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Some Heroes And Villains From The Set Of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

Posted on 15 May 2015 by Rich Drees


Well, Captain America: Civil War has been in production for a week in Atlanta, Georgia, so of course it is now time for some set pictures showing the new looks of some of the heroes and villains in the film. And not all of those are coming from paparazzi as Frank Grillo posted to his Instagram account the first look at the new costume his character of Crossbones will be sporting.

I will find you. All of you. #x

A photo posted by Frank Grillo (@frankgrillo1) on May 15, 2015 at 10:56am PDT

Captain America: Civil War stars Chris Evans as Steve Rogers/Captain America, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Sebastian Stan as Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier, Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon, Paul Bettany as The Vision, Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton/Hawkeye, Don Cheadle as Jim Rhodes/War Machine, Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa/Black Panther, Emily VanCamp as Sharon Carter/Agent 13, Daniel Brühl as Baron Helmut Zemo, Frank Grillo as Brock Rumlow/Crossbones, William Hurt as General Thaddeus “Thunderbolt” Ross, Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and Martin Freeman in a mystery role.

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Matt Bomer Signs For MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Remake

Posted on 15 May 2015 by Rich Drees


Matt Bomer, star USA Network’s White Collar, has signed on to MGM’s remake of The Magnificent Seven.

This version, to be directed by Antione Fuqua, is a remake of the classic western directed by John Sturges, which itself was a restting of Akira Kurosawa’s classic samurai tale Seven Samurai. In each iteration of the story seven outsiders are hired by the residents of a poor community to protect them from terrorizing outlaws. For this new version, Haley Bennet plays the woman who recruits the Seven to protect their town. Bomer will play her husband.

Bomer will be joining a pretty heavyweight cast that already includes Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Wagner Moura and Jason Momoa.

Via Hollywood Reporter.

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New Releases: May 15, 2015

Posted on 15 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

mad max fury road poster1. Mad Max: Fury Road (Warner Brothers, 3,702 Theaters, 120 Minutes, Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout, and for disturbing images, Rotten Tomatoes: 99% Fresh [184 Reviews]): Mad Max is the grand father of the post-apocalyptic thriller. It made a star out of Mel Gibson (for better or worse) and became an enduring cult classic. It spawned two sequels then went away for 30 years.

But now it’s back, with original director George Miller at the helm. Miller also is back as co-writer, joining comic book scribe Brendan McCarthy and Nico Lathouris (who acted in the first film). This time, Max becomes embroiled in protecting a group of women looking to escape a desert warlord who means to enslave them.

That’s all I really have to say about this, except to tell you to look at the Rotten Tomatoes score above. That is a legit 99% fresh, with a whopping 182 “Fresh” reviews. You almost never see a summer blockbuster with those numbers.

Pitch_Perfect_2_poster2. Pitch Perfect 2 (Universal, 3,473 Theater,115 Minutes, Rated PG-13 for innuendo and language, Rotten Tomatoes: 70% Fresh [114 Reviews]): Continuing our Australian theme, we welcome Australian Rebel Wilson into the New Releases post. Hi, Rebel!

Pitch Perfect was an unexpected success, making over $115 million worldwide against a $17 million budget. With that kind of profit margin, a sequel was inevitable.

This time around, the Bellas have set out to win an international acapella competition in order to refurbish their good name. This will be tough, as no American team has ever won the tournament before.

This film is directed by actress Elizabeth Banks, her first full-length feature behind the camera.

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Kate Beckinsale Returning For UNDERWORLD 5

Posted on 15 May 2015 by Rich Drees


You can’t keep a good sexy, leather-clad vampire down apparently, as Kate Beckinsale will be returning for Underworld 5, once again playing Selene, the undead warrior locked in the struggle between vampires and werewolves.

The Hollywood Reporter is bringing us the word of Beckinsale once again reupping for the horror-action franchise which launched back in 2003. The main plot line is being kept secret, but Cory Goodman’s script supposedly centers on “a new and younger generation of vampires and werewolves who are locked in a seemingly never-ending battle between supernatural races.”

Taking the directorial reins of the film is Anna Foerster, making her feature film debut here as well as being the first female director for the female-led franchise. Foerster’s resume shows she worked her way up as a cinematographer, first in visual effects to most recently serving as Roland Emmerich’s director of photography on White House Down. She has also directed several hours of television including episodes of Criminal Minds, Madame Secretary and Showtime’s hit Outlander.

Production is set to begin this October in Prague.

I’ve never been much of a fan of the Underworld series. Despite an interesting premise and some intriguing ideas in a couple of the films, I’ve ultimately found the series to be more style over substance, cool visuals for the sake of cool visuals rather than for the sake of telling a good story. Since Beckinsale had previously stated that it was unlikely that there would be a fifth installment in the franchise, should we look to her return as an indication of the script’s strength? Or is this just a quick job to meet a mortgage payment?

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InGen Promo Video Tries To Reassure Us That JURASSIC WORLD Will Be Safer

Posted on 15 May 2015 by Rich Drees


After all that went down at Jurassic Park, why in the world would anyone ever thing it would be a good idea to go back to the newly reopened Jurassic World?

Perhaps this promotional video from dinosaur cloners InGen, featuring BD Wong’s Jurassic Park and World character Dr. Henry Wu extolling the improvements that have been made to the process of cloning dinosaurs and how they can now even create their own new breeds. What could possibly go wrong?

Jurassic World opens June 12.

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Is Mark Ruffalo Hinting He May Show Up In CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR?

Posted on 14 May 2015 by Rich Drees


Warning: Spoilers for the end of The Avengers: Age Of Ultron to follow.

Is the news that Asa Butterfield might be in the final stages of signing to appear in Captain America: Civil War the only news about the upcoming Marvel Studios movie? Perhaps not.

Mark Ruffalo, who has played Bruce Banner, aka The Hulk, in both Avengers films tweeted out the following earlier today-

The link goes to Ruffalo’s Tumbler page where he posted today a link to last week’s announcement with the notation “Welcome to the wild party! Looking forward to this amazing cast.”

So was Ruffalo just welcoming incoming actors to the Marvel Cinematic Universe family and expressing his excitement as to seeing what they will bring to the franchises or was hinting that he was looking forward to with them? The folks over at Newsarama seem to think so and I am leaning towards believing them.

When we last Banner/The Hulk in The Avengers: Age Of Ultron, he was speeding away from the rest of the team, apparently choosing to go back into hiding rather than continue to be a risk to his teammates. And looking at Marvel’s schedule through Phase Three, which Civil War will be kicking off, there doesn’t seem to any other film that could pick up this storyline until 2018’s The Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1. Additionally, Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow has already been announced for the cast of Civil War, and her own story arc is very much tied to Banner/The Hulk’s. If Marvel was looking to do anything with this storyline, this would be the place to do so.

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MGM Developing SHANGHAI DAWN To Reunite Jackie Chan And Owen Wilson

Posted on 14 May 2015 by Rich Drees


While a huge fan of Jackie Chan’s Hong Kong-produced films, I’ve always found his Hollywood output to be lacking. The Rush Hour films are nigh unwatchable thanks to the atrocious direction of Brett Ratner and the grating onscreen personality of Chan’s co-star Chris Tucker while films like The Tuxedo and Around The World In 80 Days just fail to use Chan in an sort of interesting way.

But among all of the disappointing films, there’s Chan’s two onscreen collaborations with Owen Wilson for the martial arts/western mashup comedies Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights, which, while not great, were at least entertaining enough to stand out. And now MGM is looking to reunite the two for a third go around in Shanghai Dawn.

The Tracking Board is reporting that MGM is pushing a threequel for the franchise into development which will bring Chan’s Chon Wang, a former imperial guard, and Wilson’s fumbling outlaw Roy O’Bannon back together for the first time since 2003.

What’s troubling is the report stating that the studio has not yet attached a writer to the project. This suggests that Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights co-scripters Miles Millar and Alfred Gough are not involved. This would be a shame as they more than anyone were the creative drive behind the first two films. But the pair, who went on to create the TV hit series Smallville, are deep in preparation for their new series Into The Badlands, so they probably won’t have time for this.

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Is Asa Butterfield Your Next SPIDER-MAN?

Posted on 14 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

asaWell, he was the person with the most experience on the shortlist.

Latino Review is reporting that British actor Asa Butterfield is in final negotiations with Marvel to take over the role of Peter Parker in Marvel’s and Sony’s reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. The site says that it is all down to formalities now and an official announcement should be coming soon.

Butterfield is 18 but looks 12, so he should have a long career as the web-slinger, just as long as everyone involved doesn’t decide to reboot the franchise again. At the very least, they should get two or three films with him in high school before he ages out of the role.

Latino Review also states that Butterfield will make his first appearance as the character, as rumored, in Captain America: Civil War. That film has started production, so if that is true, he’ll probably have to head to the set immediately after he signs his contract.


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And The Title Of The Next PLANET OF THE APES Is…

Posted on 14 May 2015 by Rich Drees


War Of The Planet On The Apes.

An unsurprising title as the trajectory of the relaunched Planet Of The Apes franchise has been towards an epic and global conflict between humans and the rising population of intelligent apes. It was even foreshadowed in the the closing moments of 2014’s Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes when Caesar (Andy Serkis), the first of the genetically modified apes and their leader who has tried to keep them isolated from the remains of a scared, plague-ravaged humanity, states “War has… already begun. Ape started war. And human… Human will not forgive.”

The news is coming from Collider, who are citing anonymous sources. But as they point out, Dawn and now War director Matthew Reeves told them in a previous interview that the third Apes film will continue to center on Caesar an will be “about him becoming the seminal figure for ape history. [It’s] like myth ascension, him becoming the ape Moses, for lack of a better sort of character to model him after.” An interesting hint, but we’ll have to wait until July 14, 2017 to find out how it okays out.

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UPDATED: The Exquisite Agony Of Ordering Tickets For New York Comic Con

Posted on 14 May 2015 by William Gatevackes

WelcomeToNYCCAs a FilmBuff, you might have seen press coverage, maybe even ours, of the New York Comic Con (NYCC from here on out) and thought that maybe it will be worth your time to check it out. After all, the film studios seem to be increasing their presence at the show, and last year even featured a surprise visit from A-list superstar George Clooney on the Tomorrowland panel. You decided that you would wait and see what studios would be there this year, then buy your tickets.

NYCC Vitural QueueIf you did this, then you were a fool. What you needed to do was take yesterday off and be by your computer before noon. Maybe download a program like Check4Change that would, well, check for any changes to a particular website, because you needed to be in the Ticket Buying Queue (seen to the left, click to make bigger) as soon as it opened. However, anticipation would turn to anxiety as the time you spent in the queue ticks upward–5 minutes, then 10, then 15, then 20. Anxiety turns to anger as your connection to the page is lost and you get 404 and 408 error codes because the servers cannot hold the high volume. NYCC says these glitches would lose your place in line, but how can you be sure?

Luckily, after 40 minutes of waiting in the queue, you are finally allowed to purchase your tickets. Unfortunately, even though you entered the queue the moment tickets went on sale, you were too late to buy the $215 Special Access VIP you wanted. All other options are available, so you choose the 4-day package for $105 over the Ultimate Access VIP for $525 because, well, you aren’t made of money. You make your selection the move on to the next page, only to have the site crash again. You refresh and get back to where you need and when you are done and hit the next page button, it crashes again. It will crash during every stage of the checkout process. Thankfully, this does not affect you buying your tickets. You are able to complete your transaction. You will be able to attend NYCC.

If that seems like it was one of the most frustrating Internet buying experiences I ever had, it was. But I can’t actually complain. I only had to wait 40 minutes. Others had to wait up to three times as long and sit and watch as the tickets available to them dwindled. I didn’t get the tickets I wanted, but ended up with a cheaper alternative. Others had to cobble together a 4-day pass via the more expensive way of buying individual day tickets, if they got tickets at all. And the glitches during the checkout process didn’t cost me my tickets as it did other customers.

NYCC12GhostbusterGenre fans are burdened with the stereotype of being self-entitled boors who whine and complain when things do not go their way. This makes it hard to take them seriously when something happens that is worthy of their ire and disdain, like the kind being displayed on in the comments of NYCC’s Facebook page. In this case, the ire and disdain is deserved and not just entitled whining about something not being fair. NYCC had similar problems last year during their tickets sales, only to a lesser degree. Yes, this problem is getting worse instead of better, and it is increasingly beginning to look like NYCC is becoming a monster its organizers created yet cannot control.

NYCC was big from the beginning. I was there the first year when the crowds got so big that the state police had to come in and instill a one in, one out policy. Expanding to take over the entire Javits Center helped that overcrowding, but that incident is where NYCC’s legend started, as a must attend show for people interested in pop culture in all its forms. And in the nine years since, the status of the con has grown. It says something that most all of the tickets for this year’s convention sold out on the first day, even though a grand total of 13 guests have been announced (2 Entertainment Guests and 11 Comic Book Professionals) and exhibitors and programming are months away from being listed.

NYCC adThis is all encouraged by the NYCC organizers, who fan the flames of fan desire by posting countdowns of the months and hours to any NYCC events all over social media. They build excitement for an event that is already a must-attend event. But they do not seem to be at all prepared for the frenzy their cheer leading creates amongst their fans.

You get the impression that NYCC knew it would be having issues with crashing. They mentioned it on the Virtual Queue pages I posted above. But they had no redundant system in place as an alternative. San Diego Comic Con had a smaller issue with system crashes earlier this year, and mostly with their member ID system (Unlike NYCC, SDCC requires that everyone who want to but a ticket sign up for a member ID. Many waited until the last minute to get one, and crashed the system). To alleviate this, SDCC started mailing out Member ID’s to members so they wouldn’t bog down the system. The Doctor Who convention Gallifrey One had a catastrophic system crash last week when they tried to sell tickets to their show. They instead implemented an e-mail system so fans could get tickets on a first come, first served basis. Ticketing for NYCC is handled by a company called ShowClix, who also handles ticketing for The Tonight Show and The Daily Show. They apparently had people on staff to take out malfunctioning servers as soon as problems arose. This was to ensure no one lost their place in line or lose anything put in their cart. From the complaints on NYCC’s Facebook page, the latter still happened to a number of customers. It makes you wonder if they were able to preserve places in line as they claimed either.

NYCC Tickets on eBayWe might never know whether or not the server issues kept tickets out of the fans’ hands, but we do know something else that did–scalpers. NYCC tickets started showing up on eBay and StubHub almost immediately after the official sale of tickets began, all at a significant markup. Even as I write this, there are 318 listings for scalped badges on eBay, 598 listings on StubHub–all for at least twice the original price. That’s over 900 badges that could have went to fans, but instead went to charlatans looking to make a quick buck from a desperate customer base.

SDCC’s Member ID systems is their way to cut down on scalping. All NYCC has is a sternly worded sentence on their website stating that the badges are non-transferable. Typically, the organizers go out to these secondary markets to try and take down these auctions, but a lot of them are ‘Buy It Now’s” and the transaction might already have been made. And even though NYCC limited customers to 2 VIP tickets and 4 multi-day or individual tickets, I saw someone try to sell 8 Kids Day tickets for 12 times what they are worth. Server glitches are enough to make anyone angry. This kind of chicanery is enough to send someone into an apoplectic rage.

These are all problems that need to be addressed by NYCC, but they are also problems that have been plaguing the con for years and have not been addressed. If ShowClix’s servers can’t handle all of the ticket going on sale all at once, go back to the slow roll out of tickets they did in previous years. Perhaps instituting a member ID program similar to SDCC’s will help curb scalpers. Right now, they don’t have to do this. People will bitch and complain but be back next year to try their luck. But they should try harder to fix these problems out of respect for their loyal fans. It’s just the right thing to do.

UPDATE #1: NYCC has offered a statement on yesterday’s ticket sales. It does offer an explanation of what happened and an apology, yet nothing on how they will address these issues in the future.

UPDATE #2: Heidi MacDonald has done some digging, and discovered why NYCC doesn’t do much against scalpers buying tickets:

I did some digging around and was told by someone knowledgeable about the secondary ticket market that in New York State all event tickets must be available for resale. While New York used to have some of the most stringent scalping laws in the country, in 2010 they were loosened up to allow StubHub and their ilk to pretty much have free reign. So it may not even be legal to ban resale of the tickets.

So, outside of limiting the number of tickets you can buy, all NYCC can legally do in New York State is tell you not to buy off scalpers.

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