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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+

Warner Bros. Loses Matt Reeves For Now As Batman Director

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I didn’t think it was possible to run this many directors out of the running for a superhero film, but Warner Brothers has managed to break that record with ease. Clearly the studio is going at a pace that doesn’t allow it’s directors to take appropriate amounts of time to just make the project they want to make. With a report from The Hollywood Reporter, Matt Reeves has and the studio have stalled discussions for him to come on as director of The Batman. 

Reeves is still in vigorous post-production for his much anticipated sequel to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and claimed that he would bring his own spin to the Batman film if signed on.

The studio has been trying to court some of the biggest names in Hollywood for their films as proven with them courting Mel Gibson for Suicide Squad and having Ridley Scott (The Martian, Alien Covenant) along with Fede Alverez (Don’t Breathe) in the wings to hopefully sign on for The Batman. For now, it’s still possible that Reeves could come back into negotiations with the studio once both parties can take a breath and attack the film like they need too.

DC and Warner Bros. may officially be fast tracking their films to a point that it’s more panic than it is a cohesive plan for the future of DC films. The Batman doesn’t come out for another two years, but the fact there is not a script anyone can agree on nor a director to bring it to life only adds to the constant concern.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

 

The Worst Movie Idea Has Surfaced Thus Far In 2017, A Tom Brady Movie

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I hate the Patriots, I genuinely despise their guts as a franchise, and whatever it is they represent. I didn’t want them to win the Superbowl, but clearly Atlanta did so that makes this all the more frustrating to even report, well guess what? They want to make a movie about Tom Brady, but not a biopic that tells the heartbreaking true story about how he played at Michigan only to get drafted into the NFL to later leave his pregnant girlfriend and sponsor UGG boots, no, they’re going to write a film that centers around the bullsh** that has been on ESPN for what feels like an eternity… deflate gate. Oh! They also want to write a movie that chronicles his amazing comeback in this years Superbowl.

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Even with the writing talents of the dudes that wrote The Finest Hours and Patriots Day, I still don’t see how a movie can be made about this when this stuff happened only a month ago. That’s not to say the film comes out tomorrow, but even then, it will all be still fresh in our heads.

Who’s going to play the dopey Superbowl winning QB is the next question Mark Wahlberg? Matt Damon? Ben Affleck? You know what? Make it a comedy, cast Bill Burr as Tom Brady and just make the most incredible spoof of all time. Please, please, please do it. That would bring me such joy and happiness that flowers may start growing out of my ears.

Source: Deadline

The American Remake of ‘The Raid’ To Star Frank Grillo & Be Directed By Joe Carnaghanan

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The American remake of the Indonesian martial arts masterpieces that are The Raid movies is getting colonized by American studios, oh, I meant remade for American audiences. The part that should make you bananas (in a bad way) about this news is that these movies came out within a span of only six years…six years!

It’s not like foreign films films haven’t been remade for American audiences and done well in the past, but damn Hollywood, unless you’re getting Scorsese to do a whole The Departed type thing here, I don’t think any of us want it that much. The talent is at least solid – let me get back on the positive side here – and Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan sounds like a cool duo to fuse for a badass action movie. Carnahan did films such The Grey and Smokin Aces. If anything, at least they got a writer/director who has done wild and fun action before with the star to bring it all to life.

Still, a remake of a film that is still fresh in the minds of movie fans everywhere seems a bit aggressive even for a rabid film fan. Why not try to make a third film in The Raid franchise and involve the Indonesian cast or crew while supporting it and throwing some of those American dollars to it? Just a thought, but I want to hear what you guys have to say for The Raid remake starring Frank Grillo.

Source: Deadline

 

New Concept Art For New & Improved Pacific Rim: Uprising Yaegers

The concept art seen above could be what our new kaigu fighting robots could look like in the sequel to Guillermo del Toro monster movie Pacific Rim. Originally, the Yaegers were a more rusty, heavy looking robotic suit, but from what this picture shows, we may be getting a more sleek version of the robots after they were nearly wiped out in the first film.

The first film was heavily inspired by Japanese mangas and monster movies of the past while still trying to hone in it’s own original take on the ideas. What I see now is the leap to a more anime styled robot that is necessary to take on giant sea dwelling alien/monster lifeforms that nearly destroyed the human race.

Del Toro’s efforts on the film can be seen the most in the visuals and how he wanted to make sure that the monsters and robots had “weight” to them, literally. When you make something sleeker and more stream line it could end up not feeling like people inside a robot, but instead a less believable physics to it all. They look incredibly cool and if this is the look they go with you won’t hear complaints from me.

Source: License! Mag

Expect Some Pretty Realistic John-Wick Style Action In Robin Hood: Origins

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How many times have we seen Robin Hood told on film? Too much to count is the correct answer. It’s one of those properties like Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, or freaking Peter Pan. I’m pretty sure the only one people universally loved was the Disney animated one from the 70’s along with Men In Tights in 1993. The latest reincarnation will be an origin story starring Taron Egerton as the outlaw of Nottingham, Ben Mendalson as the Sheriff of Nottingham with Jamie Foxx cast as Little John. Hopefully Foxx doesn’t dawn a lock wig with some gold teeth and a pimp cup. If he avoids that, it can’t go as bad as it could.

Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe was not well received by fans or critics either because of the overlong story that seemed to mimic too many things from Gladiator and Kingdom of Heaven, two films Scott directed prior. It was overly serious film that had the ideas that would have worked, but weened off that path early on in the film.

Lionsgate seems excited about their property and where it can go moving forward as the producer had plenty to say to Collider:

“Exempting the killer cast, I feel that it captures the adventure and the fun and the spirit of Robin Hood, but because it’s the origin story—it’s a kid going off to war thinking he’s going on a great Crusade, and realizing it’s all bullshit and coming back with some PTSD and realizing he’s been lied to, and coming back to kind of a fractured society that doesn’t really accept him and realizing, ‘Okay the super rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer.’ You could describe that now. What Joby Harold, our writer, was able to do is make it feel very allegorical and very contemporary, and feel youthful but not youthful in a YA way, youthful in a kind of, the anger, the energy, what people when they were 25 feel, without it being pandering like ‘Look, we’re the young version of the movie!”

That’s a pretty big buy for me folks. Joby Harold has also been penned to rewrite The Flash movie and has a script of his coming to theaters this year with King Arthur: Legend of the Sword which is a relatively similar type of story to Robin Hood in regards to how the settings with evolve. He also spoke about the stunt work the film will likely have:

“The images of Robin Hood, the imagery we have, the production design, the stunt work that we’re doing—a lot of it was inspired by the John Wick stunt work. The stuff we’re doing with the bow and arrow, it’s the same thing that Keanu does with the gun. The costumes, it just feels different than any other Robin Hood we had.”

It’s no surprise John Wick was one of those films that will begin changing the landscape of action films, the same way a Mad Max: Fury Road or The Matrix did. What works will end up being what filmmakers try to copy and hopefully they actually pull of said stunt work the way John Wick did because the realistic nature of it all can bring a level of believable stakes to something we’ve all seen as men swinging through the trees and mucking up their accents — I’m look at you Kevin Costner.

Source: Collider

 

 

 

BREAKING: DC and Warner Brothers to Fast Track ‘Green Lantern Corps’ With David S. Goyer to Write

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Anyone else feel like someone is trying to bring balance into the force that is Warner Brother’s DC Extended Universe? The meetings, and the rumors about Affleck not being happy with the script to the constant reactionary spin-offs, you’d hope they’d try to slow that all down, right?

The news comes from Deadline where they report that David S. Goyer (Batman Begins, Man of Steel, The Blade Trinity) will be the screenwriter alongside Justin Rhodes. Goyer will produce the film as well which is actually pretty substantial news since he has worked on nearly every other DC property in recent years to critical and financial success.

I think the best part about this report is that it will follow the two Lanterns every fan wants to see and they are Hal Jordan and Jon Stewart. Jordan may be the most iconic Lantern who was once a pilot while Stewart was an ex-marine. Geoff Johns may be the biggest fan of Green Lantern out there with him bringing some of the most iconic story-lines to life in the New 52 run while Goyer is just as much a comic book nerd as the rest of them.

I don’t expect there to be much contact with original live-action Hal Jordan aka Ryan Reynolds for a plethora of reasons, but there have been crazier things happen. Still, that’d be flat out stupid to bring a guy back who, while not the problem, was a tie with the mediocrity that was the original Green Lantern film.

Source: Deadline

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