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  • paulywalnuts 5:16 am on February 25, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Oscar Predictions | The Return of (Grooms)Men on Film 

    2015 seems like it was so long ago.  If you haven’t read our blog in a while, you may not have noticed that we haven’t had much to say.  We would like to welcome the triumphant (and hopefully not too short-lived) return of (grooms)men on film with Groomsmen Pauly’s Oscar predictions.  Pauly traditionally wins the major acting categories’ Oscar guessing game each year, and this year should be no different:

    Best Actress:
    “Charlize Theron” as Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road. Theron narrowly beats out Daisy Ridley, another strong female protagonist that starred as Rey in Star Wars: Episode VII and was among the most sought after action figures in 2015.

    Best Supporting Actress:
    “Tessa Thompson” in Creed for being multi-dimensional, multi-cultural, hottie and badass.

    Best Actor:
    “Will Smith” in a shocker, wins for Concussion.  Apparently, he did not receive the largest number of actual votes, but award presenter Steve Harvey could not pronounce David Oyelowo’s name.  (Paraphrasing Uzo Aduba, if you can learn Dostoevsky and Tchaikovsky, why can’t you learn Oyelowo?)

    Best Supporting Actor:
    “O’Shea Jackson” for Straight Outta Compton.  Arguably, Jackson could have been nominated for Best Actor, but was Jason Mitchell startled Oscar voters as Eazy-E, the black guy that was the last person to die in a movie.

    Best Director:
    “Ryan Coogler” for Creed.  The Academy is making up for its snub of Fruitvale Station that somehow was not nominated for best director in Coogler’s debut.

    Best Picture:
    “Straight Outta Compton” wins, despite flaws, for its portrayal of social and political upheaval in the 1990s.

    Let’s enjoy another celebration of the moving picture in this year’s most diverse Oscars yet!  The food will be provided by the Garces Group, the music will be conducted by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the water was shipped in from a small town just outside of Flint, Michigan.

     

     

     
  • paulywalnuts 11:37 pm on February 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Oscar Predictions | Who Will Win (and who should have!) 

    Best Picture: “Birdman” will win.
    Birdman is a great film about a relevant topic in this world … do actors that make comic book movies lose legitimacy?  Okay, maybe relevant only in Hollywood.  But that’s who’s voting.  Who SHOULD win: “The Imitation Game.”  Who SHOULD NOT win: “Boyhood.”  Hmmm … shot the movie over 12 years with the same cast.  That’s nice.  Great gimmick.  Kind of like the 3-D in Avatar. You shouldn’t win Best Picture for that.  But perhaps you should compete for …

    Best Director: “Richard Linklater” will win for Boyhood.
    A 12 year film schedule is a big deal for a director, so expect the Oscar to go to Richard Linklater.  Who SHOULD win: Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

    Best Actor: “Michael Keaton” will win for Birdman.
    Tough call with Bradley Cooper pulling off a threepeat in consecutive years, but I give the nod to Keaton.  Who SHOULD win: Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game.”

    Best Actress: “Julianne Moore” will win for Still Alice.
    An incredible performance by an actress who is overdue for a win.  Interestingly enough, her win may help Bradley Cooper in the Best Actor category.  After being nominated in 1998 (Best Supporting Actress: Boogie Nights), 2000 (Best Actress: The End of the Affair),  2003 (Best Supporting Actress: The Hours, AND Best Actress: Far From Heaven) – this is Moore’s first Academy Nomination in a long time.  Anyone who thinks Bradley Cooper has many more chances may change their mind when they see the gap between great roles … and lack of great roles … for someone as talented as more.  Who SHOULD  win: Julianne Moore.

    Best Supporting Actor: “J.K. Simmons” will win for Whiplash.
    Sorry, Ed Norton.  You played a talented prick incredibly well.  But you were just being yourself.  Who SHOULD  win: tossup between everyone not named Ed Norton.

    Best Supporting Actress: “Laura Dern” will win for Wild.
    Who SHOULD win: Keira Knightly, “The Imitation Game.”

    Still Waiting for their Oscar: “Fruitvale Station”

     
  • Justin 4:21 pm on February 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    Oscar Picks: Keaton for Birdman 

    Here’s my picks ahead of the Oscars tonight. Some I wish were different (Boyhood is overrated…).

    Others I think are completing deserving and hopefully win (Michael Keaton in Birdman).

     

    Best Actor: Michael Keaton, “Birdman”

     

    Best Actress: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”

     

    Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

     

    Best Supporting actress: Laura Dern, “Wild”

     

    Best Director: Richard linklater, “Boyhood”

     

    Best  Picture: “Birdman”, 

     
  • Justin 9:29 pm on January 3, 2015 Permalink | Reply  

    From Avengers to Star Wars, 2015 will be Bigger than 2014 

    2014 was a typical in-between type year for movies. 2015 will be anything but, when it comes to movies. In one year, we’ll get the return of our favorite park with dinosaurs in Jurassic World, the return of our favorite terminator with a Austrian-accent in Terminator Genisys (terrible name…), the return of the Avengers in Age of Ultron, and of course the return of Cinema’s biggest franchise (hopefully to bring greatness back to Star Wars) in Star Wars The Force Awakens.

    The other big sequels will be Furious 7The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, and Sam Mendes’ Bond flick Spectre. Honorable mention to Mission Impossible 5 (who knew that MI 4 Ghost Protocol would be great) to close out the year.

    There’s also a lot of new movies to mention as well, such as Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland, Matthew Vaughn’s Kingsman: The Secret ServiceMad Max: Fury Road with Tom Hardy, Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie, Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four, Ridley Scott’s The Martian, and of course Marvel’s Ant-Man.

    Finally, Pixar is premiering two brand new movies, Inside Out, and The Good Dinosaur. And just to cover all bases.., there’s also Pitch Perfect 2, Ted 2, Minions, The Wachowski siblings’ Jupiter Ascending, and Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella.

    See, that’s a lot of movies…

    (Pics/writeups courtesy of Collider)

    Kingsman: The Secret Service
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    Release Date: February 13th
    Director: Matthew Vaughn
    Cast: Colin Firth, Taron Egerton, Samuel L. Jackson, Michael Caine, and Mark Hamill
    This is the film that Vaughn gave up directing X-Men: Days of Future Past in order to tackle.

    Furious 7

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    Release Date: April 3rd
    Director: James Wan
    Cast: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Kurt Russell, Ludacris, Nathalie Emmanuel, Djimon Hounsou, Lucas Black, and John Brotherton
    Due to the tragic death of Paul Walker during production, this was no doubt one of the toughest films to get completed. But after regrouping and finding a way to finish the movie while also honoring Walker and his work in the franchise, Furious 7 is poised to be unveiled to the world this spring. Somewhat impossibly, this series is the strongest its ever been six films deep, and with The Conjuring and Insidious director James Wan making his action genre debut on Furious 7, many are eager to see both if this seventh entry keeps the winning streak alive.

    The Avengers: Age of Ultron

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    Release Date: May 1st
    Director: Joss Whedon
    Cast: Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Samuel L. Jackson, Cobie Smulders, Paul Bettany, and James Spader
    Were it not for a little thing called Star Wars, this would probably be the no contest winner for the most anticipated film of the year.

    Mad Max: Fury Road

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    Release Date: May 15th
    Director: George Miller
    Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, Rosie Huntington-Whitely, and Nathan Jones
    In a marketplace filled with sequels and reboots, here’s something that’s in between. Director George Miller returns to the franchise that helped jumpstart his career with something wonderfully rare: a franchise blockbuster that refuses to stick to the formula. The post-apocalyptic actioner follows a single chase for its entire runtime of 110 minutes, with Hardy’s lead character appearing to be a man of very few words.

    Tomorrowland

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    Release Date: May 22nd
    Director: Brad Bird
    Cast: George Clooney, Britt Robertson, Hugh Laurie, Judy Greer, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, and Pierce Gagnon
    In a world filled with sequels, reboots, and adaptations, the mere prospect of an original studio blockbuster is somewhat mind-blowing. With regards to Tomorrowland, on top of that unique foundation we’ve got a script by Damon Lindelof, an eclectic ensemble cast, and a mysteriously futuristic sci-fi premise. Not to mention animation veteran Brad Bird in the director’s chair, whose live-action debut was the immensely satisfying Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol.

    Jurassic World

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    Release Date: June 12th
    Director: Colin Trevorrow
    Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Irrfan Khan, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, and Vincent D’Onofrio
    The potential for a fourth Jurassic Park movie has loomed large for years now, but the sequel is now finally in the can and set for release. Personally developed by Steven Spielberg himself, the follow-up finds the dream of a dinosaur theme park fully realized when–surprise!–something goes terribly wrong. Safety Not Guaranteed director Trevorrow makes a big step up from independent dramas to franchise filmmaking, and it appears that he’s swinging for the fences when it comes to switching things up.

    Inside Out

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    Release Date: June 19th
    Director: Pete Docter
    Voice Cast: Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, Lewis Black, Phyllis Smith, Diane Lane, Kyle MacLachlan, and Kaitlyn Dias
    The folks at Pixar took 2014 off entirely due to the last-minute delay of The Good Dinosaur, so Inside Out will act as our first new Pixar film since the summer of 2013. The feature marks the triumphant return of director Pete Docter, whose past two Pixar features Up and Monsters, Inc. still rank among the studio’s very best. This time he sets his sights on a uniquely told story that revolves around the anthropomorphized emotions that live inside us all. If the first trailer is any indication, we’re in for a delightful ride.

    Terminator: Genisys

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    Release Date: July 1st
    Director: Alan Taylor
    Cast: Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Matt Smith, Byung-hun Lee, Dayo Okeniyi, Courtney B. Vance, and J.K. Simmons
    Here’s a film that is both a reboot and a sequel. Essentially pretending that Terminator: Salvation never existed, Genisys treads familiar territory by finding Kyle Reese (Courtney) once again being sent back in time by John Connor (Jason Clarke) in order to prevent his mother’s death by Terminator. However, when Reese gets to his destination (ie. the setting of the original The Terminator) things are very, very different. The first trailer for this one didn’t really go over all that well, but it’s possible Genisys packs more surprises that make this a franchise worth continuing.

    Ant-Man

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    Release Date: July 17th
    Cast: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, and Judy Greer
    We once again get a double dose of Marvel outings in 2015, and if Avengers: Age of Ultron acts as the big Phase Two finale, Ant-Man is the postscript. You’re no doubt well aware of the rocky road to production of this film, but Marvel recovered rather quickly after Edgar Wright’s departure and the July 2015 release date stuck, so everyone is eager to see what director Peyton Reed brings to the MCU in what serves as Paul Rudd’s superhero movie debut.

    The Fantastic Four

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    Release Date: August 7th
    Director: Josh Trank
    Cast: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, and Tim Blake Nelson
    This is an odd scenario in which we still know next-to-nothing about this film—we haven’t even seen an official (or non-official) image of anyone in costume. Odds are Trank has put together a very different kind of superhero film and Fox is being careful with the way they introduce this reboot to audiences; we’ll know soon enough.

    Spectre

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    Release Date: November 6th
    Director: Sam Mendes
    Cast: Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, Andrew Scott, and Monica Bellucci
    With Skyfall, director Sam Mendes crafted one of the most successful James Bond installments of all time, so it’s safe to say expectations are high for his return to the franchise.

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II

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    Release Date: November 20th
    Director: Francis Lawrence
    Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Liam Hemsworth, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elizabeth Banks, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Natalie Dormer, Gwendoline Christie, Toby Jones, Stanley Tucci, Jeffrey Wright, and Donald Sutherland
    The Hunger Games is one of the most popular franchises in recent memory, with it finally coming to an end with the final installment this fall.

    The Good Dinosaur

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    Release Date: November 25th
    Director: Peter Sohn
    Voice Cast: Lucas Neff, Bill Hader, Neil Patrick Harris, John Lithgow, Frances McDormand, and Judy Greer
    While 2014 went without a new Pixar film, 2015 may be the first year that we get two if things go according to plan. The Good Dinosaur suffered some significant creative changes behind-the-scenes, but all now seems to be running smoothly with a story that answers the question: what would happen if the dinosaurs never went extinct? Described as a buddy comedy, the film follows the adventures of a dinosaur named Arlo and his unlikely human companion.

    The Martian

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    Release Date: November 25th
    Director: Ridley Scott
    Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sebastian Stan, Mackenzie Davis, Michael Pena, and Sean Bean
    Boasting a script by Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods), this adaptation tells the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars who must find his way home. That’s a simple enough premise, but Scott has put together a pretty stellar ensemble cast and will no doubt be crafting some impressive visual set pieces. Will the film be different enough to avoid Gravity comparisons? We’ll find out this fall.

    Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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    Release Date: December 18th
    Director: J.J. Abrams
    Cast: John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Gwendoline Christie, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, Kenny Baker, and Max von Sydow
    J.J. Abrams kicks things off by setting up this new series of sequels and spinoffs, but the strong connection to the franchise’s history comes from the involvement of the original trio: Ford, Hamill, and Fisher. The first teaser was a fantastic glimpse at this 21st century Star Wars, and there will no doubt be a fever pitch of anticipation come December.

    Mission Impossible 5

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    Release Date: December 25th
    Director: Christopher McQuarrie
    Cast: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg, Ving Rhames, Rebecca Ferguson, Alec Baldwin, Sean Harris, and Simon McBurney
    Star Wars isn’t the only film coming out this December, as the next entry in the Mission: Impossible franchise is also poised for release. McQuarrie most recently did a fantastic job helming Cruise in the underrated Jack Reacher, so everyone is curious to see what sort of POV he brings to the Mission: Impossible series. Ghost Protocol is going to be tough to top in the set piece territory, but McQuarrie’s a gifted writer and penned the screenplay for M:I 5 as well, so we’re hopefully in for a wonderfully compelling story.

     
  • paulywalnuts 3:57 am on December 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    “Top Five” Review | Worth the Hype 

    Chris Rock isn’t the greatest actor in the world (see Pootie Tang), but it turns out he’s a pretty good writer and director.  Really good, actually.  Top Five is the comedy about an actor and former stand-up comic named Andre Allen (Chris Rock) that was once known as the funniest man in America for his roles in action comedies, but has now hit rock bottom and is trying to re-ignite his career with more serious movies.  The movie takes place over the course of one day with Andre being interviewed by a reporter (Rosario Dawson) on his movie’s opening day, and scheduled to get married the next day to a reality star (Gabrielle Union).  Top Five looks a lot like a romantic comedy about an unexpected love triangle.  It’s surprisingly more … it’s a hilarious story about success and failure, and how people treat you when you experience both.

     

    *Very mild spoiler warning* Andre Allen is a recovering-alcoholic that ‘s returning from rock bottom.  Instead of returning to comedy and doing another installment of his “Hammy the Bear” franchise, he rolls the dice by playing a Haitian slave that led the largest uprising in the western hemisphere.  While promoting the movie on its opening day, he’s stuck doing an interview with Chelsea, a New York Times film critic that he doesn’t trust, but reluctantly lets her shadow him throughout the day.  Flashbacks help tell the story of Andre’s rise to fame and fall from glory, as he also reconnects with his old ‘hood and hits promotional events throughout the city.  On top of everything, his fiancee Erica (Gabrielle Union) is finishing up wedding planning — but with her reality network about the wedding more than her future husband.  **End of spoilers**

    The story may not seem like much, but Chris doesn’t waste words or scenes.  There’s plenty of jokes, but most of the cast nails their roles.  Rosario Dawson is excellent, the supporting cast (JB Smoove, Gabrielle Union,  Cedric the Entertainer and others) pull their weight, and the guest stars (Jerry Seinfeld, Adam Sandler, Tracy Morgan, & Ben Vereen to name a few) actually get to contribute to the story in great ways.  Chris Rock hasn’t become a better actor … his range of emotions still go from happy with a smirk on his face to shocked with a smirk on his face.  But the movie is strong enough without needing much from Chris.

    Rock very thoroughly explores the difference between love and loyalty, and the little gestures one does 9or doesn’t do that shows how much they really care about someone.  Chris has mined this type of comedy before, with his movie “I Think I’m in Love With My Wife,” as well as his stand-up comedy.  Sadly, Top Five comes out as the news reports that Chris Rock and his wife of 19 years have filed for divorce … so he’s probably been thinking about these themes a great deal.  He treats them as complex issues, with no saints or villains, just a lot of adults making difficult choices.  The movie launched a bidding war when it was screened on the festival circuit, and you should check it out in theaters and find out why.

    I can’t end this review without giving my top five:
    1. Jay-Z
    2. Public Enemy
    3. Biggie
    4. MC Lyte
    5. Eminem

    Top Five
    Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 90% with critics, 71% with audiences
    IMDB Rating: 7/10
    this (grooms)man’s rating: 9/10 … one of my top five movies all year

     

     

     

     
  • Justin 12:36 am on July 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Michael Bay Films: Poorly Reviewed and Seen by Everyone 

    It’s no surprise that Michael Bay’s films either make you happy (#awesome) or make you mad (#trash).

    Given Transformers 4: Age of Extinction, with a 17% on Rottentomatoes.com, just became the highest grossing movie of the year (with a global box office of ~775 million), I thought it would be nice to just take a look back at how Bay’s movies have historically performed and how they’ve been reviewed (courtesy of BoxOfficeMojo.com and RottenTomatoes.com). The red line is the rotten tomato score with the US and non-US movie box office gross (in millions of dollars, and not accounting for inflation) of all of Bay’s movies (not including Pain and Gain given it’s more of a outlier when you look at Bay’s movies).

    Revenue

    Not surprisingly, the results are exactly what you would have guessed. And keep in mind, Transformers 4, the worst reviewed movie from Bay to date, has only been in theaters for about two weeks….

    So, sequels it is. It’s quite sad given good one-off movies like Edge of Tomorrow didn’t get much fanfare while having glowing reviews (a 90% on Rottentomatoes), with good word of mouth just not being enough. Many of the highest grossing  movies this year, like most years, are sequels (http://boxofficemojo.com/yearly/chart/?yr=2014&p=.htm). And good one-offs like Edge of Tomorrow, while it did well overseas, no one here saw. Say what you will about sequels, but sequels make money.

     
  • Justin 3:32 pm on April 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Anthony Mackie, , , Cobie Smulders, Hayley Atwell, , Robert Redford, , , Sebastian Stan, The Winter Soldier   

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier Review | Just Go See the Movie 

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    By now, you’ve heard the buzz around Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and it is well justified. While it may not top the Avengers, particularly in spectacle, this is the first Marvel Studios movie since the original Iron Man that really stands on its own, and across all Marvel movies, is probably the most emotionally mature in both themes and acting. The movie accomplishes being a great action flick and cloak-and-dagger thriller that also pushes the Marvel universe forward as opposed to being another standalone where you ask yourself where the other Avengers are and should they be helping.

    Early on, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), the embattled director of S.H.I.E.L.D., dispatches Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, and Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), a.k.a. Black Widow, on a mission to rescue a naval ship overtaken by pirates. But Fury also plays the two against each other, and it turns out that it’s Nick himself who’s under siege.

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    Casting Robert Redford, an old Hollywood veteran, to shore up its ensemble cast, adds further integrity and gravitas to the movie and to the threat at hand (and everyone is correct, it conjures up Redford’s classic spy and political thrillers from back in the day). And by tweaking this sequel to play more like a cloak-and-dagger thriller than a special-effects blowout (though of course there’s plenty of that too), directors Anthony and Joe Russo have delivered an unusually satisfying and substantive superhero movie.

    Redford’s well-dressed Alexander Pierce is a senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official with a long history with Nick Fury, who remains the terse center with which the whole Marvel Universe has revolved around to some extent. However, The Winter Soldier smartly throws things off-kilter when Fury is brutally assaulted in broad daylight by a masked, cybernetically enhanced assassin (the Winter Soldier) who has an inside line on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s operational protocol. And when Steve Rogers/Captain America tries to figure out who ordered the hit, he finds himself on the outs with the suddenly unstable spy agency, whose agents are angling to take him down, and leads to a pretty badass escape by Rogers from SHIELD headquarters.

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    The idea of the red-white-and-blue-clad Captain America involuntarily matched up against the military-industrial complex that created him is entertaining, and Evans imparts a sense of disillusioned weariness to his performance that clashes with his character’s 1940’s stars and stripes stance. A scene in which Rogers clandestinely visits the Smithsonian to see an exhibit about his Second World War exploits is somber but sweet in a way that transcends the jokey glibness of the Iron Man franchise. It also counters Captain America’s image as a ’40s-era relic (he was the straight man in The Avengers) while evincing a fond, possibly foolish nostalgia for the unambiguous heroism of the Greatest Generation.

    Cap2-Rev4

    The Winter Soldier of course has plenty of action – every dollar of its estimated $170-million budget is onscreen – but it’s also got an intricate dramatic and thematic structure holding everything in place. For instance, Steve and Sam’s (Anthony Mackie) bond over the fact that they both lost wingmen in wars six decades apart is never overstated in the dialogue. In terms of acting Chris Evans gets high marks all around, from the action to the scenes with Redford. But kudos to everyone from Jackson to Mackie to even Johansson.

    But back to the action; it has some of the tightest and memorable action sequences as of late. The movie has three acts, with some very memorable action sequences particularly in the first two acts. Rogers’ escape from SHIELD headquarters shows off what makes him a superhero and the directors even accomplish having the audience believe that Rogers is in true peril, especially when he takes on the Winter Soldier during a pretty cool highway chase sequence. The sequences in the third act between the three heli-carriers are abit predictable, but you’ll be just sitting back and enjoying it all at that point.

    DC Comics and DC Comic-book movies, you’re running out of time for any chance to be taken seriously. And I have a feeling Bryan Singer’s action sequences in this May’s X-Men Days of Future Past may feel very flat in comparison now.

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    The movie of course isn’t perfect, but the flaws are minor and in no way detract from the overall enjoyment. The Winter Soldier is one of those fortunate and extremely rare confluences of studio vision, filmmakers, cast and script. The chemistry was simply right (I am not suggesting this is a fluke, as that would be disrespectful). Looking at past projects however, Marvel has gotten equally promising talents before but the end result still didn’t quite click. Whatever the case, the bar has now been set very high. Not just for superhero flicks, but for action films in general.

    Go see it.

    A-

     
  • Justin 2:59 am on March 3, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    But, the Real Winners are … 

    Best Actor:
    Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

    Best Actress:
    Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

    Best Supporting Actor:
    Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

    Best Supporting Actress:
    Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

    Best Director:
    Tough one, but I’m going with Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave

    Best Picture:
    Also a tough one. I think we’ll see another movie and winner here with Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity

     
  • Jay 11:59 pm on March 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    And the Winner Really Is … 

    It’s time for me to avenge my performance from last year’s picks.

    Best Actor:
    Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

    Best Actress:
    I’m taking a risk here but I’m voting Judi Dench from Philomena. (I mean, who actually saw that movie? No one.)

    Best Supporting Actor:
    Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

    Best Supporting Actress:
    Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years A Slave

    Best Director:
    It’s either Steve McQueen for 12 Years A Slave or Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity. I’ll have to go with McQueen since Pauly picked Cuaron. But I really want to pick Cuaron.

    Best Picture:
    It should be Gravity, but it’ll be 12 Years A Slave

     
  • paulywalnuts 11:30 pm on March 2, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    And the Winner Is … 

    Last year, yours truly went 4 for 6 in Oscar Predictions for all of the major categories.  Defending my title, here are my picks for who will win (and who should win!).

    Best Actor
    The Winner Will Be – Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club.
    The Winner SHOULD Be – Matthew McConaughey
    Potential Spoiler – Chiwetel Ejiofer for 12 Years a Slave.  Apparently the voters have never seen Glory.  Or Roots.  Or Fruitvale Station even …

     

    Best Actress
    The Winner Will Be – Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine
    The Winner SHOULD Be – Amy Adams for American Hustle.  She made everyone around her better, in every scene.
    Potential Spoiler – Meryl Streep.  Her being nominated is enough to scare the other contenders

     

    Best Supporting Actor
    The Winner Will Be – Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club
    The Winner SHOULD Be – Jared Leto.  He turned in one of the more powerful performances of any year, let alone 2014.
    Potential Spoiler – Barkhad Abdi is still living his 15 minutes of fame.

     

    Best Supporting Actress
    The Winner Will Be – Lupita Nyong’o
    The Winner SHOULD Be – Jennifer Lawrence.  The more I watched, the more I realized she deserves the back to back win.
    Potential Spoiler – this race should come down to those two

     

    Best Director
    The Winner Will Be – Alfonso Cuaron.
    The Winner SHOULD Be – David O. Russell.  He put so many Oscar winners on one screen and made the movie bigger than any of their roles.
    Potential Spoiler -Steve McQueen deserves an Oscar one day.  Not toady, though.

     

    Best Picture
    The Winner Will Be – American Hustle.  David O. Russell is on fire.
    The Winner SHOULD Be – Dallas Buyer’s Club … top to bottom, the best of the many great films this year.
    Potential Spoiler – If 12 years a Slave and Dallas Buyer’s Club splits the liberal activist crowd, Gravity may sneak in and win.

     
  • paulywalnuts 4:51 pm on February 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Running Ticker: Movies Where the Black Guy Dies First 

    Anyone that says black actors don’t get enough parts in Hollywood clearly doesn’t realize the cottage industry of “first one to die in a movie.”  Michael B. Jordan practically built his career on getting tragically killed, putting him in great company with Paul Winfield, Morgan Freeman, Samuel L. Jackson, and Darwin from X-Men: First Class.  I’m still ticked off about that one.

    2014 Black Guy Gets Killed First (to be updated all year)

    • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit – Jack goes to Russia and finds the only black guy.  And kills him.

    My Favorite Black Guy Dies First scenes from previous years (not an exhaustive list)

    • “Chronicle” (2012) Rest in Peace, Michael B. Jordan.
    • “Fruitvale Station” (2013) Rest in Peace, Michael B. Jordan.  I knew you would die but I still cried when you did.
    • “Star Trek: Into the Darkness” (2013) Rest in Peace, black guy that wanted to save your kid.
      • This movie is based on Star Trek II: the Wrath of Khan” (1982), where Paul Winfield also dies first.  In Khan’s defense, he was trying to kill everybody.  Rest in Peace Paul Winfield.
    • “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013) I can go either way on this one.  The first person killed was in District 11.  That said, it wasn’t a main character and, quite frankly, damn near all of the main characters die except for Jeffrey Wright.  The producers deserve praise for diverse casting and equal opportunity killing.
    • “X-Men: First Class” (2011) Darwin is Latino in the comics, but was made a black guy in the movies.  So he could die first.
    • “Red” (2010) Rest in Peace Morgan Freeman.  (first main character to die. twice).
    • “AVP: Requiem” (2007) Rest in Peace random black high school guy and your five white friends.  Horror movies usually kill everybody but the virgin, so I don’t hold this against you.
    • “the 300” (2006) Rest in Peace, black messenger.  You shouldn’t have delivered bad news to your enemy while standing next to a well.
    • “Kill Bill: Volume I” (2003) Rest in Peace, Vivica A. Fox.  You weren’t the first killed chronologically, but in Tarantino’s time twisted storytelling, you’re the first main character we saw die.  Don’t worry … Tarantino loves black people.
    • “3,000 miles to Graceland” (2001) Five Elvis impersonators rob a bank.  Guess who dies first?
    • “American Psycho” (2000) In a movie about killing prostitutes, the black homeless guy died first.  Or did anyone really die?
    • “Deep Blue Sea” (1999) Rest in Peace, Samuel L. Jackson.  At least LL Cool J lived
      • Deep Blue Sea joins great Sam Jackson deaths in Jurassic Park, Goodfellas, Star Wars Episode III, the Other Guys, Django Unchained, Jackie Brown, Junkle Fever (Really … in a romance movie), 187, Menace 2 Society, Lakeview Terrace … what am I missing?
    • “William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet” (1996) Baz Luhrman did great casting with Harold Perrineau … absolutely inspiring.  And the first to die.
    • “Heat” (1995) Rest in Peace, Dennis Haysbert.
    • “Forrest Gump” (1994) Rest in Peace, Bubba (first main character to die).
    • “Unforgiven” (1992) Rest in Peace, Morgan Freeman.  Practice for Red (first main character to die)
    • “Seals” (1990) Rest in Peace, Dennis Haysbert.
    • “Full Metal Jacket” (1987) Rest in Peace, Dorian Harewood.  You died a slow and painful death with multiple gunshots
    • “Red Dawn” (1984) When the Russians invade, they will also kill the black guy first.
    • “The Gremlins” (1984) Rest in Peace, Glynn Turman.
    • “Aliens” (1986) Rest in Peace, Ricco Frost.  Even in space, the black guy dies first.
    • “Christine” (1983) Rest in Peace, black assembly line worker.
    • “Carrie” (1976) Thank you casting director, for not killing the black guy first in the remake
    • “Enter the Dragon” (1973) Rest in Peace, Jim Kelly.  At least the Asian guy lived.
    • “The Dirty Dozen” (1967) Rest in Peace, Jim Brown.
    • “The Shining” (1980) Jack Nicholson wasn’t really scary … the only person that got killed in the movie was the black guy.
     
  • paulywalnuts 4:20 am on February 9, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Agents of SHIELD is (a lot like) LOST 

    Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was one of the most anticipated network pilots in years.  It was the highest rated drama launch in four years, and had all of the ingredients to be a television blockbuster like ABC hasn’t seen since … well, LOST.

    Just like LOST, a sure winner got bogged down into plots that go nowhere and characters no one gave a damn about.  Somewhere around Season 3 of Lost, after it returned from the writers’ strike, it turned into television gold.  Agents of SHIELD is poised to make a similar run.  Like LOST, it’s got to do a couple things first:

    1.  Embrace it’s inner geek
    You can only keep guessing what the show is about for so long until your friends make fun of you for watching Gilligan’s Island with smoke monsters.  LOST embraced it’s geeky premise of good vs. evil being guarded by time travelers and demi-gods.  Ridiculous premise – perfect execution.  SHIELD needs to stop pretending to be a drama about humans that wished they were heroes.  Your target audience loved the Avengers, so expand that cinematic universe.  The crossover with Thor: the Dark World and upcoming appearances by Lorelei, Sif, and Deathlok will go a long way towards appeasing the fanboys and fangirls.

    2.  Who’s your villain?
    It sure took long enough to find Jacob, and then he died, but sorta came back and explained what the hell was going on.  It only took the entire length of the series to figure that out.  SHIELD doesn’t have that long.  Pick a villain – the Clairvoyant or Hydra or Centipede or Quinn or whomever else keeps popping up needs to have less mystery and more screen time.  Comic book movies are only as good as their villains (see why Ang Lee’s Hulk and the Fantastic Four failed).  Villains that don’t pose a threat to anyone are not very super by definition … so define a villain, give the villain a direction, and give our heroes a chance to fight for the world or risk grave consequences.

    3.  Kill some characters
    Not because it would be Whedonesque or even raise the stakes … just because the current cast endears as much affection as the tissue I just blew my nose with.  Clark Gregg is the only actor worth a damn, so the others need to get better or be killed.  We all loved John after he was finally killed … may we love FitzSimmons or Ward or Skye as well.

    Agent May can stay.

    marvels-agents-of-shield

     
  • paulywalnuts 4:37 pm on December 15, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    “Oldboy” Movie Review | Sick, Twisted … and wonderful 

    Spike Lee’s Oldboy is a remake of a Korean classic.  The new version honors Korean revenge films, but also infuses the graphic violence of Tarantino and the sadistic humor of Samuel L. Jackson from his best roles.  As far as the plot goes – Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) is a man that no one likes.  He is kidnapped and stored in a dirty-motel like prison for 20 years.  In that time, his ex-wife is killed and daughter missing, and the news blames Joe for both crimes.  20 years after being kidnapped, Joe is mysteriously set free, but vows to track down his captors.  When they realize he is after them, they promise to go after his still-missing daughter unless Joe can answer two questions (1) why was Joe kidnapped?  (2) Why was he set free?  Joe works with two friends he trusts (Michael Imperioli, Elizabeth Olsen) to find his daughter and to exact revenge on his captors.

    Much like Spike Lee’s 2006 mystery, Inside Man (starring Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, and Jodie Foster) – every action in this movie has a purpose and every detail is thought through by the main character.  Joe Doucett isn’t, in this critic’s humble opinion, the main character in this movie.  He’s just the person we get to see unravel the mystery.  The main character is the villain that kidnapped him (Sharlto Copley) and his various henchmen for hire (led by Samuel L. Jackson) gives you the briefest glimpse into a sick, twisted world that is much bigger than Joe Doucett’s story.

    IMDB Rating:
    4.9 out of 10 (what are they thinking?)

    Rotten Tomatoes Rating:
    44% of critics liked it / 45% of audiences liked it (they’re all on crack)

    This (grooms)man’s Rating:
    8 out of 10, one of the biggest surprises of the year, everything that “the Counselor” was not

    "Where the hell am I."

    “Where the hell am I.”

     
  • paulywalnuts 3:17 am on October 8, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    10 Reasons I’ll Keep Going to the Movies This Year 

    Okay … you’ve gone out to see Gravity.  You loved the 3D … your date got motion sickness.  You’ve already seen the Butler and figure you can wait till January to see any other serious Oscar contenders, right?  Well there’s plenty left to keep us excited this year.  Here are my top 10 reasons to go to the movies for the remainder of the year, with plot summaries courtesy of IMDB.com (until they sue me to take the descriptions down.)

    1. the Counselor: A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking.  October 25

    Fassbender, Bardem, Cruz, Diaz, Pitt.  Directed by Ridley Scott.  No brainer …

     

    2.  Carrie: A re-imagining of the classic horror tale about Carrie White, a shy girl outcast by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother, who unleashes telekinetic terror on her small town after being pushed too far at her senior prom.  October 18

    Roberto Aquirre-Sacasa is a beast.  I can think of few writers that you can trust with decades worth of source material as varied as Spiderman and Carrie.

    3.  the Secret Life of Walter Mitty: An office worker who lives inside fantasy worlds where he gets to live an adventurous life while romancing his co-worker sets off a global journey to fix things when both of their jobs are threatened.  December 25

    If the movie can live up to the trailer, audiences will be inspired to do great things

    4.  Oldboy:  Obsessed with vengeance, a man sets out to find out why he was kidnapped and locked up into solitary confinement for 20 years without reason.  November 27

    May just be the next badass revenge flick we’ve been waiting for since Kill Bill Volumes I and II

     

    5. Twelve Years A Slave: In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery.  October 31

    This movie is getting incredible Oscar buzz despite starting at an obvious disadvantage … it is one of several vying for a very crowded racial consciousness vote along with 42, Fruitvale Station, the Butler, and Mandela.  Still, many call it the favorite for Best Picture.

    6.  Last Vegas: Three sixty-something friends take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal.  November 1

    While everyone is waiting for Ron Burgundy and Anchorman 2, Last Vegas may steal the show

    7.    Thor 2: Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.  November 8

    Can Chris Hemsworth bring in a Marvel-sized audience after the Avengers and Iron Man 3 both pulled in over $1 billion?

    8.  Dallas Buyers Club: The story of Texas electrician Ron Woodroof and his battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies after being diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1986, and his search for alternative treatments that helped established a way in which fellow HIV-positive people could join for access to his supplies.  November 1

    Any time an artist gains or loses that much weight for a role, I want to see if the character they played was worth it

    9.  American Hustle: The story of a con artist and his partner in crime, who were forced to work with a federal agent to turn the tables on other cons, mobsters, and politicians – namely, the volatile mayor of impoverished Camden, New Jersey.  December 25

    David O. Russel is having a hard time working with new actors.  He keeps winning Oscars with them, though …

    10.  The Best Man Holiday: When college friends reunite after 15 years over the Christmas holidays, they will discover just how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and romances to be ignited.  November 15

    15 years is a long time to wait for a sequel, but the trailer makes it look like everyone still has the same chemistry

     
  • Justin 2:27 pm on September 1, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 2015, Ant-Man, Batman vs. Superman, Bond 24, Cindarella, Finding Dory, Inside Out, Jurassic Park IV, Kung-Fu Panda 3, Man of Steel 2, Star Wars Ep VII, , Ted 2, Terminator, , The Avengers 2, The Avengers Age of Ultron,   

    2015 will be a Big Movie Year 

    star-wars-avengers-2-batman-superman-slice

    With this weekend’s holiday comes the official close of the 2013 Summer Movie Season.  We’ve seen our share of flops (The Lone Ranger), hits (Iron Man 3), and surprises (Now You See Me), and while there are definitely some exciting films on tap for next year, keen fans have already started looking excitedly at 2015.  Why skip over an entire year, you ask?  Well, if all goes according to plan, 2015 will see a perfect storm of sorts, as a crazy number of massive franchises are poised to launch some highly anticipated properties.  Two years from now, The Avengers follow-up will square off against Batman vs. Superman, and a brand new Star Wars film is poised to open alongside the long-promised Jurassic Park sequel.

    As the Labor Day weekend is normally a time of relaxation, we thought it might be fun to look ahead to the craziness that will ensue two years from now.

    One thing to keep in mind before we get started: these dates are not set in stone.  As we’ve seen countless times before, studios shift release dates around or scrap them altogether.  As such, at least one of the following films will probably be pushed or shifted around between now and 2015, so don’t view this list as final.  That being said, here’s a look at the planned 2015 release date calendar as of right now.

     

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    STAR WARS: EPISODE VII

    Release Date: Christmas 2015

    What We Know So Far: Ah yes, the big one. A 2015 release date has been eyed for Star Wars: Episode VII ever since Disney first announced that it was acquiring Lucasfilm and making a new trilogy of Star Wars movies, and that is still the plan. We knew the production would be fairly secretive, but with J.J. Abrams onboard as the director it’s unlikely that we’ll learn much about the movie before its release. That being said, we do know a bit.

    When George Lucas handed the keys of the franchise over to new Lucasfilm President and Episode VII producer Kathleen Kennedy, he also provided all of his story notes and ideas for further Star Wars films. We know he has had conversations with Abrams about the new film, so it is believed that at least a portion of Episode VII will be based on Lucas’ existing ideas.

    Additionally, Toy Story 3 scribe and Oscar winner Michael Arndt is working on the screenplay, Abrams will be shooting on 35mm film, John Williams is providing the score, the film’s lead characters are strongly rumored to be the descendants of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Leia, and all signs point to Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fischer reprising their roles from the original trilogy in some capacity. We know that filming will take place in London and is set to get underway in early 2014, but there have also been many rumblings that the production is running behind.

    Abrams is known for taking his time when it comes to his directorial projects (Paramount originally wanted Star Trek Into Darkness for 2012), and Star Wars comes with just about the biggest baggage of any franchise. There have been murmurs that Episode VII may be released in December of 2015 instead of May due to the delays, which would break Star Wars tradition since all six previous films were released in May. As that early 2014 production start-date approaches, we may finally be hearing some official word soon.

     

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    THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON

    Release Date: May 1, 2015

    What We Know So Far: Marvel’s superhero sequel comes with massive expectations, but the studio is doing everything in its power to live up to the promise of the first film. Joss Whedon is back onboard to write and direct, James Spader is playing the villain, and new Avengers team members include Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch (both of whom are currently in negotiations with Marvel). Tom Hiddleston’s Loki will not be appearing in the follow-up, as the Avengers will instead face off against the evil robot Ultron—to be played by Spader in a bit of truly inspired casting.

    Whedon has said that Ultron’s origin story will be changed for The Avengers 2, so don’t expect to see Hank Pym aka Ant-Man make an early appearance. Whedon has also revealed that Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow is “a huge part” of the follow-up, and has plans to expand Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye role as well. Filming begins the first week of March on what will act as Marvel’s capper to its Phase Two lineup of films.

     

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    MAN OF STEEL 2/BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN

    Release Date: July 17, 2015

    What We Know So Far: Batman vs. Superman. That’s it. That’s all you need to know. The as-yet-untitled Zack Snyder superhero film aka Batman vs. Superman aka Man of Steel 2 is likely to be the can’t-miss movie of July, and fan speculation is already at a fever pitch before a frame of footage has even been shot. Ben Affleck will portray a Batman/Bruce Wayne who is “older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter,” while Henry Cavill will reprise his role as Superman. David S. Goyer is penning the script based off an idea he developed with Snyder, and Christopher Nolan—who produced Man of Steel—has stepped back to an executive producer role on this follow-up instead of his more hands-on involvement with the first film.

    Filming on the untitled pic is poised to get underway in early 2014, with a large amount of location work to be done in Detroit and other Michigan cities. Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne, and Diane Lane are confirmed to reprise their characters from Man of Steel, but we still have no conformation with regards to who the villain will be or whether Batman and Superman will be allies or adversaries. However, this is the first time the DC Comics characters will appear onscreen together in a major feature film, so audiences will likely turn out in droves regardless of the story particulars.

     

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    BOND 24

    Release Date: November 6, 2015

    What We Know So Far: Odds are pretty good that either Bond 24 or Ant-Man will undergo a slight release date change sometime before now and November 2015, because having a Marvel movie go up against James Bond is a recipe for cannibalistic disaster. Nevertheless, Bond 24 is incredibly exciting for a number of reasons. Director Sam Mendes delivered one is considered of the best Bond entries ever with 2012’s Skyfall (Personally I thought Casino Royale was better), and after some coercing he finally agreed to return and direct the next Bond entry as well.

    With Bond 24, Mendes has his Skyfall writer John Logan in tow and plenty of interesting directions to take the franchise after introducing a new M (Ralph Fiennes) and Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) at the end of Skyfall. With such a long lead time to prepare, here’s hoping the filmmaker delivers a follow-up worthy of its predecessor.

     

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    THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 2

    Release Date: November 20, 2015

    What We Know So Far: Though we haven’t even seen the second installment in the Hunger Games series just yet, the finale is already dated for the Thanksgiving holiday in 2015. Catching Fire director Francis Lawrence is onboard to helm the two-part conclusion, Mockingjay, and fans of the book are keen to see how it all ends onscreen. While Catching Fire seems like it would’ve been the more practical book to split in half, Lawrence has Game Change and The Butler screenwriter Danny Strong on tap to pen the Mockingjay screenplays, so hopefully he’s sussed out enough worthwhile material from Suzanne Collins’ novel to make two satisfying feature films.

     

    jurassic park

    JURASSIC PARK IV

    Release Date: Summer

    What We Know So Far: The long-promised Jurassic Park sequel is finally coming to fruition, and it’s being eyed for release in 2015. Universal and producer Frank Marshall took their time in choosing the director for Jurassic Park 4, and it came as a bit of a surprise when they settled on Colin Trevorrow, the filmmaker behind the well-received time travel indie Safety Not Guaranteed. While the studio was initially barreling towards a 2014 release date, Universal did the admirable thing and pushed the film back to 2015 to ensure that Trevorrow has the time necessary to deliver his complete vision for the follow-up.

    JP4 has a script by Rise of the Planet of the Apes scribes Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, but Trevorrow is said to have performed a rather extensive rewrite. He worked a bit with Steven Spielberg to hone the story, which is rumored to return the action to Isla Nublar. There have also been rumblings of a brand new dinosaur, and Trevorrow will be shooting the pic in 3D. With filming likely to get underway sometime next year, we should be hearing more solid word about Jurassic Park 4 in the coming months. Here’s hoping the sequel is well worth the wait.

     

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    TERMINATOR

    Release Date: June 26, 2015

    What We Know So Far: While another Terminator film has been in development for years, Annapurna Pictures and Paramount are finally pulling the trigger on a reboot that is planned as the first film in a new trilogy. It’s still unclear whether Arnold Schwarzenegger will indeed be back, but the official press release describes this film as “a rebooted Terminator movie,” so it wouldn’t be a shock if the pic featured an entirely new cast of characters. Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier wrote the screenplay, and we should hopefully hear official word about a director any day now.

     

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    INSIDE OUT

    Release Date: June 19, 2015

    What We Know So Far: The first of two Pixar films slated for release in 2015, Inside Out is the next feature film from Up and Monsters Inc. director Pete Docter and takes place inside the mind of Riley, an 11-year-old girl who recently moved with her family to San Francisco. Instead of centering on Riley, however, the central characters in Inside Out are Miley’s emotions: Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). With both a wonderfully original story and a pitch perfect voice cast, Inside Out could serve as a breath of fresh air amongst the franchise onslaught of the summer.

     

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    FANTASTIC FOUR

    Release Date: March 6, 2015

    What We Know So Far: Chronicle helmer Josh Trank is onboard to direct Fox’s reboot, titled The Fantastic Four, and the young filmmaker has X-Men: First Class director Matthew Vaughn onboard as a producer. We still don’t have a firm start-of-production date for this one just yet, and it appears that casting has been tricky. Miles Teller was rumored to play Mr. Fantastic but Trank shot that one down pretty quickly, and there have also been rumblings of Elizabeth Olsen and Girls star Allison Williams possibly playing Susan Storm and Michael B. Jordon lighting up as the Human Torch.

    Whomever Trank finally enlists as his core castmembers, it’s clear that he is going young. Seth Grahame-Smith (Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer) came on to do a polish of the script in February, but expect filming on this one to get underway sometime early next year.

     

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    TED 2

    Release Date: April, 2015

    What We Know So Far: While anticipation for Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane‘s directorial debut Ted was certainly high, few could have imagined that the R-rated comedy would go on to gross a whopping $549 million worldwide. Obviously Universal was itching for a sequel, but MacFarlane opted to shoot his Western comedy A MillIon Ways to Die in the West first. That film is currently in post-production and a recent report has the Ted sequel pegged for April 2015. The date could certainly change as the film hasn’t even entered pre-production yet, but MacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg are both game to return so it would appear the the only obstacle is scheduling. Again, not much is known just yet and the sequel could eventually hit theaters a little later, but make no mistake: Ted 2 is indeed coming.

     

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    INDEPENDENCE DAY 2

    Release Date: July 3, 2015

    What We Know So Far: Director Roland Emmerich is coming back to annihilate your Fourth of July weekend once again. Will Smith is not returning for the sci-fi sequel to Emmerich’s 1996 blockbuster Independence Day, but plenty of destruction is planned for the follow-up. Emmerich previously revealed that the story takes place 20 years after the original and centers on retaliation efforts by the alien race after their initial plot to conquer Earth failed. Bill Pullman is poised to reprise his role in the follow-up, and while there was initially talk of filming two sequels back-to-back, Paramount wants to focus on only Independence Day 2 for now.

    ————–

    This post was long enough so here’s the honorable mentions: Ant-Man, Cindarella, Pixar’s Finding Dory, World of Warcraft, Kung-Fu Panda 3, and Pirates of Caribbean 5.Some are new and potentially refreshing and some being tiresome (e.g. Pirates 5…)

    Again, it’s possible that one or more of the aforementioned films could be pushed into 2016, but as of right now, 2015 is shaping up to be one of the biggest movie years in recent memory.

     
  • paulywalnuts 9:24 pm on July 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Breaking News: Superman/Batman Teamup planned for 2015 

    Zack Snyder just announced the news at the San Diego Comic Con.  Keep an eye on the groomsmen on film facebook page for quick updates.  However – one quick note – everything Zack Snyder has said so far has pointed to another Superman movie prior to mashing up the universe.  He often spoke about Marvel’s patience with building their universe for 4 years before doing an ensemble film.  Although DC announced Snyder (and Christopher Nolan/David Goyer) are on board … I can’t imagine this was their idea.  More like “we’re doing this anyway, you’re either on board or not … and we’ll make you very rich if you’re on board.”

    What the DC Cinematic Universe needs is a Kevin Feige and Joss Whedon … people that will guide the buildout of the movie universe from a creative standpoint.  More comments on our Facebook page!

     

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  • Jay 7:00 pm on July 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Tsk-Tsk, Movie Critics 

    The critics are on crack.

    Let’s use rottentomatoes as our aggregator/benchmark. To put my crack comment in easy perspective, the only tentpole summer movies to receive better reviews than Pacific Rim are Iron Man 3 and Star Trek Into Darkness (I am omitting family movies such as Despicable Me 2 … which I still think should have been titled, Despicable Me Too. I am also aware that FF6 is not considered a tentpole movie).

    Ranking in order of RT percentages:
    Star Trek Into Darkness: 87%
    Iron Man 3: 78%
    Pacific Rim: 71%
    FF6: 69%
    WWZ: 67%
    Man of Steel: 56%

    Read my lips.

    Pacific. Rim. Is. An. Awful . Movie.

    Despite Groomsman Pauly’s warnings, I saw Pacific Rim anyways.  Even with the lowest of low expectations the movie sucked  hard, so much so that I walked out an emaciated emotional shell of my former self. Pacific Rim is poorly cast, poorly acted, and visually obtuse. My penance? Juliet, who comes with me on these excursions, gets to pick ANY movie for us to watch next. Previous such occasions have yielded the following titles:  Beauty and the Briefcase, The Princess Protection Program, I Love You I Love You Not, Princess: A Modern Fairytale, Read It and Weep, and Geek Charming, among others. Never heard of these movies? Exactly. And keep in mind, I can’t just sit on the couch while I scan my iphone for useless information. I must give my soul to these movies; my undivided attention is the most minor requirement. (To be fair, my penance for Pacific Rim was Water for Elephants, staring Christoph Waltz, Reese Witherspoon, and that vampire guy from Twilight. It’s “Weekend Watch” worthy)

    But I digress.

    Man of Steel, FF6, and WWZ are sub 70% movies.

    Man of Steel is the most egregious mistake, with an abhorrent 56%. My mini-review of Man of Steel goes something like this: Man of Steel … Post 9/11 origin story; yes! We finally experience Krypton; General Zod isn’t just a villain/backup musician for ABBA; Lois Lane is NOT annoying; and Clark Kent struggles to find his moral center … he is at once more alien than the Superman we’ve known, and yet far more human than any prior big-screen depiction.  The critics would have preferred a more jovial light-hearted Clark Kent and a Superman who manages to save everyone, everywhere, every time. Oh right, that movie was already made … and it was TERRIBLE (yes, I’m looking at you, Superman Returns).

    FF6 and WWZ are extremely entertaining movies, the former being a “laugh-out-loud, clap profusely, fist-pumping, jaw dropping” exercise in excess and ridiculousness, and the latter a “nail-biting, heart-racing, jump-inducing” thriller. Maybe they deserve the sub-70% ratings, but if we use Pacific Rim as the benchmark, this is how the movies should have been ranked:

    Man of Steel: 110%
    Fast and Furious 6: 97%
    World War Z: 96%
    Iron Man 3: 92%
    Star Trek: 90%
    Pacific Rim: 71%

    movie posters

     
  • Justin 2:57 pm on June 16, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , David Goyer, Diane Lane, Henry Cavill, Laurence Fishburne, , , , ,   

    Man of Steel Review | The Franchise is Back on its Feet 

    1

    Generally I agree with the critics, who have in this case, given this movie a C or two stars, but I am really not sure what movie they were watching or what they expected. Man of Steel is far from perfect, but the hard work is there, and it shows as the movie succeeds as a entertaining piece of work, getting the superman franchise back on its feet.

    I’ve never been a superman fan; to be fair I’ve never read the comic books as a kid and high level, I didn’t get the proposition. He’s simply a alien, and yet his archnemesis is a rich human (Lex)? Given he’s kinda invincible except for kyrptonite, all you can do is (a) hurt the people he cares about (Ma, pa, and Lois and people in general) and/or (b) get some kryptonite…7 years ago, Bryan Singer who just loves Superman and Superman II gave us Superman Returns and like Batman and Robin, the franchise knew for sure it needed a break and some serious thinking…Enter Nolan’s team and Zack Synder’s, and we finally have a Superman movie, that is far from perfect, but is a pretty good reboot of a franchise. The movie takes on my biggest beef usually with Superman; he’s a alien. Snyder/Goyer and team completely work and build off that yes he is a alien and do something cool with it.

    Krypton is about to die, but the world’s chief scientist Jor-El (Russell Crowe) has built a rocket for his son Kal-El to travel) to Earth.  The infant Kal-El is imbued with the planet’s codex, which contains all of Krypton’s knowledge, in particular the ability to craft the species’ eugenics.  General Zod (Michael Shannon) attempts a coup and tries to get the codex, but is apprehended and sent into the phantom zone along with his co-conspirators.  Krypton explodes, Kal-El reaches Earth safely, is found and raised as “Clark Kent” by Jonathan (Kevin Costner) and Martha Kent (Diane Lane), but with the twist that Pa Kent truly wants Clark to hide his powers for fear the world will reject him, at least for now.  The adult Kal-El (Henry Cavill), eventually discovers his true origin, and then has to fight to protect the Earth when Zod discovers that the Last Son of Krypton—and therefore the codex—are on our planet.

    2

    The overarching narrative loosely follows the origin story we all know, but with many welcome twists.  Clark’s journey is viewed through the prism of his two fathers rather than him going through the standard story beats of discovery, fortress of solitude, join Daily Planet as a cover, and then save the day as Superman.  We’ve seen that so many times before.  In this new adaptation, the beats are there, but are rearranged and maybe given alittle more depth.  Most importantly, we see two different belief systems that get to the same end-game.  Jor-El believes that Kal-El should embrace his powers, and become a force of good for Earth to guide our planet to a better tomorrow.  Jonathan believes Clark needs to keep his powers a secret in order to stay safe or else humanity will reject him, but that eventually they will be ready and embrace him. At this point of course, Zod returns and all hell breaks loose.

    3

    Not getting into too much details many things about the movie work well. Krypton/the first 15 minutes are really great; from the visuals, to the setup, to Hans Zimmer’s music that as usual in these types of movies, engulf, rather than support the scenes, and its great. The cast throughout the movie is hilariously strong; from Crowe, to Lane, Costner, to Shannon. It’s sad that Morpheous does nothing more than run down city streets like a tidal wave is coming, but his character (Perry White) doesn’t do much anyway…so you either get a decent name or just don’t show this character…Adams does a good job as the new Lois Lane; they show us that she’s a great journalist, rather than just telling us; and while I’m never really convinced of her relationship with Superman, I don’t know how else to show it that hasn’t been done 1000 times before.

    5


    The fight sequences are pretty damn cool; doing things that people have tried, but done in a way we’ve never seen before on a matter of levels. Snyder has taken an understanding of Superman’s physical abilities and attempted to test them in a way that’s pretty entertaining. But they could have also edited and elevated the movie’s action sequences a bit more; I didn’t need a 10 minute special effects dazzle with liquid metal tentacles that ends with him just flying through 
    something to make it blow up. 

    The movie is far from perfect. It’s alittle too long, and we could have done without a couple of the action sequences, but like Batman Begins, the franchise is off to a very good start.  The ending of the movie (literally the last three minutes) mirrors Nolan’s Dark Knight Rises ending; a lot happens and then its over. While the idea that he’s hiding behind a pair of glasses and a dresshirt as a journalist is ridiculous in this day and age, I was already on board and enjoying myself and so the movie succeeds for me.

    Review: B
    6

     
  • paulywalnuts 3:31 am on June 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Why there is no review of “After Earth” 

    Because Hell has not frozen over.

    Sony's going to want a Men In Black 4 and 5 to pay for After Earth's disaster

    Sony’s going to want a Men In Black 4 and 5 to pay for After Earth’s disaster

     
  • paulywalnuts 3:15 am on June 12, 2013 Permalink | Reply  

    Netflix Night | Stand Up Guys 

    Netflix Night: Stand Up Guys

    Al Pacino, Christopher Walken, Alan Arkin in a mob movie about friendships and revenge … what’s not to love, right?  A whole lot, actually.

    Pacino comes out of prison after after serving 28 years and his buddy Christopher Walken gives him one never-ending night to welcome him back to the free world.  Walken is hiding a secret – he’s been assigned to kill Pacino by 10am the next day.  There really isn’t any plot or direction beyond that.  The movie zooms from one meaningless subplot to the next, but Alan Arkin is memorable in his short time on screen.  The other co-stars are pretty pointless, and the best part of the movie is its ending.

    IMDB Rating:
    6.5 out of 10

    Rotten Tomatoes Rating:
    38% of critics liked it / 50% of audiences liked it, but admittedly may have fallen asleep and are only saying they liked it because of the cast

    this (grooms)man’s Rating:3 out of 10 … it’s just not a good movie

     

    stand-up-guys02

     
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