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    Tuesday
    Jun302015

    First Trailer for 'Creed' Starring Michael B. Jordan

    When it was first announced a couple years back (July 2013 I believe) that a Rocky spinoff was in the works - based around Apollo Creed's son being trained by the Italian Stallion himself - I was quite curious.

    The film would be written and directed by Fruitvale Station helmer Ryan Coogler as well as starring that film's lead, Michael B. Jordan, as the title character of Adonis Johnson. Sylvester Stallone would be back of course, this time as a supporting character in his signature role.

    Creed was said to be a 'dream project' for Coogler. He always wanted to tell a story of Apollo Creed's son, whose father died in the ring before he was born, leading his family to forbid him from boxing. That, along with his natural talent, makes his desire to pursue the sport that much stronger.

    Well the first trailer just hit tonight and...Wow! This. Looks. Awesome.

    I don't think Sly Stallone on his best day could have directed a film that looks this good. The trailer is utterly fantastic. I can't wait to see this movie.

    Why are you still reading this? View the trailer below along with the film's official synopsis.

    Creed hits theaters (no pun intended) November 25th.

    From Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures comes award-winning filmmaker Ryan Coogler’s “Creed.”  The film explores a new chapter in the “Rocky” story and stars Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role.  The film also reunites Coogler with his “Fruitvale Station” star Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed.

    Adonis Johnson (Jordan) never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born.  Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa.

    Once in the City of Brotherly Love, Adonis tracks Rocky (Stallone) down and asks him to be his trainer.  Despite his insistence that he is out of the fight game for good, Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo—the fierce rival who became his closest friend.  Agreeing to take him on, Rocky trains the young fighter, even as the former champ is battling an opponent more deadly than any he faced in the ring.

    With Rocky in his corner, it isn’t long before Adonis gets his own shot at the title…but can he develop not only the drive but also the heart of a true fighter, in time to get into the ring?

    Source: Warner Bros. Pictures/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures

    Monday
    Jun292015

    Two New Posters Released for 'Terminator Genisys'

    You know it's a slow news day - or slow weekend - when your first entry of the week is about film posters. Anyway...

    Two new posters have been released for Terminator Genisys, opening tomorrow night with early pre-shows followed by it's official opening day on Wednesday. The reviews so far...haven't been great (36% currently on Rotten Tomatoes, but hey, there's only 11 reviews to count at this point).

    I guess it's foolish to hope or think this film will live up to James Cameron's original two masterpieces (especially since the 3rd and 4th entries have been subpar), but if this is serviceable and falls more in line with what Cameron created, I'll accept that.

    You can check out the two new posters below (the first I believe will be handed out by AMC theaters tomorrow night during early pre-shows, the second is a play on the teaser poster that was released last year with a pretty catchy tagline of 'time is the ultimate weapon').

    Source: Paramount Pictues/Skydance Productions

    Sunday
    Jun212015

    New 'Terminator Genisys' Featurette - Sarah Connor

    With it's July 1st release date fast approaching, a new featurette for Terminator Genisys has been released, this one focusing on Emilia Clarke's Sarah Connor.

    Having recently re-watched The Terminator, I can definitely say for sure that Clarke shares a strong resemblance to the original Sarah Connor, Linda Hamilton. With that said, I'm still not sure what to make of this movie. I want to believe it will be good, but the more footage I see, the more it looks like your typical, modern day action film with plenty of CGIed special effects and average at best writing to move the story along.

    I believe its actually having its world premiere tonight in Berlin, Germany and the press was given their screening yesterday so reviews and reaction should be hitting early this week. If its positive buzz, I can see the film doing solid business over the long 4th of July weekend. However, if the buzz is bad (which, let's be honest, the very well could happen), I can truly see this film doing very poorly during the holiday weekend and not being well received at all. Its just got a lot to overcome.

    Anyway, you view the new featurette below with the film's official synopsis as well.

    Terminator Genisys officially hits theaters next Wednesay, July 1st.

    When John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the human resistance, sends Sgt. Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) and safeguard the future, an unexpected turn of events creates a fractured timeline. Now, Sgt. Reese finds himself in a new and unfamiliar version of the past, where he is faced with unlikely allies, including the Guardian (Arnold Schwarzenegger), dangerous new enemies, and an unexpected new mission: To reset the future.

    Source: Paramount Pictures/Skydance Productions

    Saturday
    Jun202015

    Julia Stiles Returning for 'Bourne 5'; Viggo Mortensen Offered Villain Role

    A lot of people like to cite The Dark Knight Trilogy as their favorite trilogy over the past 10-20 years. However, for me, one that seems to be forgotten quite often and in my opinion is actually BETTER is that of The Bourne Trilogy starring Matt Damon.

    I remember watching the first film, The Bourne Identity, on HBO I think about a year after it came out and loving the movie. Then The Bourne Supremacy hit theaters in 2004 (which I didn't go see) but ended up buying it on DVD along with the first film and watching them both a number of times. Finally, The Bourne Ultimatum hit in 2007 and I did in fact go see this one in theaters. It was a great movie and capped off what was at the time and still is, one of the best action movie trilogies of all-time and probably in the top 10 of best film trilogies, period.

    With all this, I was rather shocked and ecstatic last year when news came that Matt Damon was returning for his 4th outing as Jason Bourne along with director Paul Greengrass (he helmed Supremacy and Ultimatum). It was always widely known that Damon wouldn't come back unless Greengrass was directing and that seemed unlikely given the filmmaker's sour relationship he had with the studio, Universal, after making another Damon action film, Green Zone in 2010. But, I guess time does indeed heal all wounds, and now we have the currently untitled Bourne 5 hitting theaters next July 29th, 2016 (by the way, the fourth entry - The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner that was released in 2012 - I didn't see it and have no interest. Heard it wasn't very good).

    While nothing has been released in terms of story for Damon's next outing as Bourne, we now have learned that Julia Stiles (who appeared in all three original films as covert agent Nicky Parsons) will be back for the next installment. She joins Alicia Viklander (Ex Machina) who is also in talks to join the cast. Stiles played a small role in the first film, a bit larger role in the second, and definitely a key role in the third as it was hinted her character and Damon's Bourne had a romantic relationship at one point. It's unclear what significance she will have this time around.

    To top this all off, word also comes that Viggo Mortensen himself (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - yeah, I guess I forgot about that one, never saw) has been offered the role as the film's villain, an assassin tracking Bourne. Mortensen would certainly be a 'get' for the project as the man is very picky with his roles, but obviously when he does decide to do anything, he's friggin fantastic (see A History of Violence, great movie).

    I'm curious if more cast members from the original trilogy will be back for this one. Joan Allen's Pamela Landy certainly comes to mind, along with David Strathairn's Noah Vosen, who both appeared in The Bourne Legacy as well. Maybe even Jeremy Renner's Aaron Cross will make an appearance. 

    We shall see, but I'm definitely excited for this one. Probably my most anticipated movie of 2016.

    Source: Variety

    Monday
    Jun152015

    Jack Huston Departs 'The Crow'

    When it comes to the new adaptation of The Crow that Hollywood has been trying to do for years, you have to wonder if the project is cursed by the ghost of Brandon Lee.

    That's not to say the franchise's legacy is on solid ground (three really bad direct-to-video films followed the original), but it's starting to become apparent that maybe the 1994 classic should be left alone to age like a fine wine.

    Jack Huston (Boardwalk Empire) - who was set to star just three short months ago - has dropped out of the project due to 'scheduling issues'. This comes after Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) - who had been attached to star for almost two years - dropped out back in January because he was tired of waiting and wanted to pursue other projects. Not only that, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo (28 Weeks Later) was supposed to direct, then unknown director J. Javier Gutierrez, with newcomer Corin Hardy signing on to helm back in December (do we start the countdown now of when he'll go?).

    This news all comes after things were starting to look up for the project with Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion) being eyed to play the film's villain just last month, and Academy Award winner himself, Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), entering talks today for an unspecified role.

    The director, Hardy, had this to say regarding Huston's departure:

    “Jack Huston is unfortunately unavailable to continue with us on ‘The Crow'. [It] is an amazing project, and I am grateful that we have the time and patience to get it right. We look forward to unveiling our new lead and starting to film over the next several weeks.”

    I'm not sure if it's 'creative differences' the numerous lead actors are having with the studio but it's very obvious this project is troubled and has been through the ringer in terms of getting it on track. Word is that the studio, Relativity, is now looking at Nicholas Hoult (X-Men: First Class) and Jack O'Connell (Unbroken), among others, as replacements. O'Connell definitely has the talent, but I'm not sure if he's the right guy for this role. Same for Hoult.

    Relativity actually released a statement regarding Huston's departure too:

    “Jack is a remarkably gifted actor, and we look forward to working with him in the future. Corin Hardy has a tremendous vision for ‘The Crow,’ and we are working closely with him to continue prepping the movie and supporting him as he brings his vision to the bigscreen.”

    The studio is definitely persistent in getting this film made and, who knows, it could end up being a solid movie. I think they really need to score a good lead for the film and get production underway. Once some promo pics are released, maybe with a effective trailer, things can start to turnaround.

    Until then...

    Source: Variety

    Friday
    Jun122015

    New Featurette Released for 'Terminator Genisys'

    A new featurette has been released for the upcoming 5th entry in the Terminator franchise, Terminator Genisys. While the one released a few days ago centered on series creator James Cameron singing the film's praise (which I'm still shocked about and you can view here), this one details Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 character, or 'Guardian/Pops' as he's referred too:

    As a lifelong, die-hard Terminator fan, I am still very much on the fence about this movie, deciding if I should jump in or bail the heck out. While the visuals from the footage seen do look great along with some of the casting being spot-on (Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor), I'm not sure what to make of the the whole Back to the Future Part II twist on the first two films to create this one.

    I like how the filmmakers involved are trying to honor the beloved The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day, I'm just wary of them tarnishing the story from both those films by completely messing with that timeline. But as they say, that's Hollywood for you.

    One last thing, why has there been no footage shown of Matt Smith in this movie? You know, everyone's favorite Doctor Who who (no pun intended) hasn't been seen in any trailers or TV spots for this film. I remember last year when he was announced to be joining the cast, the studio never announced who he was playing and besides that awful Entertainment Weekly photoshoot the actors did last fall (see below), Mr. Smith has been nowhere to be found. I'm just surprised since the guy has a loyal following of fans who would be eager to see him in this movie if they actually knew he was in it. Maybe he's playing a surprise character and they're trying to keep it secret until the film's released? WHO knows (pun intended).

    Regardless, I very likely will be seeing Terminator Genisys opening weekend, I just hope it isn't a disappointment.

    The film opens Wednesday, July 1st starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Byung-hun Lee, J.K. Simmons and Matt Smith.

    Source: Paramount Pictures/Skydance Productions

    Tuesday
    Jun092015

    First Trailer for 'The Martian' Starring Matt Damon

    Matt Damon is in dire need of a hit, and so does Ridley Scott.

    Damon's last, real commercial and critical hit was The Bourne Ultimatum...and that was way back in 2007.  Sure, he's done True Grit (2010) and We Bought a Zoo (2011) since, but one was more so an ensemble piece while the other did only modest business (though I do like We Bought a Zoo a lot).

    Scott on the other hand - some would say - hasn't made a good movie since American Gangster (2007) and a great one since Black Hawk Down (2001).  That's almost a decade and a half ago, and the man has directed a lot since.

    Which brings us to The Martian.

    Based on the best-selling novel by Andy Weir, The Martian tells the story of astronaut Mark Watney, who's left for dead on Mars after the rest of his crew on a manned mission escapes during a fierce storm.  Armed with meager resources and facing overwhelming odds, Watney must find a way to survive on the lone, hostile planet and use his intellect to signal to Earth he is still alive.

    The first trailer hit yesterday, and for all intents and purposes, it looks terrific.  The visuals look stunning, the story looks engaging and the acting looks top notch.  I'm actually quite curious to read to book now too (though I guess that would spoil the movie).

    The Martian lands in theaters November 25th.

    You can see the aforementioned trailer below along with the film's official synopsis:

    During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, THE MARTIAN features a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.

    Source: 20th Century Fox

    Sunday
    Jun072015

    Final Trailer for 'Jurassic World'

    Jurassic World hits theaters this Friday, and Universal has released the final look we're going to get at the action-adventure flick before it opens.

    The promotion for the film has been excellent with the studio holding back on showing a lot of big moments (the original Park, the original T-Rex) while at the same time building excitement and enthusiasm for a franchise whose last entry came 14 years ago.

    Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard look like serviceable leads with new director Colin Trevorrow seemingly capturing the first film's action, spectacle and danger all-in-one.  Steven Spielberg is back as well, taking on an executive producer role this time around.

    The word on this film is it's moreso a direct sequel to the original Jurassic Park with a lot of nods and mentions to what took place in the first film, and what's resulted from all that over 20 years later.

    The first wave of reviews actually hit last week with the film's world premiere in Paris...and they were overwhelmingly positive.  See for yourself this Friday.

    You can watch the newest (and last) trailer below.

    Source: Universal

    Sunday
    Jun072015

    Synopsis for 'Independence Day 2' Revealed

    We're a little under a month away from the 4th of July so it seems fitting we get some Independence Day 2 news.

    With filming currently underway, the sequel hitting theaters next summer (20 years since the original) and pretty much all previous cast members returning EXCEPT Will Smith (though don't be shocked if he makes a surprise cameo at the end...I have a gut feeling about that), we finally have an official synopsis about what the film's about...though it is rather vague:

    After Independence Day redefined the event movie genre, the next epic chapter delivers global catastrophe on an unimaginable scale. Using recovered alien technology, the nations of Earth have collaborated on an immense defense program to protect the planet. But nothing can prepare us for the aliens’ advanced and unprecedented force. Only the ingenuity of a few brave men and women can bring our world back from the brink of extinction.

    Like I stated, vague, but it does indeed give us an idea of what the plot will be, centered on the world's use of left behind alien technology to move civilization forward.  Oh, and those damn aliens come back to try destroy humanity again.

    The original Independence Day is an American classic and probably the best disaster/alien invasion movie ever made.  It has action, humor and most importantly, heart.  I try to watch the film around every 4th of July because it really is the perfect summer movie.

    Director Roland Emmerich (The Day After Tomorrow, 2012) returns to helm the flick with original writer/producer Dean Devlin back as well.  Jeff Goldblum (David Levinson), Bill Pullman (now former President Thomas J. Whitmore), Vivica A. Fox (Jasmine), Brett Spiner (the doctor with the long white hair who you thought died in the first movie but seems he actually didn't) and Judd Hirsch (Jeff Goldblum's hilarious dad) are reprising their roles.  They're joined by new cast members Liam Hemsworth (former President Whitmore's son-in-law), Maika Monroe (former President Whitmore's now married daughter) and Jessie Usher (Will Smith's now grown-up step-son).

    Sorry for all the info there, but like the original, the sequel is an ensemble piece so there's many characters involved.  Here's hoping the sequel lives up to the first one.

    Independence Day 2 his theaters June 24th, 2016.

    Source: 20th Century Fox

    Sunday
    Jun072015

    New Trailer for 'Southpaw' Starring Jake Gyllenhaal

    Jake Gyllenhaal is one of those actors who - over the past few years - seems to have finally figured things out and gotten his head on straight.

    After 2010's attempt to launch a big-budget franchise as an action star with Disney's Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (which bombed both critically and commercially), Gyllenhaal decided to take a step back and focus on taking quality roles in smaller movies.

    While he finished out 2010 with the so-so romance/drama/comedy Love & Other Drugs (it didn't know what it wanted to be), as well as trying his hand as an action star again in the more modest hit Source Code in 2011, it was 2012 where Gyllenhaal started to hit his stride.

    He did the David Ayer drama, End of Watch, which garnered both surprising box office success and critical acclaim, followed by 2013's child abduction thriller, Prisoners, which paired him with Hugh Jackman to find his kidnapped daughter.  This film also received critical success and did a strong showing at the box office.  Then there was last year's Nightcrawler, which placed Gyllenhaal front and center as a slightly psychotic freelance photographer looking to make it big.  It was a neo-noir thriller which once again hit with critics as well as garnering the actor some of the best reviews of his career, coming close to even landing an Oscar nomination for Best Actor.

    Now, here we are in 2015 with the actor taking on probably his most challenging role yet, that of Billy Hope in Southpaw.  The boxing drama tells the story of Hope, a junior middleweight champion, who tragically loses everything only to decide he's going to fight his way back and not only earn his belt, but the love and affection of his daughter.

    The first trailer came earlier this year and it was mind-blowing how Gyllenhaal transformed himself for the role (reportedly training 5 hours a day every day for 5 months) to play a championship boxer.  The 2nd trailer has been released now, and though it's a shorter runtime then the previous one, it certainly is a leaner, meaner cut to promote what looks to be a powerful film.

    You can view the new trailer below for Southpaw, which is directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and written by Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy).  It also stars Forest Whitaker, Rachel McAdams, Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson and Naomie Harris.

    The film hits theaters July 24th.

    Source: The Weinstein Company