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Updated: 3 hours 51 min ago

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Commentary Clip Finds J.J. Abrams Talking Over Rey’s “Forceback”

4 hours 8 min ago

Like any movie with the words “star” and “wars” in the title, Star Wars: The Force Awakens ignited all kinds of conversations when it was released last year. Fans picked apart every scene in the movie, but no moment was more throughly dissected than Rey’s “Forceback,” where Daisy Ridley‘s Jedi-to-be touches Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber and finds herself propelled into a wild flashback involving Cloud City, the Knights of Ren, and her own abandonment on Jakku. And thanks to the upcoming collector’s edition Blu-ray of the film, someone else is finally able to weigh in on this scene: director J.J. Abrams.

The Star Wars Show debuted a new clip from the upcoming home release’s audio commentary, which features Mr. Abrams talking over his movie, and you can watch it for yourself at the 1:54 mark in the video below.

If you can’t listen (or just want a transcription), here’s what Abrams says during Rey’s flashback:

In this scene, she is drawn to this place, almost like Cinderella. And she goes to this box, which, when she opens, she discovers something that has no meaning to her. She’s never seen this before and doesn’t know what it is, but has meaning to the audience. Touching the lightsaber triggers what we call the “Forceback.” There were many iterations of this. In one, from the Cloud City Corridor, she looked down and saw Vader fighting Luke, which we ended up cutting. We wanted it to be a more personal story, something that she couldn’t comprehend, that was overwhelming to her, frightening to her, that was taking her through all of these elemental experiences, of fire, of rain, snow, wind. But also that she was being confronted with truths about the Force, about the past. The Knights of Ren here, the past for herself. She realizes that the cries she heard were actually her own cries as a young girl being taken away from her family. And then she hears a voice, “Rey,” and that’s Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Interestingly, Rey glimpsing Luke and Darth Vader’s duel from The Empire Strikes Back actually made it into the novelization of the film (and if we’re going to be honest, I kind of wish it had stuck around in the final cut).

This clip is actually the second preview of Abrams’ commentary that has made its way online recently. Just a few days ago, we were able to listen to him talk over Kylo Ren murdering Han Solo. We were also given a tease of a deleted scene, featuring an encounter between Chewbacca and Simon Pegg’s Unkar Plutt, that will be included on the disc.

The Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D Collector’s Edition will hit shelves on November 15, 2016. Here’s the complete list of special features:

  • Audio Commentary with J.J. Abrams – Enter the mind of visionary director J.J. Abrams as he reveals the creative and complex choices made while developing the first film in the new Star Wars trilogy.
  • Foley: A Sonic Tale – Foley artists, consisting of old pros and new talent, unite to bring the world of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” alive through the matching of sound to action.
  • Sounds of the Resistance – Hear how the epic sound design of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” moves the Star Wars legacy forward.
  • Deleted Scenes – View never-before-shared scenes that didn’t make the film’s final cut.
  • Dressing the Galaxy – Costume Designer Michael Kaplan reveals how the costumes of the original Star Wars movies were re-envisioned for a new generation.
  • The Scavenger and the Stormtrooper: A Conversation with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega – The two new stars share the thrill of working together on the adventure of a lifetime and becoming part of the Star Wars legacy.
  • Inside the Armory – Take a fascinating tour through the design and creation of the weaponry in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”
  • Classic Bonus Features – These offerings from the April release of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” include the complete story behind the making of the film, an unforgettable cast table read, insights from legendary composer John Williams and deleted scenes, as well as features that dig deeper into the creation of new characters such as BB-8, the design of the climactic lightsaber battle between Rey and Kylo Ren, the film’s remarkable digital artistry and the Star Wars: Force for Change global aid initiative.

The post ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Commentary Clip Finds J.J. Abrams Talking Over Rey’s “Forceback” appeared first on /Film.

‘Michael Moore in TrumpLand’ Review: The Case for Hillary Clinton

4 hours 37 min ago

Never one to stay quiet in the midst of a heated political discussion, Michael Moore has weighed in on the 2016 presidential election with Michael Moore in TrumpLand. Sure, he’s already weighed in a bunch of times through other venues — as Moore likes to point out, he correctly predicted earlier than most that Donald Trump would win the Republican primary. But now the filmmaker gets to offer his two cents in the form of a film.

Or rather, a filmed version of a one-man show. Michael Moore in TrumpLand is essentially a concert film, shot during his performance in Wilmington, Ohio earlier this month. The most surprising thing about it, though, is that despite the title TrumpLand isn’t really about Donald Trump. Rather, it’s an impassioned, if not entirely effective, case for Hillary Clinton. 

In terms of its format, Michael Moore in TrumpLand is halfway between a standup act and a lecture. Moore starts out at a lectern, doling out wisdoms like “if you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married.” (Moore delivers a lot of arguments that will sound familiar to a lot of people in a way that suggests he thinks he’s the first to come up with them. But then again, the guy he says this line to looks surprised and delighted, so maybe to that guy it’s new.) Throughout the rest of the show he moves around other sets onstage including a desk and an armchair, with a couple of gimmicky video segments cut in. As a show, it’s never dull, but it’s not always convincing, either.

While Moore takes a couple shots at Trump, the “TrumpLand” of the title is really less a reference to the man himself than to “Trump country” — the large swaths of the U.S. where Trump seems like the obvious and inevitable choice. Moore’s target audience is people he sees as being like himself: white middle- and lower-middle-class Midwesterners who are outraged by the injustices they’ve suffered at the hands of that system. Within that population, he wants to connect to a wide variety of folks: those already in the bag for Clinton, those still bummed about Bernie Sanders’ loss, those contemplating third-party candidates or just abstaining altogether, and, yes, those planning to punch the ticket for Trump.

Unfortunately, those populations can make for odd bedfellows. Moore starts his show by promising to meet Trump voters halfway, pointing to a segregated “Mexican” section with a wall behind it and another segregated “Muslim” section monitored by an unarmed drone. It’s obviously a joke on Trump’s actual proposals, and the people in those sections are likely actors who knew exactly what they were getting into. Still, it’s uncomfortable to watch a bunch of white people laughing at a gag in which people of color are treated as props, and Trump’s racism as simply silly, rather than horrifying.

By the end of the show, Moore is talking up Clinton’s feminist bonafides and speculating that she might turn out to be much more progressive than she appears. He goes so far as to fantasize about the kind of executive orders she might sign during her first 100 days in office: prosecuting police who kill unarmed black men, outlawing high-fructose corn syrup, releasing non-violent drug offenders from prison. Not only does this liberal-tilted argument seem unlikely to win over the disgruntled white male Trump voters he was courting in the first part of the show, it seems to set up actual progressives for disappointment.

Of course, Moore has an answer for that, too, declaring that if Clinton’s first term is a letdown, he will personally run for office. Like the rest of his movie, his platform is a mix of silly and serious. Under a Moore presidency, he says, corporations will not be people and Monsanto and Wells Fargo will be our new enemies. Also, every American will get a free banana split on Independence Day and the new national anthem will be “We Are the Champions.”

And maybe that’s the problem. Moore seems to view himself as uniquely positioned to speak to the segment of the population tempted by Trump’s siren call, and he’s not really wrong — those voters are more likely to listen to him than they are to someone like me. But discordant notes strike when he can’t seem to stop making it about him. He claims he’s not a natural fit for the Clinton camp, but devotes an untoward amount of time on an anecdote about the time he met the Clintons and they lavished him with praise. He throws out assertions like “nobody’s excited about Clinton,” when in fact there are plenty of people excited about Clinton — just not, I guess, people he knows. TrumpLand is positioned as an “October surprise,” as Moore himself likes to remind us, but it may have been more effective, say, four months and 8 million thinkpieces ago.

In the Q&A that followed my screening, Moore explained that his goal with TrumpLand was less about changing minds than about boosting voter turnout by getting the liberal base excited about Clinton. Even from that perspective, though, TrumpLand seems unlikely to have big results. Moore’s sincerity is never in doubt, and neither is his horror at the possibility of a Trump White House. He deserves credit for making a concentrated effort to get out the vote. TrumpLand seems unlikely to do any harm to his cause, and if it helps get a few extra people to the polls on November 8, the effort may well turn out to be worth it. But without a focused target in mind, TrumpLand never really clicks as either a comedy or as a political argument.

/Film rating: 6.0 out of 10

The post ‘Michael Moore in TrumpLand’ Review: The Case for Hillary Clinton appeared first on /Film.

‘A Cure For Wellness’ Trailer: Gore Verbinski Finally Makes Another Horror Movie

5 hours 8 min ago

With the original Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, director Gore Verbinski proved himself so adept at orchestrating globally popular blockbusters that it often looked like the world of big budget franchise filmmaking had swallowed him whole. While I’ve mostly enjoyed his excursions into the world of big budgets and movie stars (I even have a soft spot for The Lone Ranger!), I could never shake the gut feeling that 2002’s The Ring was his best movie and that his instincts as a filmmaker made him a perfect match for horror in general.

Lo and behold, here’s the trailer for A Cure For Wellness, which finds Verbinski returning to the genre that helped solidify his career. And it certainly has my attention.

This preview (which follows a few creepy promo videos) is light on plot and character but heavy on moody atmosphere and strange visuals. Despite hitting a few of modern movie marketing’s most tired tropes (a slowed down version of a popular song! The use of the word “visionary” to describe a director!), this is an effective and incredibly creepy tease. Verbinski is a meticulous filmmaker with a strong eye for crafting images that are simultaneously beautiful and grotesque. At the very least, A Cure For Wellness looks like it will be visually fascinating…and as some of the best Italian genre filmmakers of the ’70s has have shown us, that is sometimes all you need for a truly memorable horror movie.

In any case, it’s fun to let Verbinski finally letting his freak flag fly again after smuggling all kinds of weirdness into more mainstream movies, like his Oscar-winning (and truly odd) animated film Rango.

If you do want to know what this movie is actually about, the official synopsis helps fill in the details:

An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure.

Dane DeHaan (a good actor who has been dealt a few bad hands recently) stars as that ambitious young executive. The supporting cast includes Mia Goth, who gave a memorable performance in Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, and Jason Isaacs, the kind of wonderful supporting player whose presence tends to make every movie he’s in a little better.

A Cure For Wellness opens on February 17, 2017.

The post ‘A Cure For Wellness’ Trailer: Gore Verbinski Finally Makes Another Horror Movie appeared first on /Film.

‘Logan’ Trailer: Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Goes Out With a Bang [UPDATED With Red-Band Trailer]

5 hours 24 min ago

Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine for the past 16 years. To give you a sense of just how long that is, he’s been in that role before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was even a twinkle in Disney’s eye. He’s lasted through two different Batmen, two different Supermen, and three different Spider-Men. Heck, he even managed to stay on when his own franchise rebooted itself with X-Men: First Class.

But everything’s gotta come to an end sometime. Next year brings Jackman’s next and last performance as the mutant superhero, in the Wolverine solo movie Logan. Directed by James Mangold, the new movie sees Wolverine as we’ve never seen him before: as an old and ailing man. The first Logan trailer has just arrived, and you can watch it below.

UPDATE: The Logan red-band trailer is also here, and you can watch it below. 

Logan Trailer

Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” seems like a rather obvious soundtrack choice for a movie that’s all about how our main character is hurting, but I can’t say it’s not appropriate. Otherwise, this looks damn good, with a broken-down Western vibe that really suits the character. It appears just as dark as Mangold has promised — remember, this one is going for an R rating — but in a way that suits the story, not in a way that seems like it’s going violent and twisted just for the sake of it. And there’s a surprising amount of emotion, though Johnny Cash probably deserves a good chunk of the credit for that.

Besides Jackman as Wolverine, Logan also stars Patrick Stewart as Professor X, whose powers are going haywire; Boyd Holbrook as Donald Price, the villainous head of security for Transigen; Sienna Novikov as Laura, a young mutant with powers similar to Logan’s; Stephen Merchant as Caliban, another mutant who helps care for the professor; and Richard E. Grant as Zander Rice, a Transigen scientist.

Logan opens March 3, 2017.

The post ‘Logan’ Trailer: Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine Goes Out With a Bang [UPDATED With Red-Band Trailer] appeared first on /Film.

Check Out the Stunning MondoCon 2016 Posters Revealed So Far

5 hours 37 min ago

We’re days away from MondoCon 2016, the annual celebration pop culture art organized by the good folks at Mondo, and previews from this year’s show have already been invading the internet. We’ve played our part, having debuted Kevin Tong’s new poster inspired by Akira Kurosawa’s Ran last week and interviewed artist Todd Slater (and showed off his new The Secret of NIMH print) earlier today. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as other stunning posters have already made their way online in advance of the show. Let’s run through ’em.

The first batch of MondoCon 2016 posters come our way via IndieWire and they lean toward the more arthouse friendly crowd, showcasing the films from David Lynch, Mike Nichols, and Terrence Malick.

First up is Tula Lutay’s Mulholland Drive, which captures the dreamy and sexy tone of of Lynch’s surreal masterpiece with a color palette that just screams Los Angeles.

Then there’s Rory Kurtz’s take on The Graduate, a painterly take whose realistic style only makes the ridiculous visual pun on display (Dustin Hoffman is with a cougar, you see) all the more amusing.

And that takes us to Joao Ruas and his poster for The Thin Red Line, which blends the film’s nightmarish depiction of war, poetic imagery, and obsession with nature into one eerie print.

Meanwhile, Mondo regular Scott C. has revealed a charming Stranger Things print that depicts the entire cast (including the Gorgon) chilling out in the woods.

Scott C. also took to Twitter to share another group portrait, this one dedicated to some of pop culture’s greatest vests:

"The Vests" New print for @mondoconaustin this weekend! If you dig vests. pic.twitter.com/IK0ZgpLKKD

— Scott C. (@scottlava) October 19, 2016

Jock also revealed his poster for Guardians of the Galaxy on Twitter and it’s fantastic, placing his heavily detailed character work up amongst some very bold yellow:

Oh this came out while we were over the Atlantic – GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY for @MondoNews. Debuts this weekend at @MondoConAustin #GOTG pic.twitter.com/VOs8q7CTIp

— jock (@jock4twenty) October 19, 2016

Birth Movies Death premiered a new Escape From New York poster by Matt Taylor that makes a compelling argument for buying another Escape From New York poster. I especially love how Taylor’s realistic Kurt Russell likeness and detailed backgrounds transition into those old school ’80s graphics. The site also interviewed Taylor about his work and you can read that at the link above.

io9 revealed another series of posters, with a focus a subjects that would appeal to genre and animation buffs. First up is J.C. Richard’s take on Disney’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and it may be my favorite print I’ve seen from MondoCon 2016 so far. It rides a remarkable line in how it captures the distinct look of the original animated film while clearly being Richard’s work.

Oliver Barrett’s poster for The Martian feels like a deliberate riff on the marketing for Ridley Scott’s wonderful film, taking elements from the theatrical posters (Martian landscapes, Matt Damon’s big ‘ol head) and presenting them in a fresh and detailed fashion.

It’s about time Tom Whalen, who has created many posters based around Disney and Pixar characters for Mondo, got around to tackling Wall-E. The final results are exactly what you’d expect, which means they are lovely and lively and just plain adorable.

And finally, Nerdist unveiled two new posters from Mike Mitchell. First up is the latest entry in his popular portrait series, where he creates simple profiles of characters both beloved and obscure. The subject is Lobot, Lando Calrissian’s partner on Cloud City, who plays a small but vital role in The Empire Strikes Back.

And then there’s this creepy take on Donald Duck, which represents Mitchell’s attempt to modify an iconic character’s look to an extreme degree while still making it clear who it is supposed to be.

MondoCon runs this weekend, October 22-23, and we’ll be on site to provide you with additional looks at the art that will be unveiled.

The post Check Out the Stunning MondoCon 2016 Posters Revealed So Far appeared first on /Film.

Colin Firth Joins Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’

6 hours 37 min ago

Mary Poppins Returns just got even more British. Colin Firth has signed on for the Disney sequel, joining Emily Blunt as the practically perfect nanny and Lin-Manuel Miranda as her lamplighter buddy Jack. Also starring are Meryl Streep, Ben Whishaw, and Emily Mortimer. Find out which character Firth is playing below. 

Variety reports Firth is in negotiations to play William Weatherall Wilkins, president of the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank. Here’s hoping those tongue-twisting names will be incorporated into the lyrics of a song at some point in the movie, because otherwise what is even the point? As previously reported, Streep is Mary Poppins’ cousin, Topsy, and Mortimer and Whishaw play Jane and Michael Banks.

Disney’s original 1964 Mary Poppins was based on the first of P.L. Travers’ eight books about the magical nanny. Mary Poppins Returns is a sequel based on the other installments. The story picks up about two decades after the original, in Depression-era London. Jane and Michael Banks are all grown up, and Michael has three children of his own. But when tragedy strikes, the Banks family is revisited by Mary Poppins, who helps them rediscover joy and adventure in their lives.

Rob Marshall is directing Mary Poppins Returns from a script by David Magee. The sequel will feature an all-new score by Marc Shaiman and all-new songs by Shaiman and Scott WittmanJohn DeLuca and Marc Platt are producing with Marshall.

Firth last appeared in another sequel, Bridget Jones’s Baby, and recently wrapped yet another sequel, Kingsman: The Secret Service. His other upcoming projects include Rupert Everett’s Oscar Wilde biopic The Happy Prince, Thomas Vinterberg’s survival drama Kursk, and James Marsh’s yachting drama The Mercy. He also had a hand in one of this fall’s most highly praised dramas, though you might not know it unless you sat through the credits: he was a producer on Jeff Nichols’ Loving.

Disney has Mary Poppins Returns out December 25, 2018.

The post Colin Firth Joins Disney’s ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ appeared first on /Film.

Watch ‘The Walking Dead’ Six Season Recap, Provided by John Cleese

7 hours 8 min ago

If there’s one person who knows a lot about walking, it’s John Cleese. Therefore, while it might seem completely out of left field to have the comedian from Monty Python give us a recap of all six season of The Walking Dead, it’s actually brilliant.

This coming weekend brings the seventh season premiere of The Walking Dead, and we’ll finally get to see who Negan knocked into the next world with his signature weapon, Lucille, in the cliffhanger from last season. If you need a reminder of what’s happened over the past six years of the show, this recap is a rather entertaining way to catch up. Actually, it’s pretty entertaining even if you don’t need to catch up.

Watch John Cleese’s The Walking Dead recap after the jump.

This is absolutely a bare bones recap of six seasons of a show that has had plenty of death creating an endless change in the character roster. But there’s something about John Cleese’s voiceover that makes it feel like this is everything we need to know. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind seeing a version of The Walking Dead where John Cleese provides commentary throughout the entire show. But I digress.

By the way, don’t be confused by the details in the video saying that The Walking Dead doesn’t premiere until Monday, October 24th. That’s just when the show airs on FOX in the United Kingdom. The Walking Dead will still be airing exclusively on Sunday nights on AMC here in the United States starting again at 9pm ET on October 23rd this weekend.

The post Watch ‘The Walking Dead’ Six Season Recap, Provided by John Cleese appeared first on /Film.

VOTD: Is VHS Tape Quality As Bad As We Remember?

7 hours 37 min ago

The format of DVD was introduced in 1995, but it wouldn’t be until the early 2000s that it began outpacing VHS in video rental establishments and outselling them in stores. DVD was leaps and bounds better than VHS, simply because the video quality was much better, and it also allowed for the presence of special features such as featurettes, gag reels, film commentary and much more. Since then, we’ve jumped to Blu-ray, though the rise in quality wasn’t quite as impressive. However, when we look back at the jump from VHS to DVD, was the video quality of the former really so bad?

A new video examination from the YouTube tech geek vlogger known as The 8-Bit Guy dives into the quality of VHS tapes, specifically with regards to movies, by comparing them to the most common high quality format we have today.

Watch the VHS tape comparison after the jump.

Back to the Future is the movie used in question, and the results of the experiment are pretty much what you expect. VHS was a pretty poor format, and it’s amazing that we tolerated it for as long as we did. Even the new, unopened, never played VHS copy of Back to the Future was poor quality, and it’s the extra part of the experiment that shows just how bad it is.

The 8-Bit Guy also took the 1080p Blu-ray, hooked it up to his computer through a composite video connection, and then recorded it to a blank tape. Then he compared that to the brand new VHS copy of Back to the Future. Amazingly, the personally recorded copy of the movie actually looks better than the professional copy that was sold by Universal. Of course, this may be because the technology being used to create the tape is more advanced today than it might have been in the 1980s, but this is still confirmation that VHS was a horrible format for cinema, but it did the job for the time it was used.

The post VOTD: Is VHS Tape Quality As Bad As We Remember? appeared first on /Film.

Early Buzz: ‘Doctor Strange’ Has Some Of The Best Action Sequences In Marvel History

13 hours 46 min ago

The first press screenings of Doctor Strange took place on Wednesday night in Los Angeles and New York City. You will have to wait until Sunday for the full Doctor Strange reviews, but you can see a compilation of spoiler-free reactions from Twitter, after the jump.

What did people think?

  • Universally the visual effects and mind-bending imagery are being praised, and some are saying this is the best action sequences of any Marvel film to date. Giacchino’s score is often cited as being exceptional for a Marvel film, and many are praising Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the character.
  • On the more negative side of things, a few people have pointed out that the origin story is a bit formulaic and some of the humor feels forced.

Here is a look at the comments from those who saw the film:

Peter Sciretta of /Film: Doctor Strange’s action set pieces make an MC Escher paintings look tame. Some really great, clever, inventive stuff. Worth the 3D ticket alone. Cumberbatch owns Doctor Strange, the movie is funnier than I was expecting, a throwback to a pre-MCU Iron Man-like standalone story.

Jeff Cannata of the /Filmcast: I saw Dr Strange. It is better than I could have ever hoped for. Among the very best Marvel films. It dazzles and entertains throughout. Remember when The Mateix made you rethink what was possible in an action sequence? Dr Strange does that 4 or 5 times.

Erik Davis of Movies.com: #DoctorStrange is definitely Marvel’s strangest movie to date, but it’s weird & wild in all the best ways. Incredible imagery, heady story. The action sequences in #DoctorStrange are unlike anything Marvel’s done. There are so ferociously loopy, frenetic & nerdy, I adore them. If #DoctorStrange has a weak spot, it’s w/ its humor. Doesn’t mesh as well as it does in other Marvel movies. But man is this sucker a ride!

Steve Weintraub of Collider: DOCTOR STRANGE is unlike any previous Marvel movie and that’s why I love Marvel. They keep pushing boundaries and make it look easy. Visuals in DOCTOR STRANGE are fantastic. Actually worth seeing in 3D. Cumberbatch is great as the Sorcerer Supreme. DOCTOR STRANGE has two after the credits scenes like most Marvel movies. They both set up future things…trying to stay spoiler free. not going to say DOCTOR STRANGE is the best Marvel movie. It’s not. But it’s an awesome Doctor Strange movie with visuals that will floor u.

Mike Ryan of Uproxx: I liked DOCTOR STRANGE. The most self-contained Marvel movie in a long time. Fun visuals. Almost felt like a reboot of the first IRON MAN. In that it feels obvious that asshole yet charming Stephen Strange is here to eventually take the place of asshole yet charming Tony Stark. Strange and Stark are *almost* the same character. Makes sense now they’d hire big star Cumberbatch to phase in while Downey phases out. I hope someday he learns to just be Doctor Normal.

Alex Billington of FirstShowing: Doctor Strange – ??n????od pu? ‘?????? p??o? s??? ?o ?no ???????? u???d?? ??u?s ?s?q s,?????? ???n? pu?? ??ns?? bu?u??????u? ?????n?????ds ?

Umberto Gonzalez of TheWrap: #DoctorStrange is SPELLBINDING! Hot movie! Great performances especially Cumberbatch as Strange, storytelling, & incredible visual effects!???? Guys, that movie is so lit! Feige is the real Sorcerer Supreme for consistently weaving Marvel magic & making these movies work!

David Ehrlich of Indiewire: DOCTOR STRANGE is guilty of *all* the usual Marvel movie problems, but Tilda & some VERY trippy visuals make it a spectacle worth savoring. also, DOCTOR STRANGE is something i never thought i’d see: a Marvel movie with a good original score. what a time to be alive.

William Bibbian of Crave: I wouldn’t put #DoctorStrange in Marvel’s top five but it’s an entertaining movie with big ideas, gorgeous CGI and unique action sequences.

Jen Yamato of The Daily Beast: #DoctorStrange is a stunning visual achievement. A welcome blast of weirdness that opens up the MCU. Super dug it. Maybe best viewed on ????????????

Ben Pearson of Geek Tyrant: Even beyond its insane visuals (cool stuff like you’ve never seen before), #DoctorStrange is tons of fun. A bit formulaic, but very solid.

Josh Dickey of Mashable: DOCTOR STRANGE = YES on California Proposition 64 because I want some of whatever Marvel has been smoking and I want it stat. DOCTOR STRANGE magic makes HARRY POTTER’s look like parlour tricks. Dark & spooky psychedelic horrors, abracadabra wowie zowie. Loved it. Best of all, DOCTOR STRANGE’s characters are as multi-dimensional as they can be. Their setups & payoffs are dazzling sleights of hand.

Perri from Collider: #DoctorStrange has weak spots but it’s a solid intro to the character. Refreshing and exciting to see such bold, unique story on screen.

Eric Eisenberg of CinemaBlend: Prepare to dig #DoctorStrange! Not the strongest script, but it legitimately adds new colors to the MCU, and the action is beautiful & crazy

Eric Goldman of IGN: #DoctorStrange isn’t one of Marvel’s very best, but it is still a very entertaining and visually dazzling movie with plenty of highlights. Now that #DoctorStrange got the origin story out of the way, I am excited to see him as part of the MCU and how he opens it up even more.

Haleigh Foutch of Collider: #DoctorStrange is pretty all around delightful. Excellent visuals, great characters, inventive use of magic & Cumberbatch is fantastic. The action in #DoctorStrange is some of the craziest, most enjoyable yet. Definitely adds a new color to Marvel’s ever-expanding crayon box.

Sean Gerber: #DoctorStrange is a Stan Lee/Steve Ditko creation given beautiful life by the imagination of @scottderrickson & VFX sorcery of @stefceretti!

Alex Welch of Screenrant: #DoctorStrange has some of the best action sequences in any Marvel movie EVER. There are some problems with the humor and the pacing of the story itself. #DoctorStrange Benedict Cumberbatch IS #DoctorStrange though. His performance anchors the whole movie. Not too 5 Marvel, but still good. And it teases some very exciting things for the future of the MCU. #DoctorStrange Also, Michael Giacchino’s #DoctorStrange music is Marvel’s best score to date.

Courtney Howard: Showstoppers are the kaleidoscopic, trippy visuals. Sufficient at dealing w/ stakes in special-effects driven worlds.

Andy Signore of Screenjunkies: “Review #DoctorStrange is a wonderfully trippy, visually stunning origin story that intros great characters into the MCU & #CloakOfLevitation. Seriously the #CloakOfLevitation stole the movie for me – it’s its own wonderful character that I can’t wait to see more of ????”

Christina Radish ?of Collider: Had a damn good time with #DoctorStrange! It’s a fun, funny, inventive movie with one of the best ensemble casts I’ve seen in a long time.

Brandon Norwood of The Trackingboard: Yea I loved DOCTOR STRANGE. Y’all are not prepared for how trippy and psychedelic it is. MCU is opened up in new and exciting ways. Give Tilda a chance guys. FYI I think Michael Giacchino is the new John Williams.

Anna Klassen of Bustle: DOCTOR STRANGE: it’s a whole lot of fun watching Cumberbatch be an American asshole. Also, a bit of an acid trip. See on empty stomach.

Mike Dougherty: I think I’m officially allowed to say this now without upsetting the mighty studio embargo overlords: DOCTOR STRANGE is really good! Intricate, beautiful visual design – the details sing. All the sorcery rules are a bit silly of course, but a total hoot if you go with it.

Mark Hughes Of Forbes: Saw @DrStrange, it’s watching Lee-Ditko come to life!

The post Early Buzz: ‘Doctor Strange’ Has Some Of The Best Action Sequences In Marvel History appeared first on /Film.

Superhero Bits: Thor: Ragnarok Fanmade Trailer, Doctor Strange Credits Theme & More

October 19, 2016 - 7:00pm

Want to hear the trippy end credits theme from Doctor Strange? Want to see Gal Gadot forget that Aquaman was in Batman v Superman? What’s this planet that Tilda Swinton is teasing for Doctor Strange? How bad were the ratings for The Flash and Agents of SHIELD last night? Which superhero is more American, Captain America or Superman? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits.

Here’s the promo for the next episode in the fourth season of Agents of SHIELD, coming next week.

Captain Cold will be coming back to DC’s Legends of Tomorrow in the midseason finale, but with a twist.

Gal Gadot forgot that Aquaman was in #BatmanvSuperman. Poor guy can't catch a break! pic.twitter.com/k6OHrCPCBA

— Batman-News.com (@BatmanNewsCom) October 18, 2016

Gal Gadot actually forgot Aquaman was in Batman v Superman in this goofy interview alongside Jon Hamm.

Agents of SHIELD and The Flash both had the lowest ratings ever out of any season last night. That’s no bueno.

This Disney Channel featurette takes a look at Doctor Strange and some of the magical objects in the movie.

Did you catch these easter eggs in the most recent episode of The Flash with Magenta as the villain?

Matt Ferguson has a cool new glow in the dark Daredevil print that you can get for your wall right now.

What’s happening with Tony Stark after Civil War II comes to an end? It sounds like we have a hint.

Continue Reading Superhero Bits>>

Due to the amount of graphics and images included in Superhero Bits, we have to split this post over THREE pages. Click the link above to continue to the next page of Superhero Bits.

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‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Season 2 Cast Adds Alyssa Milano & Mark Feuerstein

October 19, 2016 - 6:30pm

Next year we’ll all get to pay another visit to Camp Firewood. The main talent involved in Wet Hot American Summer is confirmed to return for season two of the Netflix comedy series, titled Wet Hot America Summer: Ten Years Later, but plenty of new characters are expected to appear. Actress Alyssa Milano (Charmed), for example, has just signed on to play a regular in David Wain and Michael Showalter‘s show.

Below, learn more about the Wet Hot American Summer cast for season two.

Deadline reported Milano’s casting, but there are no specifics about the role she’s playing. Season two is about the promise the camp counselors made at the end of the 2001 film: revisit Camp Firewood 10 years later to see what kind of people they’ve all become. Andy (Paul Rudd), Lindsay (Elizabeth Banks), Beth (Janeane Garofalo), Gene (Christopher Meloni), and other original characters are back for Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later, which takes place in 1991.

The following actors are confirmed to return to their respective roles: Bradley Cooper, Marguerite Moreau, Zak Orth, Michael Ian Black, Amy Poehler, Molly Shannon, Lake Bell, Michael Showalter, A.D Milles, Kristen Wiig, Joe Lo Truglio, Ken Marino, Josh Charles, and, the man who saved friendships in season one, Chris Pine.

Here’s the teaser/clip Netflix released for season two:

Like First Day of Camp10 Years Later is eight half-hour episodes. How many seasons Wain and all involved have in mind is unknown, but Wain has said before they’d “love to keep going,” and he doesn’t “think we’ll ever run out of stories to tell about these characters” (Source: Rolling Stone):

When the dust settles, we’ll think about whether there’s more to do on it … I think this world is somehow just endlessly interesting to me. Summer camp was a true defining experience in my own personal life, and so I’m not surprised that their tends to be more places to go there.

Besides those comments, the writer, producer, and director has said little about season two of Wet Hot American Summer. When USA Today recently tried to press him for details, he revealed nothing. We do know Alyssa Milano isn’t the only latest addition to the series’ ensemble, though. Joining the actress — who currently has a show in the works at the CW based on her graphic novel “Hacktivist” — is Mark Feuerstein (Royal Pains). Feuerstein is playing a brand new character who’s always been an essential part of the camp’s team, as described by Deadline, which sounds like the kind of silliness we expect and hope for from Wet Hot American Summer.

Wet Hot America Summer: Ten Years Later debuts on Netflix in 2017.

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‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’ Trailer: Milla Jovovich Has Been Running & Killing Her Whole Life

October 19, 2016 - 6:00pm

Much like the long life of the Fast and Furious franchise, it’s hard to believe that early next year we’ll be getting the sixth film in the Resident Evil franchise. While the film series based on the video games of the same name hasn’t really found the same massive audience after starting back in 2002, there are still plenty of fans eager to see how it all ends.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter appears to be pulling out all the stops this time as a new international trailer shows even more absolutely batshit insane action sequences featuring hordes of zombies, giant winged-creatures, and villainous corporate executives talking menacingly in board rooms at the Umbrella Corporation headquarters. It’s exactly what you would expect from director Paul W.S. Anderson‘s latest contribution to the franchise.

Watch the international Resident Evil The Final Chapter trailer after the jump.

Obviously, as the last chapter of a franchise with loyal fans, this movie isn’t necessarily looking to pick up any new viewers. But as I watch this trailer, I’m left wondering just what’s so appealing about these movies that have resulted in a total of six of them. I can get into some insane action, but the performances and writing in these movies is just so mediocre, and I can only see Milla Jovovich fight and outrun so many monsters created in visual effects before I’m ready for something else. But clearly, some people out there are on the edge of their seat waiting to see how this all ends. Personally, I just want it to be over.

The cast of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter includes Ali Larter (Resident Evil: Afterlife) as Claire Redfield, Iain Glen (Resident Evil: Extinction) as Dr. Alexander Isaacs, Shawn Roberts (Resident Evil: Afterlife) as Albert Wesker, Ruby Rose (Orange Is the New Black) as Abigail, Eoin Macken (The Night Shift) as Doc, William Levy as Christian, Fraser James (Law & Order: UK) as Michael, and Japanese model and TV personality, Rola, as Cobalt. As you can see, the cast isn’t exactly full of drawing power either.

Picking up immediately after the events in Resident Evil: Retribution, Alice (Milla Jovovich) is the only survivor of what was meant to be humanity’s final stand against the undead. Now, she must return to where the nightmare began – The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter arrives on January 27, 2017.

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‘Death Race 2050’ Trailer: This Wacky Series Goes Back to the B-Movie Basics

October 19, 2016 - 5:30pm

The mere existence of Death Race 2050 is going to confuse a few people and I’d be lying if I said that didn’t delight me just a little bit. This is the direct sequel to producer Roger Corman‘s schlocky 1975 film Death Race 2000, ignoring Paul W.S. Anderson’s 2008 remake Death Race and its two direct-to-video sequels, Death Race 2 and Death Race 3: Inferno. Anyone who only knows this series from the more grim and serious-minded (but not exactly serious) remake series may get whiplash from the new Death Race 2050 trailer, which harkens back to the tone of the original movie in a big way.

Produced by Corman and directed by G.J. Echternkamp, Death Race 2050 takes place in a future where the United States has been carved up by corporations and where the most popular event in the nation is a cross-country race where drivers get extra points for taking down pedestrians. It was a pitch-black concept in 1975 and it can’t help but feel even darker now, which makes the cartoonish tone and slapstick comedy all the more jarring. The original film is the kind of movie that invites you to compare it to various science fiction dystopia films and The Three Stooges in the same breath. It has no right to exist and the mere fact that it does makes it worth checking out.

And the new sequel looks very much in line with the original: extremely low-budget but also pretty wild. I can only hope the final movie (which is going straight to Blu-ray and VOD) captures the lunatic energy and remorseless, mean-spirted comedy of the original.

Despite taking place fifty years after the first movie, the official synopsis describes a movie that might as well be a remake, but that’s perfectly okay:

In the not-too-distant future, America is controlled by an all-powerful corporate government that keeps the masses placated with violent virtual-reality entertainment. The event of the year is the Death Race, where a motley assortment of drivers compete in a cross-country road race, scoring points for running down pedestrians and killing each other. The reigning champion and popular favorite is half-man, half-machine Frankenstein — but little does he know he’s taken on a rebel spy as his co-pilot.

The film’s cast includes Manu Bennett (of Spartacus and Arrow fame) as Frankenstein, the popular driver previous played by David Carradine and and Jason Statham. Malcolm McDowell, one of our least-picky great actors, plays the chief villain.

Death Race 2050 will arrive on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD on January 17, 2017.

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‘Logan’ Trailer Coming Tomorrow; Watch a Teaser & Get Your First Look at Old Man Logan

October 19, 2016 - 5:00pm

Wolverine may be an ageless mutant, but Hugh Jackman is not, and as a result, we’ve watched him grow older over his past 16+ years on the big screen. But Logan will be the first movie where Wolverine really gets to show his age. James Mangold has revealed the first look at Jackman’s Old Man Logan in the movie, just ahead of the first trailer’s premiere tomorrow. Get your Old Man Logan first look — and check out a teaser for the trailer — below the jump.  

Mangold shared the Old Man Logan first look on Twitter.

Taken w/ Leica SL, Noctilux 50mm, ISO 1600 1/1000 ƒ1.7 — by JM pic.twitter.com/Rz4MUyctqq

— Mangold (@mang0ld) October 19, 2016

… And it turns out Old Man Logan looks exactly as you’d expect, i.e., like an older Hugh Jackman. He’s covered in scars now because his healing factor has deteriorated significantly in his old age, and the bushy beard is cinematic code for “man going through a rough patch.” Still, it must be kind of a relief for Jackman not to have to pretend he looks like this anymore:

But if you liked that Old Man Logan first look, just wait — there’s more. Tomorrow brings the first Logan trailer, as Jackman teased on Twitter.

TOMORROW pic.twitter.com/AIDSK0in1J

— Hugh Jackman (@RealHughJackman) October 19, 2016

Visually, there’s not a lot here, just a brief shot of a man’s silhouette in a field. But the dialogue should pique fans’ interest: “Nature made me a freak, man made me a weapon, and God made it last too long.” Not exactly the words of a happy, healthy man, are they?

After months of basically radio silence, Logan began its marketing onslaught earlier this month with the reveal of the first teaser poster and title. Since then, we’ve learned many more details. For starters, we know this movie is going to get dark. It sounds like Mangold really intends to earn that promised R rating. Here’s a little taste of the downbeat tone, from an early page of the script:

In this flick, people will get hurt or killed when shit falls on them. They will get just as hurt or just as killed if they get hit with something big and heavy like, say, a car. Should anyone in our story have the misfortune to fall off a roof or out a window, they won’t bounce. They will die.

As for our hero, well, he’s older now and it’s clear his abilities aren’t what they once were. He’s fading on the inside and his diminished healing factor keeps him in a constant state of chronic pain — hence booze as a painkiller.

So by all means, go ahead and worry about him.

Logan is set a few years in the future. Mutant births are in severe decline, and a shadowy operation known as Transigen has been turning mutant kids into killing machines. Logan himself isn’t doing so hot, and neither is Professor X (Patrick Stewart). But he takes a little girl named Laura under his wing. Also known as X-23, she’s a mutant with similar abilities as Logan. Stephen Merchant plays Caliban, who helps Logan care for Professor X, and Boyd Holbrook is the villain Donald Pierce. Richard E. Grant plays mad scientist type Zander Rice.

Logan arrives March 3, 2017.

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New ‘Willy Wonka’ Movie Coming From ‘Harry Potter’ Producer & Warner Bros

October 19, 2016 - 4:30pm

A decade after the disappointing and sometimes nauseating remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Warner Bros. is planning another movie with Willy Wonka. The studio is joining forces with Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them producer David Heyman for a film that’ll center entirely around Wonka. The movie isn’t an origin story, but it will focus on Wonka’s early adventures.

Below, learn more about the new Willy Wonka movie.

Variety‘s sources told them Warner Bros. got the ball rolling on acquiring the rights to the Willy Wonka IP from the Roald Dahl Estate earlier this year, but the deal didn’t become final until recently and about two months after the passing of the beloved Gene Wilder. The manager of the Dahl Estate, Michael Siegel, is producing the Wonka film with Heyman and executive producer Kevin McCormick (Gangster Squad).

Simon Rich is writing the script. Rich is probably best known for creating the FX comedy series Man Seeking Woman, but he was also a writer on Saturday Night Live. Most recently he was credited with creating some additional characters for The Secret Life of Pets and providing additional story material for Pixar’s Inside Out. According to Variety, Rich isn’t drawing any particular material from Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator,” although it’s a little surprising Warner Bros. isn’t considering adapting the latter.

Then again, they very well might be thinking about one day making “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.” According to Variety, the studio sees franchise potential in their Willy Wonka movie. The outlet writes if the film is a box-office hit, it’s possible Charlie or some of Dahl’s other characters could appear in sequels, although it’s unclear how much of this is speculation on Variety’s part.

When this Willy Wonka project was first announced today, some wondered if Warner Bros. was going with screenwriter Jason Micallef‘s “dark, reimagining of the Willy Wonka story beginning in World War II and culminating with his takeover of the chocolate factory.” Micallef’s origin story, which sounds quite bonkers and you can learn more about it here, nearly topped the 2014 Blacklist. The script, titled Wonka, doesn’t seem very close to the direction Warner Bros. is moving towards with their Wonka project. There’s no word on when we might see the movie, but once again, Godspeed to the actor who has some ridiculously large shoes to fill.

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LOL: ‘Deadpool’ Praises His Own Movie’s Incredible Marketing Campaign For Five Minutes

October 19, 2016 - 4:00pm

It’s crazy to think that we now live in a time where an R-rated Deadpool movie is now one of the most successful movies of the year. It took years to get the character who was so grossly mistreated in X-Men Origins: Wolverine into his own movie, but the dedication of Ryan Reynolds, writers Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick and director Tim Miller kept it alive. However, the fans also had a key part in convincing 20th Century Fox to finally take a chance on an R-rated superhero.

Thankfully, the gamble paid off, and one of the main reasons for that success is the unique marketing onslaught that Deadpool brought everywhere. The Merc with a Mouth’s traditional breaking of the fourth wall allowed for some of the most unique advertising we’ve seen from a blockbuster in recent memory, so much that it’s been nominated for a Clio Award, which recognizes innovation and creative excellence in advertising, design and communication.

In traditional Deadpool fashion, the nomination is being accepted by Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool, praising the movie marketing for no less than five minutes. But beware, because the video is very much NSFW, just like the movie

Here’s the Deadpool marketing campaign video award accepting the nomination YouTube (via ComicBook.com):

It only makes sense that the best way to accept a video about the marketing for Deadpool is to have Ryan Reynolds as the character taking a look back at the campaign featuring himself. He brags about breaking all sorts of box office records, calls the movie a masturbatory masterpiece, and then runs through the phases of the marketing campaign.

If you forgot just how 20th Century Fox’s marketing team pushed the movie to audiences, this video provides a great look the studio’s various efforts, from that beak skin rug photo to killing Mario Lopez to confirm the film’s R-rating to the first trailer’s debut on Conan. I had no idea that the late night TBS talk show actually changed its rating that night to TV-MA just so the red band version of the trailer could play on television. That’s awesome.

Anyway, here’s hoping the marketing for Deadpool 2 will be just as great as the first time around. Of course, since we’re still waiting to find out when cameras are going to roll on the sequel, we might be waiting a little while. But it sounds like it should arrive sometime in 2018.

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‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’ Early Buzz: More of the Same, But Something Is Missing

October 19, 2016 - 3:30pm

This weekend brings Tom Cruise back to the big screen in action star mode again with Jack Reacher: Never Go Back hitting theaters. While the first Jack Reacher movie was a surprise throwback of an action movie with an old school tough guy hero in the lead, it sounds like the follow-up has lost some of the magic that made audiences like the cocky, no nonsense character so much the first time around.

In the first Jack Reacher Never Go Back reviews hitting the web today, it appears most of the blame is being put on director Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai), who doesn’t seem to understand what made the title character special. In addition, the sequel suffers from having a forgettable villain. But at the very least, Tom Cruise is still outstanding, and the action sounds like it’s on solid ground as well.

Read a round-up of Jack Reacher Never Go Back reviews below.

Peter Debruge at Variety has some of the more negative comments, calling the movie a forgettable sequel unworthy of the big screen:

[Director Edward] Zwick barely manages to tickle our adrenaline, waiting till the climactic showdown amid a New Orleans Halloween parade to deliver a sequence that could legitimately register as memorable.

Though framed in widescreen and lensed by Oliver Wood (DP on the first three Bourne movies), “Never Go Back” displays none of the style or audacity that lenser Caleb Deschanel brought to the earlier installment. The sequel looks almost grimy by comparison, relying overly on closeups of a star whose range of expressiveness has been limited to two signature moves: a meaningful jaw clench or a well-time narrowing of the eyes. Cruise can still be counted on to frequently sprint on-camera, but here he comes across as a shadow of the star we’ve known him to be.

Todd McCarthy at The Hollywood Reporter seems to feel roughly the same way:

By-the-numbers plotting, seen-it-all-before action moves, banal locations and a largely anonymous cast alongside the star give this a low-rent feel. …  Based on the 18th of Child’s 20 Reacher best-sellers, the film serves up nothing that hasn’t been seen in countless action films before, and it’s striking how little effort appears to have been made to give it any distinction: The villains are military guys gone rogue, the female lead is basically fighting the same fight Rosalind Russell did to be recognized for her equal worth among men in His Girl Friday more than 75 years ago, the hand-to-hand combat won’t make anyone’s highlight reel and even [Tom Cruise] looks a bit pale and out of training compared with the shape he invariably gets himself into for the far more elaborate and fun Mission [Impossible] outings.

Scott Mendelson at Forbes compares the sequel unfavorably to the first movie, but indicates there’s fun to be had still:

Like the 2012 installment, this is an explicitly old-school studio programmer. There is one reference to texting and one plot point involving email, but otherwise, this film could easily be set in 1995 for all we know. Never Go Back is ably directed by Zwick and mostly exists as a showcasing for watching Cruise crack heads, solve mysteries, and banter with the two relatively new women in his life. In that sense, it’s mostly quite a bit of fun, but it’s a much shallower picture than Chris McQuarrie’s more cynical and embittered picture. … The film holds back on big-scale action until the end, and the finale does offer a robust chase through a crowded locale while offering a bit of the patented “Tom Cruise runs like only Tom Cruise can run” business. The majority of the movie is spent on gumshoe investigation, brief beat downs and chases (there is a second act beat where other people run alongside Cruise), and old-fashioned character interaction. This sequel lacks the crackling dialogue of its predecessor and anything beyond surface level entertainment and thrills.

Peter Travers at Rolling Stone isn’t quite as hyperbolic as he can be with positive reviews, but he has plenty of kind things to say about the movie:

Zwick pulls out all the stops with shootouts and chases, especially in a climactic battle during a New Orleans Halloween parade. But it’s the character-based scenes that put meat on the bones of a popcorn movie that could have slid by on pulp escapism. Cruise finds the core of Reacher in his eyes, with a haunted gaze that says this lone wolf is still on a mission and still a long way from home. That’s the Reacher Lee Child created in his books. And Cruise does him proud.

David Ehrlich at IndieWire compares Jack Reacher: Never Go Back to a rundown car, and even gives it a better title:

Less of a movie than it is a monotonous two-hour supercut of Tom Cruise elbowing people in the face, “Jack Reacher: Never Stop Never Reaching” (editor’s note: not the actual title) is a relentlessly generic star vehicle that’s been stripped down to nothing but an old engine and a rusty chassis. The jalopy still runs, of course — and not just because Cruise is now blatantly using Hollywood to subsidize his cardio routine — but it can be a pretty bumpy ride when you road-test it without luxuries like a coherent plot, compelling set pieces, or any clear reason to exist.

Alonso Duralde at The Wrap find the movie to be acceptable, though not a must-see in theaters:

“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” is as featureless and generic as its title, but between Cruise’s star quality and the ability of director Edward Zwick to stage coherent action sequences, the results are a palatable enough popcorn movie.

[It’s] the kind of film you watch with your dad. On an airplane. Or when “Keeping Up with the Joneses” is the only other movie you haven’t seen at the multiplex. It’s nothing special, but it’s nothing awful, either.

Tom Eames at Digital Spy thinks the two big problems with the movie are a lack of Tom Cruise and a mediocre villain:

Tom Cruise is excellent, fierce and strangely hilarious as Jack, but he feels like a guest star in his own movie. The few moments he gets to kick some serious bottom and throw a couple of wisecracks are genuinely brilliant, especially the first sequence outside a diner and fighting a bunch of hired goons in some random hangar.

But we haven’t even got to the big, big issue.

The big, big issue is the film’s lack of a threatening baddie. The problem with the first film was that the main antagonist was played by Jai Courtney as a bland, boring and instantly forgettable git. (Though Werner Herzog, horribly underused as the Big Bad Boss, was awesome.) So, what do they do for the second film? Cast relative newcomer Patrick Heusinger as a bland, boring and instantly forgettable supergit. He even looks like Jai Courtney.

Evan Saathoff at Birth.Movies.Death, someone who loved the first movie, found little to like about the follow-up saying that the sequel “manages to fail on almost every level,” and he even explains all its shortcomings, including:

[Edward] Zwick doesn’t seem to understand what makes Reacher special at all and instead treats him as an action cypher. The always-game Cruise does his best but requires guidance to make his characters special. He gets none here.

Reacher’s condescending righteousness is gone. His impatience with idiots is gone. His brutality is gone. This leaves Cruise with very little to play.

Never Go Back’s fight scenes (there aren’t many) are a travesty, taking us back to the quick-cut, incompressible action filmmaking we should be long finished with by now.

Matt Singer at ScreenCrush found shortcomings in the bad guy department, but otherwise got pretty much what he was expecting after the first film:

Never Go Back could have used a bit more personality in the bad guy department, and the middle section sags a bit before the inevitable (and satisfying) denouement. But everyone involved seems to understand exactly what kind of movie they’re trying to make, and they deliver on just about every promise made by the title Jack Reacher: Never Go Back. Smulders makes a strong addition to the series, and Cruise gives the 1,000 percent he brings to every single role. Looking back at my review of the first Jack Reacher from 2012, I find that my final sentence and rating from that piece still applies: “If you’re looking for something lean and unpretentious, you should be pretty satisfied.

Mike Ryan at Uproxx is a little more blunt and casual about his review, and while he had fun watching it, that fun may not have been in the form that some people are looking for:

Jack Reach: Never Go Back amps up the absurdity to, well, absurd levels. (If this were Twitter, I’d add the hashtag #absurd.) There’s a scene in which the main bad guy (I have no idea what his name is and I’m not going to look it up because it doesn’t at all matter in this movie) threatens Jack Reacher over the phone. Reacher responds by saying, “I’m going to break your arms!” Oh my gosh, I laughed and I laughed and I laughed. This is an impossibly dumb movie and I had so much fun watching it. Bring on ten more Jack Reacher movies.


Jack Reacher: Never Go Back looked like more of the same in the trailers, but most of the reviews seem to indicate that it’s not quite up to the intensity and attitude of the first movie. It sounds like Jack Reacher has been neutered a bit and maybe director Edward Zwick really didn’t know how to treat the character like Christopher McQuarrie did in the first movie. Even some of the shortcomings of the first movie are still around in the form of an average villain.

At the very least, it sounds like Tom Cruise mostly delivers exactly what you’d expect from him and the action should be enough to keep fans of the first film entertained for another two-hour adventure with Jack Reacher.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back is in theaters starting October 21.

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‘Deadpool 2’: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Lizzy Caplan, Sienna Miller and More on Shortlist to Play Domino

October 19, 2016 - 2:49pm

Deadpool‘s record-breaking box office guaranteed a sequel, and while we’ve yet to learn when exactly we might see that sequel we’re starting to get a better idea of its shape. A couple of months ago we heard the character Domino might join the Merc with a Mouth on his next outing. Today a new report reveals which actresses could play her. Among the names on the shortlist are Mary Elizabeth WinsteadLizzy Caplan, and Sienna Miller

Collider has the Deadpool Domino shortlist, and reporters from Variety and THR seem to back them up. According to their sources, stars in the mix include Winstead, Caplan, Miller, Sofia Boutella (of Kingsman and Star Trek Beyond), Stephanie Sigman (of Spectre), and Sylvia Hoeks (of the upcoming Blade Runner sequel). All six actresses have tested for the role or will in the near future. We also can’t rule out any additional names at this time.

Domino is a mutant mercenary whose special abilities include subconscious telekinetic probability manipulation. Essentially, it just means she’s really lucky as long as she takes action; it’s like the opposite of “bad-guy aim.” She also has enhanced reflexes and is trained in combat and marksmanship. It’s also worth pointing out that in the comics, she’s part of X-Force along with Deadpool and Cable, and that Ryan Reynolds really wants to make an X-Force movie.

The actresses on the Deadpool Domino shortlist all fall into the same age range but they’re all over the map in terms of fame. Winstead, Caplan, and Miller are probably the best known names, and all three have been on the verge of breaking out big for a while now. Winstead’s just coming off of 10 Cloverfield Lane and has a role in the next season of Fargo. Caplan starred in Now You See Me 2 and can currently be seen in Masters of Sex. Miller was in High-Rise earlier this year and has Live by Night and The Lost City of Z out in the next several months.

The other three actors are less established in the U.S., but all seem to be on their way up. Boutella made a big splash in Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond, and will next play the Mummy in The Mummy. Sigman had a small role in Spectre and a bigger role in Netflix’s Narcos. And Hoeks is a Dutch actress whose most famous Hollywood role is one that hasn’t come out yet — she’s part of the star-studded cast of Blade Runner.

Deadpool is expected to shoot in 2017, and does not yet have a release date.

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Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ Unmutes, Reveals First Look at Adam Driver

October 19, 2016 - 2:32pm

After flying under the radar and missing the 2016 film festival scene altogether, Martin Scorsese‘s Silence finally announced a release date a few weeks ago. As expected, the latest film from one of our greatest living filmmakers has been positioned as an Oscar contender, hitting theaters in limited release on December 23, 2016. That news followed stories about the film’s supposed 195 minute running time. And that news followed a handful of stills showing off actors like Andrew Garfield and Liam Neeson looking sad and desperate. But beyond that, the film has truly lived up to its title.

Still, the mere existence of a new Scorsese movie was enough to send Silence to the top of our most anticipated movies of the Fall list, so surely a new still from the film, featuring our first look at Adam Driver, qualifies as noteworthy movie news.

Although Scorsese is best known to most audiences for crime stories like Goodfellas and The Departed, his obsession with religion has been a running theme throughout almost all of his work. Much of his work may be focused on evils of mankind, but his Catholicism (and its related guilt) pumps through his filmography like blood. It’s how one artist can make movies as divergent The Wolf of Wall Street and The Last Temptation of Christ.

Silence sounds like it could scratch Scorsese’s religious itch like nothing else he has ever made. Based on the novel by Japanese author Sh?saku End?, the story follows two young Jesuit priests who journey to 17th century Japan in search of their mentor, who has gone missing after reportedly renouncing his faith. Once they arrive, they find the Christian population has been driven underground and face brutal persecution. It’s heavy stuff.

We’ve already seen images of Liam Neeson as Father Cristóvão Ferreira, the missing mentor, and Andrew Garfield as Father Sebastião Rodrigues, one of the two young priests. Now, the newest still (via The Independent) shows us Adam Driver as Father Francisco Garrpe, the second priest.

It’s not much, but any additional proof that Silence is on the way should be considered good news, right? In any case, Driver continues to be one of the most interesting young actors working today. While he’s known to audiences worldwide as Kylo Ren in the new Star Wars movies, he’s been quietly working with some of the best directors working today, including Jim Jarmusch, Terry Gilliam, and Jeff Nichols. Like Andrew Garfield, who used his Spider-Man clout to attach himself to all kinds of great projects, he’s making the best possible use of his newfound fame.

Meanwhile, Deadline reports that Silence is still being edited and that the 195 minute cut has become 159 minutes. Producer Irwin Winkler also called it Scorsese’s best movie, but let’s take that with a grain of salt because it’s part of his job to get people to see the film. Then again, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if Scorsese had another masterpiece in him.

However long it is, Silence will arrive on December 23, 2016.

The post Martin Scorsese’s ‘Silence’ Unmutes, Reveals First Look at Adam Driver appeared first on /Film.

Tom Cruise Could Have Played Iron Man, But He’s Not Interested in Playing a Superhero

October 19, 2016 - 2:00pm

Before it arrived in 2008 to massive box office and reshaped the blockbuster landscape in ways that we’re still figuring out, Iron Man endured nearly two decades of development hell. Universal initially acquired the film rights to the character in 1990, but the film failed to find footing for years, with directors, writers, and actors cycling through the project every few years. Directors who were reportedly offered the helm at one point or another include Stuart Gordon, Quentin Tarantino, Joss Whedon, and Nick Cassavetes. It wasn’t until 2005 that Marvel got the rights back. They hired Jon Favreau in 2006 and the rest is history.

So when we talk about the fact that Tom Cruise toyed with the idea of playing Tony Stark in an Iron Man movie, it’s important to remember that this chatter happened at a time when everyone was seemingly attached to an Iron Man movie. But it makes for good trivia and, more importantly, it makes for a good introduction to a news story about whether or not Cruise has any interest in playing superheroes these days.

Just for the record, Cruise considered taking on Iron Man in 1998, one year after Nicolas Cage also expressed interest and ten years before the character made Robert Downey Jr. a star.

Cruise was a recent guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live and while he was there to promote Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, he found himself answering the question that every celebrity gets asked in every single interview: would you play a superhero? Specifically, Kimmel asks Cruise if he’s been approached by Marvel or DC to play a character and Cruise does one those patented Movie Star Question Dodges:

The implication here is that Cruise is perfectly happy starring in Mission: Impossible and Jack Reacher movies for the time being, thank you very much. And I’ll go ahead and say it because I don’t think Cruise would say it – Tom Cruise already plays a superhero. He plays Tom Cruise. I mean, have you seen the past few Mission: Impossible movies? You know, the movies where he climbs the world’s tallest buildings and holds his breath underwater for dizzying amounts of time and generally puts himself in danger for the sake of thrilling an audience? Look, I love superhero movies, but Cruise has gotta’ Cruise, which means bringing his particular flavor of movie stardom to excellent action movies like the first Jack Reacher. He doesn’t need to play a superhero because he’s already playing them, just without the colorful costume.

Plus, superhero movies don’t need Tom Cruise. These movies tend to function better when they elevate an interesting actor to stardom (Christian Bale, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Margot Robbie, Henry Cavill) rather than build a character around a star. Will Smith’s presence in Suicide Squad appears to be the exception there.

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back opens this Friday.

The post Tom Cruise Could Have Played Iron Man, But He’s Not Interested in Playing a Superhero appeared first on /Film.

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