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    After debuting a sneak peek earlier this week, Open Road Films has now dropped an action-packed new red band trailer for the Arnold Schwarzenegger-headlined Sabotage, which is loosely based on Agatha Christie's novel And Then There Were None and sees David Ayer (End of Watch) directing a cast that also includes Sam Worthington (Avatar), Terrence Howard (The Best Man Holiday), Joe Manganiello (True Blood), Harold Perrineau (Lost), Olivia Williams (Dollhouse), Mireille Enos (World War Z), Josh Holloway (Lost) and Max Martini (Pacific Rim). Check out the new trailer after the official synopsis...

    "In SABOTAGE Arnold Schwarzengger leads an elite DEA task force that takes on the world’s deadliest drug cartels. When the team successfully executes a high-stakes raid on a cartel safe house, they think their work is done – until, one-by-one, the ten members mysteriously start to be eliminated."


     Sabotage is set for release on April 11th in North America and April 25th here in the UK.


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    Trevor Hogg chats with Phedon Papamichael about creating cinematic art with George Clooney...


    “George Clooney approached me during the filming of Descendants [2011] at the halfway party on the dance floor and nonchalantly asked me if I wanted to shoot his movie The Ides of March [2011],” recalls Phedon Papamichael who was shooting his second project for filmmaker Alexander Payne at the time with Clooney cast in the leading role.  “That was a direct response to observing how I work with Alexander and that involves having an intimate, active and friendly set which is without a lot of technical restrictions to the actors.  George Clooney and a lot of actors prefer not to repeat things over and over again as it feels like a lot of wasted or unnecessary coverage to them.   We’re economic and specific with the way we cover scenes resulting in short shooting days which George also likes.  On The Ides of March we worked in a similar way.  We didn’t design things in advance but rehearsed and blocked and then designed the shots quickly on-set.  George is often satisfied with the first take and wants to move on.  My ability to be able to deliver was something that makes me attractive to him and also I’m fast with lighting and flexible.”


    “Going to Monuments Men [2014], it’s a much bigger picture,” states Phedon Papamichael.  “It’s a period piece with lots of extras.  But don’t expect a big action war movie.  It’s still an intimate character piece. There are a lot of small moments that take place in tents and small rooms.”  Performing in the historical story with George Clooney about a group American soldiers assigned to protect artwork being looted by the Nazis during World War II are Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Matt Damon (The Adjustment Bureau), Bill Murray (The Grand Budapest Hotel), John Goodman (Argo), Jean Durjardin (The Artist) and Bob Balaban (Gosford Park).  “It’s a great cast to enjoy and watch.  It’s in the spirit of the movies from the 1970s like A Bridge Too Far [1997] and The Guns of Navarone [1961]. George likes that.  It’s traditional Hollywood filmmaking.”


    Unlike his Oscar nominated cinematography for Nebraska (2013), Phedon Papamichael was not required to create black and white imagery.  “Going back to colour, dealing with the art world, and the pieces they’re trying to save become a major character in that film so all of the compositions and lighting are more lush and painterly.  That’s what makes our job interesting as cinematographers; we’re always assigned a new story, and get to find and apply a new visual language for it.” Changing weather conditions had to be dealt with when capturing exterior scenes.   “On Monuments Men we started in the spring and went all of the way through summer in Germany with rain and snow.  When you watch the whole movie for an hour and a half or two hours there’s a consistent tone and the photography feels like it was designed and maintains itself; that’s always for me the most satisfying part and also the most challenging.”



    Many thanks to Phedon Papamichael for taking the time for this interview.

    Make sure to visit the official website for The Monuments Men.

    Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada. 

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    In the third of a three-part Jackson Ball discusses the evolving Disney Princess, last up is Frozen...

    Moving towards the contemporary end of Disney’s animated timeline, this essay’s final focus film is 2013’s Frozen. Despite being nearly 70 years later, the film meets many of the criteria first set by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, so initially this film just appears to be more of the same from Disney. It features a ‘princess’ lead character who wants to meet her true love, and then stumbles into a chance meeting with a charming prince. However, Frozen tackles all these conventions in the opening act, before spending the rest of the film subverting them.

    Unlike Snow White and Belle, Frozen’s protagonist Anna meets her charming prince before her great adventure; in true Disney style she meets him, falls in love and accepts his marriage proposal on the first day they meet. Later though, in what appears to be a rare glimpse of self-awareness from Disney, Anna is repeatedly told by her companions that this is an irresponsible decision. A clear example of this is when the character of Kristoff’s reacts to Anna’s news:

    Hang on. You mean to tell me you got engaged to someone you just met!?... Didn’t your parents ever warn you about strangers? ...Have had a meal with him yet? What if you hate the way he eats?

    (Kristoff, Frozen)

    By the film’s finale, Anna has realised her mistake and calls off the engagement. Not only is Disney subverting the conventions that the studio itself set up over decades of films, but the result of this subversion is an end product that could be described as the studios first truly feminist film. If using the different feminist points that I have highlighted in this essay as an adequate criteria, then Frozen can be read through Feminist Theory as a pro-feminism film. Firstly, Anna has been given all the attributes that Susan Jefferds first praised Belle for: she’s intelligent, adventurous and dissatisfied with the notion of a simple life. In addition to this, she does not suffer from the drawback that Sean Griffin pinned to Belle; her story is not framed by male discourse. Yes, Anna meets a prince and immediately agrees to marry him, but she eventually realises her error and actively sets it right. Also, this can be argued to be a sub-plot anyway, as Anna’s primary character arc revolves around her relationship with another female character, her sister Elsa.

    If Snow White reflected the submissive role women played in society in the 1930’s, and Belle reflected their complicated and contradictory role in the 1990’s, then Anna is certainly a reflection women’s social role in the new millennium. In a society where it can be argued that complete gender equality is already present, it is no surprised that a decisive character such as Frozen’s Anna exists.

    Jackson Ball - follow me on Twitter.


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    Exclusive: Nicolas Cage on returning to his roots with Joe, and whether he regrets any past rolesNicolas Cage continues his shift away from B-movie action back to more dramatic, well-received roles this year with the release of Joe, director David Gordon Green's (Prince Avalance) adaptation of Larry Brown's 1991 novel of the same name. Ahead of its arrival in the Spring, Cage has been speaking to Red Bull'sRed Bulletin about his career for a feature that's set to land in next week's edition of the news app, and we've got an exclusive excerpt here where the Oscar-winner talks about reinventing himself as an actor, and whether he regrets any of his recent roles...

    Joe is a far cry from the bizarre action spectacles you did in the recent past...

    Nicolas Cage: That’s true, I am in the process of reinventing myself in terms of the movies I want to do. I am returning to my roots, which is independently spirited, dramatic characters. Before Joe, I had taken a year off to re-evaluate everything I had done, different kinds of performances I had done, the more operatic and more baroque stuff like Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, Drive Angry or Season of the Witch. I wanted to find something where I could use my life experience, my memories and my emotions.

    Do you regret some of your choices? For a while you turned into the king of B-movies.

    I don’t look at it like that. Much has been made of the fact that I made many action movies. The reason I did that was because the first time people said, you couldn’t do it. ‘You are not an action hero, forget it.’ So what you saw was a dramatic actor acting like an action hero, trying to find characters that were interesting within the genre. And then I tried to mix in a little Lord of War, a little World Trade Center, The Weather Man and Bad Lieutenant and keep the spectrum going. Now having done that, I want to focus on the dramatic kind of filmmaking.

    Joe is released in the U.S. on April 11th and here in the UK on July 25th. You can read our TIFF review of the film here, and be sure to download Red Bull's Red Bulletin app to read the full interview with Nicolas Cage this coming week.



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    Last Sunday Marvel caused quite a stir with its Super Bowl TV spot and new trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and now the studio has given us another look at the upcoming superhero sequel thanks to a 30-second promo featuring new footage of Chris Evans' Cap taking on The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan)...


    "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 directed by Anthony and Joe Russo (Community) and sees Evans and Stan joined by returning Cinematic Universe stars Scarlett Johansson (Black Widow), Samuel L. Jackson (Nick Fury), Sebastian Stan (The Winter Soldier), Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill), Hayley Atwell (Peggy Carter), Toby Jones (Arnim Zola) and Maximiliano Hernandez (Agent Jasper Sitwell) and franchise 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. The film opens on March 26th in the UK, and April 4th in North America.


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    Trevor Hogg chats with Wendy Partridge about the inspirations behind the costume designs for Thor: The Dark World...


    Comic book adaptations are nothing new for Wendy Partridge who was responsible for the costume designs for Hellboy (2004) before becoming involved with Thor: The Dark World (2013).  “I got a call from Marvel at the request of Patty Jenkins [Monster], who was at that time the director lined up, interviewed with her and was offered the job; even though she and Marvel parted ways later on, I remained on the project for the duration.”  Replacing Jenkins behind the camera was Alan Taylor who has helmed episodes of the HBO fantasy epic Game of Thrones.  “Alan was the one pushing to give Thor: The Dark World a sense of realism and history even though they are fictional characters; through his vision, the collaborative process derived the more authentic version attained in the sequel.”  Working within the confines of an established franchise was not artistically restrictive.  “There was a surprising amount of freedom as Marvel was trying to give it a new and grittier look than the original film.  It left the door open for a great deal of creativity.”



    Costumes needed to appear weathered and naturalistic.  “This is actually a very difficult process when you’re working with custom moulded armour as 90% of the weathering and texture has to be sculpted into the armour moulds at the initial stage,” explains Partridge.   “Only about 10% of it is done through the painting process. So you had better know what you want and love it. Once it’s moulded that’s it!”  Celtic history proved to be invaluable when conducting the required visual research.  “I choose to go back to the earliest Celtic references available, which start approximately 600 B.C.  During those eras, the predominant artwork was called Le Tene and this artwork is completely based on circles and is compass based. It has a particularly beautiful aesthetic and that was what I used as the foundation for all the creativity in the Thor: The Dark World costumes. This artwork was abstracted and manipulated to create the Asgardian aesthetic and was used for almost all the detail work on the costumes.”




    “The armour was more creatively designed than influenced by historical reference and that’s what gives it its fantasy feeling for the Asgardian nine realms,” remarks Wendy Partridge.  “The number one priority is to make the look fantastic and once the looks had been approved, then it was strictly creative engineering to give the actors their mobility and functionality.” The Light and Dark Elves were handled by the Make-up Department while the stone man existed solely as a CG character.  “Even though we did do a life-size mock-up of his costume for the actors to react against it was fundamentally done digitally.” The native of Britain had conversations with Charles Wood (Guardians of the Galaxy) who handled the production design for the project.  “There were many in depth discussions with Charles to assimilate sets and costumes to create an overall artistic painting of all the visuals presented.”




    “There was anywhere from 6 to 30 costumes per principle cast member, depending on their actions,” states Partridge who had a budget of $10 million.  “Here are the inspirations for some of my favourites.”



    Thor:“To depict strength and agility, I looked for the most subtle of colours and design lines to enhance his hero image.”



    Jane Foster: “I particularly wanted her Asgardian clothing to be the antithesis of her Earthly clothing, which was very nerdy and scientific and it was nice to see her in some flowing gowns in colours particularly chosen to enhance her complexion.”



    Loki: “Again subtle shades and textures to exuded his mischievous and devious side.”



    Dr. Erik Selvig:“Selvig, I loved Selvig. And I loved the quirky way we were able to expose his inner madness. Stellan [Skarsgård] was game for everything and anything.”



    Heimdall: “To present the guardian of the realm with all the essence of strength and loyalty, fine details of Asgard where incorporated into his costume.”




    Malekith:“Make-up Department except for his beautiful pony coat which was styled to be of another world.”



    Algrim/Kurse:“Algrim’s costume was all a function or proportion once the design was approved, as he needed to feel really big. It was a great challenge to make him bigger than Adewale was.”


    Darcy Lewis: “Really fun and quirky shopping, So much fun to bring out her funny side.”




    Volstagg:“All the tones and lines where to enhance his big friendly bear sense as well to make him warm and loving even though he is a warrior.”


    Fandral:“Fandral was our Dandy; it was great to pounce him up a bit and give him flare.”



    Hogun:“It was great to be able to bring his ethnic Asgardian heritage in to the flavour or his clothes. It gave the show was additional depth and facets.”



    Sif:“Sif was by far my favourite of all the costumes and I think one of the most successful superhero female costumes to be done in a long time. It made her look very strong and capable among a world of supersized men. And yet, gave her a level of femininity amidst all the mud and blood.”



    Frigga:“It’s always a sheer pleasure to work with an actress that carries herself with such grace and Rene [Russo] was completely open and inspired to be wearing the semi-Asgardian armour/jewellery that was designed for the Asgardian women. Rene carried it off so successfully.  When she had her fight with Malekith, Rene wore it like she had been wearing it all her life.”



    Odin:“It’s a challenge to bring stature and strength to such an amazing actor as Anthony Hopkins [Silence of the Lambs]. But I think this is something that we did successfully. We brought a regal presence to both his character and Asgard through his costumes.”




    “Thor’s cape was a pretty big challenge,” reveals Wendy Partridge.  “I felt there needed to be a lot more fluidity and character to the cape than the first movie as there was so much more screen time and action in Thor 2 than Thor 1 [2011].  I went about trying to find a textile that would accomplish this. We finally had the material custom woven at a mill in Italy to specific specs and dyed to the deepest, richest red only fitting our leading man.”  A particular scene occurred unexpectedly for the costume designer.  “When Captain America appeared in the movie that was a surprise and not originally scripted.”  Partridge adds, “The whole project was thoroughly enjoyable and I hope I get to do another Marvel movie someday.”




    Production stills © 2013 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

    Many thanks to Wendy Partridge for taking the time for this interview.

    To learn more visit the official website for Thor: The Dark World as well as Wendy Partridge on Facebook.


    Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada.

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    After giving us a Super Bowl TV spot and extended 'Enemies Unite' trailer last weekend [watch them here], Sony has now debuted some new promo artwork of Andrew Garfield's wall-crawler from the upcoming superhero sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2, as well as two still featuring Peter Parker / Spider-Man; check them out here via CBM....

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    The Amazing Spider-Man 2

    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 opens in the UK on April 18th and North America on May 1st, with a cast that also includes returning stars Sally Field (Aunt May), Chris Zylka (Flash Thompson), Campbell Scott (Richard Parker), Embeth Davidtz (Mary Parker), Martin Sheen (Ben Parker) and Denis Leary (George Stacy) and franchise newcomers Paul Giamatti (12 Years a Slave) as The Rhino, Chris Cooper (American Beauty) as Norman Osborn, Colm Feore (Thor) as Donald Menken, B.J. Novak (The Office) as Alistair Smythe, Marton Csokas (The Lord of the Rings) as Dr. Kafka and Felicity Jones (Like Crazy) and Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis) in as yet unrevealed roles.


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    After the huge success of 2012’s Pitch Perfect, it seems Universal are pushing ahead with the long-rumoured sequel. A few weeks ago, it was confirmed that Elizabeth Banks, who co-starred and produced the original, is to make her directorial debut on the sequel, as well as possibly reappearing herself.

    Now the studio have confirmed via Twitter that both Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson will reprise their roles as Becca and "Fat" Amy from the first film, which is again set to be scripted by the original's Kay Cannon (30 Rock), though no plot details are known just yet.

    Set for release amongst a wealth of other high-profile sequels and blockbusters on May 15th 2015, another snappy, "energetic" sing-a-long from the Barden Bella's may be the perfect antidote.


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    One of the most recent troubled productions in Hollywood, it looks like Black Mass is finally going into production this summer.

    Johnny Depp (The Lone Ranger) had long been rumoured to be involved in the film, with Barry Levinson (Rain Man) set to direct and Joel Edgerton (The Great Gatsby) set to co-star. But after years of production issues, which saw both Levinson and Edgerton leave the project, it looks like finally the film will roll under the direction of Scott Cooper, acclaimed director of Crazy Heart and Out of the Furnace, which is in cinemas now.

    Depp is confirmed for the film to star as Whitey Bulger, one the FBI's most-wanted men and leader of The Winter Hill Gang, who was involved in racketeering and murder. In a strange turn of events, Bulger was also an FBI informant. But after being told by his childhood friend turned FBI agent John Connelly, Bulger went on the run. Edgerton was earmarked for the Connelly role, but now it seems Bane himself, Tom Hardy, is in talks to take over the role. If you ask us, this could me a match made in heaven.

    Based on the book Black Mass: The True Story of a Unholy Alliance between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Dick Lehr and Gerald O'Neill, the films script is written by Mark Mallouk, and is set to go before Cooper's cameras this May.


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    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Oscar winner Anne Hathaway is circling a role in Nancy Meyers' newest comedy, The Intern, opposite Robert De Niro. Previously linked to Tina Fey and Reese Witherspoon, it looks like Hathaway is set to take the lead female role in the film.

    The film centres of a young woman who starts her own company, and through a new project, she hires an older gentlemen (De Niro) to be her intern. Produced by Meyers and Scott Rudin, The Intern is set to go into production in the next few months.

    After a busy 2012, with her Oscar win for Les Miserables and starring as Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises, Hathaway has three films out this year: Sundance entry Song One, animated-sequel Rio 2, and her re-team with Christopher Nolan on his sci-fi epic Interstellar, which co-stars Matthew McConaughey and Jessica Chastain, set for release this November.


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    Long gestating since the original was released to over $817 million worldwide in 1996, becoming that year's top-grossing movie, it seems director Roland Emmerich and producer Dean Devlin are pushing ever closer to making Independence Day 2 (and 3) a reality. One of the biggest sticking points of the sequel was whether Will Smith, star of the original, would return as Cpt. Steven Hiller. Well it seems we, and the filmmakers, have finally got their answer: a definitive no.

    Deadline reports that sources close to the studio have said that Smith has turned down the chance to return to the franchise. The site does say that with Smith having previously gone  backwards and forwards on whether he would return, this is not 100% certain, although they hear he has pretty much decided to decline.

    Despite that, 20th Century Fox and the creators will continue with their plans for the sequel, so much so that current writer James Vanderbilt (The Amazing Spider-Man) has been working on two versions of the script, one with Smith and one without.

    With rumours from the same site that Smith has also hung up his shades and black-suit with regard the Men in Black series, it looks like the actor is perhaps taking a break from the franchise arena. He can next be seen in this summer's Focus, co-starring Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street). Meanwhile ID Forever Part I is still set for another July 4th weekend release in 2016.


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    "Oh hi Mark!" - One of the many, many "classic" quotes from Tommy Wiseau's cult favourite The Room there. Since it's original debut back in 2003, The Room has taken on a new life that has seen millions fall in love with it, attending various screenings of the film, meeting Wiseau and his co-stars, and shouting many of the aforementioned quotes at the screen. The legend of The Room continues to thrive, and now it seems we may get a closer look at the film thanks to the multi-talented James Franco.

    Franco is a self-confessed fan of the film and book, and it's no surprise that he has optioned The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, a book co-written by Greg Sestero, one of the co-stars of the film, as he chronicles his experiences working on the film and with creator Wiseau. Franco has been a champion of the book too, even reviewing the book back in December for website Vice, in which he said that Wiseau "looks like he's from Bram Stoker's Dracula" and that he "is just a lonely little boy who wants love".

    Having acquired the rights to make a film for which he will co-star and direct, Franco has enlisted friends Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who will produce the film, with Ryan Moody scripting, and possibly even his brother Dave Franco co-starring too.

    Like many, we here at Flickering Myth are huge fans of The Room, as well as the book, and cannot wait to see what Franco does with his movie. Frankly, as many others who will agree, anything about this fascinating film gets our vote.


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    Our weekly round up of the latest stories from the world of screen superheroes, including Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Guardians of the Galaxy, Runaways, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Fantastic Four, Batman vs. Superman, Arrow, The Flash, Justice League: War and more...

    The Seattle Seahawks weren't the only ones crushing the competition at the Super Bowl this past Sunday, with Marvel Studios' TV spot for Captain America: The Winter Soldier drumming up just under 10 million online views in 24 hours for its second trailer, compared to 6.2 million online views for the first look at Transformers: Age of Extinction and just 2.5 million for the latest trailer for rival superhero flick The Amazing Spider-Man 2. These numbers even more impressive when placed alongside Marvel's last two Super Bowl offerings, with the billion-dollar-plus grossing Iron Man 3 racking up 3.2 million views last year and The Avengers amassing 2.7 million views back in 2012. And considering how strong the promos were, it looks like Marvel Studios has another sure-fire success on its hands. If you somehow missed them, you can check out the Super Bowl TV spot, new trailer, alternative international trailer and new stills for Captain America (Chris Evans), The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) here, while you might also want to cast your eye over the latest TV spot [see here], as well as promo artwork for Cap, Black Widow, Falcon and The Winter Soldier and a new character poster for Robert Redford's Alexander Pierce [see here]...

    ...Sticking with the Captain America sequel for a moment and Disney chairman Bob Iger has been speaking about Marvel's next Phase Three movie, and how it will "set critical events in motion" that will spill over into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as well as feeding in to The Avengers: Age of Ultron (for those not averse to spoilers, a quick Google search on 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier post-credits scene' will tell you one way the two movies will connect). Meanwhile, Iger also spoke of the buzz surrounding Evans' second solo outing in the build up to its release: "I’ve really been impressed with the early buzz that we’re seeing for the Marvel films. Captain America is just huge. Now, we’re already in the marketplace with some marketing, but it’s been relatively limited. We had a pre-game for instance in the Super Bowl.  And yet the interest in the Captain America film, which comes out April 4 here in the States, seems much louder than it would be for what I would call a non-branded film..."

    ...Looking to 2015's Age of Ultron and it seems that Joss Whedon is further extending the roster of Earth's Mightiest Heroes beyond Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) by bringing in the Vision, with Paul Bettany set to expand his MCU role beyond the voice of Tony Stark's (Robert Downey Jr.) AI J.A.R.V.I.S. by bringing the android superhero to life, and Latino Review throwing another rumour out there by claiming that Carol Danvers / Ms. Marvel will also feature as part of the roster, and is the final major new role to be filled before filming kicks off in the spring. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Olsen has briefly discussed joining the Avengers during the premiere of her latest film In Secret, telling E! News that "[I'm] very excited! We're doing prep work now. It's a lot of fun and I think it's going to be really exciting for the fans because it's going to be something they are not expecting. That's why I'm excited..."

    ...With the recent news that Thor 3 and Captain America 3 are both officially in development, we're starting to get an idea of how Phase Three will stack up beyond 2015's Ant-Man, and now a new rumour has suggested that Marvel will fill its May 6th 2016 release date with a sequel to Guardians of the Galaxy. If true, it's a bold move by Marvel, putting the as-yet-unproven cosmic superhero team head-to-head with DC's finest in Batman vs. Superman...

    ...The latest Marvel One-Shot All Hail the King is set to arrive alongside the DVD and Blu-ray release of Thor: The Dark World this month, and during a promotional interview for the short, writer-director Drew Pearce (screenwriter of Iron Man 3) offered some brief insight into previous, so-far-unproduced One-Shots that he's penned for Marvel Studios: "[I'd written] lots of them. One that was Sin and Crossbones (from Captain America: The Winter Soldier). I love Jessica Jones, and while obviously Jessica Jones and Alias is NOW going to exist in the Netflix part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I'd always obsessively been trying to put her in stuff I'd been working with Marvel on… but about three or four other ones, too. My Marvel obsession with Damage Control is still there… but it's pretty difficult to make into a short. The clue is in the title that you have to do a lot of damage to then control it - and that's not really in the budget of a short movie. I just think it's got huge potential as a franchise..."

    ...In the same interview, Pearce also discussed another of his as-yet-unrealised Marvel scripts, Runaways: "I wish I knew if The Runaways had a place in Phase 3. I'm not close enough to the core. I don't work for Marvel, so I don't have a sense of the Master Plan other than when tiny crumbs are passed to me! I'm still super-proud of the script. I think it's a brilliant film in the making - not necessarily because of my script, but because of Brian K Vaughan's excellent idea. I know Kevin's still a big fan of the script that's there in the vault. Whether it finds its way onto the runway for Phase 3, I have no idea, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Honestly, telling the first arc of that story is the key to that story. I also think that one of the things that would make it so unique in the universe, and also a better movie in the MCU - if we made it now rather than four years ago - is that it could now be part of this tapestry where people are becoming aware of superheroes inside of the MCU. Which is what makes the comics so fun. But I think at its fundament, it's a reverse twist on the Spider-Man theme that 'With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility', because it's actually a movie where that relates to the parents and not the kids, and I've never seen a movie that does that, superhero or otherwise. The realisation that your parents are fallible people, being heightened immeasurably by the fact that they're superpowered people who are using their superpowers for evil and not good. I just think it's the most potent idea and the script that exists at the moment takes an almost grandiose - almost Godfather-esque view of the crime syndicate. I just think it's so rich as an idea. It's just not as obvious as a single male superhero character, it's not as marketable, and I think that'll always be a hurdle with it..."

    ...With the back-nine of its first season approaching, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stepped up its game this week with 'T.R.A.C.K.S.' by bringing in comic book legend Stan Lee for a cameo and giving a debut of sorts to Deathlok (J. August Richards, whose Mike Peterson has been transformed into the cyborg). Still, it wasn't enough to give the show a bump in the ratings, although viewing figures now seem to have leveled out at around 6.5 million viewers, leaving it positioned behind Modern Family as ABC's second-most popular show and all-but-assuring as second season according to tracking site TVByTheNumbers. Read Anghus Houvouras' review of 'T.R.A.C.K.S.'here, and you can also check out a promo for next week's episode here, along with a new still featuring guest star Bill Paxton (Aliens) as Agent John Garrett here...

    ...During an interview to promote his guest appearance, Stan Lee offered some thoughts on the show and the decision to base Marvel's first live-action offering around Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and a non-superpowered team of individuals, stating that "I guess they felt they had to have some normal people — or seemingly normal people — and certainly Clark is doing a very good job playing the role. I just feel that we also need more colorful characters to be popping up all the time. I don't mean that Clark isn't colorful as an actor, but what I mean is characters who as comic book characters are more colorful." Lee then suggested the introduction of characters such as Deathlok and Lorelei (Elina Satine) as well as a guest appearance from Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) will help to get those fans who've given up on the show back on board: "That will be great. I think that's what the show needs. I think people will tune in to see those characters and will enjoy seeing them in the context of being with normal people on a normal mission..."

    ...Turning to Sony now and as mentioned earlier, Sunday's Super Bowl brought a new TV spot an 'Enemies Unite' trailer, which you can view here, while we've also had confirmation that another comic book villain is set to join the previously confirmed Electro (Jamie Foxx), The Rhino (Paul Giamatti), Harry Osborn / Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) and Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper), with B.J. Novak's (The Office) character revealed as Alistair Smythe, a.k.a. Spider-Slayer. Meanwhile, just this morning, Sony debuted a new batch of promotional artwork giving us a great look at Spidey's new costume, as well two images of Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker in and out of his new-look costume [see here]...

    ...20th Century Fox opted against any Super Bowl advertising, meaning movie fans didn't get to see any new footage from the Bryan Singer-directed X-Men: Days of Future Past during the big game, although an international TV spot did arrive online later in the week, although it's mostly just footage that we've already seen in the first teaser trailer...

    ...On Monday, we received a nasty legal email from Fox demanding removal of the an alleged plot synopsis for The Fantastic Four, which suggested dramatic changes to the traditional origin of Marvel's First Family. This synopsis had previously been denied by director Josh Trank, so quite how it infringed Fox's legal rights remains a mystery, but the Chronicle director reiterated his stance, stating that, "The only truth in that plot description is that there are four characters named Reed, Ben, Sue and Johnny. You'll see in June of 2015 that the plot description is absolutely untrue." Sadly, when we sought clarification on Twitter as to why Fox demanded removal, Trank only offered up a sarcastic (and grammatically incorrect) response; he also took the opportunity to call "bullshit" on another new rumour this week claiming that Doctor Doom could undergo a gender change in the upcoming reboot, but seeing as he openly admits to debunking truthful rumours, who knows? Hopefully we'll find out more details once the cast is finalised, and this week has brought up a few names who've reportedly read for parts, including both Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now) and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), who have been heavily linked to Mister Fantastic and The Human Torch, Emmy Rossum (Shameless) and Kate Mara (House of Cards) for The Invisible Woman, and Christian Cooke (Romeo & Juliet) for The Thing...

    ...With the internet still coming to terms with the casting of Jesse Eisenberg (Now You See Me) as Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman, it's been revealed that Adam Driver (Girls) was actually under consideration for the role of the villain as opposed to Nightwing, while Joaquin Phoenix (Her) is said to have passed on the role and Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips) was "discussed internally" although no offer was ever made to the two-time Oscar winner. And as for Bryan Cranston, it appears that the Breaking Bad star was never approached for the role, despite laughable internet reports suggesting he'd be signing a fifteen movie deal with Warner Bros. to lead the DC Cinematic Universe's villain quota...

    ...In other talking points from the Man of Steel sequel, Dwayne Johnson has once again fueled speculation that he's set to join the DCCU by teasing a John Stewart / Green Lantern role in Batman vs. Superman, Matt Damon has revealed that he's seen a picture of his Buddy Ben Affleck in the batsuit and knows the plot of the film, and longtime Batman movie producer Michael Uslan has spoken about the Batfleck controversy, stating that, "I’ve been there before. People have to believe in Bruce Wayne, to the point of being that obsessed driven psychotic, a guy who would get dressed up as a bat and do what he did. Except I had the benefit of hearing a vision right away. With an Academy Award winning filmmaker - you look at his last bunch of movies. Hollywoodland. He had me convinced he was George Reeves. The Town, Argo, just really, really great quality work. Again, I’ll go back to what Tim Burton said, ‘it’s all about Bruce Wayne.’ When you focus on a Bruce Wayne, in his mid-forties, what’s he going to be feeling? What’s he going to be thinking? What does he have on his plate to deal with? I couldn’t be more excited about it..."

    ...On the small screen, Arrow will return from its midseason break on February 26th by introducing yet another familiar DC villain, with William Tockman / The Clock King (Robert Knepper) making his debut in 'Time of Death' [you can watch a couple of promos here and here], while executive producer Marc Guggenheim has promised more DC Universe surprises before the season's end: "I will say that we have a crazy number of DC – it’s funny, there’s stuff that will be happening in the middle of this season that we haven’t announced yet, that if people think we’ve done a lot of DC Universe stuff now it pales in comparison to where we’re headed. It’s really going to be kicked up to a ridiculous degree. There’s two episodes in a row, where we’re keeping the titles secret, because both episodes will just blow people’s minds..."

    ...The CW's Arrow spin-off The Flash continues to pick up pace ahead of shooting on the pilot episode next month, with Candice Patton (The Game) securing the role of Iris West and Broadway star Carlos Valdes set to play Cisco Ramon, a.k.a. Vibe. The duo join the already cast Grant Gustin (Glee) as Barry Allen, Jesse L. Martin (Law & Order) as Iris' father Detective West, Danielle Panabaker (Friday the 13th) as Caitlin Snow / Killer Frost, and Rick Gosnett (The Vampire Diaries) as Eddie Thawne, the rumoured alias for Eobard Thawne, better known as Professor Zoom / Reverse-Flash...

    ...This past week saw the release of Warner's latest DC Universe Animated Original Movie offering Justice League: War, and if you're yet to catch the feature we've got a clip featuring the Justice League taking on Darkseid and his army of parademons, which you can view here, while DC Animation supervising producer James Tucker has revealed that the latest movie will launch a cohesive animated universe that will see two "in-continuity" animated movies released each year alongside a standalone feature: "This will definitely be the first salvo in doing new movies that are in continuity with each other. Our next movie's going to be Son of Batman, and that Batman will be the same Batman that you see in Justice League: War. Basically, we'll have two concurrent series of Justice League movies and Batman movies, and they'll be in continuity with each other. So it's kind of world-building..."

    ...And just to wrap things up, we've got a few articles here on Flickering Myth from the past week that you might be interested in checking out, with Trevor Hogg speaking to Wendy Partridge about designing the costumes for Thor: The Dark World [see here], Anthony Stokes asking 'Is The Avengers the Worst Thing to Happen to Comic Book Movies?' [see here], and Anghus Houvouras writing about his disappointment with the way that Fox has marketed X-Men: Days of Future Past [see here].

    Holy Franchise, Batman! Bringing the Caped Crusader to the Screen - Available now via Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

    Gary Collinson






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    It's giveaway time again here at Flickering Myth and we've teamed up with the lovely people at the online clothing emporium Red Molotov to offer three lucky readers the chance to win a T-shirt of their choosing from Red Molotov's range of over 200 movie and TV-themed T-shirts.Read on for details of how to enter this giveaway...




    Head on over to Red Molotov to see their full range of clothing and accessories.

    To be in with a chance of winning, firstly make sure you like us on Facebook (or follow us on Twitter)...


    ...Then complete your details below, using the subject heading "RED MOLOTOV". The competition closes at midnight on Saturday, 22nd February
    . UK entrants only please.

     
     By entering this competition you agree to our terms and conditions, which you can read here.


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    With The CW bringing together most of its cast for The Flash pilot over the past couple of weeks, Fox has now started the ball rolling on its own upcoming DC pilot Gotham, with Ben McKenzie (The O.C., Southland) signing on to play Detective James Gordon.

    McKenzie is no stranger to the world of DC Comics, having lent his voice to Bruce Wayne / Batman in the animated movie Batman: Year One. His Gordon is set to be one of the main roles in the series, with the Gotham iteration of the future commissioner is described by The Hollywood Reporter as:

    "A rookie detective for Gotham City Open Police Department's Homicide Squad, a former college football star and war hero, Gordon was fast-tracked through the GCPD ranks. He’s brave, energetic and honest. Driven to live up to the classical virtues of a father he barely knew, he’s an idealistic soul, to the point of naivete. That virtue is tempered by analytical intelligence and an ambitious alpha male ego — he’ll back up his naive ideals with action."

    Gotham has been created by Bruno Heller (The Mentalist), with Danny Cannon (Judge Dredd) serving as executive producer in addition to directing the pilot episode. The series will revolve around a teenage Bruce Wayne, as well as exploring the origins of some of Batman's best-loved foes including The Joker, The Riddler, Catwoman, and The Penguin.

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    After a two month absence, The Walking Dead returns from its midseason break tonight with the ninth episode of season four 'After', (well, unless you were one of the lucky ones fortunate enough to catch it during its Xbox leak yesterday), and to remind us all of the midseason premiere, AMC has released a new promo which we have for you below....

    "As the survivors of the prison assault try to regroup, Rick and Carl stumble upon a vacant house in the forest. Meanwhile, Daryl and Beth realize they are being watched by a Group of Bandits Named "The Hunters", and a new threat begins to emerge."


    The Walking Dead midseason premiere airs tonight on AMC at 9pm.

     

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    Ed Skrein to succeed Jason Statham in The Transporter reboot
    Luc Besson is wasting little time in moving ahead with his plans to reboot The Transporter franchise; after announcing last week at the Berlin franchise that he plans to explore the origin of Frank Martin with The Transporter 4, it's now been revealed that Ed Skrein (Ill Manors, Game of Thrones) will succeed  - or rather precede - Jason Statham in the lead role as Frank Martin for the upcoming 'origin story'.

    “We searched everywhere to find a fresh face who had the potential to become an action movie star and we’ve found the right match with Ed Skrein, who’s not only a great actor but also has enough charisma and physical stamina to play Frank Martin with brio,” said Christophe Lambert, CEO of Besson's production company EuropaCorp.

    The Transporter 4 has been written by Bill Collage and Adam Cooper (Tower Heist) and will be directed by Camille Delamarre (Brick Mansion). It is envisioned as the first of a new trilogy of Transporter films, and production is set to get underway in June.



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    RoboCop, 2014.

    Directed by José Padilha.
    Starring Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, and Michael K. Williams.



    SYNOPSIS: 

    Police officer Alex Murphy suffers horrific injuries in an explosion and is rebuilt and part-robot, part-man in a bid to combat growing levels of crime in Detroit. But RoboCop is haunted by his own past and the corruption of the system that has created him. 


    José Padilha was clearly very interested in making a political movie about how media and corporations control every aspect of our lives and tell us what to think. Sadly he was contracted to make a RoboCop movie so he shoehorned in the part-man, part-machine (all cop) element and treated it like just another subplot to put focus on getting his message across. Yes, RoboCop plays second fiddle to the message in his own movie.

    When Padhila isn't overstating his political message, RoboCop can be a very smart piece of science fiction cinema that deals with the idea of human emotion versus computer programming. Where does the machine stop and where does the human begin etc. and when the movie is dealing with these issues, it really succeeds. Gary Oldman's Dennet Norton holds the majority of the story stakes as his design to resurrect slain officer Alex Murphy (a pretty underwhelming Joel Kinnerman) at the request of Omnicorp and its CEO Raymond Sellers (Michael Keaton) starts to become self aware and go against program. No matter what they do to slow him down, his emotion is always present and overrides the system. It's a plot thread that isn't new and RoboCop certainly isn't doing anything different with it, but the script does it justice and it's certainly the most interesting aspect of the movie.

    However, the problems behind RoboCop becomes apparent when you realise that Padhila was so focused on the movie's themes (corporations, media, man versus machine etc.) that the actual plot of the movie is almost perfunctory. We are given no reason to care about Murphy's death because the movie rushes its way through the opening twenty minutes which means his life, his job and his family are never established. And because of this, we have no reason to care about his revenge. Furthermore, RoboCop crams in thirty minutes worth of story into the space of five so we get a generic bad guy, his criminal organisation, his plan, the corrupt cops who work for him, Murphy's plan to arrest him, the failed attempt to do so and the subsequent car bombing told in one fell swoop and none of it is given time to breath. Before you know it, Murphy is in the suit and the science fiction themes take over leaving the supposed bad guy to be dealt so much later in the movie that you actually forgot he was in it.

    This is why it feels like Padhila had no interest in making a RoboCop movie - because every time he's forced to do so he rushes his way through it so he can get back to his themes. Scenes of boardroom meetings about focus groups and how this affects their decision making are given time, have clever camera set ups with interesting movements while "dramatic" scenes with Murphy's estranged wife are treated like found footage movies with everything shot handheld as if there was no time left in the schedule for a full camera set up.

    It's a real shame as it handles its themes quite well and the acting from virtually everyone is great. Jackie Earl Haley in particular is superb as the slimy military man who hates RoboCop and Samuel L. Jackson looks to be having a lot of fun in his Bill O'Reilly parody. But sadly the movie fails at telling any form of story which you can invest in. In the end, RoboCop is just a series of unsubtle political messages that occasionally has scenes of a bloke in a robot suit shooting things.

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

    Luke Owen is one of Flickering Myth's co-editors and the host of the Flickering Myth Podcast. You can follow him on Twitter @LukeWritesStuff.


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    Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb...

    In an article praising Paul Verhoeven’s original RoboCop, Tim Robey writes…

    "RoboCop was a smash hit 27 years ago … And it has become an iconic touchstone of pulpy, provocative, giddily violent mainstream cinema, so much so that news of a remake – which reaches our screens this week – prompted widespread howls of dismay in the fan community, as if sacred ground was being trampled on."

    Read the full article here.

    Prompting these howls may be a sense of loss. The inevitable loss of credibility a film has when optioned for remake status. Watching The Godfather last night, I realised the film could never be remade. Of course, in the warped mind of a film studio perhaps we will see a foolhardy statement claiming the remake is under consideration, but it’ll never happen. Considering the purpose of remakes, I don’t believe The Godfather fits the bill. Indeed, other landmarks of cinema hold the same cultural quality. Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Vertigo and Pulp Fiction all hold a certain credibility that could never be repeated.

    Maybe this is what defines a ‘Classic’ film. Breaking a film such as The Godfather down, it’s clear that literally every element is unique to the 1972 film. Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Talia Shire, Diane Keaton – are all at a point in their careers whereby it is fascinating to simply see the ensemble work together. Study the iconic score by Nina Rota and Carmine Coppola; the deep, dark shadows from Gordon Willis’ cinematography; Francis Ford Coppola and Mario Puzo’s script. “…it means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes”, “it’s nothing personal Sonny – it’s strictly business”. Not a single hair on Brando’s head is out of place.

    Now imagine the boardroom meeting as the remake is pitched. The economics prove the brand is worth reviving. The young actors keen to play Michael Corleone – the potential older actors to play The Don (Robert De Niro could play the older man…). Then producers would highlight what “defines” The Godfather. “We can’t have a Godfather film without the iconic score”… “We can’t have a Godfather film without ‘those’ lines” … “we can’t have a Godfather film without…” and it continues. Ultimately, every element is so perfect; there is no need to reproduce it. A remake accomplishes nothing – and it would never supersede the original. It would only lure audiences back to their comfy sofa’s and watch the original at home.

    But the boardroom conversations that green-lit the RoboCop remake was different. Same as The Italian Job. Or The Thomas Crown Affair. The conversation resulted in producers realising that the original could be remade and, potentially, could be better than the original. The very fact that such a thought entered the mind of filmmakers – we could make it better – by definition, implies that the original lacked something. Citizen Kane lacked nothing. Pulp Fiction lacked nothing. Vertigo lacked nothing. You are welcome to prefer the originals – and most do. But “like” does not mean indisputable classic.

    Of course, sequels are different. They extend the story opposed to rewriting the story. I would also argue that the shot-for-shot remake of Psycho by Gus van Sant in 1998 is an experiment, and not with the intention of improving on the original. Instead, it is an open tribute to Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 staple of horror. By the same token, an established property such as Batman is equally void in the argument as Christopher Nolan didn’t “remake” Tim Burton’s Batman. As remakes and reboots are commonplace, maybe this is a way to irrefutably define which films are truly timeless. Check it yourself, scan your eyes over your DVDs – can you imagine a remake of a film to “modernise” the characters? A “new” version to attract a younger audience? If so, it may not be a special as you think.

    Simon Columb

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    Dallas Buyers Club, 2013.

    Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée.
    Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn, Dallas Roberts, Kevin Rankin, Denis O'Hare, Juliet Reeve, and Griffin Dunne.


    SYNOPSIS:

    In 1985 Dallas, electrician and hustler Ron Woodroof works around the system to help AIDS patients get the medication they need after he is himself diagnosed with the disease.


    Dallas Buyers Club is a classic example of how strong performances can elevate a film from the humdrum of instantaneous ‘watch and forget’ to a level where it will be remembered for at least a bit longer than it actually deserves.

    Much has been said of Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto’s commitment to their roles as men suffering from AIDS in the mid 1980s, losing drastic amounts of weight to get into character, and it shouldn’t be denied that they are both excellent here and fully deserving of their Oscar nominations. To the film’s credit there aren’t any ‘big’ moments for either actor to build to and it doesn’t ask its audience to feel overly sympathetic for either man for this isn’t a tale of redemption.

    This is good because Ron Woodroof (McConaughey) is never portrayed as a likable man and the film’s decision to give us seldom few moments to connect or root for him is refreshing. He is a homophobe who believe AIDS is only something homosexuals can get (or “pole smokers” as he calls them) and his stubbornness at first to acknowledge and treat his illness (with anything other than cocaine and booze) is astounding. McConaughey brings a swagger and slimy charm to Woodroof which gives the film a few moments of levity in an otherwise oddly emotionless experience.

    Herein lies the problem with Dallas Buyers Club; the lack of focus and purpose. The old saying ‘Jack of all trades and master of none’ is applicable here as the film wants to be many things but never quite hits the mark on any. The film moves from AIDS drama to FDA drug approval drama to drug smuggling to drug selling to IRS investigations to court cases and back to AIDS when the issue needs to be addressed again. The screenplay bypasses the legalities of the buyers club (where AIDS sufferers buy drugs Woodroof has imported from Mexico) and the interesting loopholes in the legal system, or the fact that he can provide help where the US medical system cannot, in favour for a broadstrokes look at a story spanning around 18 months.

    The lengths the actors went to are deserved of a better film than this has which ultimately has very little impact on the audience other than providing another platform to show how far McConaughey has come since his rom-com days. With more focus on the buyers club and the impact that had on the society around him, Woodroof’s story could have made for a very good film but as it is it’s just an average yet watchable experience which will not last long in the memory given its best Picture nomination status.

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

    Rohan Morbey - follow me on Twitter




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