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Monthly Archives: February 2017

Is Harry Potter’s David Thewlis Wonder Woman Villain Ares?

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With nothing but a really stellar trailer from a few months ago, Warner Bros and DC’s Wonder Woman movie has been quiet as far as the overall plot. There hadn’t been any news on the villains or central plot beyond the time period taking place in World War I. With the footage and images we’ve seen with that in mind, we should be fairly excited for what’s yet to come, but there is news that Anomolisa and Harry Potter veteran David Thewlis could be taking on the main villain role of Ares. 

If you paid any attention to exploratory Latin, you’d know who Ares is from Greek mythology, he’s a god of war with a sick obsession for destruction and battle. That’s not too different from his comic book origins and his connections to Wonder Woman.

Thewlis will fuse practical effects with CGI like most of the characters you see in big budget films. Thewlis has a knack for playing dark, dramatic, even poetic villainy while communicating almost a Shakespearean character all in one. I remember first seeing him in a childhood favorite of mine, Dragonheart, so if you don’t understand my description, check out that stinking movie! His talents will hopefully only add to what we hope is at least a good movie by the end, but to say we fans are skeptical is an understatement.

Beyond Thewlis and Gal Gadot, the cast is pretty impressive which only makes the anticipation rise like tides for this movie to come out. You have; Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, Danny Huston, Lucy Davis, Ewen Bremner, and Saïd Taghmaoui all cast in significant roles which we’ve seen peaks of thus far.

In case you don’t know the design of Ares from his comics, have a look down below, and tell me what you think about Thewlis lending his voice and body to the role.

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Source: Batman-News

First Look At Shane Black’s ‘The Predator’ Cast

Shane Black’s fourth directed film comes with much anticipation as the film auteur returns to the franchise in which he has a supporting role as well as writing credits. The Predator will be the fourth of the solo Predator films to hit theaters with all, but the first one receiving less than stellar reviews. Black has made some of the better films of the last few years with his signature work on Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, and the criminally under-seen The Nice Guys.

Starring in the film is Boyd Holbrook of Narcos fame and can be seen as the main villain in Logan heading to theaters this March. Rounding out the cast is Trevante Rhodes (Moonlight), Olivia Munn, Keegan Michael-Key, Sterling K. Brown, and Room standout, Jacob Tremblay.

Black went onto his Twitter to share the cast photo:

Breaking away from the classic “buff dudes” from the original film, Black has made the film or more temporary, yet still a referential film for the most part. Fans haven’t been too pleased with the addition of young star Jacob Tremblay, not because the kid isn’t talented beyond his peers (no seriously), but because the rumor is that Tremblay’s character could be an autistic boy is a savant that can understand language which could leak a plot point for how they crew takes down the alien hunter.

Source: Shane Black

Could DC’s Shazam Finally Be Eyeing A Director?

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DC has been clogging up the toilets of movie news websites for months now and I’m not sure there is a plunger big enough to get the job done. Nonetheless, you gotta do what you gotta do regardless. With Batman, The Flash, and a pretty much every other property they have beyond Aquaman and Wonder Woman, there hasn’t been any director that has stayed long enough on a project to matter, but there might be a director finally in talks to take on the Shazam movie that will have Dwayne Johnson as Black Adam (finally).

Shazam is a cool character who is actually merely a young boy named Billy Batson who is granted the magical abilities to become a superhero strong enough to take on Superman with the use of one word. His main antagonist has been cast for almost three years now, but nothing has come of the film beyond that point. It sounds they are at least trying to get a story and director involved by eyeing up Lights Out director David F. Sandberg.

Sandberg did tremendous work directing the small budget horror film and was a financial success for New Line Cinema and getting praise from producer, writer, director, and Aquaman helmer James Wan. Sandberg will be directing the sequel to Annabelle, the horror spin-off about a cursed doll terrorizing a family. With Wan being one of the more respected filmmakers for Warner Brothers thus far, it makes sense he’d try to give Sandberg high praise in order for him to come onto the DC crew as a director.

Since Shazam will not be directly tied to the DC Extended Universe, he can stand on his own in a way that won’t dilute his stories thanks to the existence of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman etc. New Line Cinemas, the branch company of Warner Bros., will be producing the Shazam film. Now the next hopeful step is to sign him on and find their Shazam ASAP.

Source: The Wrap

Rumor: Disney/Marvel Possibly Developing Namor Film, Donnie Yen To Star?

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After showing up in tremendous fashion in Rogue One, Donnie Yen has made his mark on the general public as a star that can definitely hold his own, and look good doing it. His fame was originally in Hong Kong cinema exclusively, but like Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Bruce Lee, the martial arts star has made his mark on the global populous enough to warrant bigger American roles. His biggest role could be closer than we think with one aquatic hero, sometimes anti-hero, Namor aka the Sub-Mariner.

Marvel has obviously succeeded in bringing lesser known characters to the big screen with success, ease, and quality, – Doctor Strange I’ll battle with you – raking in money, and a ravenous fan base. With Jason Momoa bringing Aquaman to the movie world for the first time, it makes sense Marvel wants to at least consider the idea of bringing their aquatic hero later down the road.

There is word from Disney themselves giving any sort of shortlist for the actors possibly able to play the character, but they’d be crazy not to have Donnie Yen’s name at the top. Not only is he an undervalued charismatic actor, but his martial arts background only checks off another box, while shallow things such as his look make for a near flawless fan casting. Yen is over 50 years old, but looks about 20 years younger than that so that won’t be an issue, so why not start the speculation now?

Normally I wouldn’t roll with this kind of stuff, but it seems almost too good to be true. He was probably people’s top two favorite characters in Rogue One and for good reason. Why not bring him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Namor?

 

Jon Favreau’s Live-Action Talent Has It’s Simba and Mufasa

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It took me a few days to ponder if I was even interested in seeing this live-action version of arguably the greatest Disney film of all time. Even with the talented Jon Favreau set to direct the live-action film after his success with The Jungle Book, it didn’t take Disney long to realize that they could succeed at making a believable live-action version of any of their films, so why not The Lion King?

There’s an observation I had when watching one of my favorite segments on the internet, that being The Hollywood Reporter’s Roundtables, and they had Favreau host one of their specials with a bunch of creatives you may all know. One of the things that isn’t hard to miss Favreau’s respect, admiration, and appreciation for Donald Glover. With that, it seems to make perfect sense that Glover would eventually cast in JF’s next film one way or another.

WATCH: The Hollywood Reporter’s Roundtable: Epic Conversation on Creativity

Even more surprising news is that Favraeu went out of his way to make sure the great James Earl Jones returned to voice Mufasa, a standout in voice acting history without much question. As excited as I am for these two talents, I’m not quite sure what the point of making the film is beyond showing off some cool CGI advancements.

Glover is quickly starting to become a go-to actor big tent-pole projects in Hollywood thanks to his overall success in acting on Community, being a platinum selling musician, respected stand-up comedian, and now recognized thespian. Glover will be voicing the adult version of Simba while James Earl-Jones will return as the original King of Pride Rock. With this leap in Glover’s career, it’s only a matter of time he stands atop as somewhat of a king in his own right.

Source: Jon Faveau

The Founder Review: Michael Keaton Shines As Ray Kroc In McDonald’s Biopic

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Back in 2014 Michael Keaton came back to film in a big way, creating an unforgettable character in what is an unforgettable masterpiece of a film in Birdman. When he lost the Best-Actor award to a much deserving Eddie Redmayne, which I thought he’d win, it made us wonder how Keaton would get back to that Oscar contention again. Thankfully, his run since then has been pretty stellar to say the least thanks to Spotlight which ended up taking home the gold for Best-Picture making it the second film Keaton has been a part of within only three years.  Unfortunately, The Founder went unnoticed by audiences and Academy members alike this time around, but that doesn’t take away the effort brought into this astonishing true story about the genesis of the global fast food chain that is McDonald’s.

Keaton plays Ray Kroc, a smooth talking, unsatisfied salesman in the 1950’s, traveling the states to sell products of all types, but it’s when he gets a chance to sell his milkshake makers to a couple of friendly New Hampshire born brothers by the name of McDonald does he see, and manipulate the potential that be. John Carroll Lynch and an outstanding Nick Offerman play the tender, morally strong brothers that Kroc tries to take advantage of which leads to some of the most potent scenes of betrayal that only add to the treachery of what really happened. Biting at the toes and hands of the audience, the dialogue is purposeful, and about as sour as a lemon in some scenes.

Keaton proves to us again that there is power in range and there is a fine line between protagonist and antagonist of a story, and this film is no question about a pretty bad man whose selling out of two good people created a billion dollar franchise that would pollute the world globally in ways you may not have realized. To see the transformation of the company through John Lee Hancock’s directing is riveting, but can sometimes be a little dull in the grand scheme of things. Thankfully, his eye for understanding what to show and what not too show between the characters makes for a stronger delivery of emotion as the story progresses.

Laura Dern, Patrick Wilson, and Linda Cardelini make strong appearances that bolster the acts that happen between each character as Kroc commandeers an empire that was never meant to be, and that’s exactly what Kroc was, a pirate that had the smooth talking of Jack Sparrow, and the lack of empathy like a Blackbeard. Keaton just magnifies an already fascinating person in history by giving us that calmness that you’d get from his Bruce Wayne, but also the insanity of a Beetlejuice without ever being a cartoon or mockery of himself. It’s a character driven story that does a great job handling the treachery, the intellect, and the overall controversy of the man who stole the McDonald’s brand and company for his own selfish gain.

SCORE: B+

Live By Night Review: Affleck Misses Mark By Casting Himself In Lead Role

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Ben Affleck has not had an easy time in the last few months, with all the Batman drama at Warner Brothers and DC don’t help anything, but after seeing his latest directorial effort, I may see why he didn’t want the stresses of directing another big film for a little while. Affleck transports us into the roaring 20’s in Prohibition-era Boston and Tampa in his latest crime drama where he brings an ensemble of talent who get lost in the shuffle of a film that focuses too heavily on Ben Affleck rather than the character he is portraying. Instead of getting lost into a period of rich mythologies, you are stalled by Ben Affleck seducing beautiful women in a fedora that feels like a parody of itself more than a legitimate style choice.

The story in of itself should be a sweeping epic through a period in time whose natural flare is rarely seen done well on screen. Instead, Affleck puts himself front and center in what felt more like an exercise of ego instead of a role to get lost into a character with. As an auteur thus far, there’s nothing wrong with Affleck trying to find a balance as a writer, director, and actor, but there’s a time when you have to realize that films are a collaborative medium and can’t be created by just one person’s biases and visions. There’s a level of arrogance in the lead role than nuance and subtly that the role was likely better suited for. This is a violent, corrupt ecosystem that feeds off of itself and others alike, I wouldn’t imagine after getting beat up, you just rise from the ashes so easily, but that’s where the film quickly ends up going with Affleck’s character. For me, it feels more like ego getting in the way of the performance which for future films he directs can easily be solved by just taking himself out of the starring role, and letting his actors do the literal talking.

Instead of getting an actor who can show us the fear and danger of prohibition era criminals, Affleck stands awfully comfortably as Joe Coughlin, quickly proving that this was more of a miscast that he may have hoped. His prowess as a crime-thriller director is set, nowhere in trouble nor will it be tainted by this attempt, but it may be time for Affleck to focus on one whether he’d prefer to direct or act in each project he takes on. His work in Gone Girl under David Fincher proved to be a landmark of his acting ability while still being in his realm of familiarity for him while still grasping the character he was portraying. Sadly, Affleck drops that same Boston accent we’ve heard since Good Will Hunting without any real differentiating factors to set his character apart from other roles he’s done.

For a film that was only two hours long, the editing made it feel incredibly dull and boring at times then entirely too quick at others, leaving you nausiated by the lack of focus the film seemed to not bring in the editing room. Quick cuts to montage or to cheaply move sections of a story along that could have just let the images do the talking, I got taken out of the film early on rather than honing in on the details. Affleck is a man who is best when he is pulling the strings – like a director and the characters he’s played before – like Geppetto only to be gobbled up by a whale sized level of monosyllabic flatness that hurts the overall production. Affleck will recover very quickly and having such great vision for films whether good or mediocre is as clear as day, I’d hope he figures out that he needs to be the world class director that he is, and let the other actors do the acting to carry the films.

SCORE: D+

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