Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Superman movie news

March 27, 2011

The LA Times is reporting today that the part of Lois Lane has been cast in the new Superman movie project … and it’s Amy Adams.

Adams becomes the fourth member of the cast, joining Henry Cavill, who dons the red and blue as Superman, and Kevin Costner and Diane Lane, the somewhat surprising choices to to play Ma and Pa Kent. Zack Snyder, of 300 and Watchmen fame, will direct, with David S. Goyer (co-writer of Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and former comic book co-writer of JSA) handling the script. Christopher Nolan is a producer.

Adams has become a favorite of mine, from her delightful role in Enchanted to her grittier performances in Sunshine Cleaning and especially her Oscar-nominated role in The Fighter. She’s shown excellent range, and her beauty certainly doesn’t hurt. I love the casting choice here.

What do you think, readers?

Animated movie reviews

January 22, 2011

I watched a few animated comic book movies over break (Netflix instant watch, what up), and it’s time for a quick rundown of reviews. Although I might have felt there were some flaws here or there, I mostly came away impressed, particularly as three of my four reviews are from pretty recent films, and there’s certainly been a recent trend to make edgier animated comic movies. As I said when I reviewed Planet Hulk a while back, I think that trend could be a great thing for fans who want to see some of these more adult-aimed stories told, but without having punches pulled for the kiddies.

So read on as I give mini-reviews for Superman/Batman: Apocalypse, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Batman: Under the Red Hood, and Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman.

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Spiffy and AA talk TV

September 26, 2010

So, Saturday night, Spiffy started texting me incessantly about all kinds of shit, but his one noteworthy idea was he and I teaming up for a Previews Reviews-style post on the first week of season premieres from the fall TV schedule. Due to my lack of AIM on the computer I was using, we ended up on Facebook (he’s Andy, I’m Me). This was the result.

One of us was drunk, but I’m not telling who; try to guess for yourself.

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Rooting for Ben Affleck in a post-Gigli world

September 19, 2010

I intentionally picked the first douchey image I could find of Ben Affleck for this post, because it helps prove my point: people have come to see Affleck as little more than a douchebag, and that’s unfortunate.

As near as I can tell, the Affleck hate really kicked into full gear in 2003, when Affleck released the epic bomb Gigli, co-starring then-girlfriend Jennifer Lopez. I never actually saw Gigli, but nearly everyone agreed it was awful. But not only was it bad, it became a lightning rod against Ben and J-Lo. Suddenly, as I remember it, both were the butt of every joke. Neither’s career has really fully recovered to the point it had been. For Affleck’s part, somewhere along the line it became common opinion that he couldn’t act and was, in general, a no-talent hack. And that’s a highly unfortunate opinion, one I think couldn’t be further from the truth.

Like I said, I never saw Gigli, but I’m willing to accept it was terrible. So? Name one actor who hasn’t/didn’t do a couple stinkers in his/her day. Are you really telling me Harrison Ford wouldn’t take back Random Hearts if he could? Or that if he had the chance to do it over again, Morgan Freeman would still sign on for Nurse Betty? Hell, you want to know who else was in Gigli? Al Pacino! One of the top three actors of the past half century!

So, Affleck has been nearly universally dumped on, though movies likes Paycheck and Jersey Girl weren’t really bad at all, and in fact fairly enjoyable. Hollywoodland‘s script could have been better, but  Affleck’s performance in it was actually quite impressive. So, as Affleck’s new movie, The Town, opens this weekend, I’m rooting for him to find some success (he directed and starred). Not only because I think Affleck has gotten an unfair rap, but also because I genuinely like him for a couple of reasons.

One, I like famous people who don’t take themselves seriously. When Gigli (which followed Daredevil, another bomb that wasn’t as bad as advertised; if not for Collin Ferrell, that could’ve have been a good film) opened to absolutely brutal reviews, Affleck was due for a Tonight Show with Jay Leno appearance the next week. When critics ravaged the movie and the box office tanked, many actors might have canceled their engagement, but Affleck not only came on the show, but came prepared to make fun of how bad his movie was. On air, he read a series of his favorite reviews about how bad Gigli was, one of which I somewhat remember: “The only way Gigli grossed $3 million on opening weekend was if Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez both bought a ticket worth $1.5 million.” He also mocked himself in the Kevin Smith classic, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (“Affleck, you were the shit in Phantoms, yo!”). His interview about his new movie on The Daily Show was also funny (I’d link to it if I weren’t too drunk to find a link).

The other reason I like Affleck? He’s actually a good actor! People have already forgotten him in Good Will Hunting, which he co-wrote and had a good supporting role in. He also gave an excellent and vastly underrated acting performance in Dogma, a Smith comedy with some very serious undertones.

So now, The Town opens this weekend, and admittedly, most September movies are dogs. But Affleck’s new project is getting rave reviews, opening up to a ridiculous 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. For those of you who might not be as familiar with that site, anything over 60-70% is really impressive. I haven’t seen the movie, and probably won’t until it comes out on video (I’ve only been to the theater once, while killing time in London, in the past four months), but I hope it really is that good.

And furthermore, I hope people start to forgive Affleck for a couple bad movies. It seems like people have been rooting against him the past several years, but I think it’s time be get over that, and welcome one of former up-and-coming actors back into the popular fold.

Spider-Man actor announced

July 7, 2010

I’m still skeptical about Marvel’s plans to “reboot” the Spider-Man movie franchise (how can you reboot a movie franchise that’s eight years old?), so I wasn’t exactly waiting on pins and needles for the announcement of the actor who will be playing Spidey in the 2012 movie. But hey, here’s the news:

Andrew Garfield will be taking on Tobey Maguire’s role as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the as-of-yet untitled movie. Never heard of him? Me neither, but his name made me giggle immaturely. Here’s his IMDB page, sparse on credits with almost everything being pretty minor roles so far. I guess he kinda looks the part, and there’s a history of unproven actors doing well in comics roles. Maguire wasn’t a household name yet when he got the role, though he’d done Cider House Rules by that point, making him much better known than Garfield.

Director Marc Webb, who himself only has one movie to his credit (though it was the excellent (500) Days of Summer), raved about Garfield in the previously linked press release: “Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker.”

I’ll mark your words, Marc. And I might even enjoy your movie. I just can’t get excited about it yet.

Captain America casting announced

April 7, 2010

Some interesting news was officially confirmed today: Marvel announced on its website the main casting for the upcoming film, The First Avenger: Captain America. The movie is theoretically due out on July 22, 2011, though I’m slightly skeptical they’ll make that deadline (and would much rather wait than see it rushed). The movie is Cap’s early days, and we now know the top two billings:

Captain America, Steve Rogers, will be played by Chris Evans.

His partner, Bucky Barnes, will be Sebastian Shaw Stan.

I’ll start with Sebastian Stan, because there’s not much to talk about there. Never heard of him. If you click on his IMDB link above, you’ll see his resume is pretty thin. He’s done some episodes of Gossip Girl and is in Hot Tub Time Machine, which I would like to see, but that’s about it. Bucky seems like a character who was destined to be played by a relatively newcomer, so I have no problem with it.

Chris Evans is a little more interesting. I didn’t actually recognize him by name at first, but certainly by face. Most notably, he was Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four movies. He did Not Another Teen Movie early in his career, and has The Losers coming out soon. People were fairly divided on him as the Human Torch, with many thinking he came off like too much of a douche (which, to be fair, was how it was written at times). I actually liked him a lot as Johnny, and thought he was one of the best things in the FF films. Sure, he was a bit of a tool, but it seemed intentional, rather than the product of bad acting, and he was still funny. It’s a bit of a surprising jump from that to playing Cap, and I’m betting some fanboys aren’t too happy. I certainly didn’t see it coming myself; I did think they’d go for a bigger name, and a lot of “star power” actors were rumored. But I actually have a good feeling about this choice.

Also noteworthy in the Evans casting is that we’re seeing a trend bucked. When the comic books movie craze started, there was a prevailing wisdom that being in one comic book franchise would disqualify an actor/actress from playing any other comics’ characters. But suddenly, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Evans is jumping from Torch to Cap (which I guess means we won’t get an FF/Avengers team-up movie ;)), not to mention doing The Losers. But also, Ryan Reynolds is leading a strong cast as Green Lantern after playing Deadpool in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and signing on for a Deadpool solo movie. So for all of us hoping to see Adam West play the Black Panther, there’s hope yet.

Anyway, that’s all the casting announced so far, though we also know Cap will be directed by Joe Johnston, whose fairly brief directing credits include several commercial (if not necessarily critical) successes, including Jumanji, October Sky, and my personal favorite, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids; most recently, he directed The Wolfman, which I never did see. Seems like a fine enough choice. The screenplay was co-written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, who now have six movies to their credit, all co-written together, including the three Chronicles of Narnia films and The Life and Death of Peter Sellers. I liked the first Narnia movie a lot, thought the second was so-so at best, and we’ll see on the third. The Peter Sellers film was brilliant and highly underrated — that may have been more a product of Geoffrey Rush’s performance than the writing; I haven’t seen it in a long time and can’t say for sure.

Looking forward to hearing more announcements as we go on, and I imagine I’ll get excited once we actually get down the road to the point of seeing a trailer. For now, Marvel Studios is off to an excellent start, so I’m fine with giving them the benefit of the doubt for a while.

Planet Hulk review

February 6, 2010

Forgive my recent absence; I’ve been going through a bit of a busy streak. However, last night I decided to unwind by renting a couple movies, and on an impulse, I chose to try the latest film from Marvel Animated Features: Planet Hulk, which I will review for you now.

The movie is based on a Greg Pak story from a couple years ago. I haven’t read Pak’s story, so if you’re wondering how the film compares and how it deviates, etc., I can’t help you. But I can say that I was surprised by how much I really enjoyed the movie. I came in with fairly low expectations, but was pleasantly surprised in every way.

Read on for more.

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Spider-Man 4’s New Director: You Don’t Even Need To Make a Pun For His Last Name

January 22, 2010

Marc Webb, the director of the highly thought of (and exquisitely good) romantic comedy (500) Days of Summer, has been chosen to replace Sam Raimi as the director for Spider-Man 4.

Judging by the only movie he’s directed, it’s a really intriguing and creative choice. I’ll actually be talking about (500) Days of Summer in the coming days with a new segment, but suffice it to say, I’m actually impressed with this decision. With Raimi perhaps burned out on Spidey, Webb should fill in nicely in this new direction. Color me more optimistic than before.

http://www.examiner.com/x-30527-South-Bend-SciFi-Examiner~y2010m1d20-New-Spidey-will-be-more-angst-and-less-style

-Spiffy

Like Marvel, Sony Intend To Reboot Spider-Man

January 11, 2010

Like Marvel did with the awful, horrendous “Brand New Day,” it looks like Sony is planning on starting over with their uber-successful comicbook movie franchise, Spider-Man.

The news is this: Sam Raimi, the director of the first three installments (which ranged from excellent to orgasmic to awful) is no longer apart of the fourth movie. And Tobey Maguire, the star and Peter Parker himself, is out along with him (no mention of Kirsten Dunst departing as well, although that’d be one change I’d welcome fullheartedly).

What’s worse? Similar to “Brand New Day,” Spider-Man 4 brings Spidey back to high school.

For the whole article, check this out (my link thing is being screwy):

 http://hollywoodinsider.ew.com/2010/01/11/sam-raimi-tobey-maguire-out-of-spider-man-4-sony-confirms/

For more of my thoughts, click on

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The Year of the Sequel. And remake.

January 11, 2010

So I came across this article running down some of the big movie releases for 2010. There might be more complete listings out there, but even with what you see in that article, it is fairly obvious that the 2010 movie landscape could be dominated by sequels and remakes.

All in all, there look to be at least 10 sequels coming out this year, and at least 11 remakes.  A few notables (more listed in the link):

Sequels

Iron Man 2

Shrek Forever

Toy Story 3

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Being that this is primarily a comics blog, I am sure we would all count Iron Man 2 at or very near the top of out most anticipated movies list. I loved the original Shrek, but I think it is probably time to give up on that franchise. Toy Story 3 could go either way; #2 was not great, but I have a good feeling about this one. I am not a Harry Potter fan, but I have been dragged to all the others, and I am sure I will see this one, too (I will admit that the movies have become more bearable since #4). I loved reading the Chronicles of Narnia books when I was a kid, so while Prince Caspian was mediocre, I will still go see the newest movie. Dawn Treader was my second or third favorite book of the series.

Remakes

The Wolf Man

Clash of the Titans

Alice in Wonderland

Robin Hood

The A-Team

Karate Kid

Footloose

Red Dawn

Green Hornet

Some of these are movies that could be good or suck, but ones that I do not care enough about to find out. Footloose is definitely one of those. I like the cast of The Wolf Man, but it does not look like something I would see in theaters. I never saw the original Red Dawn, but feel like I should just because the TV show Scrubs referenced it a few times. Karate Kid stars Jaden Smith (son of Will Smith), with Jackie Chan as the new Mr. Miyagi-type character; I am skeptical. I actually loved the original Clash of the Titans, finding its terrible special effects to be charming, and the idea of gods fighting to be pretty cool. If the buzz is good when the new one arrives, I imagine I will be on board. Green Hornet stars Seth Rogen and is directed by the brilliant but artsy Michel Gondry; no part of that sounds like your typical superhero movie, which could make it something special (or a stinker). Russell Crowe and director Ridley Scott will do their 27th movie together (slight exaggeration) with Robin Hood; it looks a little like the Clive Owen King Arthur movie, trying to ground the legend with some degree of history. I will see Alice for Tim Burton, and probably The A-Team just because … well fuck, it is the A-Team (I never saw the show, but there is something cool about the line, “We’re the A-Team.”). Though I am disappointed that they cast some UFC guy to play the role Mr. T had; they should have just let Mr. T do it again himself.