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1. Review: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation works best when the adrenaline kicks in

While my familiarity with the television series is admittedly meager, the consistently Tom Cruise-led Mission: Impossible film entries have played like minor American efforts at aping the formula that made James Bond a success. Generally, they lack the iconic imagery of 007’s finest efforts, while never really being able to hit the same critical appeal […]

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2. Wonder Woman and Justice League now have filming start dates

Per the big cover story in the latest issue of Empire Magazine, we now know just when Wonder Woman and Justice League, the two 2017 entries that will follow Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad will begin filming. According to the magazine, Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins is currently in London prepping […]

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3. With Channing Tatum Going AWOL, Is the Gambit Movie Dead?

Tonight, TheWrap reported that Channing Tatum might be leaving 20th Century Fox’s Gambit production.  Tatum, who was slated to star as everyone’s favorite mutant with a gimmick, is apparently still in talks with the studio, but “something is up” and time is running out, as the movie is scheduled to be release on October 7th, 2016. […]

1 Comments on With Channing Tatum Going AWOL, Is the Gambit Movie Dead?, last added: 7/30/2015
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4. Check out these new ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’ stills

Why wait for the September issue of Empire when you can meticulously critique some fresh Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice images right now on your phone? I’m sure there will be more images of the highly anticipated Warner Bros. film in the print edition, but this is the best we can for now. Here’s a glimpse of the handsome […]

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5. Entertainment Round-Up: Hamill to reportedly voice The Joker again, Jackman teases one last Wolverine film, Okamoto’s role in Batman v Superman revealed, Marvel courting McAdams

Your Tuesday collection of Entertainment headlines

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6. Z2 Comics launches Modern Prometheus production company

Z2 Comics is on a roll, having announced a new line of graphics novels, a line of periodical comics and now a productions company, Modern Prometheus, which got inked in THR.

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7. You Gotta Hand It To Kevin Feige For This Sneaky Homage!

Last April, Cinema Blend reported that Marvel’s Phase Two movies all share a common trope: So is this a spoiler for Ant-Man… not really. I’m obsessed with Star Wars. Who’s not? I’m 40 years old. I’m in the movie business. I went to USC. So I’m obsessed with Star Wars – and it didn’t start […]

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8. In Defense of the Little Guy: Three Big Reasons Why You Should Go See Ant-Man

Last weekend, the Paul Rudd led Ant-Man flick took home $58 million, shy of parent company Disney’s estimates of $60-65 million.  This was enough to give it the number one slot that weekend,, but it also gives the insect-inspired hero film the dubious honor of having the second worst opening of any of the MCU movies, beating out only 2008’s The Incredible Hulk, which actually had a higher per-screen average than Ant-Man on its opening weekend.

Marvel's Ant-Man..Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) ..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..? Marvel 2014

Audiences aren’t very interested, and frankly, that’s quite understandable.  The film has been riddled with production issues, the most prominent of which has been the departure of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Cornetto Triology director Edgar Wright.  Known for his outstandingly witty scriptwriting ability and technically dynamic approach to directing, many including myself were excited to see Wright take on a Marvel property and make it his own.  Many turned against Ant-Man when he left the project and never gave it another chance.  I was also one of those people.  Going into opening weekend, I was still bemoaning the loss of the visionary auteur, but I went to see Ant-Man anyways.

To my surprise, Ant-Man didn’t suck.  More than that, the movie was really, really good.  Most importantly, the picture is emblematic of what Marvel films should be in several important ways.   Thus, I’m here to ask you to give this movie a second chance like I did.  I want you to fall in love with Ant-Man too.

[There are no Ant-Man spoilers below, but I do go into a bit of detail on the humor and some of the general story beats. I actually do spoil Marvel movies that came before Ant-Man.]


 

Ant-Man is an awesome genre-bender

Most Marvel movies are relatively simple beat-em-ups.  They’re action movies with a few nice character moments and several large, sprawling set pieces that are inevitably torn apart by a big battle.  However, the Marvel movies that stand out to me are the ones that play with genre.  Captain America: the Winter Soldier is, in my opinion, the best movie to have come out of the MCU.  It’s not just an action movie.  It’s Marvel’s take on a superpowered political thriller.  In a similar vein, Ant-Man isn’t just an action movie about a man who can shrink and control insects with his mind.  Ant-Man is a superpowered heist film in the vein of The Usual Suspects and The Town.

Scott-Lang-Paul-Rudd-Steals-Ant-Man

The entire movie hinges around several “jobs” that Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Luis (Michael Peña), and the rest of their gang work to pull off.  They’ve got the lookout, the brain (Lang), and even the muscle (Peña, in a hilarious running gag, knocks out anyone he punches with one swing).  The big climax centers around breaking into a highly secure vault and stealing the Yellowjacket suit, which works similarly to the Ant-Man suit, before Hank Pym’s protegee Darren Cross (Corey Stoll) can sell it to the highest bidding military organization.  The very fact that Ant-Man‘s goal isn’t just “beat up the bad guy” allows the film to do some really cool utilitarian things with Ant-Man’s powers, including short out a security system using a species of ant that conducts electricity.  You wouldn’t see that in a more straightforward film like The Avengers, where Loki’s solution to a locked door is to have a possessed Hawkeye rip out the eye of a man whose credentials are in the door’s security system.  The latter is brutal.  The former is interesting, fun, and innovative.

“Fun” and “innovative” are probably the two best words one could use to describe Ant-Man.  It’s a curious beast of a picture, stuffed between two huge Avengers movies in Age of Ultron and Civil War.  No matter what director Peyton Reed did, the film was going to feel small in comparison.  So, the Ant-Man team took the high road and embraced that smallness.  The big climactic set piece takes place in a bedroom instead of a city and yet was way more interesting and entertaining than Age of Ultron‘s final battle (Thomas the Tank Engine is a running joke, people. Please).

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The most memorable character was Peña’s powerless con Luis, whose fast-talking personality, enduring positive attitude, and strangely well-cultured background had the theater audience around me in stitches throughout the entire movie.  He stole the show, and he did it without any fancy CGI.  Ant-Man is a film where Marvel let normal people have their day in the sun.

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Now, knocks where knocks are due: Evangeline Lilly’s role as Hope Van Dyne never feels as fully realized in the film as it should have been.  According to some, her role was expanded from Wright’s original script, but her role basically amounts to her and the audience not understanding why she isn’t the character entrusted with Hank Pym’s incredible shrinking suit.  She’s better than Lang at literally everything. She’s a better fighter, an equally skilled thinker, has spent more time with the technology, and doesn’t need to be trained– which you’d think would be a big plus considering they only have a few days to steal Cross’ suit.  But nope, Pym insists on training Lang anyways, and even after you finally find out why Pym won’t let his daughter take the Ant-Man role for herself, it doesn’t really seem fair to her.

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Luckily, however, it seems like Marvel is setting Van Dyne up for a much bigger role in the MCU, so not all is lost on that front.  Plus, I don’t think the bad here outweighs the overwhelming good. Ant-Man is not the socially progressive Marvel movie people are clamoring for.  It is, however, a movie with a lot of heart, an interesting perspective that breathes new life into an old genre, and a prime argument against Marvel’s notion that more explosions = more fun.

Edgar Wright’s departure did NOT hurt the film

Before we go on, let’s just address the elephant in the room.  I love Edgar Wright.  Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is one of my favorite films and the editing in all the Cornetto Trilogy films is so inspiring that I want to be a director whenever I watch any of them.  To be clear, I majored in English and minored in Computer Science. I don’t know the first thing about directing or being anywhere near a film set.  I basically cried when I heard Wright would be making a Marvel movie and I did cry when I found out he was off of Ant-Man.

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Yet, even though Wright didn’t end up directing the formicidaphilic caper, I could feel his sticky hands all over Ant-Man.  There’s a musical gag during a fight sequence based around a Cure song. That’s Wright.  Thomas the Tank Engine is a running gag. Definitely Wright.  Peña does a bang up job relating two job tip conversations to the audience where countless different people, men and women of various shapes and sizes, all speak with his voice. That’s actually not even Wright, but the editing and comedic styles feel like his.

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Adam McKay and Paul Rudd did a great job rewriting the film while sticking to Wright and co-writer Joe Cornish’s original vision for the script, and Reed did a great job realizing that vision as director on Wright’s behalf.  Will this movie always live in the shadow of what could have been?  For better or worse, yes.  Did Marvel play bad politics with Wright?  Perhaps.  That said though, even if Wright was ultimately shorted, the Ant-Man film we got stands quite tall in spite of its production woes.  It’s a great film on its own merit, and its success could mean more like it IF we support it as an audience.  Which leads me to my final point:

Ant-Man is the kind of Marvel movie you should want to see MORE of

The Marvel train is unstoppable.  Even if Ant-Man doesn’t do well, Marvel movies are slated up until I hit my first midlife crisis in the late 2020s.  If we as viewers can’t stop this train, we should at least be able to steer it.  I don’t know about you, but I am really sick and tired of:

Drone Armies

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The Avengers: Age of Ultron

drones

The Avengers

 

Space Holes

spacehole

The Avengers

Marvel's Thor: The Dark World" Ph: Film Frame © 2013 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2013 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Thor: the Dark World

 

Big faceless ship fights where things explode

Marvel's Guardians Of The Galaxy Nova Corp Starblaster ships and Ronan's Dark Aster ship Ph: Film Frame ©Marvel 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy

blowup

Captain America: the Winter Soldier

 

Now, I like Marvel movies for what they are.   They’re fun pieces of action-filled entertainment that do a particularly outstanding job of developing characters that are interesting and rich despite their absurd and campy origins.  However, ever since The Avengers, Marvel has been in a size competition with itself, its directors competing to see who can make the largest-scale fight sequence or blow up the most vehicles in a half-hour span.  It’s gotten so bad that the studio collectively seems to have forgotten that the point of a movie climax is to bring the development of all characters, protagonists and antagonists, to a head, not just fuck up the world around the protagonist(s) and see how they respond.

Marvel has always had a villain problem.  No one except Tom Hiddleston’s Loki has ever felt fully realized as a character outside of their relationship to a protagonist.  However, villains like Jeff Bridges’ Obadiah Stane in Iron Man and Hugo Weaving’s Red Skull in Captain America: the First Avenger were still interesting because they had character arcs of a sort that were satisfactorily resolved by their climatic third-act battle.

Ironman

While it’s rare (and stunning) to have a film where the audience actively wants the villain to win, movies are much more affecting when you can stake a claim with both the “good side” and “bad side.” The Avengers took the third act away from its villain, Loki, and even away from  Thanos the master puppeteer, leaving our protagonists to band together against a faceless horde that we could stake no emotional claim to.  We would have felt bad seeing Loki or Thanos win in The Avengers. We would have felt cheated if the Chitauri beat the Avengers.  The same goes for Ultron’s faceless robot army in Age of Ultron, the Dark Elves in Thor: the Dark World, and inversely, the faceless N.O.V.A. Corps soldiers who died staving off Ronan the Accuser’s invasion in Guardians of the Galaxy.

Yeah, more soldiers make for bigger fights, but who cares about the size of the battle when you know who’s going to win based off plot mechanics? Who cares about the big final fight when your protagonists aren’t even actually facing the antagonists you’ve been building up for the past two hours?

Sticking your primary antagonist in an airplane FLYING AWAY from the climactic battle is a dick move, Marvel. Also the "Hulk makes the villain a ragdoll" gag is played out.

Letting your primary antagonist fly away from the climactic battle without resistance is a dick move, Marvel. Also: the “Hulk makes the villain a ragdoll” gag is played out.

Now, I’m not saying Ant-Man solves Marvel’s villain problem.  Despite Corey Stoll’s great acting, Darren Cross comes off about as two dimensional as Stane in Iron Man.  Their backstories and motivations are even somewhat similar.  That said, I like that Marvel didn’t feel the need to cover Lang and Stoll’s final battle with pointless window dressing.  The big climax was a twenty minute fight between just the two of them, and that was perfect.  It brought both their character arcs to a suitable finish and created a legitimate sense of tension throughout.  As I’ve said time and time again, the fight was also very cleverly concepted, more or less set entirely in a briefcase, a backyard, and a bedroom.  Ant-Man was a slimmer Marvel movie and it was better for it.

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I’ve heard people say that Ant-Man feels like an early phase one MCU movie, and I think that’s true.  Those older Marvel films weren’t as big as their Phase Two brethren, and instead lived and died by the merits of their stories.  I’d like to see Marvel return to that method of thinking, and I think an Ant-Man success would prove to them that I’m not alone in this.

Go see Ant-Man.  It’s hilarious, well acted, and generally clever.  Most importantly, a vote for Ant-Man is a vote for a slimmer, better Marvel movie where story comes first.

8 Comments on In Defense of the Little Guy: Three Big Reasons Why You Should Go See Ant-Man, last added: 7/27/2015
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9. Bryan Singer Plans to Make a Team Up Team Up out of X-Men and the Fantastic Four

If Fox had a house motto, it would be: “we do not sow. Now let us spit on your Quicksilver, Marvel.”

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Bryan Singer loves a few things.  Director’s Cuts, long walks on the beach, and movies centered around Time Travel, to name a few.  Now we can add crossovers to that list as well.  In an interview with Yahoo, Singer confirmed that he’s working with Fox to bring together comics’ first family with comics’ greatest (but maybe not greatest) racial allegory.  How will they meet up, you ask?

Singer says:

“It deals with time. That’s all I’m going to say.”

Of course it does.

2 Comments on Bryan Singer Plans to Make a Team Up Team Up out of X-Men and the Fantastic Four, last added: 7/24/2015
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10. D23 2015: Disney Announces Their Big Presentations at the D23 Expo!

d23 2015 posterSo, we all know that Marvel didn’t present anything in Hall H during Comic-Con.

Was it because they didn’t have anything to show, just like Sony and Paramount?

Or were they saving their big announcements for the D23 Expo, Disney’s biennial fanfest scheduled for August 14-16? 

Well, we know a little bit more, as Disney has published the show schedule, and released PR about some of the bigger events, taking place in “Hall D23″.  Disney hasn’t published any maps yet for the Expo, but it will be located in Hall D of the Anaheim Convention Center, which has a theater capacity of … 15,000! (The attached Arena seats “only” 7500.) Disney isn’t using the entire space. just 7500 seats. So get there early!

So, what’s scheduled?


Friday

10:00 AM – Noon   Disney Legends Awards

This is the Disney “Hall of Fame”. This year, Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger will induct:

GEORGE BODENHEIMER, who retired from his role as Executive Chairman of ESPN in May 2014, enjoyed a remarkable 33-year career that began in the company’s mailroom in 1981. Working his way through the ranks, he became executive vice president of sales and marketing in 1996, before being named the network’s fifth president in 1998. He held that role until 2012, when he stepped down from day-to-day operations.

ANDREAS DEJA is a link to Disney’s past and one of the greatest animators of its modern era. Deja is known for his rich portraits of villainy, having animated Gaston for Beauty and the Beast, Jafar for Aladdin, and Scar for The Lion King. He has also brought life to heroes such as mighty Hercules, the precocious Lilo (Lilo & Stitch), regal King Triton (The Little Mermaid), wise Mama Odie (The Princess and the Frog), and loveable Tigger (Winnie the Pooh). In 2007, he was awarded the prestigious Winsor McCay Award for his contributions to the art of animation.

Eyvind_Earle_Sleeping_Beauty_Concept_Painting_Disney_1959EYVIND EARLE, one of the greatest of Disney artists, brought his unique style to a number of memorable projects but perhaps the purest realization of his vision remains the visual styling and backgrounds for the Disney classic Sleeping Beauty. Earle’s career with Disney began in 1951, working on background artwork for Peter Pan. He created the look of the 1953 animated short Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom, which won an Academy Award® for Best Short Subject, Cartoons in 1954. His most noticeable contribution, however, remains his work on Sleeping Beauty. The film’s eye-catching look, in its design and backgrounds, are the perfect representation of his unique style.

DANNY ELFMAN provided the songs and score for Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, for which he also provided the singing voice of Jack Skellington. He also scored several Disney films including Alice in Wonderland, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Dick Tracy, Dead PresidentsFlubberGood Will Hunting (Oscar® Nomination: Best Score), A Civil Action, InstinctFrankenweenie, and Oz the Great and Powerful. Elfman also wrote the theme for ABC’s Desperate Housewives and penned the music for the Mystic Manor attraction at Hong Kong Disneyland. His music is featured in Disneyland’s annual Haunted Mansion Holiday. His upcoming Disney projects include Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass.

GEORGE LUCAS, whose Star Wars films made him one of the most successful filmmakers of all time, is also a longtime Disney fan who has left an indelible impression on Disney parks. His first project with Disney was Captain EO, the 1986 3-D spectacular starring Michael Jackson and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Star Tours and Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland, as well as Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Indiana Jones et le Temple du Péril in Disneyland Paris, and two blockbuster Indiana Jones Adventure attractions at Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, round out Lucas’ timeless work in conjunction with Disney.

SUSAN LUCCI portrayed Erica Kane on ABC’s fabled soap opera All My Children for 41 years, a role that TV Guide deemed unequivocally the most famous character in the history of daytime television, earning Lucci 21 Daytime Emmy® nominations to which she won the prestigious Emmy for Best Actress to an industry-wide standing ovation on her 19th nomination. Shortly thereafter, she received her Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, presented to her by Bob Iger, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company. The iconic actress has also appeared on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars and Hope & Faith, as well as Disney Channel’s That’s So Raven. Lucci currently stars in the international hit Lifetime series, Devious Maids, produced by ABC Studios, as the wealthy and effervescent socialite, Genevieve Delatour.

JULIE REIHM CASALETTO, who began her Disney career as a tour guide, became Disneyland’s first Ambassador in 1965—a role created to help Walt, who found it increasingly difficult to attend all the events to which he was invited. As Disneyland’s first Ambassador, she was chosen “as a personification of Disneyland’s world-famous spirit of friendliness and happiness.” She became the template upon which decades of Ambassadors would pattern themselves.

CARSON VAN OSTEN helped bring Disney characters to life in a variety of media, all around the world, for three decades. During Van Osten’s tenure, he oversaw creative content for motion picture tie-in advertising, many Disney publications, and also established some of the first licensing style guides for Disney Consumer Products. The talented artist designed logos for Mickey Mouse’s 50th and 60th birthdays, the Walt Disney Studios logo and water tower design, and the Disneyland Hotel clock tower “Mickey” logo in Paris.

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM   Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios: The Upcoming Films, Hosted by John Lasseter

After meeting the Emotions inside the mind of an 11-year-old, taking a trip to San Fransokyo, where a boy genius and his robot save the world, and falling in love with a queen with icy powers who wants to “let it go,” come see where Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios plan to take you next. In what has become a D23 EXPO must-see, host John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios, presents this in-depth look at the animation studios’ slate. Filmmakers will unveil never-before-seen footage from Pixar’s upcoming The Good Dinosaur and Finding Dory and Disney Animation’s Zootopia and Moana. The event will include surprise announcements, musical performances, and appearances by the films’ star voice talent.


Saturday

10:30 AM – 12:30 PM   Worlds, Galaxies, and Universes: Live Action at The Walt Disney Studios

Disney, Marvel and Lucasfilm are home to some of the planet’s best storytellers, immersing audiences fully in the world of each film from beginning to end and beyond. In this exclusive Hall D23 presentation, join Walt Disney Studios Chairman Alan Horn for a tour of upcoming live-action projects from these legendary film studios. A bevy of special guests will be on hand to offer a look at an unparalleled slate that includes Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Jungle Book, Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War, Star Wars: The Force Awakens—and much, much more.

3:00 PM – 4:30 PM   Walt Disney Parks and Resorts

No description yet, but Parks chairman Bob Chapek will reveal what’s new! I would expect more info on the new Shanghai Disneyland! As well as info on Disney Springs and [Disney’s Hollywood Studios]! Maybe some information on the $1 Billion expansion at Disneyland?

shanghai disneyland resort-map4


Sunday

11:00 AM – Noon   It’s Game Time: Disney Interactive Takes The Stage

No idea…  I would expect more information about Disney Infinity 3.0 (now with more Wookies). Also, since it launches in October, there’d better be some hands-on demos for Playmation. (Hollee… Iron Skrull?!?!? You had me at MODOK!)

Disney Playmation how_it_works_desktop_3b9b0be2

Ahem… getting back on track…  sorry… I’ll try not to think about the Star Wars or Frozen sets…

3:00 – 4:30 PM   Frozen FANdemonium: A Musical Celebration!

Join host Chris Montan, president, Walt Disney Music, and the Oscar®-winning songwriting team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez as they take you on a once-in-a-lifetime musical journey through the world of Frozen. This one-day-only performance features your favorite friends from the Walt Disney Animation Studios film—including Anna and Elsa––with sing-along experiences and fascinating stories behind some of your favorite Frozen songs.


 

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11. The new SPECTRE trailer has us wishing it was November already

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I’m not one to rush the Summer away, as it is my favorite season after all, but the enticement of new Sam Mendes James Bond is just too strong.

Here’s the new trailer for SPECTRE, which emerged this morning, and reveals just how personal an antagonist he’s facing (and who may or may not be the new version of Blofeld?):

A cryptic message from the past sends James Bond on a rogue mission to Mexico City and eventually Rome, where he meets Lucia Sciarra (Monica Bellucci), the beautiful and forbidden widow of an infamous criminal. Bond infiltrates a secret meeting and uncovers the existence of the sinister organisation known as SPECTRE.

Meanwhile back in London, Max Denbigh (Andrew Scott), the new head of the Centre for National Security, questions Bond’s actions and challenges the relevance of MI6, led by M (Ralph Fiennes). Bond covertly enlists Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) and Q (Ben Whishaw) to help him seek out Madeleine Swann (Léa Seydoux), the daughter of his old nemesis Mr White (Jesper Christensen), who may hold the clue to untangling the web of SPECTRE. As the daughter of an assassin, she understands Bond in a way most others cannot.

As Bond ventures towards the heart of SPECTRE, he learns of a chilling connection between himself and the enemy he seeks, played by Christoph Waltz.

SPECTRE hits theaters on November 6th.

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12. The Dark Knight makes BBC’s list of the 100 Greatest American Films

the dark knight

BBC Culture did something pretty fun today, as they released their list of the 100 Greatest American Films, as determined by a poll of 62 international film critics.

How did they define what made an “American film”? If it got its funding from an American source, it was eligible to be selected.

Here’s the full, very Billy Wilder-heavy, list:

100. Ace in the Hole (Billy Wilder, 1951)
99. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
98. Heaven’s Gate (Michael Cimino, 1980)
97. Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939)
96. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
95. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)
94. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
93. Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973)
92. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
91. ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982)
90. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
89. In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950)
88. West Side Story (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, 1961)
87. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
86. The Lion King (Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, 1994)
85. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
84. Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972)
83. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)
82. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981)
81. Thelma & Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991)
80. Meet Me in St Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944)
79. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
78. Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg, 1993)
77. Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
76. The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kershner, 1980)
75. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977)
74. Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, 1994)
73. Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976)
72. The Shanghai Gesture (Josef von Sternberg, 1941)
71. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)
70. The Band Wagon (Vincente Minnelli, 1953)
69. Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982)
68. Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946)
67. Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936)
66. Red River (Howard Hawks, 1948)
65. The Right Stuff (Philip Kaufman, 1965)
64. Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954)
63. Love Streams (John Cassavetes, 1984)
62. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
61. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)
60. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
59. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Miloš Forman, 1975)
58. The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch, 1940)
57. Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen, 1989)
56. Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985)
55. The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)
54. Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)
53. Grey Gardens (Albert and David Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer, 1975)
52. The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)
51. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)
50. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940)
49. Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)
48. A Place in the Sun (George Stevens, 1951)
47. Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock, 1964)
46. It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
45. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 1962)
44. Sherlock Jr (Buster Keaton, 1924)
43. Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948)
42. Dr Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
41. Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)
40. Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid, 1943)
39. The Birth of a Nation (DW Griffith, 1915)
38. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
37. Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959)
36. Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)
35. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)
34. The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939)
33. The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
32. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)
31. A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes, 1974)
30. Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
29. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
28. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
27. Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975)
26. Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1978)
25. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
24. The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)
23. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)
22. Greed (Erich von Stroheim, 1924)
21. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
20. Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
19. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
18. City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
17. The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin, 1925)
16. McCabe & Mrs Miller (Robert Altman, 1971)
15. The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946)
14. Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975)
13. North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)
12. Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)
11. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942)
10. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
9. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
8. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1952)
6. Sunrise (FW Murnau, 1927)
5. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
3. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
2. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
1. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)

No Coen Bros? No Paul Thomas Anderson? No Wes Anderson? Egad! I will say that I applaud any list that tosses Citizen Kane back in its rightful spot at the top. Back when Sight and Sound did their poll a few years back, Vertigo had crept over Welles’ masterpiece. I love them both, but the greatness of Citizen Kane is indisputable, particularly when you compare it to other, stagier, classics of the same era.

But, to not bury the lede as it concerns the interests of The Beat, The Dark Knight is the only comics based film to make the cut. An interesting choice, and for my money it’s easily the best superhero film (any capes and tights offering that takes a visual page out of Michael Mann has a little more going for it than, say, your average X-Men movie), but is it one of the Top 100 American Films of All Time? I don’t even think it’s Christopher Nolan‘s best film, so probably not. But, it’s nice to see our favorite medium get a little bit of respect in this part of the critical community.

I’d have replaced it with American Splendor myself.

9 Comments on The Dark Knight makes BBC’s list of the 100 Greatest American Films, last added: 7/22/2015
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13. Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur gets a full-length trailer

good dinosaur

After the incredible Inside Out (in the running for my favorite film of the year so far), I’ve become re-energized regarding Pixar’s output, which I was worried might not ever happen after a few years of, let’s just say, not their best work.

Their second offering this year, The Good Dinosaur, opens on November 25th and posits a world where the asteroid that sent the dinosaurs into extinction never hit Earth. And now, man and dinosaur live side by side.

Directed by Peter Sohn, this is a project that hit a number of production snags on the way to the big screen, including announcing a recasting of almost every role last month (save for Frances McDormand). Hopefully Disney’s revamping of the production pays off.

1 Comments on Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur gets a full-length trailer, last added: 7/21/2015
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14. Ant-Man debuts to an estimated $58 Million opening

Marvel's Ant-Man..Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) ..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..? Marvel 2014

After a painfully long production process, Marvel’s smallest big-screen hero has finally arrived, and according to studio estimates (which could see some adjustment by Monday morning) Ant-Man is looking at about a $58 million domestic haul.

For what it’s worth, that’s the second lowest debut for a Marvel Studios picture, just shy of 2008’s The Incredible Hulk opening to $55 million and on the low end of Marvel’s projections for the property.

Ant-Man was always a bit of a dicey proposition for Marvel; he’s a little-known “C-list” hero, and while I doubt most members of the general audience know Edgar Wright from Edgar Bergen, there had been a certain level of tough buzz surrounding the production of the film due to Wright’s storied exit just before shooting was to begin in Atlanta.

Strangely enough, Guardians of the Galaxy was seen as an equally tough sell and opened in a worse month (August), yet it thrived. Both films had an “A” Cinemascore, the not terribly scientific polling of audience-goers who actually attend these screenings, so they were equally well received.

So why did Guardians thrive in its opening weekend (at $94.3 million) where Ant-Man failed to reach similar heights? If I had to guess, marketing was likely the key issue. It never seemed as though the studio knew how to actually sell the picture. Was it a fun romp for families? Was it a 20’s-30’s male leaning comedic affair? And Marvel’s last-minute attempt at stressing the connections to their shared cinematic universe with a number of ads to that effect didn’t really do the trick either.

That’s not to say $58 million is a flop by any means, because it’s not, particularly given Ant-Man‘s more modest $130 million budget (not counting whatever was sunk into marketing). But, this is a case of Marvel becoming a victim of their own success a bit. With each opening since 2010 ranging from $65-210 million, the inevitable film that hit below that was going to face some scrutiny.

It’s possible that Peyton Reed‘s newest directorial outing may find some legs in the coming weeks, and the international numbers are only now coming in ($56.4 million and counting), but as of now Ant-Man‘s “Avengers bump” is a bit non-existent it seems.

For the record, I don’t think if Wright stayed on as director it would have really done much, if any, better.

What did you think, readers? Was Ant-Man all you hoped it would be?

 

 

10 Comments on Ant-Man debuts to an estimated $58 Million opening, last added: 7/21/2015
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15. UPDATE: Coverage of ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Casting Call in London

Today, thousands of girls aged 8-12 years flocked to the Excel Centre in London to audition for the role of ‘Modesty’ in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, due for release in November 2016.

J.K. Rowling also tweeted about her excitement to find the girl perfect girl to play the ‘haunted young girl with an inner strength and stillness’:

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 21.05.20

Various Potter stars also gave their best wishes to the girls in the queue, including Evanna Lynch, who posted an encouraging message on her Facebook earlier this week, urging people to audition:

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Here’s a first-hand breakdown of the day:

9:00am: Word around the HUGE queue was that people started to gather at around 5am, so by the time 9:00am hit (the time the queues opened), 4000 people were already raring to go.

10:00am-12:30pm: Temperatures were running high, and patience among the young hopefuls running thin. Security guards passed round water, suncream and umbrellas, with water tanks, an ice cream van and a snack bar nearer the front of the outside portion of the queue.

News reporters and various camera crew members were circling the crowds from all angles, and interviewing those in line – as in this video from BBC’s Newsround, and this video from Sky News. Others tweeted their photos of the queues:

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13:00pm: 9:00am arrivals reached the section (inside and air-conditioned!) portion of the queue. An absolute blessing. Casting Information Forms were handed out and filled in.

Screen Shot 2015-07-18 at 21.48.24

14:30pm-15:00pm: After around six hours of queueing, 9:00am arrivals were finally taken in for their audition, which went as follows:

Staff took groups of ten children aside at a time, telling them not to be nervous. Girls were then broken into smaller groups to have their photos taken.

For their head-shots, girls were lined up in front of whiteboard and told what face to pull (e.g: straight face, smiley face, ‘eyes shut’ face). A casting crew member then took the groups aside to stand in a circle and take it in turns to tell the others their name, age and birthday. They were then asked a few questions (e.g: ‘If you had one superpower, what would it be?’)

Children then handed in their Casting Information Forms, and received a certificate to say they had taken part.

The audition was a 30-50 minute process on average. RadioTimes said that an estimated 14,000 children queued up outside the Excel Exhibition Centre.

We are all very excited at The Leaky Cauldron to see who’s going to be cast as Modesty. Join us in wishing good luck to those who auditioned!

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16. Diminutive Intuition: My Ant-Man Prediction

ant-man posterSince they weren’t at Comic-Con, most of the media attention has not been focused on Ant-Man, Marvel’s next entry in their Marvel Cinematic Universe snowball, which shows no sign of stopping, and which becomes ever more complex and unfathomable with each movie.  (Why do I suspect that ALL of the Phase Three heroes will become Avengers, including Doctor Strange?)

Of course, every Marvel movie has “credit cookies”, little snippets of film tucked into the final credits. Sometimes they are little oddball moments, like the Avengers having lunch, and sometimes they foreshadow upcoming movies, like Thor. They add a bit of excitement to the movie, as well as generating lots of free advertising as numerous websites post analyses and explanations on what was briefly seen.

Being a heist movie with some humor, and being the last Phase Two movie, I expect Ant-Man to include some of these.  What might they be?

Well… Ant-Man can shrink. What happens when he shrinks too small? He ends up in the Microverse.

Where’s that?  It’s a sub-atomic realm in the Marvel Universe, home of the Micronauts. Like G.I. Joe and Transformers, Marvel created a fictional universe for the toys, currently owned by Hasbro. (IDW will be publishing new stories soon.) But how can Marvel use these characters? Well, they can’t. But they do own the rights to three characters which appeared in the series: Arcturus Rann, Marionette, and Bug.

My prediction?  “Bug” will make a cameo.  Why would this be likely?bug comic

  1. The Microverse, home to these characters, is connected to Pym particles, as miniaturization allows one to access the dimension.
  2. “Bug” is a bit of a pun reflecting off “Ant-Man” and the other insect themes in the movie.
  3. Bug, according to the official Marvel Universe Wiki, is “an Insectivorid master thief and adventurer from the planet Kaliklak in the Microverse (a.k.a. Inner Space), a “sub-atomic” realm actually accessed via the energies of shrinking. Known as a humorous, lighthearted flirt, he is also a charismatic leader and adept warrior.”  This reflects Scott Lang’s character nicely.
  4. Marvel can then use this teaser to develop “Ant-Man 2″, which would be a Fantastic Planet/Fantastic Voyage mashup set in the Microverse. (If Marvel is REALLY smart, one of the Infinity Gems is hidden there.) This would also allow Marvel to develop another dimension in the MCU, which can serve as a substitute for the Negative Zone, which is part of the Fantastic Four movie rights.  (Marvel is already developing the Inhumans as a substitute for mutants and X-Men, and the Darkforce dimension will be mentioned in the next season of Agent Carter.) AM2 can also be used to spin-off the Microverse into a cartoon series, similar to He-Man (high-tech swords and sorcery). Of course, the irony would be that Hasbro would probably market the toys!

So, this doesn’t sound so crazy after all, does it?  But I know this won’t happen, at least on Earth-1218. It’s too smart and perfect, and Marvel doesn’t think that hard. Heck, Marvel had two excellent opportunities to introduce Damage Control into the Marvel Universe via The Avengers movies, but hasn’t yet. (What’s Damage Control? They’re a corporation which repairs the property damage caused by superhero conflicts. Super-high-concept, right? Instant television series. Cold open with a superhero battling a supervillain and damaging something. Then segue to the office…)

So anyway, I’ll leave this here. Advance buzz on the movie is favorable (currently 76% at Rotten Tomatoes), so I probably won’t be disappointed watching the movie. Well, at least not while I’m watching the movie. Afterwards, I’ll probably nitpick it with a fine-tooth comb. (A little joke. Bon moths, if you will. Thank you, you’ve been a wonderful audience. Try the casu marzu.)


 

5 Comments on Diminutive Intuition: My Ant-Man Prediction, last added: 7/18/2015
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17. ‘Philosopher’s Stone’ owls to visit Aberdeen, U.K. this weekend

The Snowy Owl who played Hedwig, and Eral, a Great Horned Owl who delivered Harry’s first letter in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone are set to visit Duthie Park in Aberdeen this Sunday. The two ‘Harry Potter owls’ are from the Owl and Pussycat Centre in Maud, who frequently take the birds to local events.

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The Press and Journal, Aberdeen writes:

‘As well as getting to meet the feathered film stars, visitors will also be able to enjoy stalls and events hosted by RSPB, the Satrosphere Science Centre, the Aberdeen Bee Keeper’s Society, the Butterfly Conservation Society and other environmental groups, from midday to 4pm.’

Hedwig_610 EagleOwlPrivetDrSignWEB

You can read more about the event on Aberdeen City Council’s website here.

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18. Your first look at the film versions of Psylocke and Apocalypse in this month’s Entertainment Weekly

ew-cover-1373-xmen

As per usual, Entertainment Weekly has the first concrete details and images for another upcoming superhero blockbuster, this time the newest Bryan Singer-directed X-Men adventure: X-Men: Apocalypse.

In the above cover, you can see how screen-accurate to 90’s era comics Singer and team are aiming for in regard to Olivia Munn‘s Psylocke, and Oscar Isaac is practically unrecognizable as the title villain.

The latter spoke to his new role in the same report:

 “He’s believed to be the first mutant, whatever that means,” says star Oscar Isaac. “He is the ­creative-slash-destructive force of this earth. When things start to go awry, or when things seem like they’re not moving towards evolution, he destroys those civilizations.”

EW also elaborates a bit on just what Apocalypse is up to in the film and the shape of his Four Horsemen:

As the new film opens, 10 years have passed and Raven (Lawrence), Charles (McAvoy), and Erik (Michael Fassbender) are still estranged, but not for much longer. The Big A awakens from his Egyptian tomb, sizes up the global ’80s vibe, and decides he’s not down with the Reagan era. “It’s a chaotic world of conflict and war and destruction,” Singer says. “It’s one giant civilization that now requires one giant culling. That’s why he needs ­special assistants in this process.” He finds teenage Storm living on the streets in Cairo, Angel (Ben Hardy) duking it out in a fight club in Berlin, and Psylocke (Olivia Munn) working behind the Iron Curtain for the mutant-broker Caliban. But his big get is Erik, who has been attempting to live a “normal” life in Poland. “He’s fallen in love and he’s basically left his metal ways behind,” Fassbender says. Pretty quickly, though, his world is shattered and “normal” is no longer an option. Says Fassbender, “Apocalypse finds Erik at a low ebb and recruits him.”

An interesting new take on this era of the team, and this might prove to be a good way to keep Fassbender around for another film. Or perhaps not, as I found the leaked footage out of SDCC to be pretty underwhelming (and I thought the same for the Deadpool trailer). Either way, we’ll find out next May.

1 Comments on Your first look at the film versions of Psylocke and Apocalypse in this month’s Entertainment Weekly, last added: 7/17/2015
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19. SDCC ’15: NEW Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer from Hall H Panel!!!!

Check out full panel coverage here.

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20. SDCC ’15: Exclusive Batman Vs. Superman Signing Footage

Today the DC Entertainment booth hosted a signing featuring the stars of Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.  DC All Access had exclusive footage from the event:

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21. SDCC ’15: Ant-Man Assembles with a Special Someone in New Clip…[Spoilers]

Released today, this Ant-Man clip shows Hank Pym meeting up with none other than…

The Falcon!  Ant-Man comes out July 17th.

2 Comments on SDCC ’15: Ant-Man Assembles with a Special Someone in New Clip…[Spoilers], last added: 7/13/2015
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22. SDCC ’15: Bruce Timm and cast discuss the darkness, risks, and rewards of Justice League: Gods & Monsters

fljgandmonsters1

Traditionally, films starring Wonder Woman, Batman and Superman start off with an imbued sense of goodwill towards the team’s protagonists. But Alan Burnett, the writer and producer of Justice League: Gods & Monsters, has just one concern about the heroes of this film.

“They are not likable in the beginning,” he said. “I don’t know how the audience is going to respond to that.”

Mind you, the names are the only thing these characters have in common with the versions we know and love. Justice League: Gods & Monsters features an alternate version of the characters, including a vampiric Batman and a Superman who is the son of Zod.  Executive Producer Bruce Timm, who said he’d actually pitched the idea of a vampire Batman during Batman: The Animated Series and was denied, noted the upshot to losing those built in personas was the chance to take the characters to new places.

“With these characters, because they’re all new characters…we get to make the rules from ground zero,” he said. “It’s really seductive to know I can take them down weird paths that are shocking and unpredictable and weird in a way that I can’t really do with the traditional characters.”

Burnett, who describes the film as a mystery rather than a typical action/thriller, echoed those sentiments.

“One of the things we talked about, we’ve talked about off and on for years, is that its kind of frustrating that these major superheroes that we work with, if they get in a fight, they can’t really hurt the other guy,” he said. “We sort of wanted to do a character who, if he felt like he had to kill in a fight, it would happen. So that’s the main difference between what we’ve been doing before and this.”

The film also marks Timm’s recent return to the DC animated world.

“I took a little bit of a breather,” he said. “I developed a couple of different properties, original ideas that weren’t superhero related. I developed them, pitched them, and nobody bought them. And I was like, OK, well I’ve got to do something, because I like having food, and I like having a roof over my head. And it was around that same time that I came up with this idea.”

Paget Brewster and Tamara Taylor, who play Lois Lane and Wonder Woman, each said they were surprised and even confused by the marked difference in the characters compared to their traditional portrayals.

“I kept going back and thinking why am I not understanding this, and they explained that this is an alternate universe,” Taylor said. “I had to let everything go and go with this sort of upside-down town we were in.”

Dialogue director Andrea Romano cast Dexter alumn Michael C. Hall, who she’s been trying to cast in various roles for years, in this new take on Batman.

Dexter was wrapping, and I thought, let’s try one more time, and it just lined up perfectly,” she said. “This is a very different Batman. This is a Batman who is, first of all, quite young – we meet him in a flashback where he’s a college student – and he’s kind of frail, in fact. He’s ill. He’s not strong and robust like Bruce was. He just made it his Batman.”

Justice League: Gods & Monsters will be available for purchase on July 28.

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23. Daniel Radcliffe talks “Frankenstein” at Comic Con

As hoped, Daniel Radcliffe talked more of his BBC film, Frankenstein. He described the film with every type of adjective and genre in the filmmaking industry in a video posted by the Daily Mail. He promoted the film with formal photos taken at Comic Con, with his co-star James McAvoy. These photos can be seen in the Daily Mail article.

Entertainment Weekly was also able to catch up with Dan on the panel, in the “Entertainment Weekly Lounge” at Comic Con. Dan was dressed in costume when he hit the show floor, but didn’t remain in it for long. EW reported:

The two, along with director Paul McGuigan, spoke with EW’s Tim Stack about their experiences at the show, including how McAvoy’s bald look has actually helped him get around incognito.

The three also talk about what audiences can expect from the film, and whether or not it’ll put a few unexpected spins on the Frakenstein mythos.

The video from EW’s Lounge can be seen on their website.

Hypable reported Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy’s comments from the Comic Con panel, saying:

“We shall create life out of death,” says James McAvoy in the first Victor Frankenstein trailer. The preview is packed with special effects and action, as McAvoy’s Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe’s Igor work together to create a monster. The trailer is incredibly entertaining and — more surprising — it’s very funny. “It’s alive!” Igor whispers at one point. “Yes, well, that’s rather obvious” responds Dr. Frankenstein.

We then saw a clip from the film in which Frankenstein attempts to create life in front of his peers. After accidentally electrocuting himself and causing a bug infestation to erupt from his monster, his attempts to bring his zombie-monkey to life actually work. This is followed by a scene in which Igor looks for the creature and it attacked by it — but it seems as if there might be some scenes in between these two that were cut out.

The Washington Post added a few words:

Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy also came out to talk about their film “Victor Frankenstein,” out Nov. 25. It’s inspired by Mary Shelley’s novel but told from Igor’s (Radcliffe) perspective. McAvoy said the film is about obsession, and the relationship between Igor and Victor.

“I’m trying to pull him back from the edge of insanity. How do you stand up and tell someone they’re wrong when they’ve given you everything you have?” said Radcliffe.

They also showed a clip of the terrifying moment the homunculus comes to life.

 

 

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24. London Casting Call for Role in “Fantastic Beasts”! (FULL DETAILS)

Warner Bros. Pictures and the makers of the Harry Potter films have sent over the full details for the open casting call set to take place in London on July 18, 2015, for the role of “Modesty” in the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film. Open casting calls have been successful before, bringing us Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) and Katie Leung (Cho Chang), so if you are a young actress, read on!

Wb is looking for:

  • A young girl between ages 8-12 for the role of “Modesty”
  • Modesty is “a haunted young girl with an inner strength and stillness. She has an ability to see deep into people and understand them.”

Those who fit the criteria (below) should apply to meet a member of the casting team and have a photo taken at the following place and time:

Saturday 18 July 2015
Excel Centre Hall
Royal Victoria Dock
1 Western Gateway
London E16 1XL

The line (queue) will open at 9am and firmly close at 1pm. Lining up overnight is strictly prohibited. Wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather on the day. Even if it’s sunny, it may be advisable to bring a sweater for air conditioned areas.

Application Criteria/ Restrictions.

  • All girls between the ages of 8-12yrs may apply.
  • All applicants must be available for the shooting dates between August 2015 – January 2016.
  • All applicants must be eligible to work in the UK
  • All applicants must be accompanied by one parent or legal guardian over the age of 18 yrs.
  • Additional guests cannot be admitted into the venue.
  • Unaccompanied minors will not be permitted to make an application.
  • Travel expenses will not be reimbursed.

The ExCel Centre has sent the following travel recommendations:

By Tube:
The Jubilee Line is recommended as the quickest route to ExCeL London and the ICC. Alight at Canning Town and change onto a Beckton-bound DLR train, for the quick 2-stop journey to Custom House for ExCeL (West) or Prince Regent for ExCeL (East) and ICC London.

Travelling By Rail
As the Capital of the United Kingdom, London is connected by rail to all major cities in Great Britain
London’s main rail terminuses are Charing Cross, Euston, Kings Cross/ St Pancras International, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, Marylebone, Moorgate, Paddington, Victoria and Waterloo.

Travel by Road
When driving to ExCeL London follow signs for Royal Docks, City Airport and ExCeL. There is easy access from the M25, M11, A406 and A13. For a map showing major local roads
Please contact the AA for information on planning your journey and 24-hour live traffic reports, by calling on +44 (0) 906 888 4322.

For a map of ExCeL London’s location please visit www.streetmap.co.uk and search for ExCeL London by postcode – E16 1XL.

For Sat Nav purposes, we recommend using postcode – E16 1DR.

ExCeL London offers on-site car parking for 3,700 cars.

Parking Information
All onsite parking is pay and display, with the exception of the Royal Victoria multi-storey car park, which is located at the west end of the site. Parking in the Royal Victoria multi-storey car park can be paid for at one of the three pay points located within the car park at the end of your visit.(the machines are located on level two and level zero and all machines accept both cash and credit card).
Click here to download our parking map
Parking across our onsite locations is £15 for up to 24 hours.
This tariff is applicable for the following locations – Royal Victoria multi-storey car park, Undercroft parking (Orange and Purple) and the East Car Park.
Please note the multi-storey and undercroft areas only permit vehicles up to a maximum of 1.9 metres high.

Pay and Display Machines
Please use the correct change as no change will be given or notes returned.
For refund enquiries please contact traffic@excel-london.co.uk
Motorcycles can be parked free of charge in the designated motorcycle parking area.
We also operate an additional tariff for our lorry and coach park areas and these are charged as follows (costs based on 24 hour durations);

Transit Vans up to 3.5 T / Mini bus
£20.00

Coach
£30.00

Vehicles over above 3.5 T / Lorry
£35.00

As ExCeL London is a green venue all pay and display machines will be found on stand-by. However, the machine will activate as soon as you insert your card or cash.
ExCeL London offers 158 disabled parking spaces, located within close proximity of the venue. Spaces are available to blue badge holders only and badges must be displayed at all times. Parking for disabled visitors is charged at the normal rate.

For enquiries please call+44 (0)20 7069 4568 (within office hours).

Travel by River and Cable Car
The Emirates Air Line (Cable Car) connecting ExCeL London and the O2 opened in summer 2012, making it possible to travel by Thames Clipper between central London and the O2 and then by Cable Car across the Thames to ExCeL London
Ticket prices:
Cash Single Fare: £4.40
Oyster Fare: £3.30

MBNA Thames Clippers (Connections by River):
MBNA Thames Clippers is the leading commuter boat service on the River Thames. Departures are available from all major piers, including The O2, Greenwich, Canary Wharf, Tower, London Bridge, Embankment and Waterloo, every 20 minutes during peak hours. Click here for the timetable.

Ticket prices:
Adult Single: £6.80
Oyster Card £6.12
Travelcard (1/3 off): £4.50

From the O2 visitors can use the Emirates Air-Line Cable Car for the quick 5-minute connection to ExCeL London.

Cycling to ExCeL
ExCeL London has 60 cycle racks in total.
6 cycle racks are located at the West entrance taxi drop off point just underneath the DLR walkway.
54 cycle racks are located next to the East Entrance underneath the stairway connecting Level 0 to Level 1.
There is no charge to use the cycle racks.

For a map of ExCeL London’s location please visit www.streetmap.co.uk and search for ExCeL London by postcode – E16 1XL.

If you are using satellite navigation, we recommend using postcode – E16 1DR.

Barclays Cycle Superhighways
ExCeL London is located very close to the Superhighway route CS3 which runs from Barking to Tower Gateway. For more information on the route please visit this page.

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25. Suicide Squad’s Sizzle Reel in Glorious 1080p!

With a huge frown on their collective entity’s face and a couple of stiletto-wearing foot stomps to boot, Warner Bros. has released an official copy of the Suicide Squad sizzle reel that leaked after being shown at a panel during SDCC.  The trailer comes with a statement:

“Warner Bros. Pictures and our anti-piracy team have worked tirelessly over the last 48 hours to contain the Suicide Squad footage that was pirated from Hall H on Saturday. We have been unable to achieve that goal. Today we will release the same footage that has been illegally circulating on the web, in the form it was created and high quality with which it was intended to be enjoyed. We regret this decision as it was our intention to keep the footage as a unique experience for the Comic Con crowd, but we cannot continue to allow the film to be represented by the poor quality of the pirated footage stolen from our presentation.”
– Sue Kroll, President Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures

Deadline and a few other outlets have speculated that the leak of Suicide Squad and Deadpool footage meant exclusively for SDCC attendees could mean the end of the media practice.  Deadline characterizes this type of footage as a “gift,” and it is.  However, the reality of the internet is that information can be disseminated far and wide at increasingly rapid speeds.  There’s no way to stop this sort of thing from happening in the future, and not showing any promotional material at all seems like an emotionally driven reaction that ultimately hurts all parties, movie studios like Warner Bros. included.

It doesn’t make sense for companies to fight the future.  There’s plenty of room for innovation left in the internet.  Corporations simply need to embrace that.

3 Comments on Suicide Squad’s Sizzle Reel in Glorious 1080p!, last added: 7/16/2015
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