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    Fresh from its round of screenings at various film festivals last year, including Venice, London and Toronto, Under the Skin is soon to be unleashed on the world this Spring.

    Starring Scarlett Johansson (Her, Lost in Translation) as an alien seducer who prays upon unsuspecting hitchhikers in the cold Scottish Highlands, Under the Skin has been universally acclaimed by many critics who have seen the film, praising both the work of Johansson and director Jonathan Glazer (Birth).

    The new trailer, which is almost a sizzle-reel of footage from the film, sharply edited to tease us, has just been released online, and looks like one of the strangest but boldest films of the year.

    Set for release in the UK on March 14th, with a USA release shortly afterwards on April 4th, Under the Skin could well be on many “Top 10” lists come the close of the year.

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    The James Bond franchise has had its ups and downs over its 50 year run run, but where it came together for a lot of people after several missteps was the 21st entry.  Casino Royale was parallel to other successful reboots like Star Trek, Batman Begins, and X-Men: First Class which honored what had came before whilst injecting new life into their respective franchises.

    Martin Campbell was chosen for the film which made sense because he had already cut his teeth on one of the more critically praised Brosnan Bond movies, GoldenEyeGoldenEye had come after a six year hiatus following Timothy Dalton resigning the role which essentially made GoldenEye a 90's version of Casino Royale.  Predictably Campbell delivered in spades, pulling in little bits of inspiration from Batman Begins and the Bourne movies to create a grittier, more realistic Bond, pushing the gadgets and supercars to the background.  The result is something that still has the original DNA but it's just enough of a new vibe to keep things fresh.  The action is toned down to just inside the realm of believability, which adds a lot more tension, and the action sequences are all well executed and well shot.

    Daniel Craig is another key success toCasino Royale.  He brought the suave demeanor that we're used to from the character but he also added something that was absent before - grittiness and intensity. Bond has never been so visceral. The charm and wit that's necessary for a likeable protagonist is still there but there's a rawness which Daniel Craig brings  that makes him threatening in the role, and makes a game of cards interesting to watch. He was given great dialogue to deliver and he's always got a witty comeback; any scene with banter in it is the highlight of the movie. It also didn't hurt they he had great character actors to play off, including Jeffrey Wright, Eva Green, and Mads Mikkelsen, whose Le Chiffre is a great deconstruction of previous Bond Villains.

    With Daniel Craig's steeley blue eyes, the intense and innovative action, and the love interest played by Eva Green being the main focus of the marketing team, it was little wonder Casino Royale became a hit.  There were also gorgeous sweeping shots of the locations, casinos and slots machines like the Ceasars casino roulette game, helping to make Casino Royale the success that it was. 

    Anthony Stokes is a blogger and independent filmmaker who also assists with the music blog DopesterMusic and co-hosts the podcast Delusional Losers.

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    Marvel Studios will kick off the 2014 superhero season in a few short months with the release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and ahead of the upcoming Super Bowl spot this weekend, we've got four new character posters for the superhero sequel featuring Chris Evans' Captain America (with and without helmet), Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow, and Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury. Click on any of the posters for larger versions...

    "After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy — the Winter Soldier."

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier is set for release on March 26th in the UK and April 4th in North America, with Evans, Johansson and Jackson joined in the castby Marvel veterans Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / The Winter Soldier), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola) and Maximiliano Hernandez (Agent Jasper Sitwell) and MCU newcomers Anthony Mackie (Pain & Gain) as Sam Wilson / Falcon, Emily VanCamp (Revenge) as Sharon Carter / Agent 13, Frank Grillo (Zero Dark Thirty) as Brock Rumlow / Crossbones, George St-Pierre (Death Warrior) as Georges Batroc / Batroc the Leaper, and Robert Redford (All Is Lost) as Alexander Pierce.

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    With just over two months to go before its hotly-anticipated return, HBO has released fifteen new images from Game of Thrones season 4, which features many of the cast including Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Sibel Kekilli (Shae), Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), John Bradley-West (Samwell Tarly), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Rory McCann (Sandor Clegane), Michiel Huisman (Daario Naharis), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), Pedro Pascal (Oberyn Martell), Indira Varma (Ellaria Sand), Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell), Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell), Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister), Rose Leslie (Ygritte) and Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane)...

    Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 6th and Sky Atlantic on April 7th. Watch the season four trailer here.

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    Well, it looks like Quicksilver isn't the only Marvel character that Bryan Singer has gazumped Joss Whedon to, with Empire dropping a new batch of stills for X-Men: Days of Future Past which includes Evan Peters' (American Horror Story) Pietro Maximoff presumably joined by a young Wanda, a.k.a. the Scarlet Witch...

    X-Men: Days of Future Past is set for release on May 23rd with a cast that also includes X-Men veterans Hugh Jackman (Wolverine), James McAvoy (Professor X), Michael Fassbender (Magento), Jennifer Lawrence (Mystique), Nicholas Hoult (Beast), Patrick Stewart (Professor X), Ian McKellen (Magneto), Lucas Till (Havok), Halle Berry (Storm), Anna Paquin (Rogue), Ellen Page (Kitty Pryde), Shawn Ashmore (Iceman) and Daniel Cudmore (Colossus) alongside X-Men newcomers Omar Sy (The Intouchables) as Bishop, Booboo Stewart (The Twilight Saga: Eclipse) as Warpath, Fan Binbing (Iron Man 3) as Blink, Adan Canto (The Following) as Sunspot, Josh Helman (Mad Max: Fury Road) as William Stryker and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones) as Bolivar Trask.

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    The Flickering Myth podcast returns...

    After a long hiatus, the Flickering Myth Month in Review podcast returns in fine form.

    Flickering Myth Co-Editors Luke Owen and Oli Davis are joined by Rohan Morbey and Scott J. Davis to discuss their thoughts on the movies of January 2014 including 12 Years a Slave, The Wolf of Wall Street, Delivery Man, Railway Man, Last Vegas, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit and more.

    There's also a good debate on the quality of American Hustle which split our panel right down the middle. Also, Luke has a huge rant about how much he hated Devil's Due.

    The episode is now live so if you refresh your iTunes or RSS feed it should automatically update. However, you can also listen to Episode #24 directly in the player below...

    If you would like your thoughts shared on the podcast, email with the subject heading "Podcast Questions".

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    Back in September, Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street, The LEGO Movie) spoke about his desire to portray the X-Men's Cajun card-thrower Gambit on the big screen (a role previously filled by Taylor Kitsch in 2009's X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and now veteran X-Men producer Lauren Shuler Donner has spoken briefly about the possibility, stating that she's "dying" to make it a reality.

    "I'm dying to do a Gambit movie with Channing Tatum," Shuler Donner told Empire Online. "That doesn't have to be a great big movie. It's a thief in New Orleans, it's a whole different story. He's on board, and I have to get the studio on board. How can anyone resist Channing? He's such a sweetheart."

    Would you like to see Tatum taking on the role of Gambit in a future X-Men / solo movie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below...

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    We chat with filmmaker Stuart Blumberg about his directorial debut Thanks for Sharing, starring Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Josh Gad, Joely Richardson and Alecia Moore...

    Q: Tell us about Thanks for Sharing...

    Stuart Blumberg: Thanks for Sharing is the story of 3 men who are in a 12 step recovery program for sex addiction in New York City and it tells the story of how through their friendship and their fellowship and their struggles, they help each other recover and be the best people they can be.

    Q: Can you walk us through each storyline?

    SB: Sure. There is the character that Mark Ruffalo plays, named Adam, and Adam is a successful environment consultant who has been in the program for about 5 years. And he had a really sort of tough, checkered past, full of lots of sort of dark stuff and when he got into the program he really jumped in with both feet and he’s been what they call sexually sober for 5 years but he’s sort of been living like a monk. He’s really shut down everything in his life, to where he doesn’t date, doesn’t have a computer, doesn’t have a TV. When the story opens, his sponsor, who’s played by Tim Robbins, the character’s name is Mike, tells him that he needs to start venturing out into the real world and he needs to start dating. So part of his journey in the movie is to actually try to and find a healthy sexuality and to start dating. And what happens with him is he goes out and he meets a beautiful, smart, winning woman named Phoebe, who’s played by Gwyneth Paltrow, and they start dating. And it starts out beautifully and it’s this amazing thing and then of course, complications ensue as she finds out about his past and about his program and their romantic journey is about how they overcome those obstacles.

    There’s another character, Neil, played by Josh Gad, who at the beginning of the movie is in program but not taking it very seriously. In fact, he was court-ordered to be in 12 step recovery for rubbing up against people in the subway and what happens with him over the course of the movie is he actually experiences a new bottom, or a new low, and is forced to take his recovery really seriously for the first time. And he goes from being kind of a dilettante and kind of a joker to being a real mainstay and a real rock of his fellowship and his 12 step community. He also, in the process, befriends a newcomer to the meeting, her name is Dede and she’s played by Alecia Moore. They strike up this beautiful friendship. Neither of them has really ever been friends with a member of the opposite sex before and they sort of learn how to be adults and how to have healthy boundaries through their friendship.

    Then there’s the character I spoke of, Mike, who is played by Tim Robbins. He plays Mark Ruffalo’s sponsor. Mike is kind of the elder statesman of the 12 step group and he also is in AA, so he’s what’s called a double winner, he’s in 2 different programs. He’s the kind of guy everyone loves, everyone knows, and he seems to know it all about recovery. He’s Adam’s sponsor and when the movie opens, he gets a visit from his estranged son, Danny, who’s played by Patrick Fugit. Danny, we learn, has had problems in his recent past with drugs as well, although he’s not in recovery and their relationship is a strained one. Over the course of the movie, we actually see them start to repair that strained relationship as the two try to figure out what they’re each like in recovery. When Danny comes home, he informs his father that, in fact, he has not used in a long time, although he isn’t in program, he’s doing it by himself. That’s a very powerful story about a father and a son who are trying to come to terms with each other. I don’t want to give too much away but basically they also encounter a rough patch in the story that they have to overcome to sort of figure out they’re not perfect and both sides of the street could use some cleaning up.

    Q: One of the things that really struck me is that this is really a story of friendship, of family and that need for human connection, beyond just being in recovery which is also a huge thing in itself. Talk about it on a human level, what our characters are looking for.

    SB: I think what our characters are looking for, as you said, is that kind of connection, that feeling that I’m not alone in this world, that we all have problems but if we face them together, we have a better chance of coming through it, you know, on the other side. And I really think our characters are searching for that feeling of community, and for that feeling of togetherness and belonging. It isn’t just a 12-step story, it really is, as you said, a story of friendship and of bonds. And bonds between very unlikely sources.

    Q: Let’s talk about the cast. Alecia Moore, a.k.a. Pink -- this is her debut...

    SB: It’s one of those funny things, talking about bringing Alecia Moore in to play Dede, where Matt and I were writing the script and it was slightly based on a woman I know who is a hair stylist who is real original figure but when we were writing the story, the voice was a very unique one, it was a strong one, it was a funny one, but there was also a real sensitivity and for some reason, you know, the idea of Pink as I knew her then, and now know her as Alecia, came into my head. It was like, “it’s sort of like Pink”, you know. She’s just that tough girl who you kind of love but who’s got that sort of soft center. And we’re like, “Let’s just write it for her, and I don’t think she’ll do it but why not, it’s always good to have someone in your head.” So we finished the script and we’re like, alright, met every every actress in Hollywood, a lot of people wanted to play that role, and it was like “well why don’t we actually try for the person we wrote it for”? And so my producer, Bill, said “Fine, I love Pink, let’s go find her and see if she’d be up for it.” So we tracked down, she doesn’t have an acting agent, we tracked down her manager, her touring manager, got the script to him who got it to Alecia. She read it and then out of the blue, we heard “yeah, she loves it and wants to meet you” and we went to Malibu to this crappy little diner, you know, on the side of the road and sat with her and she was just the most normal, down to earth chick we’d ever met. And we just sort of said, “yeah, let’s make this happen”. It was great. And she was very pregnant at the time, and we had to figure out if it would be possible or not, but the timing worked out great and she looks amazing and she is amazing.

    Q: Obviously you had a prior relationship with Mark Ruffalo on The Kids Are All Right. When did you approach him about this?

    SB: Mark came up to me when we were doing all the Oscar stuff, and I was just finishing the script, and he said “what are you up to?” and I said, “I’ve been working on this script”. And he said, “Is there anything for me?” (LAUGHS). He’s very funny. And I was like, “well actually there kind of is”. And so, sort of, last January, I sat him down, said “I’m giving you the script, I want you to do and here it is.” And he read it a couple weeks later and said “Great let’s do it”. It was that simple. What’s interesting about Mark is that it’s a challenging subject matter, and I think he needed to overcome some initial, like, oh-my-God, do I want to go this place, because it’s a very intense place that he goes to. But, as a testament to him, he does that because he knows that when he commits, he really will commit. So he’s almost like steeling himself for battle. When he really committed and jumped in, the guy is all in and it’s amazing. Amazing to watch.

    Q: Talk about Tim. He seems like such a natural Mike to me.

    SB: Yeah, I mean, he, like...what you try and do when you cast is you try and cast people who don’t have to act that much, hopefully,  to be the part. So for instance, like Alecia is Dede. And what’s great about Tim is that Tim is first of all very physically imposing. He’s a tall guy. He’s a big guy. He’s a smart guy and he’s also sort of intellectually imposing. He knows what he knows, and he knows it well. And I think there’s a lot of Mike in that. Mike is a guy who really feels that he knows a lot. I’m not saying Tim is arrogant and thinks he knows everything but Tim is a smart guy and he doesn’t suffer fools gladly. So part of that attitude is Mike. But he’s also this big poppa bear that you want to hug and squeeze and you want to be hugged by, which is very Mike as well. Yeah so I think he really, he had to access a certain part of himself that was already there and he’s so natural at it.

    Q: I also think the relationship between him and Joely, how it’s written, Katie, is so beautiful because they have such a great relationship.

    SB: I think what’s interesting to explore sometimes are relationships where the couple has really been through it for many years, and has somehow found a way to persevere and keep going and if one can actually get to that other side, there’s a place of real understanding and tolerance and I think, it’s not a perfect relationship and they really go through bumps in the story, but you get a sense that these guys, they know who they’re married to and they’ve come to really accept and enjoy their partner and I think you see that in Tim and Joely.

    Q: How did Joely come to be involved?

    SB: It’s funny hiring an English accent, er actress, to play a mom from Brooklyn. I’ve just always been a big fan and our casting director actually brought her up and I was like, “That’s a great idea, I love her”. And she just really, there’s something so, I just find her interesting and fascinating - both her face and just the palette of emotions that dance across her face. I’ve always found her interesting. And she’s very, she’s very, there’s something at once, kind of frail but also kind of strong, which is sort of the thing that Katie had to embody. And again, I think that you cast somebody who doesn’t have to go far to get to the character, and that’s what we did.

    Q: I think the character of Neil is just so amazing because he’s so funny and yet obviously very disturbed. What did Josh Gad bring to Neil?

    SB: Yeah, Neil is an interesting case where a lot of people, when they read the script, they’re like “I hated him at the beginning, he’s so unlikeable, and then when he turns, I just found myself rooting for him. I couldn’t believe I was rooting for this guy but I loved him.” You know, I hadn’t really honestly heard about Josh Gad til people educated me and then all of the sudden I realized, “Oh my God, this is the guy in Book of Mormon, this guy’s going to be a comic force.” And he’s also somebody who’s just incredibly well-trained, both comedically and dramatically. He takes it very seriously. And he knows how to laugh at himself, which the character does, and he’s so damn funny. He’s willing to go there, he’s really willing to just make you feel so uncomfortable, and I just, you know, it’s funny cuz a lot of agents were pitching people like, “I know this guy weighs 98 pounds, he’s skinny, but he can play Neil”. And finally, I was like, you know, I don’t want someone to try and play, I want someone to be Neil and Josh Gad is Neil. And when I met him the first time, he was like, “So like have you been reading my journal? What’s going on?” It’s just been great ever since and he’s so enthusiastic and so committed, and just a really good guy. And I’ve really, really enjoyed working with him.

    Q: Describe the tone of the film, what have you been striving for?

    SB: You know, it’s a challenging tone because it’s truly a “cama” or a “dramedy”. You know, it’s got, it’s really got strong elements of drama and strong elements of comedy. I mean, I’m going for a tone that’s maybe a little more intense in both sides than The Kids Are All Right, which had been comedy and drama. I really, in all my movies, love when you can do both, when you can get the audience laughing and crying in the same 100 minutes, I think you’ve won. And so, but the biggest thing I hope to accomplish is a sense of heightened realism, like these people you know, you know they’re not characters, they’re people you know and that allows you to get into the story. You’re not standing at a remove, going, “Look at those weird people. I can’t relate.” I want people to painfully relate to these people.

    Q: Talk about your production team.

    SB: Great. God, it’s going to take so long. I’ll start with my producers who I think are amazing. I have a small company with Edward Norton, the actor Edward Norton and this guy, Bill Migliore works with us and he is our producing partner. He is just one of my favorite people in the world. He’s an old friend of mine for the last 8 years, and we’ve done a bunch of things. We produced this Barack Obama documentary, and when I finished the script, I said, “Bill, I want you to produce this, you’re the only person I want to produce this”, cuz he just cares, he gets it and he is the most driven producer I’ve ever seen. And he said great, and he brought along David Koplan, who had line produced “Leaves of Grass” with us, who’s also an amazing, amazing producer. And these guys from the beginning have just helped me make this movie in every sense of the word. They helped, you know, raise the money, get the crew, help us shoot this big script for the small budget we have, thank God we have it, in the small amount of days we have, thank God we have them, but without feeling I’ve really had to sacrifice everything. They’ve just been incredible champions of this story. And the people at Olympus, Dean Vanech, Leslie Urdang and Miranda de Pencier, I’ve been long time friends with Miranda is how I met them, and I’ve always been impressed with the movies they made. You know, I think they are real producers of quality, whether it’s Rabbit Hole, whether it’s Beginners, you know whether it’s Adam, they really, they have a great track record, and they really care about their movies. And they’ve shown that on this film, for, it hasn’t been so much you know, just about we’ve got to do this as cheap as possible, you know there’s always an emphasis on cost always, but they also really, really are striving for the finest movie. Really striving to give us the tools to do it, so they’ve been amazing.

    I have a wonderful cinematographer, Yaron Orbach, who I met through my friend, David Wain, who’s a director. He was the cinematographer on a movie of his called The Ten, and he always me, “This guy’s amazing. Get him if you can.” My other friend, Jesse Peretz who did Our Idiot Brother, my friend Josh Schwartz who did this movie Fun Size, they were all like, “We love this guy. You got to hire him”. So I met him, and I had met a lot of people, and I was like, “This guy’s amazing. He’s like, you know, an Israeli former, like, basically Green Beret so he knows how to kill you and he moves quickly and he shoots beautifully. He’s been amazing at sort of helping me achieve the kind of naturalistic look I wanted to get, and he’s also really helped me balance the drama and the comedy that I wanted to get. A wonderful, like, first AD, named Doug Torres, who helps a first time director like me really understand how to shoot the day efficiently and he’s been great. A great production designer, Beth Mickle, who just did Drive, who can work with a shoestring to make things look beautiful. Just overall, just an amazing, amazing team.

    Q: What was the transition like from writer to director?

    SB: It’s been a, what’s been good about making that transition for me as a writer to director, is that I’ve also produced some of the stuff I had done, that I’d been on set for all of it, so I really saw, sort of, and I’d been involved in prep a lot, so I really saw sort of, what the pieces of the puzzle where I just never was the person actually making the decisions. Umm, and so I knew sort of the things that would be coming my way once I stepped into that. Um, it definitely is like trying to drink from a fire hydrant, it’s over-whelming much of the time, but I really, really enjoyed it. Umm, I think when I get so invested in the story and I see it in my head when I’m writing it. I know what I want it to look like. For me, it’s just been a natural extension of just trying to make that vision a reality. And, you know, I am a control freak so it plays to all of those tendencies, so it’s been really, really satisfying.

    Q: Has there been a moment or a scene where you were just like “wow, this is great”?

    SB: Yes, many. We just shot a scene where Neil basically, is in a meeting, a 12 step meeting, and he comes clean that he’s basically been lying about being sober and he’s been acting out the whole time and it’s a very, a very powerful monologue where he takes responsibility for the first time and decides to stop BS’ing people. And, um, it’s a really, really great thing where you write it on the page and you hope that the actor can deliver and then not only do they deliver, but they plus it and they make it more than you thought it could be.

    Q: That’s great. I realize we didn’t talk about Gwyneth Paltrow. Talk about what she brings to Phoebe.

    SB: Gwyneth Paltrow as Phoebe has been amazing. Um, it’s funny, I’d heard rumors that she’s an acting machine, and what I mean by that is she comes in and she literally just like gives you 3 amazing takes like low, medium, high, just different shadings, different variations. And she’s just like the consummate actress and like the first scene, you know, after 3 takes I was done with her side because I, she did it 3 different ways, all amazing. It was like, “Holy crap, this girl can act.” And besides that, she’s so charming and she’s so engaging and um, she really gets it. And she doesn’t make the craft harder than it needs to be when it doesn’t need to be harder, and she makes it just as complex when it needs to be when it does. Um, and I just love what she’s doing with Mark, I mean their relationship is so, you believe that relationship, you really do. You want to, I could watch them kiss forever, I mean it’s so romantic, it’s so cool. And I can watch them fight, it’s so real and it’s so engaging and the way they fight, is...I watched some of their fight scenes and it’s painful. I’m like I have lived through those fight scenes and they’re nailing it.

    Q: That is some great....any final thoughts? What do you hope people take away from the movie?

    SB: I mean, my hope for what people take away after watching the movie is that, you know, ah, to sort of revel in people’s complexity and to almost revel in the struggle that people go through to be better people and to realize that you know, the best way to go through that struggle is, you know, with other people. And it’s ok to sort of admit your limitations and that it’s only through accepting your limitations that you actually can hopefully overcome them. Um, you know there’s a theme in the book (?) that we may all be broken but if we’re broken together, we have a chance at healing. I think that’s a really powerful theme.

    Thanks for Sharing is released on DVD this coming Monday, February 3rd.

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    Batman vs. Superman may have been pushed back to 2016, but we'll get to see DC's biggest characters joining forces on the big screen this year as part of The LEGO Movie, and the latest trailer for the animated comedy has arrived online, parodying last year's Man of Steel trailer, and we've also got a couple of new TV spots, which you can check out after the official synopsis...

    "The LEGO Movie follows Emmet, an ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average LEGO minifigure who is mistakenly identified as the most extraordinary person and the key to saving the world. Emmet (Chris Pratt; Parks and Recreation) is drafted into a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant, a journey for which he is hopelessly and hilariously underprepared."

    The LEGO Movieopens in the States on February 7th and arrives in the UK the following week, with a voice cast that also includes Will Ferrell (Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues), Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises), Liam Neeson (Taken 2), Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), Cobie Smulders (How I Met Your Mother), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Will Arnett (Arrested Development) Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Charlie Day (Monsters University) and Alison Brie (Community).


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    The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Super Bowl spot teases the death of Gwen Stacy
    A few days ago, Emma Stone teased the possibility of the upcoming superhero sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2 following its original source material when it comes to the fate of Gwen Stacy, and now a Super Bowl teaser has arrived online which indicates just as much... of course we all know that Andrew Garfield's wall-crawler will save the day, right?

    We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead.

    It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.

    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 also includes Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field, Chris Cooper, Felicity Jones, Colm Feore, B.J. Novak, Chris Zylka, Embeth Davidtz and Campbell Scott.

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    Lone Survivor, 2013.

    Directed by Peter Berg.
    Starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Yousuf Azami, Ali Suliman, Eric Bana and Alexander Ludwig.

    Second Opinion - Lone Survivor (2013)


    Marcus Luttrell and his team set out on a mission to capture or kill notorious al Qaeda leader Ahmad Shahd, in late June 2005. Marcus and his team are left to fight for their lives in one of the most valiant efforts of modern warfare.
    Second Opinion - Lone Survivor (2013)

    If ever a film needed the ‘based on a true story’ title card, then Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor is that film. Some of the things the Navy SEALs go through in this film would be impossible for us to comprehend, but we know it’s based on reality which gives some of the sequences even more of a punch. It also features the best depiction of combat I’ve seen since Black Hawk Down over a decade ago, but in the hands of a different director it could have been just as strong from start to finish.

    There’s around 50 minutes in Lone Survivor which are outstanding and I’d argue this section is amongst the best pure entertainment I saw in 2013. We have four US Navy SEALs behind enemy lines on a mission to capture or kill a leading Taliban member; a group of shepherds arrive and everything changes. The questions the film asks on the rights and wrongs in warfare only add to what soon becomes a very tense scene, and when a relentless gun battle breaks out where the four SEALs are outnumbered several times over, the film goes to the next level.

    As simple as that sounds, what unfolds is really quite sensational and expertly well staged, for the most part. The sound effects editing of breaking bones, bullet hits, falling rocks, and gunfire is at the highest level of proficiency and adds the dimension the scene needs to make it all believable because, as the film takes the time to tell us, this was a real mission and a real battle, and these were real men who fought for their country, asking no questions of the cause. If we take away nothing else from Lone Survivor it’s that war is hell. We know this already, but the movie reminds us in a startling way.

    I stated before that the film could have been far greater with a better director. For all the amazing work he put into the middle section of the film, Berg sometimes loses touch with what, I think, he is trying to show us. The film opens with a recruitment video for the Navy SEALs to give the audience an idea of what it takes to become an elite soldier and in a clumsy way Berg is showing us his unapologetic admiration for these men. Strange then, that over the next twenty minutes the film fails to rise above broad strokes as far as character development is concerned with dialogue so formulaic one could be forgiven in thinking the film will be just another action movie with one dimensional characters. In a film which begins so passionately about the services soldiers give their country, surely these men deserve a better introduction.

    Another major weakness Berg shows as a director lies in his inability to fully take his film out of ‘action movie mode’. Damning evidence of this comes when one soldier, who separates himself from the others in a last ditch attempt to make radio contact with their base, is killed; Berg portrays his death with all the nuance of a video game; slow motion, bullets ripping through the body, and a nice glossy look to it all. It took me out of the moment completely and was, frankly, an insult to both audience and SEAL. Are these men being honoured and their services remembered or are they there for audience gratification? Moreover, the inclusion of the real SEALs’ photos accompanied by a terrible cover of Davie Bowie’s Heroes feels like it is in the wrong film and shows, to me, Berg is not quite capable of making us truly feel for the men in his film without falling back on such obvious tactics.

    Despite the shortcomings of the director, whose last two films let’s not forget were the awful Battleship and Hancock, it would unfair to say Lone Survivor doesn’t deliver for the most part and when it does it does it extremely well. It’s so good at times that I could even tolerate Taylor Kitsch and Emile Hirsh. High praise, indeed.

    Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★

    Rohan Morbey - follow me on Twitter

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    Neil Marshall, director of the likes of Dog Soldiers, The Descent, Centurion and the acclaimed Game of Thrones episode 'Blackwater', has been tapped by NBC to direct its pilot for the upcoming DC television show Constantine.

    According to Deadline, "Constantine centers on John Constantine, an enigmatic and irreverent con man-turned-reluctant supernatural detective who is thrust into the role of defending us against dark forces from beyond."

    Constantine has been written by Daniel Cerone (The Mentalist) from a story by David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight Trilogy, Man of Steel, Batman vs. Superman). As yet, there's no word on casting but with the project swiftly picking up pace we shouldn't have too long to see who'll step into Keanu Reeves' shoes as Hellblazer.

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    Ahead of its release this coming Tuesday (February 4th), Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has debuted three new stills from the direct-to-video animated movie Justice League: War, which we've got for you right here...

    When the powerful Darkseid and his massive, relentless forces invade Earth, a group of previously unaligned super heroes – misunderstood and, in some cases, hunted by the authorities – discover the only way to fend off the attack will be to work together as a cohesive unit. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Shazam and, in his origin story, Cyborg combine their respective talents in an all-out battle to save the planet. 

    Justice League: War is directed by Jay Oliva (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox) and features a voice cast that includes Jason O'Mara (Life on Mars) as Batman, Alan Tudyk (Firefly) as Superman, Michelle Monaghan (Source Code) as Wonder Woman, Justin Kirk (Weeds) as Green Lantern, Christopher Gorham (Covert Affairs) as The Flash, Shemar Moore (Criminal Minds) as Cyborg, Sean Astin (The Lord of the Rings) as Shazam, Steve Blum (Young Justice) as Darkseid, Bruce Thomas (Birds of Prey) as Desaad, and Rocky Carroll (NCIS) as Silas Stone.

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    If you are a film fan and haven’t seen anything from the hilarious and brilliant guys over at Cinema Sins, shame on you. For the last couple of years, they have worked their way through many a movie, thumbing their way through continuity errors, contradictions or point of plain stupidity in everything from Man of Steel to Iron Man 3, from Titanic to The Wizard of Oz. Nothing is off limits, but finally they have worked their Sin magic on “The Motherload”, namely Joel Schumacher’s Batman & Robin.

    If ever a movie was up for a “Let me count the ways…” treatment, this is it. In fact, just this week former Batman George Clooney answered fan questions of Reddit about the movie. His biggest regrets: Bat nipples, and the fact that in the heavy suit, ANYONE could beat Batman. Clooney said:

    "Well I wasn't thrilled with the nipples on the Batsuit. You know that's not something you really think about when you're putting it on. You figure all Batsuits have nipples and then you realize yours was really the first. Batman was just constantly cold I guess. But I have plenty of other things that I'm really obviously embarrassed about too. Oftentimes it'll be stumbling out of a bar drunk or something dumb like that but as you get older a major goal in life is try to do less and less embarrassing things. You know, try not to face plant publicly as often as possible."

    About the horrendous blue/black suit he wore in the film, Clooney said:

    “I don’t think my Batman could have even walked across the stage. If Batman actually had to wear the suit that I wore, which was like 40 pounds of rubber, he literally physically wouldn’t be able to lift his arms. They put you on a flat board, lie you on the ground and bolt you into this thing, and then they just pull the board out and leave you standing. Joel Schumacher goes action, I say ‘I’m Batman’ and then, cut, they drop me back down on the board and leave me on my back. Everitt McGill could kick Batman’s ass.”

    So to save you from having to sit through the movie to relive Clooney’s worst moments, or try to find your own list of unforgiveable acts, check out the 19 minute (!) video below and relive such “hits” as “Bat Credit Card”, “Bat Ice Skates” and “Sun Beaming Telescope Technology!!”

    Batman & Robin also stards Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Chris O’Donnell, Uma Thurman, Alicia Silverstone and Michael Gough.

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    Oliver Davis reviews East of West #9...

    Another issue in Jonathan Hickman's sprawling East of West, another new character to confuse things. With each installment, the series confounds its already-epic narrative with a new, superfluous thread. It's like the frustrating latter books of George R. R. Martin's 'A Song of Ice and Fire' saga.

    Issue 9 introduces the Crown Prince, John Freeman, as RATHER UNTRUSTWORTHY, A BIT OF A ROGUE, ERRATIC, AND...SOMETHING OF A SCOUNDREL in the series' clunkiest piece of character exposition thus far. He is heir to one of the many Kingdoms civilisation split into after the Civil War, which seems to exclusively consist of black people. There is a hint that their race was once enslaved long ago, and was gifted the Gulf by the Republic to make amends. They reaped their riches in oil and now find themselves as one of Earth's most prosperous regions. The slaves have now become the masters.

    This is all alluded to in dialogue, and makes for a rather interesting concept. As does the sudden gunfight between Crown Prince John Freeman and John Freeman the Ninth, suggesting that succession of the throne can be sped up by fratricide. But as intriguing as all these ideas are, the comic is losing sight of something far more interesting: an inevitable battle between the physical embodiment of Death and its former Three Horsemen of the Apocalypse buddies. As satirical as the Eastern Kingdom calling in all their debts from the Western Kingdom is, it's considerably slowing down the story's central narrative.

    To Death, the issue devotes five pages, which are by no coincidence the most electric of the book. Death makes a deal with the Oracle to find the whereabouts of his son. It's a nice reversal of an old trope: people making deals with Death. The price is both shocking and satisfying, a rare feat, but devalued by having to wait a month for the following scene. Perhaps this will one day make a fine graphic novel, but as a monthly comic book series, it is increasingly frustrating.

    Oliver Davis is one of Flickering Myth's co-editors. You can follow him on Twitter @OliDavis.

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    Yesterday, Marvel Studios released four new posters for its upcoming superhero sequel Captain America: The Winter Soldier [see here], and ahead of this Sunday's Super Bowl TV spot, Screen Rant has posted an in-depth set interview with leading man Chris Evans, who spoke about reprising the role of the Sentinel of Liberty for his second solo outing and how he's adapting to his new life in the 21st century.

    "He feels comfortable within the structure that he’s given," said Evans when asked whether Steve Rogers has acclimatised to his new surroundings when we catch up with him in the film.  "He likes to serve. He likes to take orders. He’s like a herding dog. He needs a task. And I think the issue in the first two, Captain America and The Avengers– well, Captain America - was about giving him the opportunity. Then he got the opportunity, and then he was thrust into a different world. And in Avengers, there were so many characters, it’s tough to kind of spend too much with any one. And on this one, it’s about him trying to not just acclimate to the modern world, but it’s always been Cap’s goal to do what’s right and to be of service, to help where he can."

    "In this movie, I think the question is, well, what is right?" he continues. "I think it was a lot easier in the ’40s to know who the evil was. There’s no disputing Nazis are bad. And now, it becomes a little bit more of a difficult answers. There’s a lot more of a grey area. What is the right thing? And are you of service to that cause? That’s where it becomes a tricky dispute for Cap because things were just done differently in the 40s. Threats are different now, and precautionary measures are taken now, can be questionable and somewhat suspect in his eyes. So it’s a tough hurdle for him to jump."

    Be sure to head on over to Screen Rant to read much more from Evans about the solo sequel.

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier is set for release on March 26th in the UK and April 4th in North America, with Evans joined in the castby Marvel veterans Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Sebastian Stan (Bucky Barnes / The Winter Soldier), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola) and Maximiliano Hernandez (Agent Jasper Sitwell) and MCU newcomers Anthony Mackie (Pain & Gain) as Sam Wilson / Falcon, Emily VanCamp (Revenge) as Sharon Carter / Agent 13, Frank Grillo (Zero Dark Thirty) as Brock Rumlow / Crossbones, George St-Pierre (Death Warrior) as Georges Batroc / Batroc the Leaper, and Robert Redford (All Is Lost) as Alexander Pierce.

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    Cuban Fury is due for a Valentine's Day release in the UK, and you can see exactly why from its lighthearted, dance-based new clip below. It has Nick Frost (The World's End, Attack the Block) facing off against Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids, Girls) in a lunch-break dance-off. Well, it probably burns more calories than the daily trip to Greggs.

    Check it out after the official synopsis...

    1987:  Poised to sweep the floor at the UK Junior Salsa Championships, 13-year-old Bruce Garrett has fire in his heels and the world at his feet… Until a freakish bullying incident robs him of his confidence and his life is diverted down a very different path.  So it is that 22 years later, having locked away his boyhood dreams, Bruce finds himself out-of-shape, unloved and well and truly wedged in his “comfort zone”. It takes Julia (Jones), his smart, funny, gorgeous new American boss, to shake him from his emotional stupor and force him to re-examine his dull, passionless existence. But she’s out of his league, and with expert lothario and alpha-male office nemesis Drew (O’Dowd) overtly in pursuit of her, it’s enough to make Bruce want to give up on himself all over again. Can his loyal sister (Colman), childhood dance instructor (McShane), and crazy new amateur salsa pal (Novak) help Bruce unshackle his dancing beast, regain his long lost fury and claim the love of his life?

    Cuban Fury is directed by James Griffiths (Episodes, Up All Night) and also Rashida Jones (The Social Network, I Love You, Man, Parks and Recreation), Olivia Colman (Hot Fuzz, Tyrannosaur), Rory Kinnear (Skyfall, Black Mirror), Kayvan Novak (Four Lions, The Pirates! Band of Misfits) and Ian McShane (Snow White and the Huntsman, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides).

    Cuban Fury is set for a UK release on February 14th 2014.

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    Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg's 2013 movie This Is The End was, apparently, not theend for that particular cast of comedy actor chums as The Wrap have confirmed a whole bunch of them will reunite to provide voices for Rogen and Goldberg's next project, the animated movie Sausage Party*.

    This includes James Franco (Spring Breakers, Homefront), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street, Superbad), Michael Cera (Juno, Hits), David Krumholtz (Numb3rs, Mr Popper's Penguins) and Nick Kroll (Date Night, Get Him to the Greek), along with Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty) to add a female presence.

    The movie is described as a "raunchy animated movie about one sausage's quest to discover the truth about his existence." Given the way the meat product is commercially produced, you can't imagine it having the most heartwarming of conclusions. Here's a bit more about the plot:

    After falling out of a shopping cart, our hero sausage and his new friends embark on a perilous journey through the supermarket to get back to their aisles before the 4th of July sale.

    The film will be directed by Greg Tiernan (Thomas & Friends) and Conrad Vernon (Shrek 2, Monsters vs Aliens) with a screenplay by Rogen and Goldberg.

    And to show you just how funny these folks are together, here's the first 15 minutes of Comedy Central's Roast of James Franco. Adult humour and language ahoy!

    *Sausage Party: a mostly male gathering, if there are females present, they are usually taken (spoiled) or are not worthy of attention (rotten). e.g What a lame party! Totally sausage. Well, there was a rotten meat taco with extra cheese, but who hasn't eaten that tonight?

    Source: Urban Dictionary

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    It appears as though David O. Russell's (The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook) focus upon families in his work reflects his real-life priorities. If you get along with him in the process of making a movie *cough* not you, Lily Tomlin *cough*, you can usually expect to be approached for his next project. So it's no surprise the director wants Jennifer Lawrence (Hunger Games) to star in his next film.

    Their collaborations have worked well in the past, with Lawrence and Russell receiving Oscar nominations for both Silver Linings Playbook and the recent American Hustle (Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams).

    The director reportedly wants Lawrence for the lead role in a biopic about Joy Mangano, the inventor of the Miracle Mop. A single mum working three separate jobs to support her family, Mangano became a multi-millionaire thanks to her invention.

    Russell intends to rewrite a script from Annie Mumolo (Bridesmaids) for the project, but talks between him and Fox 2000 are still ongoing.

    Read our review of Lawrence and Russell's current movie, American Hustle, here.

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    Well, here's a shocker... Warner Bros. has announced that Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Now You See Me) has been cast as Superman's arch-nemesis Lex Luthor in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, with Jeremy Irons (Die Hard with a Vengeance, The Borgias) will play Batman's trusty butler and father figure Alfred Pennyworth.

    "Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavoury reputation preceding him since 1940," said Snyder on Eisenberg's casting. "What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions."

    Snyder also went on to speak about the addition of Jeremy Irons, stating that: "As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne."

    Eisenberg's casting brings to an end intense speculation about who might play Superman's best-known foe, and pretty much debunks any rumours about Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston having Warner's choice for the role (and cast in a thirty-five picture deal or whatever it was). Anyway, let us know your thoughts on these two additions in the comments below...

    Update - Here's a video interview from Total Film back in October, where Eisenberg looks a little uncomfortable when the subject of Batman vs. Superman and Lex Luthor is brought up...

    Batman vs. Superman is set for release on May 6th 2016, with a cast that includes Henry Cavill (Superman), Ben Affleck (Batman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Diane Lane (Martha Kent), and Lawrence Fishburne (Perry White).

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