a radical anti-tech group leading his wife and research partner to test his theories on his own, dying body in Transcendence.

I'm not saying I was overly excited to see this one, but I do enjoy a good sci-fi movie every so often so I was intrigued. I thought the concept seemed really promising but that's about it. It was promising but didn't really deliver.
Personally, I didn't have a hard time following the subject matter and I found the basis of it interesting, but it wasn't really executed that well. They introduce this massive conflict between AI and anti-AI terrorists and it doesn't really live up to it. It's mostly about a wife's struggle to let go of her husband and I didn't go in expecting that at all.

The acting was mostly flat, including Johnny Depp, and given the cast I expected more. Cillian Murphy was not utilized properly as was the same with Morgan Freeman. Rebecca Hall wasn't bad but she didn't really have a lot of chemistry with Depp which didn't help when she was forced to communicate with an audio recording of his voice.
Aside from this, I just found it boring. Nothing was really carried out properly, the plot was rushed, and overall there wasn't really a good lead into the short-lived climax of the movie. If you wanted to see Transcendence I would wait until it's on Netflix. It's not worth the theater time.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

[Updated] Mrs. Doubtfire sequel in development

I just have to start by saying I did a major, huge "what the fuck" at this one.

A sequel to Mrs. Doubtfire has been in the works pretty much since 2001, but it was officially canned in 2006 after Robin Williams kept rejecting scripts. Williams has stated in the past the reason was because you found out who Mrs. Doubtfire was at the end of the movie. Well, technically the viewers know the whole time but who really cares.
Apparently it must have worked somehow because word has it that Fox 2000 has revived the sequel and accepted a script from David Berenbaum. Robin Williams is on board as well as director Chris Columbus.
If you have never seen Mrs. Doubtfire you must be living under a rock or were not born in the latter half of the 1980's or by the mid-1990's. It tells the story of a divorced actor who is desperately trying to find a way to be with his children more than each Saturday. His solution is to dress up as a fictional 70-year old, British nanny named Mrs. Doubtfire. The film starred Robin Williams in the lead along with Sally Field, Pierce Brosnan, and Matthew Lawrence.

This appears to be following a new trend in Hollywood. First we had Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels agree to reunite as Harry and Lloyd in a long awaited Dumb & Dumber sequel 20-years later. Then rumors circulated, with some minor confirmation, that a sequel to The Goonies was happening close to 30-years after the first one was released. Now we have Mrs. Doubtfire coming back after 21 years. Let me guess, Matthew Lawrence's character loses custody of his kids and decides to dress up as a nanny.
What's next? My bet is either another Wayne's World or someone who will decide to try and do a catch-up for a John Hughes movie. Breakfast Club: The Reunion anyone? The problem is most kids today have never even seen these movies and if they have, they have watched the shitty television edits that air on TBS, ABC Family, and Comedy Central.

I am in no way saying I hate Mrs. Doubtfire. That is literally one of my favorite movies. Watch it, quote it, crack up every single damn time. I just am tired of Hollywood taking great movies that were relevant to a generation and trying to either continue them and bring back the old cast or completely reboot them. It's never enough.

[UPDATE] Mara Wilson, who played Williams' youngest in the film and has since left acting, wrote a series of tweets on Twitter detailing how she will not be in the sequel. She also noted that they have not approached her but even if they did she would still say no. You can read the tweets and see an updated picture of the former child star here. Good for her.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

If I Stay - First Trailer

I will admit this looks better than I thought it would, but even then I am debating it. The book wasn't bad but I don't think it's interesting enough to merit a movie. Kudos to them for not making the coma sequences seem too surreal, but I think the casting of Adam is way off.

Gone Girl - First Trailer

David Fincher's newest effort had its first trailer released and it looks pretty intense. By intense I mean awesome.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Friday the 13th reboot has its director

Despite already being rebooted in 2009, Friday the 13th will get a fresh start and Paramount has hired David Bruckner to helm the movie. Bruckner directed the underground horror success V/H/S/ and also directed The Signal back in 2007. This will be the 13th installment of the Friday the 13th franchise since 1980 and has a release date of March 13, 2015.

Michael Bay, who directed the last reboot, will stick around as a producer as Platinum Dunes is also bringing this to us.

Magic Mike 2 receives 2015 release date

Expect production on this to start before too long.

Despite being overly crowded already, Warner Bros. has elected to give the sequel to Magic Mike (rumored to be titled Magic Mike XXL) a July 3, 2015 release. It will face off against Terminator: Genesis in a rather important 4th of July holiday weekend.
Channing Tatum recently revealed that everyone is likely to return for the sequel including a newly dubbed Oscar-winner, Matthew McConaughey.

I still don't understand this because Magic Mike sucked ass (figuratively and literally), but it made money so what can you do.

Hans Zimmer to score Batman vs Superman project

There were a lot of mixed reviews on Man of Steel, but one consistent high point was the score composed by Hans Zimmer. Director Zack Snyder seems to want to recreate that magic as Zimmer has been confirmed to be composing the score for the upcoming Batman vs Superman project.

Previously, the theme to Superman belonged to the legendary John Williams. Zimmer was given the task to rewrite the theme and come up with a new score for Superman and he was pretty successful with his interesting take on Man of Steel. It was the second DC reinvention for Zimmer as he also scored Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. It also changed the pace for Snyder as he was a longtime collaborator with composer Tyler Bates.
There is no telling whether Zimmer will come up with a new Batman theme for this project or if he will carry over the Dark Knight musical elements. Either way this should prove to be very interesting.

Batman vs Superman is still in pre-production and Zimmer is currently composing Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. He also scored The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which you can see on May 2nd.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Michael Bay confirms new Transformers trilogy

Michael Bay dropped a bomb regarding the new Transformers installment, Transformers: Age of Extinction, stating that is the start of... you guessed it... a new trilogy of films.

Bay stated the fourth installment serves as a start to the next Transformers trilogy. It is unclear how much involvement Bay will have in a fifth and sixth movie, but I would assume he will at least stick on as a producer if nothing else. You can catch Transformers: Age of Extinction, starring Mark Wahlberg, on June 27th.

David Fincher leaves Steve Jobs biopic over disputes with Sony

David Fincher was all set to reunite with The Social Network team for a Steve Jobs biopic, but he has reportedly left the project over disputes with Sony.

The story is that Fincher left over disagreements with the studio and wicked demands regarding salary and control over the project. Apparently Fincher was demanding over $10 million in initial fees along with control over marketing. Sony was reluctant due to the overall failed marketing campaign for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo including allowing his "feel bad movie of Christmas" tagline and the ridiculously expensive, razor blade shaped one sheets that were banned from usage in theaters.
Sources claim that Fincher could re-sign with Sony for the project but that the studio will re-negotiate his ridiculous salary requests along with re-negotiating the marketing control. The matter at hand is being rewarded with quality and popularity, not being awarded with millions of dollars up front. Not to mention Fincher stating he would not make the movie unless Christian Bale signed on to play Steve Jobs.
Sony is trying to be a bit more fiscally responsible after the 2013 blockbuster failures including After Earth and White House Down. Sony has a bit of a reputation for spending more money than other studios and it has cost them in recent years.

The Steve Jobs project would have teamed Fincher back up with Aaron Sorkin and Scott Rudin. That team produced The Social Network back in 2010 and made $225 million worldwide along with Oscar and Golden Globe wins. Fincher's next project, Gone Girl, re-teamed him with musicians Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and is set for release on October 3rd.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy will tie into The Avengers 3

Curiosity is rising regarding Marvel's next release, Guardians of the Galaxy, in terms of how it will tie into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Director James Gunn recently spoke on the subject and said it will tie into the third Avengers installment.

Captain America once again served as a prequel to The Avengers with The Winter Soldier going right into The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Speculation about how Guardians of the Galaxy will tie into everything has been elaborated on a bit by director James Gunn.
Gunn made perhaps the biggest statement by confirming that Thanos will be appearing in GOTG via motion capture. Thanos is described to be the "head of the snake." Many assume the villain would appear in the second Avengers film, but he was passed over for Ultron and now it seems that reason was so he could appear in Guardians of the Galaxy.
In addition to this, the Infinity Stones have been teased in the existing Marvel films. In the comics, Thanos collects the stones to power The Infinity Gauntlet which gives him ultimate and unlimited power. So far the "stones" we have seen are the Tesseract and the Aether. From what we have seen from Guardians of the Galaxy so far, the orb sought after by Star-Lord might be serving as another piece of the Gauntlet. I also wouldn't count another piece appearing in Ant-Man.

The one thing we need to remember regarding this movie is it is a precursor and introduction to Marvel Phase Three which is moving away from the main heroes we have been dealing with since Iron Man's debut back in 2008. We are dealing with different villains, different heroes, and different stories. I am sure there will be some things from Phase Two that will carry into Phase Three, but for now this is what we have and it is mighty exciting.

Allegiant to be split into two films

Following the standard for franchises these says, the Divergent trilogy has made the double-finale move and will be splitting Allegiance into two films. As far as Divergent goes, we will see the second installment titled Insurgent on March 20, 2015. The two-part finale will begin on March 18, 2016 and will end on March 24, 2017.

The standard began with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. Since then we have seen a double finale for The Twilight Saga with Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2 and will get the first part of The Hunger Games finale, Mockingjay, this November. 
Divergent has had a decent start after making $117 million domestically in its first three weeks while Veronica Roth's original trilogy has sold over 20 million copies. Box sets and ebooks have risen in sales as well. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

First teaser for Girl Meets World

Aww, Cory and Topanga!

X-Men spinoff being considered by producers

We have already had a spin-off for Wolverine and had planned spin-offs for Deadpool and Magneto that pretty much got scrapped in terms of the initial X-Men Origins idea. Now the X-Men producers, Lauren Shuler Donner and Simon Kinberg, are considering a new spin-off featuring Mystique.

It's no secret that Mystique has risen in popularity simply because she is currently played by Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence. She is pretty, popular, and is Katniss freakin' Everdeen. She also did a pretty good job as the character in X-Men: First Class. What's not to love?
This isn't really surprising as Lauren Shuler Donner has previously expressed interest in reviving the Origins storylines to feature Gambit and Deadpool. Channing Tatum's name was even thrown out there for the role of Gambit. Regarding Mystique, she thinks that Lawrence's work is being overshadowed by a crowded ensemble and she would love to have a film solely dedicated to her.

According to several fan polls floating around the internet, people just want a Deadpool movie. No one wants any other X-Men Origins films after seeing what an overall disappointment X-Men Origins: Wolverine was. The downside is the studio and producers don't want an R-rated superhero movie which is what a Deadpool movie would have to be. As far as Mystique goes, it would need a really good plot to pull me in. I like Mystique and Jennifer Lawrence, but she isn't really a solo character. I think it would be hard to carry the weight there.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Drew Goddard to direct The Sinister Six

It was spotted almost immediately after the trailers for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit, but we now have some official confirmation that The Sinister Six will indeed be moving forward and it will be directed by Drew Goddard.

Goddard got his start writing for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Alias, as well as Lost and Angel, and made his directorial debut with The Cabin in the Woods back in 2012. Before that he wrote Cloverfield for Matt Reeves. He had already been hired to write Sinister Six, along with Marvel's Daredevil series to hit Netflix, so it is somewhat surprising to see him also picked to direct. But, at the same time it isn't that surprising.
The Sinister Six focuses on Spider-Man's villainous enemies. The comics focused on Electro, Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Sandman, Vulture, and Kraven the Hunter. It does appear that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is acting as more of a precursor to The Sinister Six rather than being a direct sequel to the first Amazing Spider-Man. Set to appear in the TASM2 are Electro, Green Goblin, and Rhino but there is no telling who else will be hinted at or show up. Also bear in mind that The Lizard was not killed in the first one, but was merely locked up.

There is no set timetable for The Sinister Six just yet, but Sony did announce plans to release a Spider-Man movie every year. Slots already taken are The Amazing Spider-Man 3 for 2016 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 for 2018. It is possible we could see The Sinister Six for 2017 unless Venom takes that slot and they push Sinister Six for 2019 or double up 2018 with two releases.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Chewbacca will be in Episode VII; Peter Mayhew cast

Casting is slowly leeching out for Star Wars Episode VII. We got word today that Peter Mayhew will be reprising the role of Chewbacca, Han Solo's wookiee pal, in Episode VII. There are no other details on what importance he will play but we do know that he will be in it.

Chewbacca was in the original trilogy and made a cameo appearance in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith when Yoda visited his home planet of Kashyyyk. Rumors that original trilogy cast members Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill will return are still running rampant. It is possible that they could appear in cameo roles along with Chewbacca. I'm personally not banking on him having a major role in this new movie. Unless Wookiees don't ever age or something.

Many are predicting a full casting announcement will be coming on May 4th due to the fact that it is Star Wars Day (aka, May the Fourth be with You), so we shall wait and see.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wreck-It Ralph sequel in the works

Smack dab in the middle of Frozen madness, word has escaped that Disney is currently developing a sequel to their 2012 animated film Wreck-It Ralph.

Composer Henry Jackman let it slip during an interview for Captain America: The Winter Soldier by stating Disney is indeed working on it, but was quick to zip his lips after that.
“I can’t tell you more, not because I’m being coy, but I believe that it is officially on the cards. I don’t know any more other than a story is indeed being written. I’d be very surprised not to. I’m not blowing my own trumpet. Forget about the music. Just the movie itself I thought was a fantastically imaginative and creative piece of work.”

John C. Reilly brought this great character to life as he stormed through the video game world inside an arcade in an attempt to "game jump" and switch from being a bad guy to becoming a hero. The film grossed $281 million at the worldwide box office and was an overall success for Disney. It also featured the voices of Jack McBrayer, Sarah Silverman, and Jane Lynch.
Even though this has slipped out, Disney has a pretty full schedule ahead of them. Walt Disney Animation currently has an expected Frozen sequel in development as well as Big Hero 6 coming this November and Zootopia coming in 2016. It is possible we could see a sequel to Wreck-It Ralph, but I wouldn't bank on it happening anytime before 2017 or 2018. Not unless they go the Planes route and do short films that could play before the full-length theatrical releases.

Despite how long it may take, I will be the first in line to see a sequel. I loved Wreck-It Ralph and I think it's definitely more deserving of a sequel than Frozen is. I'm still a bit lost on the whole Frozen madness thing. It wasn't even that good. Wreck-It Ralph was a lot better.

Star Wars Episode VII has begun filming

Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn dropped a small bomb the other day by revealing that Star Wars Episode VII has already begun shooting. He also noted casting is nearly complete and stated that was the most difficult part so far.

Check out the video below.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Review

Still attempting to adapt to the new world, Capt. Steve Rogers is confronted with the challenges of freedom, safety, and trust regarding his employers, peers, and a Soviet engineered assassin in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

I have been excited for this one for quite sometime and without beating around the bush, it didn't disappoint. It avoided the drag that The First Avenger ran into and engaged the audience thoroughly. Move over Avengers because Captain America now has the best Marvel movie to date.
What I loved most about this movie is the intensity was brought to another level and it was a pretty thrilling movie in terms of the plot. It was political and challenged the viewer in terms of not really knowing who the enemy was. All the way up to the end you have a lot of questions and you don't really know who's side is right and I loved that a lot.
The casting was spot on and the continuing characters, minus Scarlett Johansson, were even better in this movie. I exclude her because truth be told, Black Widow was a lot easier to watch in previous Marvel flicks. She felt forced and boring to me in this one. Robert Redford was a powerhouse, Sebastian Stan was great, and Anthony Mackie was a very pleasant surprise. Falcon was well executed as was The Winter Soldier.
As far as the plot goes, I think this was the most well executed aspect of the film. Like I said, it was interesting and engaging and it really kept your attention. Captain America is faced with the question of whether S.H.I.E.L.D. was really in the best interest of freedom, and himself, or not. To see your main character question his place in the world is one thing, but to see him question his trust in his own country and its leaders was a whole other emotion.
I also liked how we got to see Steve's full, super soldier potential in this one. He was jumping, running, and punching his way through just about everything. His abilities were definitely more inclusive and apparent in this movie over The First Avenger and The Avengers

Now, there is one thing that legitimately surprised me. This serves as a disclaimer to those reading this who haven't seen it yet or are planning to take their children... there is a higher level of violence. A much higher level of violence.
Marvel movies are no stranger to fights, explosions, and car crashes but this movie seriously takes the cake. In addition to all of that we have people getting shot by fully automatic weapons, blind kills, hundreds being killed on the street at random, bombs, knife fights, brutal human on human beatings, and point blank executions. There were some little kids in my theater and I noticed parents walking them out during a couple of the major fight scenes and bringing them back after things calmed down. It definitely earned the PG-13 and I bet if there would have been blood included in all of it the film would have received an R-rating based on violence alone.
I'm not one of those people who advocates for less violence in film because I know it's pretend, but I think it could have been toned down a bit due to the nature of what these Marvel films are. People are taking their kids to see these movies because they are comic book superhero movies. When you have random people being thrown off rooftops and getting thrown into a burning jet turbine you are pushing the line a little bit. I've read a couple spoiler reviews since seeing it and I'm not the only one who walked away with a comment on the amount of violence this movie contained, so just a heads up if you're planning on taking any small kids to see this movie. It is a violent one and it's not the same as Thor throwing his hammer at a bunch of CGI creatures or Iron Man blasting some with his beams. It is continuous person on person violence often resulting in death. Don't bring your kids and say you weren't warned.

I don't want to spoil the rest of anything, so I will stop here. If you want to read on you can click the jump below the image. There I will discuss the plot in more detail along with the mid-credit and post-credit scenes. 
Overall I would now list Captain America: The Winter Soldier as the best Marvel movie to date. Sorry, but it was better than The Avengers.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Johnny Knoxville and Tony Shalhoub to voice Ninja Turtles

Despite using different actors for the motion capture filming, Paramount has made a somewhat surprising move and has cast voice actors for two of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles roles. Johnny Knoxville (Jackass) has been given the task to bring Leonardo to life while Tony Shalhoub (Monk) will voice Splinter.

We heard Michelangelo speak in the trailer, but there is no telling on if that voice will stay the same or if the other characters will also receive voice actors. Knoxville is an odd choice as Leonardo tends to be the leader of the group, but what can you do. He's popular and recognizable.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles also stars Megan Fox and Will Arnett. It opens on August 8th.

Casting news hits for Batman vs Superman

The release date changed, but WB is still moving forward with the untitled Batman vs Superman project. We got casting news today that the production has added Holly Hunter, Callan Mulvey, and Tao Okamoto. Prior to this, the last announcement we received was the addition of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor.

There are no details about which characters these three will be playing, but there is word that they are new characters. Director Zack Snyder previously mentioned that casting is going off the script which is material fans don't know about, so having these three new spots goes along with that.
You might recognize the Oscar-winning Holly Hunter from films like The Incredibles, The Piano, Thirteen, and O Brother Where Art Thou and the television series Saving Grace. Callan Mulvey has most recently been seen in 300: Rise of an Empire and Tao Okamoto was opposite Hugh Jackman in The Wolverine.

Already cast in this project are Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Jesse Eisenberg, Gal Gadot, and Laurence Fishburne. The film is set to hit theaters on May 6, 2016. As it stands it is set to compete against a third Captain America film, so I won't be surprised if the release date changes at least once more.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Toby Kebbell joins Fantastic Four

We know who the superhero team is. Now we know who will be their nemesis.

British actor Toby Kebbell has been cast to play the iconic Marvel villain, Doctor Doom, in the upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four. Doctor Doom (aka, Victor von Doom) was previously portrayed by Julian McMahon in the 2005 version. He joins Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, and Kate Mara.

Kebbell is recognizable to me as I recently saw him in The East. He can be seen in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this July and in Warcraft set for March 2016.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lionsgate announces 8th Saw film for October 2015

Lionsgate has announced their intent to finally release an 8th installment of the Saw franchise in October 2015. Leigh Whannell will not be writing or directing as has been rumored, or hoped for, by some. Saw V director David Hackl has received the privilege to ruin yet another Saw movie and it is expected that Tobin Bell will return as the voice of Jigsaw. No word on any other returning cast or if Cary Elwes will return, but that's about all we have. It's happening. I just can't.

No telling if Saw 8 will go up against yet another Paranormal Activity flick, but it is assumed it will. With the semi-success of The Marked Ones and a fifth PA movie out this fall, I won't be surprised if another one is slated for 2015.