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Bryan Singer Says That A FANTASTIC FOUR/ X-MEN Film Is Still “In Play”

Posted on 23 July 2015 by William Gatevackes

x-men-vs-fantastic-fourYou know what? I’m getting to really dislike Fox.

Ever since their X-Men franchise was revamped and the Fantastic Four reboot was green lighted, rumors spread that the two franchises would meet up in a grand crossover. However, this was something that Fox, through Simon Kinberg, tried to downplay the idea to the point where it seemed highly unlikely to happen.

And then we get this from Bryan Singer as he promoted the X-Men: Days of Future Past-The Rogue Cut

So an X-Men/Fantastic Four team up is in the works, at least at a small level. I’m wondering if the rumor of a shared universe with Marvel Studios also has a bit of a fire to go with its smoke. A lot will depend on how well Fantastic Four does next week.

Via Collider

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JURASSIC WORLD Sequel Sets Date, Pratt And Howard To Return

Posted on 23 July 2015 by Rich Drees


With Jurassic World now the third highest grossing film of all time, it is a fait accompli that there will be a sequel. And Universal has just announced when we can expect that film hitting our local theaters. SO if you’re waiting for more dinosaur action you’ll want to clear June 22, 2018 on your calendar right now.

And don’t worry, stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard will be reprising their roles as dinosaur expert Owen and Jurassic World park administrator Claire, though it would seem safe to assume that she was probably starting a search for a new job moments after the end of Jurassic World. Given that there were some dangling plotlines at the end oft he film involving dino geneticist Dr. Wu, I expect we will see B.D. Wong returning as well.

Although he has ruled out directing a sequel, Jurassic World co-writer and director Colin Trevorrow will be returning to work on the screenplay for the new film alongside co-writer Derek Connolly.

I have to say that I like the continuity of bringing Pratt and Howard back as it provides a stronger link to the previous film than the original Jurassic Park had to The Lost World: Jurassic Park II. It makes me intrigued to see how Trevorrow will be looking to flesh out the post-genetically revived dinosaur world he introduced in Jurassic World.

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Benicio Del Toro Offered Villain Role For STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII

Posted on 21 July 2015 by Rich Drees


With the release of Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens looming ever closer, it is time, I suppose, to start looking towards the next installment of the saga, Episode VIII, and what it might have in store. For starters, it looks as if there will be a new bad guy for the next generation of heroes to face off against, as The Wrap is reporting from numerous sources that Benicio Del Toro has been offered the role of the film’s villain.

There’s no word as to whether or not the Academy Award-winning actor will take it, but Variety is reporting that Lucasfilm and Disney already offered the role to Joaquin Phoenix, who passed.

This is not the first time that Del Toro has been offered a role in an iconic science-fiction franchise. Previously, he was in consideration for the role of Khan in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness for a brief period before he pulled out.

Looper helmer Rian Johnson is handling the directorial duties for the sequel which is expected to start shooting early next year for its May 26, 2017 release.

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Might SPECTRE Be Director Sam Mendes’ Last Bond Film?

Posted on 20 July 2015 by Rich Drees


It may be that the currently in production Spectre might be director Sam Mendes last tour of duty with the James Bond franchise.

While his previous Bond entry Skyfall has received critical acclaim and done well at the box office, Mendes was reluctant to return for a second film. And it appears that reluctance to continue on with the franchise may have only increased, as he told the BBC

I said no to the last one and then ended up doing it, and was pilloried by all my friends. But I do think this is probably it… I don’t think I could go down that road again. You do have to put everything else on hold.

That’s not to say that he was down on the experience in general.

It feels almost, even though we’ve just finished shooting it, like one big experience and it was a fantastic life-changing thing. It really is more a lifestyle choice than a job.

Honestly, I can’t say that I blame him for wanting to move on. Before coming on the franchise Mendes was best known for strong character dramas like American Beauty, Road To Perdition and Revolutionary Road. And while he definitely brought those sensibilities to the Bond franchise, I can certainly understand him looking at perhaps getting back out and working on some different projects where he might not be as chained to the many requirements and masters that a franchise film has.

Of course, this is the Bond franchise, so one should always remember to never say never…

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Paul Feig Reveals New GHOSTBUSTERS Characters’ Names

Posted on 20 July 2015 by Rich Drees


Thanks to director Paul Feig’s tweets of late, we know a lot about his reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise – the look of the cast, their uniforms and equipment and even the new Ecto-1. But one thing that he has refrained from revealing is the namesur lead characters. Feig fixed that omission for us this weekend when tweeted out this –

OK, he doesn’t match them up to the actresses playing the roles, but based on a lot of set photos that have sprung up while the film is shooting in Boston we can determine that Melissa McCarthy is Abby Yates, Kristen Wiig is Erin Gilbert, Kate McKinnon is Jillian Holtzmann and Leslie Jones is Patty Tolan.

And if you’re trying to figure out a one-to-one correlation with the cast and characters of the original Ghostbusters, don’t. From previous reports, we know that the Erin Gabler and Abby Bergman characters are the ones who have done the first serious scientific work on ghosts, though their careers have set them along different paths. Gabler has left that avenue of research and is close to getting tenure as a professor at Columbia University. Bergman, meanwhile, has teamed up with Holtzmann to continue researching the supernatural. Tolan is an MTA worker ho joins the crew after seeing a ghost in the subway tunnels.

More Ghostbusters news as Feig continues to tweet.

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Review: ANT-MAN

Posted on 19 July 2015 by William Gatevackes

ant-man posterIf you were disappointed because Edgar Wright left this film, then you’re really going to be disappointed after seeing this film. That’s because Wright’s fingerprints are all over the film, yet he is nowhere to be found.

Yes, this is an Edgar Wright film. He and Joe Cornish are still credited with story and part of the screenplay (the latter shared with Adam McKay and Paul Rudd). And if you are a fan of Wright’s work, you’ll be able to pick his parts of the film out almost immediately.

For example, one of Wright’s most prominent trademarks is the jump-cut scene, where he presents a part of the story in a series of staccato images that say what they need to say in a concise and exciting way. In my opinion, it’s a trait that proves his genius and a big part of what I love about his films.

In Ant-Man, there are four or five scenes that you just know that Wright and Cornish wrote for this jump-cut style. However, Peyton Reed, either by conscious choice or lack of the ability to do so, presents these scenes with the pacing of a turtle trying to cross a molasses-covered roadway. The difference between the scenes as Reed directs them and the way they were intended is painfully obvious, and creates a disconnect  with the audience. Unfortunately, this also makes us more aware of the other flaws in the film, flaws such as dodgy motives, underdeveloped characters and gaps in logic that we might not have had time to notice in the faster pace Wright works in.

rudd as scott lang ant-manThe film opens as Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) leaves prison after serving three years for a Robin Hood-like bit of computer theft . He is desperate to go straight so he can provide a good role model for his daughter Cassie (Abby Ryder Forston), but he’s not even able to keep a job at Baskin-Robbins due to his criminal record. Soon, an old prison pal by the name of Luis (Michael Peña) seduces Scott back into a life of crime with a sure-fire robbery of a billionaire ex-military guy. 

However, the only thing Scott finds in the billionaire’s vault is what he thinks is a motorcycle suit. After he puts the suit on, he realizes it allows him to shrink to ant size. The theft was orchestrated by the suit’s creator, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) as a test of Lang’s skills. See, Pym’s protege Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), has used Pym’s designs to create his own shrinking battle suit, one he is willing to sell to the highest bidder, no matter who that bidder will kill with it. Pym wants Lang to steal the designs from Cross to keep them from being used for nefarious purposes. Lang quickly signs on, much to the chagrin of Pym’s daughter, Hope (Evangeline Lily), who wanted the assignment for herself.

Antman screen grabThe reason given for Pym choosing Scott over Hope is that Scott is expendable and Pym dares not to lose his daughter. This is where the questions begin, because if he was that concerned about her, why did he have Hope work as his inside woman in Cross’ company, keeping tabs on an man who has no compunction about killing an employee for as little as speaking up in a meeting. And why wouldn’t Hope be a better choice, as she already has a high level access in the company, and would be able to sabotage the development of Cross’ suit from the inside. She wouldn’t even need the Ant-Man suit to do it either.

In addition to that, Pym is a man who doesn’t want his technology used by the military, unless he is the one to use it. Cross has a highly advanced, weaponized version of the Ant-Man suit he created himself, yet still is obsessed with stealing Pym’s outdated 1980’s version of the technology. Cross is another edition of the poorly defined Marvel villain. He constantly reminds us that he is the “jilted protege of a father-figure-like mentor (with nary a flashback to back that up),” yet comes off more as a raving lunatic who completely ignores his expressed motivation at the end just to give the film a slam bang finale.

antman stillWho do we blame for these contradictions? Wright and Cornish? McKay and Rudd? Reed? Marvel Studios’ interference?  One from column A, one from column B? All of the above? Regardless, the studio would have been better off if it either delayed the movie, scrapped all of Wright’s stuff, and then started over or, you know, just let Wright direct it.

Which isn’t to say that the film is all bad. The effects are spectacular, the acting is great and there are moments of fun action and witty comedy. It’s just that it seems like without Wright at the helm, the film is like a jacket three sizes too big for Reed to wear, a jigsaw puzzle with miss-matched pieces. The result is a disappointing film.


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New Releases: July 17, 2015

Posted on 17 July 2015 by William Gatevackes

ant-man poster1. Ant-Man (Disney, 3,856 Theaters,117 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, Rotten Tomatoes Rating at press time: 77% Fresh [151 Reviews]): After a tumultuous journey to the screen, this film has finally arrived.

Being a big Edgar Wright fan, I had a secret hope that this film would be awful. Yet, as a fan of comic book films, I also want it to be a success. Such conflicting feelings put a hamper on my desire to see. Typically, I’d have seen it by the time this post hits the web. Now if I see it this weekend, I see it this weekend. if not, well, that’s okay too.

Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang, a petty their who is hired by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to engage in a bit of industrial espionage. The safety of the world is at stake, and helping him is a suit that allows him to shrink to ant size.

Trainwreck_poster2. Trainwreck (Universal, 3,157 Theaters,125 Minutes, Rated R for strong sexual content, nudity, language and some drug use, Rotten Tomatoes Rating at press time: 87% Fresh [97 Reviews]): Amy Schumer is an unparalleled genius. Her Inside Amy Schumer is one of the best sketch shows to ever air on TV, and she is a master of marrying vulgar humor with biting social commentary and coming up with something riotously funny. She is getting a lot of notice and acclaim for the show, and one of the side benefits is the opportunity to write and star in a feature film.

Amy play a woman named, well, Amy, a writer for a famous men’s magazine who lives a promiscuous lifestyle. Monogamy is for dummies is her motto. But that attitude changes when she meets a charming sports doctor named Aaron (Bill Hader). Will Aaron be enough to make Amy change her freewheeling ways? Or is their relationship just a brief respite from Amy’s carousel of one-night stands?

This film is directed by Judd Apatow, but, outside of Hader, none of the Apatow Repertory Players appear in the film. However, fans of Schumer’s TV show will recognize a number of familiar faces mixed in with intriguing cameos from a diverse range of actors including John Cena, Tilda Swinton, Daniel Radcliffe and Marisa Tomei.

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X-MEN: APOCALYPSE Pics In This Week’s Entertainment Weekly

Posted on 17 July 2015 by William Gatevackes


It’s been a while since Entertainment Weekly has run an article about how much they hate comic book films. But there has been no shortage of exclusive photos from comic book films of late, though.

This week’s issue (not this month’s, like The Beat would have us believe), gives us exclusive glimpses of what the forthcoming X-Men Apocalypse will look like, with the first look at a lot of the characters. Here are the pictures, with my commentary below them.


x-men-apocalypse-image-alexandra-shipp-oscar-isaac-olivia-munnHere we get a good look at Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Apocalypse (Oscar Issacs) and Psylocke (Olivia Munn). It looks like Storm and Psylocke will be teaming with the bad guys at least for part of the film. Storm is rocking the mohawk Chris Claremont and Paul Smith gave her in the 80s. Psylocke has one of the most accurate costumes in scomic book film history, and, bless her heart, Munn has the chops to pull it off. And what can we say about Apocalypse? His comic book look is one that would be hard to pull off on screen, but he looks more like obscure Avengers villain Thane Ector than Apocalypse.

x-men-apocalypse-image-jennifer-lawrence-evan-petersGood news for any of us who wish we could have seen more of Quicksilver (Evan Peters) in Days of Future Past, because it looks like we’ll be getting to see more of him in this one. And it looks like Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) will be going back to blending in with humanity in this film (unless they will be making her make up CGI).

x-men-apocalypse-image-michael-fassbenderMagneto (Michael Fassbender) looks absolutely dreamy in a flannel shirt he got at Sears.

x-men-apocalypse-image-jennifer-lawrence-rose-byrne-james-mcavoy-lucas-till-nicholas-houltNo that is not Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in the background, it is Lucas Till playing Havok. He is joined by Mystique, Beast (Nicolas Hoult), Moira McTaggart (Rose Byrne) and a still not-bald Charles Xavier (James McAvoy)

x-men-apocalypse-image-oscar-isaac-bryan-singer-michael-fassbender-alexandra-shippBryan Singer giving his actors some advice.

x-men-apocalypse-jeanSophie Turner as Jean Grey.

x-men-apocalypse-jubileeLana Condor as Jubilee. It looks like the last film didn’t just do away with X-Men: The Last Stand, but messed with the continuity of all the films. Jubilee has already appeared in the irst two installments of the franchise as a present day student of the Xavier Academy. That’s a pretty long matriculation if she started there around 1983.

x-men-apocalypse-nightcrawlerAnother continuity anomaly is Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee). He has the same brands on his face that Alan Cumming had in X2: X-Men United, but nobody in that film seemed to recognize him. Not even Mystique, who is mentoring him in this film.

x-men-apocalypse-psyclopsCyclops (Tye Sheridan)

x-men-apocalypse-stormA better look at Storm and her Mohawk.


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Dan Aykroyd Is Cameoing In GHOSTBUSTERS

Posted on 15 July 2015 by Rich Drees


Dan Aykroyd has shot a cameo for director Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot.

The actor tweeted out that the news yesterday, stating that he found his castmates “adorable, hilarious and badass.” The tweet has since disappeared from his feed, so perhaps we weren’t supposed to know. The folks over at Indie Revolver think that Aykroyd will be appearing as a taxi driver in a scene with star Kristen Wiig –

The scene featured Kristen Wiig attempting to gain access to Aykroyd’s cab in vein. At some point Aykroyd throws out the iconic line, “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts!” and drives off with Wiig yelling something along the lines of “That’s a double negative! That means you ARE afraid of ghosts!”

It is only fitting that Aykroyd makes an appearance in the new film. The entire franchise is his brainchild after all and Aykroyd has been the driving force in reviving the franchise first with a possible third film featuring the original cast and then in championing Feig’s reboot. It is not known if any other cast members from the original film will be showing up, but I suspect we’ll find out sometime before the film’s debut next summer.

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Kevin Smith Confirms Philly Location For MALLRATS 2: MALLBRATS

Posted on 15 July 2015 by Rich Drees


Back in April, we reported that it was possible that Kevin Smith was looking at the Granite Run Mall in the Philadelphia suburb of Media as a possible shooting location for Mallrats 2, later renamed Mallbrats. A week or so later, managed to confirm that the director gad talks with the Mall management about shooting there. Today, Smith himself confirmed it with a Facebook post showcasing himself, and daughter Harley, at the Mall.

We should urge a note of caution though, as Smith does use the conditional “might.” According to its website, the Granite Run Mall is closed and previous reportage had it that the Mall’s owners were looking to get the wrecking ball swinging on the structure this fall. Is a deal being negotiated right now? We have a call in to mall management and will update if we receive any word.

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