Articles on this Page
- 01/25/14--05:34: _The Week in Spandex...
- 01/25/14--05:54: _Movie Review - Jack...
- 01/25/14--10:17: _Godzilla action fig...
- 01/25/14--11:22: _Girls Season 3 - Ep...
- 01/26/14--02:08: _Alfonso Cuaron wins...
- 01/26/14--03:21: _The Naked Gun reboo...
- 01/26/14--03:57: _Kevin Smith announc...
- 01/26/14--05:37: _The Following Seaso...
- 01/26/14--10:16: _Second Opinion - Au...
- 01/26/14--10:39: _Marc Webb says The ...
- 01/26/14--19:00: _Captain America: Th...
- 01/26/14--23:07: _Buster Keaton Month...
- 01/26/14--23:15: _New trailer for Dis...
- 01/26/14--23:33: _Chris Pratt talks J...
- 01/27/14--05:01: _Helen Mirren to rec...
- 01/27/14--11:07: _Check out Empire's ...
- 01/27/14--11:42: _First look at Peter...
- 01/27/14--12:40: _See Tom Hiddleston'...
- 01/27/14--13:22: _Movie Review - That...
- 01/27/14--13:45: _First trailer for T...
- 01/25/14--05:54: Movie Review - Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)
- 01/25/14--10:17: Godzilla action figure reveals the monster's design
- 01/25/14--11:22: Girls Season 3 - Episodes 1 and 2 Review
- 01/26/14--02:08: Alfonso Cuaron wins the DGA Award for Gravity
- 01/26/14--03:21: The Naked Gun reboot is more of a sequel
- 01/26/14--03:57: Kevin Smith announces Krampus anthology horror movie
- 01/26/14--05:37: The Following Season 2 - Episode 1 Review
- 01/26/14--10:16: Second Opinion - August: Osage County (2013)
- 01/26/14--23:07: Buster Keaton Month - The General
- 01/26/14--23:15: New trailer for Disney's Maleficent
- 01/26/14--23:33: Chris Pratt talks Jurassic World
- 01/27/14--05:01: Helen Mirren to receive the BAFTA Fellowship
- 01/27/14--11:07: Check out Empire's X-Men: Days of Future Past covers
- 01/27/14--11:42: First look at Peter Capaldi's Doctor in his new attire
- 01/27/14--13:22: Movie Review - That Awkward Moment (2014)
- 01/27/14--13:45: First trailer for Terry Gilliam's The Zero Theorem
Our weekly round up of all the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including Batman vs. Superman, Justice League, Arrow, The Flash, Constantine, Son of Batman, Superman: Flyby, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel's Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (and 3), X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Fantastic Four and more...
Well, Batman vs. Superman might have been pushed back ten months to May 2016, but if talk is to be believed production is still set to get underway as planned in February (as opposed to the rumoured May start date), with a report late last night suggesting Ben Affleck has been forced to pull out of directing Fox's TV pilot The Middle Man as the "main players" on the Man of Steel sequel have been called up to start work right away. Of course, while we wait for official confirmation, there's been plenty of rumours / speculation to chew over this week in the form of a new batch of "plot details" (which in all honesty are probably only slightly more credible than the reports that Affleck is injured / threatening to quit), seeing that they emerged from a message board poster claiming to have a source in the art department. Among the claims are word that Lex Luthor and Metallo are the villains, Metallo will "kill" Clark (Henry Cavill), Aquaman will make an appearance, Robin has betrayed Batman leading to a falling out between the Dynamic Duo, and by the end of the film the Justice League will be a government-approved superhero team. Most likely just fan-fiction with a few potential Educated Guesses, but you can check the rest of them out here...
...This week has also seen some talk about the new Batsuit, with Ben Affleck's missus Jennifer Garner stating that "the suit is unbelievably cool [and] a total reinvention", while Kevin Smith went into some detail about the time Zack Snyder showed him an image of the new costume following a Man of Steel fan event he hosted last year: "when the show was all done, Zack was all like ‘Kev come here, come here’, and he takes me over to the corner and whips out his phone, and he shows me a picture of Batman. Live action version of Batman. A very familiar Batman, I might add. It didn’t look like any of the cinematic Batmans that have ever gone before. He shows me that picture and behind Batman…Superman in the suit looming in the distance. Both on a roof top kind of thing. It was on a set, a little set they put together for this photo shoot. So I was like ‘Oh my god! Is that the suit?! The suit looks amazing! Did you get people to model it?’ And he goes, ‘That’s your boy.’ And I look closely and it’s Ben Affleck wearing the suit. The suit, it is not mine to spill, in terms of what it looks like, you’ll see it. They’ll tell you when they want you to know, but any Batman fan is going to be f*cking pleased. I’m going to tell you that right now. They gave you the suit you all wanted to see..."
...In other Batman vs. Superman / DC Cinematic Universe news, Jason Momoa (Game of Thrones) has once again denied that he's set to join the cast of the Man of Steel sequel, telling an MTV reporter he could "punch him in the face" if the rumours were true, while Gal Gadot has revealed that she's signed a three-film deal to portray Wonder Woman, which will apparently include Justice League alongside a solo movie for the Amazon Princess...
...Fans of the Man of Steel may also be interested in a couple of pieces of concept art by illustrator Jim Martin produced for the aborted Superman: Flyby, which was written by J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: Episode VII) with both McG (Charlie's Angels) and Brett Ratner (X-Men: The Last Stand) attached to direct at various points. You can view the concept art over on our Facebook page...
...As for Arrow, we've got a couple of promos for this coming Wednesday's episode 'Tremors' [see here and here], as well as a full shot of Slade Wilson (Manu Bennet) in his new Deathstroke costume [see here]. The official episode description for 'Tremors' is as follows: "Arrow (Stephen Amell) offers to train Roy (Colton Haynes) so he can learn to control his newfound super-strength. However, Roy is a rebellious student and refuses to listen unless Arrow reveals his true identity, which Oliver refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Bronze Tiger (guest star Michael Jai White) escapes from prison and steals Malcolm’s earthquake machine to sell to the highest bidder. Oliver, Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) attempt to stop the transfer, but Roy gets in the way, putting everyone in danger. Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is disbarred and spirals out of control. Moira (Susanna Thompson) is thrilled when Walter (guest star Colin Salmon) asks her to dinner, but his reason surprises her. Thea (Willa Holland) encourages her mother to ask Walter to reconcile..."
...In other DC small screen news, Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order) became the first name to join Grant Gustin in The CW's upcoming Arrow spin-off pilot The Flash, where he's set to play Iris' father Detective West, who is described as ""an honest, blue-collar cop who is a surrogate father to Barry. A soulful, funny and caring father to Iris -- Barry's potential love interest -- West came up through the foster care system and took Barry in after his mother's slaying and father's imprisonment. He believes in Barry and supports his efforts to prove his father's innocence." Martin's casting was soon followed by the announcement that Rick Gosnett (The Vampire Diaries) and Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th) had also signed on to the pilot, with Gosnett playing Eddie Thawne (rumoured to actually be Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. Professor Zoom, a.k.a. Reverse-Flash) and Panabaker to appear as Caitlin Snow, who is also New 52 alter-ego of Killer Snow...
...Meanwhile, over at NBC, chairman Robert Greenblatt has briefly spoken about the tone of the network's Constantine pilot from Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist) and David S. Goyer (Batman vs. Superman), stating that "I don’t know the DC comic very well, but there is dark, interesting stuff in it, but it’s also got some witty banter. It’s a fun tone, although the supernatural stuff is scary." However, with the pilot only having just been given the production greenlight, he then went on to play down talk of a crossover with any of the various other DC shows in developmenbt: "Cross-network is really hard. It’s hard enough to do it within your network. I think let us see how the pilot goes before we answer that question..."
...With Justice League: War receiving its world premiere this past week, Warner Bros. took the opportunity to give us our first look at the next DC Universe Animated Original Movie, releasing the first trailer and cover art for Son of Batman, which is based upon 'Batman and Son' by Grant Morrison and will see Damian Wayne making his first screen appearance. The movie is set for release on May 6th and features a voice cast that includes Jason O'Mara (Justice League: War) as Bruce Wayne / Batman, Stuart Allan (Rise of the Guardians) as Damian Wayne / Robin, Morena Baccarin (Homeland) as Talia, Giancarlo Esposito (Once Upon a Time) as Ra's Al Ghul, David McCallum (The Man from U.N.C.L.E.) as Alfred Pennyworth, Xander Berkeley (24) as Kirk Langstrom / Man-Bat and Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds) as Deathstroke / Slade Wilson...
how he plans to deal with the events of the Phase Two solo movies when it comes to the plot of the 2015 sequel: "The events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier will definitely affect the world of Avengers 2. But at the end of the day, I have to make my movie assuming that people will only have seen the first one, or possibly not even seen the first one. I can't assume that everybody went to see Thor: The Dark World, Captain America, and Iron Man 3 in-between. I have to go from one movie to the next and be true to what's happened [in the previous movies], but not be slavish to it... The model I'm always trying to build from, or my guiding star, is The Godfather Part II where a ton has happened in-between and it's a very different movie [from The Godfather], but you don't need any information. It's there in the film about what's happened since, what's different, and why is this a different film; why is it a different kind of structure, and why is it darker. It's all there, you're in the vernacular of the first movie and you're just ready to pick up in this new place, and hopefully that's what will happen with my movie. Obviously I'm talking about one of the greatest films ever made... I hope mine will be good, but that is my guiding star..."
...Sticking with The Avengers sequel and Cobie Smulders has confirmed her expected return as Agent Maria Hill, while Mark Ruffalo has spoken about Whedon's script, as well as expressing his desire to explore The Incredible Hulk further in a solo movie: "[Age of Ultron] is a little bit darker, but also really has Joss Whedon’s incredibly, witty and sly sense of humor. [Bruce Banner] gets to do such great stuff... I’m in The Avengers, but if you took my screentime it would come to about ten minutes, along with the 12 other people I’m sharing the screen with, so my input’s kind of limited on that. But if we get to a standalone Hulk movie, I’ll have a much better chance to do that. I’m just learning now how to find my voice and bring it into the studio world..."
...Elsewhere in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Edgar Wright's Ant-Man has taken advantage of Warner's decision to push back Batman vs. Superman by moving the release of the studio's first Phase Three offering forward to and nabbing the Man of Steel sequel's original date of July 17th 2015; Stan Lee has revealed that he won't make his customary cameo appearance in August's Guardians of the Galaxy, meaning that the James Gunn-helmed cosmic superhero ensemble will be the first MCU movie not to feature the Marvel legend; and Samuel L. Jackson has spoken about his ongoing role as Nick Fury, suggesting that he'd be happy to sign another nine-film deal when his current contract expires (after Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jackson will be seven films in to his original nine-picture commitment)...
...ABC president Paul Lee has spoken about the ratings slide for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., revealing that there are high hopes for the second half of the season: ""It was obviously disappointing that we started with a very high number and it came down. It took a little bit of time to find our sea legs, but now the show is really doing well. Creatively, we are loving what we're seeing for the back nine. We're doing a lot of work, and I'm really enjoying doing this with Marvel. We can announce that Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) is coming in, in Episode 15. We're shooting it now, and that’s going to be absolutely integral to that hour of television. And then, there’s going to be this really cool arc to the end of the season. You're going to find out who the Clairvoyant is, and it’s going to be very, very cool." As for Sif's appearance, it's been revealed that she'll head to Midgard in search of another Asgardian, with Elena Satine (Smallville) set to guest star as Lorelei, the sister of The Enchantress, while executive producer Jeffrey Bell has confirmed the speculation surrounding J. August Richards' Mike Peterson, revealing that he'll be transformed into the cyborg Deathlok for the character's first live-action appearance on the February 4th episode
...This week saw Marvel releasing the first trailer and cover art for Marvel's Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher; while it sounds like it should be directed by Alex Braun, it's actually a feature-length animated movie from anime studio Madhouse, the company behind last year's Iron Man: Rise of Technovore, and will feature Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter) as Black Widow and Brian Bloom (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3) as The Punisher. Here's the official synopsis: "After interfering with a top secret mission, The Punisher is taken into custody by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and Avenger Black Widow. At the orders of Director Nick Fury, Punisher and Black Widow are sent on a mission to stop Leviathan, a global terrorist organization that plans to sell stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. technology to the highest bidder. Now, the vigilante and spy must work together to prevent this technology from falling into the wrong hands. The fate of the world, and of the Avengers, hangs in the balance..."
here]; Hans Zimmer has spoken about scoring the Spidey sequel and how he's approaching the character compared to his previous superhero work on The Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel: "I felt nobody ever addressed the idea that Peter Parker is young, and that the music he would listen to, that would move him, would be different from the music Batman would listen to. And I thought there should be a playfulness about it" [see more from Zimmer in a video interview here]; and Shailene Woodley has revealed that she's uncertain about the future of her Mary Jane Watson, and whether she'll be asked to return to the role for 2016's The Amazing Spider-Man 3: "I don't know anything, but seeing how they picked up the next two Divergent films, I don't know how I'd keep my sanity with two big action films in one year. Anything can happen, so..."
...On Monday Empire Magazine is set for an "exclusive reveal" from 20th Century Fox's upcoming X-Men sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past, which we can only presume will be a new trailer, given that director Bryan Singer has dropped a brief teaser, which features blink-and-you'll-miss-em shots of the likes of Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magento), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman), Booboo Stewart (Warpath) and Fan Bingbing (Blink)...
...With Fox gearing up to go into production on The Fantastic Four at the back end of March, it's been revealed that director Josh Trank (Chronicle) will be testing actors this coming week to join Michael B. Jordan's Human Torch as part of Marvel's First Family now that Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future past) has finished up his rewrite of the script. Apparently Game of Thrones stars Kit Harington and Richard Madden will test for Mister Fantastic alongside Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now), while Kate Mara (American Horror Story) and Saoirse Ronan (Hanna) will try out for the part of The Invisible Woman. Meanwhile, a potential synopsis has been revealed suggesting drastic changes to the traditional original of the Fantastic Four, and while Trank has taken to Twitter to debunk this, his previous denial about Miles Teller being up for Reed Richards leaves question marks hanging over its validity: "The Fantastic Four will tell the tale of two very young friends, Reed Richards and Ben Grimm. After an event transforms the boys, they find themselves empowered with bizarre new abilities. Reed becomes a scientific genius who can stretch, twist and re-shape his body to inhuman proportions. Ben becomes a monstrous, craggy humanoid with orange, rock-like skin and super-strength. However, the two end up being owned by the government and used as weapons. But after they mature, two others with powers come into the picture – Sue Storm 'The Invisible Girl' and Johnny Storm 'The Human Torch.'"
...And finally, something for the little 'uns as DreamWorks Animation has revealed the voice cast for director Rob Letterman's (Shark Tale, Monsters vs. Aliens) adaptation of the Scholastic superhero Captain Underpants, with Ed Helms voicing the eponymous hero, Kevin Hart (Grudge Match) as George Beard, Thomas Middleditch (The Campaign) as Harold Hutchins, Nick Kroll (Kroll Show) as Professor Poopypants, and Jordan Peele (Key and Peele) as Melvin.
Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen - Available now via Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, 2014.
Directed by Kenneth Branagh.
Starring Chris Pine, Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner and Kenneth Branagh.
Jack Ryan, as a young covert CIA analyst, uncovers a Russian plot to crash the U.S. economy with a terrorist attack.
Since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass left the Jason Bourne series, the franchise has really gone downhill as the studio keeps on churning out sequels. First it was Jeremy Renner, and now it’s Chris Pine who takes over the mantle... wait... what’s that? This isn’t a Jason Bourne spin-off?
Okay, you get where I’m coming from. Here we have another ‘post-Bourne’ style action thriller which is completely without an identity of its own, clearly designed to capitalise on the success of a film making style which peaked in 2007. When James Bond attempted to copy the style in Quantum Of Solace in 2008 we all saw through the facade and the film makers learnt their lesson, so it comes as a great disappointment to see Paramount Pictures taking a perfectly fine franchise like Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan series and making the same mistakes.
Jack Ryan, however, is not James Bond or Jason Bourne in terms of both character and global box office appeal. That’s not a criticism of the series, in fact I like the previous Ryan films very much because of the character and his morals and what he stands for. The Hunt For Red October, Clear and Present Danger, and The Sum of All Fears are complex novels which were made into both mature yet crowd-pleasing films (all taking over $100 million at the US box office) at a time when cinema wasn’t crammed full of carbon copies of the same old formula and when directors like John McTiernan and Phillip Noyce could take time to build a story infused with tense action sequences which looked like nothing else on screen at the time.
The key to the success was Jack Ryan. He’s not an action hero but he gets caught up in action because he’s the only one who has the intelligence and detailed knowledge of the enemy; whether that be a Soviet submarine captain, a Columbian drug cartel, or a neo Nazi group starting WWIII, Ryan’s analytical skills holds the key. These films are filled with action sequences, but often Ryan isn’t the one doing the shooting and fighting; he’s just trying to get out alive.
Fast forward to 2013 and we have Chris Pine as a Ryan indistinguishable from the character we’ve seen played by Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck, who, ironically, already played the ‘reboot’ younger role in 2003. In Shadow Recruit (a title which makes no sense whatsoever) the revamped Ryan is fighting and killing like Bourne, riding motorbikes at high speed like Bourne, and hanging off of speeding trucks like Bond. This is not the Jack Ryan who grows up to be a senior CIA analyst (which is something the Ben Affleck film nailed) but just another indestructible action hero. I have nothing against indestructible action heroes, but when Jack Ryan is turned into one just so a film can get financed in the hope his name will bring in audiences where an original character might not (see Phillip Noyce’s Salt to prove that’s not needed), I do take offense and I will call the film out for what it is, and what it clearly is not.
What it is not, is interesting, exciting, or intriguing which all four previous films in the series are. The plot in this film means nothing feels at stake because, yet again, New York City is threatened by a bomb which we know will not detonate. The film opens with Ryan watching the events of September 11th on TV which only reminds us that a film like this can’t present us with anything much worse than what has happened in real life. It needed to avoid ‘city in danger’ clichés but that’s all it can offer. When Ryan isn’t being an action hero, the scenes of analysis and computing hacking are flat and uninvolving because there’s nothing exciting about watching someone downloading files and tapping on a keyboard whilst code flashes on the screen. Compare this to the tense scene in Clear and Present Danger where Ryan is trying to print files in one office whilst someone else is deleting them in the office next door. Utterly compelling and it’s just two men in front of a computer. The difference is that the story makes us care in Clear and Present Danger, but in Shadow Recruit the sequence is DOA.
Frustratingly, the film shows flashes of what could have been if it were not hell-bent on losing its identity and becoming a Bourne rip-off. Anyone who has read the novels would hope that Ryan’s early life, his military background, and the money he makes on the stock market could make for an intelligent thriller based on a story which Tom Clancy perhaps only touched on. Alas, all of this is wrapped up in the opening ten minutes, all rushing towards him being picked up by the CIA so the action can begin. It’s a real waste of an opportunity to make a reboot which could have added value to an established series, and that’s the biggest disappointment.
Chris Pine is perfectly fine in the action role but is given nothing to stretch himself, but Keira Knightley is woefully miscast as his American girlfriend, whose accent is all over the place. Of all the hundreds of young American actresses which could have been cast, why did Knightley get the role? It’s a question as unfathomable as the choice to have Kenneth Branagh direct, for his approach to the genre shows precious little originality and he’s a film maker who should be attached to better material than this. If unoriginal, I will say the final action sequence is certainly well made but it holds no thrills and the film is way beyond redemption at that point.
By making a Jack Ryan reboot in this fashion Paramount have defecated on the series which brought them so much success. Of all the intelligent and complex Ryan novels yet unfilmed, why they chose to make a second rate story such as this would be beyond me if it were not sadly so obvious. No one wants intelligent and complex thrillers anymore, so we get Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit instead. It’s an insult to Tom Clancy’s legacy.
Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Rohan Morbey - follow me on Twitter.
One of the most secretive elements of Gareth Edwards' reboot of Godzilla has been the design of the monster himself. Well, according to Anime Figures UK, we now have our first look at the King of the Monsters.
The big guy returns to our screens this year to celebrate his 60th birthday, I’m talking about Godzilla by the way. Check out this awesome 61cm tall action figure of Big G as he appears in the up coming film.
It was rumoured a few months back photos of the action figure for the world famous kaiju would be revealed as soon as the embargo had been lifted. Based on the glimpse we got of him from the trailers, this figure looks to be a very accurate image of Godzilla.
Here are the pictures...
What do we think?
Godzilla is out on May 16th and features Aaron Talyor-Johnson (Kick-Ass 2), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and Ken Wantanbe (Inception).
Sadé Green reviews the first two episodes of Girls season 3...
Hannah, Jessa, Marnie and Shoshanna carried on their early-20's exploits with hilariously funny consequences. The sometimes unrealistic series opened with a two-parter carrying on a few months from where season 2 left off. Hannah (the brain behind Girls, Lena Dunham) is now on medication for her OCD breakdown (and the self-cut fringe is finally growing out); Jessa (Jemima Kirke) has resurfaced in a rehab centre after her spectacular divorce; Marnie (Alison Williams) is now living with her Mother after a devastating break up with her 'soul mate' Charlie and the previously virginal Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet) is living it up, down and sideways in her final college days.
The opening two-parter of 'Females Only' and 'Truth or Dare' was full of self-involved quips and very entertaining run-ins with old exes (cue an amazingly awkward scene with Shiri Appleby's Natalia and her very protective friend played by Amy Schumer). Adam (Adam Driver) is now living with Hannah and is mortified at the fact that he has to have dinner with her friends that night to celebrate Hannah's first chapters being published online. It gets extremely uncomfortable when Adam accidentally reveals that he bumped into Charlie a few weeks ago and ends with Marnie in tears, getting relationship advice from a strangely comforting Adam – when did he get so normal? Or are the girls' crazy shenanigans making him look like the sane one?
Jessa is on top form in rehab, insulting anyone and everything in her droll trans-atlantic accent. She is so hateable but it's hard not to envy her ballsiness. A great cameo from Richard E. Grant shows him playing an equally as ballsy, chain smoking drug addict who develops a rather odd relationship with Jessa. In Jessa's self-involved bubble she sees herself as helping the other habitants with their problems, even claiming that she was 'doing charity' helping a closet lesbian realise her true sexuality.
With some thoroughly unlikeable characters, it really is a wonder that Girls is as popular and successful as it is. But coming from the point-of-view of a girl in her twenties, it can be so reminiscent of the kind of people that you come across and it is these observations that makes it so funny. Adam's insistence that he doesn't need to socialise with Hannah's friends must ring a few bells to every female out there and having that crazily annoying friend that asks dumbass questions ('What's your favourite utensil?') like Shoshanna is a bug we all have to bear.
Girls is the hilarious version of real-life that we all secretly wish was the way we could actually go about things. Written by Dunham and her collaborator Jennifer Konner, Girls possesses some of the driest humour on television at the moment and the season 3 opener proves that Girls still packs a hilarious punch. But even if you are no longer in your twenties (lucky you, seriously) it is still such an enjoyably fun show to watch. If anything, it will make you happy that your twenties are long behind you.
Historically, the winner of the DGA Award goes on to pick up the Oscar, although that wasn't the case last year with Ben Affleck (Argo) losing out to Ang Lee (Life of Pi) at the Academy Awards.
In addition to Cuaron, there were also awards for Jehane Noujaim (Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary - The Square), Vince Gilligan (Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series - Breaking Bad) and Steven Soderbergh (Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television and Miniseries - Behind the Candelabra). Check out the full list of winners below...
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures
Alfonso Cuaron – Gravity
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary
Jehane Noujaim – The Square
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Movies for Television
Steven Soderbergh – Behind the Candelabra
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series
Vince Gilligan – Breaking Bad
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series
Beth McCarthy-Miller – 30 Rock
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety: Series
Don Roy King – Saturday Night Live
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Variety/Talk/News/Sports – Specials
Glenn Weiss – The 67th Annual Tony Awards
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Reality Programs
Neil P. DeGroot – 72 Hours
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Children’s Programs
Amy Schatz – An Apology to Elephants
Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Commercials
Martin de Thurah – Epoch Films
Paramount Pictures is to reboot The Naked Gun, with Ed Helms taking on the role of Sergeant Frank Drebin, Detective Lieutenant Police Squad, made famous of course by the legendary Leslie Nielsen in the 80s TV series Police Squad! and its subsequent movie trilogy. But, according to co-writer Ben Garant (Night at the Museum), it's actually more sequel than remake...
"Right now we're calling it Episode IV – A New Hope. That will change, but that's the working title... Our take is that Ed Helms is Frank Drebin, no relation. That's how he introduces himself. We are trying to reinvent the world, because that world was very Dragnet, but we're trying to fit in 100 jokes a page... It's going to be a lot of fun. We’re very much embracing the style."
What are your thoughts on the new Naked Gun movie? Are you happy it's more of a sequel than a remake? Let us know in the comments below....
If you listen to the EDUMACATION podcast, you’ll remember that episode 20 (Part 2 of the Christmas eps) consisted of another dopey conversation that resulted in a screenplay – a’la SModcast and TUSK. I was goofing around with Mr. Edumacation himself, Professor Andy McElfresh, when we accidentally brainstormed a Christmas horror anthology that would eschew the gruesome spin on Santa Claus, and instead embrace the Scandinavian/German Kid-Eating Christmas creature known as the The Krampus. That podcast was released 12/23/13.
It took us less than a month, but Andy and I have finished the screenplay for a flick we’re calling COMES THE KRAMPUS! It’s 99 pulse-pounding pages of what’s essentially SModCo’s CREEPSHOW, with four terrifying tales stitched together by a freaky framing device. It was a blast to write and totally new to me, as I never actually wrote a screenplay WITH someone else before.
And now, to extend the spirit of collaboration even further, I’M GONNA CO-DIRECT THE FLICK WITH THE SMODCO FAMILY!
Andy McElfresh will direct the “The Krampus vs. The 3rd Grade” episode (SO fucked up), Jason Mewes (yes – THAT Jason Mewes) will direct the “Hitler’s Krampus” episode (twisted period piece), I will direct the “Mask Maker” episode (the Gothic horror piece), Carol Banker will direct the “The Proposal” episode (which is fucking nuts), and Jennifer Schwalbach will direct “The Bad Babysitter” – which is the framing device that holds the whole mess together. Jordan Monsanto will produce for SModcast Pictures and the twin SModCo cherries on the top of this scary sundae? I’m gonna force my Bro Scotty Mo(sier) to act in it and Babble-Meister RALPH GARMAN will feature in every episode!
Smith went on to reveal that he envisions the anthology as a $2 million movie and plans to shoot the project immediately after Clerks III, which he's aiming to start filming in April.
Matt Smith reviews the season two premiere of The Following....
What with that having to be gotten through, the fates of the Matthews clan are unfortunately glossed over as quickly as the producers probably decided they didn’t need her anymore. Claire dies in less time it takes for the extras on the train to, and Joey is explained away with a line. The most relentless of those exits does bring back the infamous death curse of Ryan Hardy though, starting this series on the rather tragic note the series is used to playing.
Another re-introduction is the train scene, which is a stabby, gruesome return to form. The scene does make up for the time lost between series, in a dark sort of way. And you know something’s going to happen when the camera starts picking out individual faces in a crowd. While the surprise is non-existent from the start, the high tension and guessing game of who the killer is makes a welcome return. Complete with creepy masks, this time unnerving because of their resemblance to Joe himself as opposed to Edgar Allen Poe. Joe Carroll has replaced the mythical legend he was always inspired by, in the most twisted way possible.
Agent Mike Weston makes a comeback, in the evermore set-upon guise of Shawn Ashmore. Starting out as a rookie eager to please, his is the character journey perhaps most underrepresented. An entire series could be devoted to his travels through the dark and murky world he’s been pulled into by Ryan Hardy, one in which Hardy now refuses to help.
His introduction is a horrid mixture of stupidity and exposition (‘the grand jury made no indictments’? How would Weston not know this already and be back on duty? Someone at the FBI has dropped the ball down a sewer, into the caverns and away with the fairies and the writer expects us not to notice), but once he’s there a tumultuous relationship with Hardy is set up and promised. This could be the most entertaining part of the show, as two men who are fighting for the same thing (in relatively similar ways) fight against each other as well.
Another new element introduced is the new set of cults. Now Carroll’s gone, his followers have split up and formed their own groups, still dedicated to his memory. Carroll’s leadership in the first series was interesting in that it turned out to be highly flawed. While the new batch seem equal parts terrifying and violent (with a new dimension of weirdness from a couple of murderous twins), hopefully something else is revealed that makes them as compelling as the main man and his efforts.
The striking imagery and slow burn of the first series make a return. The shot of a murder victim, tied to a bench and forced to read Joe Carroll’s book even in death, is revealed slowly, just as everything else seems to be set up for a more promising payoff later on. And while Joe Carroll’s return could be called either a classic or cliché sting depending on where you sit on such things, it looks like this first episode was more of a shocking (and well produced) prologue to the main story to come.
In that spirit, it is a shame they skipped over the grief Hardy would have felt for Claire Matthews, but like the previous series, it looks like they’re playing the long game. Hopefully that means this episode is just a glimpse of things to come, seeds sown to grow, and that Ryan Hardy and his ever-decreasing band of companions reveal the truth in the end. Whether that’s the truth of what they’re really feeling, the truth behind Carroll and his followers or both remains to be seen. And I can’t wait to find out.
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August: Osage County, 2013.
Directed by John Wells.
Starring Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Chris Cooper. Ewan McGregor, Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Julianne Nicholson, Juliette Lewis, Abigail Breslin, and Benedict Cumberbatch.
A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.
Sometimes a script comes together which functions solely to allow a star studied ensemble to chew scenery, shout, scream, and cry at each other and generally get the chance to show their acting range. Is there anything wrong with that? Not as far as I’m concerned, and that’s why August: Osage County is a rousing success.
Unlike the previous two film adaptions of Tracy Letts plays, Bug and Killer Joe, August: Osage County does not deliver the same cinematic experience we got from master film maker William Friedkin, yet this film is just as uneasy to watch at times. A simple story of a dysfunctional (a term used lightly) family brought together by the suicide of the father sees a life time of family secrets, mistakes, and aggressions spill out over the course of a few days. The film is like a powder keg, ready to explode at any given moment, taking down as many people as it can in just two hours.
A cynical view of the film could say there are just too many things revealed and too many wounded characters to feel realistic, because, indeed, every scene either sets up a revelation or delivers the hammer blow. For me, the screenplay (also by Letts) gives these actors dialogue which sounds real and gives them just the right amount of screen time so we know the order of the food chain. Moreover, the film gives everyone something to get their acting teeth into, most notably Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts whose Oscar nominations are thoroughly deserved.
As Violet, the pill addicted mother, Streep somehow can make us feel a degree of sympathy despite all the wicked things she has to say about her own family, highlighted in a tour de force sequence around the dinner table where she tears into each person, culminating in her own daughter physically wrestling her to the ground. We can see why her husband killed himself if this was her daily routine; moreover, his memory is barely touched on in the film with all the family caught up in their own problems and baggage brought into the family house. The house itself is like a prison with windows taped up, daylight like a reminder of the world they have given up on.
Everything and everyone is trapped by their own lies and deceit; Barbara (Julia Roberts) and her husband (Ewan McGregor) are separated but won’t tell anyone, Karen (Juliette Lewis) is a phony hiding behind false hair colour and designer clothes whilst her rich fiancée is clearly going through a midlife crisis she refuses to acknowledge, and Ivy (Julianne Nicholson) is in love with the one man in the world she shouldn’t be involved with. However, it takes this one family reunion, brought about by a suicide, for them to see what’s going on but, we assume, nothing changes once they leave to go home.
This is an actor’s film and director John Wells does a fine job of just letting them get on with the acting thanks to an unobtrusive camera with many of the interior scenes having the immediacy of a stage play for nothing is hidden or cut away from. Even the exterior shots hold an inescapable quality; we see the a few shots of the skyline of Osage County as a respite from the caldron of anger and anxiety we’re soon brought back to. Again, in one scene Violet runs away from Barbara and through a wide open field in broad daylight but there’s nowhere to hide or escape to both metaphorically and, in this instance, literally.
Despite the relentless anger, the screenplay does inject a fair amount of much need dark humour in the all the bad mouthing, and some comic relief in the form of Karen’s fiancé who is a borderline caricature of what is best described as a douchebag. Therein lies the greatness of this film, a simple story with more layers than an onion, and one which leaves just as an unpleasant taste at times. It has the ability to makes us laugh, makes us uneasy, and make us watch on in awe of the talent on screen. Highly recommended.
Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★
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"It's huge," Webb tells Total Film. "We're pushing the levels of effects, the level of action and the emotional capacity of this kid. It's an aggressive step forward. We throw around the term 'operatic' because of the spectacle and the theatre involved, which is pretty epic. There are enormous sets and great set-pieces. But really it's a very intimate song – this relationship between Peter and Gwen is very delicate and beautiful."
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set for release on April 18th 2014 in the UK and May 2nd 2014 in North America with a cast that includes Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field, Chris Cooper, Felicity Jones, Colm Feore, B.J. Novak, Chris Zylka, Embeth Davidtz and Campbell Scott.
"One of the reasons that I did it was I wanted to experience this new form of filmmaking that’s taken over where you have kind of cartoon characters brought to life through high technology. The Avengers series is a product of high technology playing a major role in the new order of filmmaking so I wanted to experience that — I just wanted to know what that was like and I had that opportunity, so for me it was like stepping into new terrain just to experience what it was like."
Captain America: The Winter Soldier is set for release on March 26th in the UK and April 4th in North America and also stars Marvel veterans Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / The Winter Soldier), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola) and Maximiliano Hernandez (Agent Jasper Sitwell) alongside MCU newcomers Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker) as Sam Wilson / Falcon, Emily VanCamp (Revenge) as Sharon Carter / Agent 13, Frank Grillo (Zero Dark Thirty) as Brock Rumlow / Crossbones, and George St-Pierre (Death Warrior) as Georges Batroc / Batroc the Leaper.
Simon Columb continues our Buster Keaton month with a review of The General...
Keaton plays Johnny Gray, an engineer on the Western and Atlantic Railroad. His two loves are his engine and fiancée Annabelle Lee (Marion Mack). When war breaks out, Johnny tries to enlist but is rejected as he is needed on the rail road. Unfortunately, Annabelle’s brother and father assume he has refused to enlist, prompting Annabelle to refuse his love too - until she sees him in uniform. Feeling down, Johnny returns to his train – “The General” but becomes caught up in the war effort as armies from the North plan to destroy the railroad to stop the transportation of the Southerners artillery and food. They take hold of “The General”, with Annabelle on board, and so Johnny sets off to save his locomotive (and his love) from the clutches of the enemy soldiers.
As the train route sets-up jokes travelling in one direction, we remain on board for the laughs as it returns, repeating many jokes in reverse. Tomfoolery with the use of cannons, wood and fire is regular and commonplace. Though we are watching professionals, behind the scenes directors were shot in the face (with a blank) and crew had feet trampled by the train wheel. Even Keaton was hurt by standing too close to a cannon. A vaudeville performer, Keaton knows dangerous and death-defying stunts – and his effort to capture authenticity in the civil war setting and his hilarious exploits is where The General, rightly, receives praise.
The box-office failure of The General could be due to a number of reasons. United Artists had failed to market the film effectively while in 1927 the Civil War was still in the collective consciousness of Americans. For some, it was too soon for comedy based on such a tragic time. Re-released at the BFI and screened digitally in glorious 4k, you can see the precise detail Keaton went to, to ensure The General stood the test of time. Cannons were based on actual Civil War weaponry and he included what is rumoured to be the most expensive single shot of the silent era (rumoured to have cost $42,000). This shot, filmed on 26th July 1926, is an actual locomotive, on an actual bridge in Oregon, and Keaton destroys both.
Written, directed and starring Buster Keaton, The General is outstanding filmmaking. The story suits the full-feature context and there is no sense that this is four 20-minute shorts squeezed together. The comedy supports the story and slapstick and poker-faced dry-wit is complemented by well-placed sarcasm and shots that, in their pace and framing, are laugh-out-loud moments. Paul Merton writes how The General proved “screen immortality” after hearing the loud laughs at a screening in 1971. 40 years later, the loud laughs continue to fill the theatre, proving how this epic silent comedy remains timeless and immortal.
For more info on A Serious Man, a Modern World: Buster Keaton and the Cinema of Today, visit the BFI website here.
Walt Disney Pictures has released a new trailer for its live-action Sleeping Beauty reimagining Maleficent, which debuted during last night's Grammy Awards and features Lana del Rey's cover of 'Once Upon a Dream'; check it out below after the official synopsis...
"A beautiful, pure-hearted young woman, Maleficent has an idyllic life growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom, until one day when an invading army threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal—an act that begins to turn her pure heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent faces an epic battle with the invading king’s successor and, as a result, places a curse upon his newborn infant Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom—and perhaps to Maleficent’s true happiness as well."
Maleficent is directed by Robert Stromberg (Avatar, Alice in Wonderland) and sees Angelina Jolie leading the cast as the Mistress of All Evil alongside Elle Fanning (Super 8), Sharlto Copley (Elysium), Imelda Staunton (The Pirates! Band of Misfits), Miranda Richardson (The Hours), Juno Temple (The Dark Knight Rises) and Lesley Manville (Romeo and Juliet).
Maleficent is set for release on March 14th.
Peace River Record Gazette), Pratt has spoken about his upcoming role in the dino-sequel, where he's set to play a character called Owen, described as "a rugged ex-military due who clashes with a corporate scientist played by Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help)".
"For me Jurassic Park was really kind of my Star Wars, I lined up at the theatre to see it, I saw it opening night, I saw every sequel, I’ve seen it a whole bunch of times… for me that was my big movie, I think I was 13 or 14 when it came out, and so it’s a big deal for me to be any part of that, let alone this part I’m going to be playing. I’m thrilled about it. Everybody around the world knows that franchise. When you sayJurassic Park, no one is like, ‘What’s Jurassic Park?’ More people know Jurassic Park than just about anything. I’m thrilled."
Jurassic World is set for release on June 12th 2015, with Colin Trevorrow directing a cast that also includes Ty Simpkins (Iron Man 3), and Nick Robinson (The Kings of Summer).
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced that Oscar-winning British actress Dame Helen Mirren will receive this year's BAFTA Fellowship at the EE British Academy Film Awards on February 16th at the Royal Opera House, London.
The Fellowship is BAFTA's highest honour, with previous recipients including Charlie Chaplin, Alfred Hitchcock, Steven Spielberg, Sean Connery, Elizabeth Taylor, Stanley Kubrick, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Olivier, Judi Dench, Vanessa Redgrave, Christopher Lee, Martin Scorsese and Alan Parker.
“This is the greatest professional honour I can imagine, certainly one I never dreamt of as a schoolgirl in Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex," said Mirren on today's announcement. "To join that list of legendary names is overwhelming."
Every hour today, Empire Magazine is unveiling one of its 25 special X-Men: Days of Future Pastcovers, giving us a look at the majority of the enormous ensemble cast of the superhero sequel; check the covers out here, which we'll keep updating until they've all arrived....
The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. The beloved characters from the original “X-Men” film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class,” in an epic battle that must change the past – to save our future.
X-Men: Days of Future Past is set for release on May 23rd with a cast that includes Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magneto), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Lucas Till (Havok), Halle Berry (Storm), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), Daniel Cudmore (Colossus) and Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) alongside franchise newcomers Evan Peters (American Horror Story) as Quicksilver, Booboo Stewart (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) as Warpath, Fan Binbing (Iron Man 3) as Blink, Adam Canto (The Following) as Sunspot, Josh Helman (Mad Max: Fury Road) as William Stryker, Evan Jonigkeit (Girls) as Toad and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as Bolivar Trask.
We've already seen a shot of Peter Capaldi's Doctor on set with Jenna Coleman on the upcoming eighth season of Doctor Who, albeit in Matt Smith's attire, but now the BBC has given us our first look at the Twelfth Doctor in his new costume, which includes a Crombie coat and Doc Marten boots...
"New Doctor, new era, and of course new clothes," said showrunner Steven Moffat on today's reveal "Monsters of the universe, the vacation is over – Capaldi is suited and booted and coming to get you!"
What do you make of Capaldi's look? Let us know in the comments below...
"Thor: The Dark World continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel's "Thor" and "Marvel's The Avengers," Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos...but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all."
Thor: The Dark World is released on DVD and Blu-ray on February 24th in the UK and February 25th in North America, with Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) directing a cast that also includes Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba, Rene Russo, Ray Stevenson, Jaimie Alexander, Tadanobu Asano, Kat Dennings, Zachary Levi, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje and Christopher Eccleston.
That Awkward Moment, 2014.
Written and Directed by Tom Gormican.
Starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Imogen Poots, and Mackenzie Davis.
Three best friends find themselves where we've all been - at that confusing moment in every dating relationship when you have to decide "So...where is this going?".
That Awkward Moment attempts to tread the line between romance and testosterone-charged comedy valiantly, bold by way of idea, feeble by way of final product. Charisma can only carry a film so far before the sheer pomposity and ego of its cast builds and implodes in upon itself. First time writer and director Tom Gormican fails to build upon the films unique selling point before abandoning a certain element of originality for a series of awkward, contrived set-pieces.
The true success of That Awkward Moment stems from the chemistry between the leads. Efron, Teller and Jordan bounce off one and other in a way that places emphasis upon their friendship both on and off screen. They’re clearly having fun, so evident at the end of the film whereby the outtakes are presented during the credits. “Blokish" moments of viagra, beer and Xbox entertain in moderation and as they become stale, the fresh personality of Imogen Poots makes an entrance.
Poots - who had a stellar 2013 - continues to impress, almost ordaining the plot the movement of the plot and Miles Teller, who plays the asshole so brilliantly engages the audience most, yet their charisma is bought to an abrupt halt as ham-handed moments of emotions are brought into play. The cast attempt to rise to the occasion yet the writing is fraught with moments of cliche, every encounter toe-curlingly uncomfortable.
That Awkward Moment fails to build upon an interesting premise, choosing instead to follow the tired formula of old the audience are so sick of. Moments of genuine laughter are rare and few but when they succeed, they are of Zac Efron wearing a dildo or Miles Teller “horsing” the toilet. As you can imagine, the tone of the film is lazily “gross-out." Thankfully, the charisma of its leads and a valiant effort by the ever likeable Imogen Poots saves the film from uncomfortable Valentines Day viewings of the future.
Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
Qohen Leth is an eccentric and reclusive computer genius who lives in an Orwellian corporate world and suffers from existential angst. Under the instruction of a shadowy figure known only as “Management”, Qohen works to solve the “Zero Theorem” – a mathematical formula which will finally determine whether life has any meaning. Qohen’s work in the burnt-out chapel that serves as his home is interrupted by visits from Bainsley, a seductive woman, and Bob, the teenage son of Management.
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) leads the cast of The Zero Theorem as Qohen Leth, and he's joined by Melanie Thierry (Babylon A.D.), David Thewlis (Harry Potter), Matt Damon (Elysium), Tilda Swinton (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Peter Stormare (The Last Stand) and Ben Whishaw (Skyfall).
The Zero Theorem is set for release on March 14th.