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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Kubo and the Two Strings: Official Trailer 3 Is All Stop Motion Goodness – Trailer Review

Focus Features and LAIKA Entertainment are bringing us an animated experience that is reminiscent of LAIKA’s other feature length films such as The Boxtrolls, Paranorman, and Coraline. With heavy Japanese influence for the next picture, we are treated to a trailer full of wonder, color, and fantasy that stop motion seems to always bring. The voice talent is obviously off the charts with McConaughey as the most notable (that we’ve heard so far) and Charlize Theron bringing a calming influence as a Japanese macaque.

Not all animation has to be for children and while LAIKA films are not box-office successes like the animated films from the big three of Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks, its vital to support films like this in order for them to stay alive. Like the Tim Burton films that harnessed stop motion such as this to the wild and crazy films like Wallace and Gromit, stop motion deserves your love and money.

I know I’m going to see this, but I hope you all do too.

Is Green Lantern Corps Closer to Getting George Miller as Its Director?

When we heard that Green Lantern will get his own movie, fans were not sure to be excited or upset. As Ryan Reynolds and Deadpool have poked fun at in the best way possible, the movie we were given in 2011 was a complete mess. With DC and Warners rebooting and creating an entirely new DC shared universe with the iconic Justice League characters we know and love, Green Lantern was the character we heard the least about.

But it was when we heard the news that the solo Green Lantern movie would have more than just Hal Jordan as Green Lantern, fans jumped back on board with the idea of Green Lantern back on the big screen. While no cast members have been mentioned or confirmed, the studio insists that we are getting a Green Lantern Corps movie in 2020 and the possible director could be a guy DC fans have wanted for their movies since day one.

George Miller. The Fury Road director saw his latest movie go home with a plethora of technical awards at the Oscars and other award shows and his revival as a director has made his name a hot topic again, especially around DC properties. As most of us know, Miller was the original director sought after for a Justice League movie before the reboots occurred for the current DCEU and Zack Snyder coming on board for Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Justice League Part 1. 

Miller’s in his 70’s and seems to be catching his breath after all the work that went into Fury Road, rightfully so, and for him to jump into another large property as beloved by comic book fans like Green Lantern is a dream come true for many, but this is far from confirmed or even close to happening. For all we know, the next few films DC has being released could be box-office and critical disasters and DCEU could die before Green Lantern ever gets a chance to show up on our screens in the supposed four years. Still, it’s nice to know that George Miller isn’t out of the “names in a hat” discussion for possible DC directors, but if he confirms he is or isn’t interested, James Wan could be the guy for WB with his work on Aquaman already enticing fans like no other.

Tomb Raider: Alicia Vikander Cast as Lara Croft

The reboot of the classic video game character has seen a re-imagining and revival through the latest video games, but she will also get the same treatment for a new live-action film with their lead actress now in place. Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander has been begged for the role of Lara Croft tomb raider and I couldn’t be more excited.

Her work in Ex Machina, The Danish Girl, and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. made her the break out star of last year which proved fruitful for the former ballerina turned actress and she will headline what is now officially an anticipated reboot from the guilty pleasure Angelina Jolie films of the early 2000’s. From what I’ve seen from the newest games – though I am not a gamer – the settings are far larger and more realistic than the classic game play. She has always been a character that can be seen as a female rendition of Indiana Jones mixed with Bruce Wayne and that is a premise that should entice us if the film is a more serious tone.

MGM and Warner Bros. will produce the new movie. The proposed rumors for the role had gone to (my future wife) Daisy Ridley of her newly found Star Wars fame and it seemed like that could have been their girl, but whether she is too busy or backed out for creative reasons or the studio wanted someone different for the role, we all win.

Vikander’s casting could be a sign of legitimacy of the video game movie genre and hopefully breaks the genre out of its lackluster stay in cinema. She is an actress who seems to be able to do it all while casting a spell on you with her big brown eyes in the process. Let’s hope the director of the film is as high quality as the actress.

Netlfix/BBC To Bring to Life Watership Down Miniseries with John Boyega & James McAvoy

Don’t be fooled by the fluffy bunnies in the featured image, this is not strictly for kids by any means. Based off of the highly successful novel about a warren of rabbits, they quickly learn about the truths of life and death as well as conflict outside and inside their own circles. Originally a book in 1972 and later an animated film six years later, the original film didn’t hold back on the dark adult subject matter nor the depictions of the conflicts at hand.

So far, a stellar voice cast has been assembled by the Netlfix and BBC teams by bringing on; John Boyega, Sir Ben Kingsley, James McAvoy, Gemma Arterton, and Nicholas Hoult. It will be directed by Noam Murro (300: Rise of an Empire).

The question scarred adults like myself would ask is what tone does the show want to convey? Originally a violent and gruesome visual depiction of the death of cute fuzzy bunnies was meant for the younger audiences (kids) to learn about the hardships of life early, a polarizing discussion then and now. With such a tremendous cast, you wonder if they want it to have a more mainstream appeal to audiences or the fact it is on Netflix will allow them to revise the story, but still keep the core tone of the original film and story at hand.

First Snowden Trailer with Joseph Gordon Levitt as Edward Snowden – Trailer Review

Oliver Stone is a great writer and director when he gets it right, setting his films in a landscape that is similar to our own. Political thrillers just so happen to be his wheelhouse where he spins ideas and concepts for his movies and this was looks like one of the better efforts.

Based on the true story of Edward Snowden and his choice to leak some of the CIA’s largest secrets relating to surveillance of its people has heist thriller written all over it. Originally set to come out last year, the film was obviously delayed until September of this year and it seems like it could be worth the wait.

Also starring in the film is Shailene Woodley, Scott Eastwood, Nicolas Cage, and Timothy Olyphant. The film looks suspenseful and surprisingly fun for what the subject matter has in hand. No matter of what your thoughts are of the guy and his actions to reveal such secrets, the film looks enthralling.

Go ‘Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)’ and His Love/Hate Relationship With Folk Music – Movie Review

Hop into a cinematic masterpiece, yes I said masterpiece, by one of the most profound film duos in the business today. The Coen Brothers, directors of iconic films such as Fargo, O Brother Where Art Thou?, and No Country For Old Men, bring us a lesser known gem to represent the Coen’s masterful style of visual splendor and black comedy to the screen about the Greenwich Village folk music scene in the early 1960’s. Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina The Force Awakens) is a starving artist and folk singer before the times of Bob Dylan and other genre pioneers of that time. With incredible cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel, rather than their guy Roger Deakins, the Coens submerge us into a world that is very much their own while providing a story any artist can relate to in their lowest moments.

The trademarks the Coens are known don’t go anywhere during this period piece story and yet this is perhaps their most personal story they’ve brought to the big screen. Submersive in all the right ways with a stellar performance by its lead as well as classic supporting cast that includes a Coens staple in John Goodman as well as, Justin Timberlake, Adam Driver, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham, and Carey Mulligan. Classically fusing multiple genres within a main genre as well as storylines galore, none of them become jumbled or lost from the main points of the film. Darkly comedic while having you gain an equal amount of sympathy for our lead, whom would normally be unlikable, is all the credit to Isaac for bringing a humanity to a down on his luck folk singer.

I’d be remiss to mention all the incredibly poetic music that is played live for the takes and the impact it has on the stories structure. Being given a nearly flawless cast member in Isaac allowed the Coens to mine the talented guitarist and singer and put those talents to the best use possible. While the film is far from a musical, it delivers a stage presence that you would see in a musical or music concert without it feeling unnatural. Isaac’s emotions and folksy vocals are a treat for the senses in more ways than one. Like the songs he sings, stories and feelings are puppeteered through the beautiful melodies many folk singers were capable of doing centuries prior.

This is not a literal “feel good” film, but you feel good watching it. This is a film about hardship and failure, but maybe because it’s a coping mechanism, we laugh through Llewyn’s struggles. Captivating and incredibly indie, it’s a film by the directing duo that may be the indie film’s biggest heroes when it comes to small budgets, stellar stories, and a large as life way about it. It was added to the prestigious criterion  collection last year and deserves it and more. I hope you all get a chance to experience this quirky, darkly funny homage to folk music, and the art of cinema.


Update on Neill Blomkamp’s Alien 5 May Give Hints To It’s Future

Sigourney Weaver is the heart, soul, and haircut of one of the most important science-fiction franchises in the history of movies, but since her arrival to the franchise in the late 70’s and then in the 80’s with a James Cameron sequel for the ages, the franchise has declined at best.

When District 9 director Neill Blomkamp released concept art for his own Alien film (was called Alien 5 at the time) fans rejoiced, but that was before the director’s third film Chappie flopped like basketball players at the box-office and with critics. Since then, original Alien director Ridley Scott took the reins of the franchise to bring his own sequel-prequel back on screen. Originally, the film was Prometheus 2, but has since changed to Alien: Covenant which is now the Alien movie we are getting first.

Weaver was quoted with optimistic words about the film’s future:

“I’d be really surprised if we didn’t do it, because it’s such a great script, and we love working together”, she said. “So, it’s just going to take a little bit longer to get out to you, but it’ll be worth the wait”.

When their film comes out, with Weaver likely having 20 Avatar films and some indie films in between, is beyond me, but we can look forward to Scott’s return to the franchise he started with Alien: Covenant  next year on October 17th.

Source: Den of Geek

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