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  • The History of Star Wars Fandom and How That Relates To Solo: A Star Wars Story

    1 day ago

    ericvespe

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    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away Star Wars fandom was united. It was generally accepted that A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and most of Return of the Jedi were good, the Ewok spin-off movies and the Holiday Special were bad and all was right in the world


    Sure, Ewoks were always divisive, but a lot of the Return of the Jedi hate that has become commonly accepted didn't seem to pop up until around the time the Special Editions were released. As someone who was there I don't remember anybody talking shit about the movie on the whole. Ewoks, absolutely, but most people loved how the Vader/Luke/Emperor storyline played out, thought the Jabba sequence was rad as hell and the Redwoods speeder chase the most thrilling thing since the original trench run.



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    Then the Special Editions happened and that was a huge event. The movies were all #1 again at the box office, but all the early days CGI soured the experience a little and then became giant points of contention when George Lucas refused to let people own the actual versions they fell in love with to begin with.


    But we all still mostly agreed on Star Wars. At least on all the important things anyway. Some of us spun off to the Extended Universe books, some of us stuck with the movies as our canon, but we all basked in the same loving glow of this series we all adored.


    Then the dark days began. For me it was sitting in the Regal Metropolitan's biggest house after waiting in line for 2 weeks for The Phantom Menace. The opening crawl went by and the audience was going absolutely batshit. It was the first official, real-deal Star Wars anything in 16 years and it was finally here. Then the Neimoidians spoke. I'll always remember the line-reading. “Yes, of course. As you know our blockade is perfectly legal.” The emphasis was on all the wrong syllables and it sounded like a white guy playing a 1940s-era Asian stereotype.



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    There was a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach and the whole temperature of the room changed like an invisible wet blanket smothered the audience's enthusiasm at the same time. That movie has high highs (Darth Maul, a cool lightsaber fight, the remarkably thrilling podrace sequence) and low lows (pretty much every line of dialogue stiltedly spoken, a convoluted, boring plot about trade embargoes and resource hording, and front to back bad acting from good actors), which left me in a daze when I exited the theater.


    Episode 1 couldn't be bad. It's Star Wars and no official Star Wars Saga movie had been bad before, so it must be me. I rewatched it a half dozen times that summer and every successive screening made me angrier and angrier at the stuff that didn't work.


    You may love the prequels, you may hate them or you may feel indifferent about them, but it's undeniable that they deeply fractured Star Wars fandom. I thought I had moved on from that franchise until The Clone Wars was able to retroactively improve the nonsense of the prequels. Suddenly Anakin was a multi-dimensional character and I actually bought him as a good guy worth saving. Suddenly the Clones had personality and were rich characters. Suddenly the Jedi weren't just boring dudes sitting in a circle debating about mundane bullshit. I still may not love the prequels, but The Clone Wars and, later, Rebels, helped me come to terms with them.


    Then the Disney era came and for a brief time fandom was reunited again. Maybe not as permanently or purely as they were in the good ol' days, but that level of excitement between when Episode 7 was announced and it premiering was the closest I've felt to pure unity since the lead up to Episode 1.


    Again, there were always minor squabbles and some cynicism, but on the whole the question of what this new Star Wars was going to be enraptured most of us. The guessing game and slow glimpses behind the scenes and wait for that first trailer... it all felt fun again.



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    There's a reason The Force Awakens broke box office records and had huge legs. It was a fantastically fun movie with one foot planted firmly in nostalgia with the legacy characters and a rehash of A New Hope's basic structure and one foot taking a giant step forward, introducing us to a whole new cast of lead characters that somehow felt perfectly Star Warsian.


    Rey, Finn, Poe, BB-8, Kylo Ren... they all felt like part of this universe without being direct repeats of what came before, thanks in large part to the smart decision to mix and match Star Wars character tropes. There isn't a Han Solo type. Finn and Poe have elements of the charming scoundrel, but Poe also has Luke's almost naive optimism. Rey has Luke's pure-hearted earnestness as well as a dash of Han's roughness and Leia's get-shit-done attitude, for example.


    But even this very crowd-pleasing movie couldn't completely heal the fractured fanbase. The cracks started showing up again, this time with a heavily misogynistic flavor that puts a bad taste in my mouth. The same people who believed a young man intuitively strong with the Force but without any training whatsoever could use the Force to essentially dunk a basketball from outside the stadium said that it was unrealistic that a girl who had fought for her life since she was a child could swing a lightsaber.


    That's not to say everybody who dislikes the new characters or how they're executed are misogynists or racists. I want to be clear about that because saying something that definitive undercuts the discussion at large and automatically paints anybody who disagrees with me in the most negative light possible. I would never assume that's where you're starting from if you dislike the new Disney-era saga films. However it is fair to say that if you are racist and/or misogynist odds are you hate these new movies.



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    Star Wars has always been progressive. The very first film is an allegory for Vietnam, which means the evil Empire is the American Military Industry, folks. They may dress like Nazis, but the Empire is a stand in for America and the evil Emperor was Nixon. Don't take my word for it, Lucas says it here.


    But a lot of fans were happy to keep all that as subtext and weren't comfortable when that progressiveness was put on full display in the new era.


    Yes, some prequel haters were dismissive of prequel apologists and that conversation was hardly ever cordial and very often heated, but there's a meanness to the fanbase now. Maybe, like the MAGA hat wearing bullies that have sprung up in the last two years, the mean Star Wars fan was always there and just afraid to go full bore until now, but it's happening.


    That all came to a head with The Last Jedi's release. One more time, in case you missed it, I'm not saying that if you disliked any aspect of Episode 8 you are automatically lumped in with the worst of the worst. It's totally fair to not want to see Star Wars evolve past the icons that you love and that's what that film was about. Remember them, use that memory to inspire the next generation, but it's not their time anymore. We see that on the light side with grumpy old man Luke's storyline and you see that on the dark side with Kylo Ren finally evolving past just trying to imitate Vader.


    That brings us to Solo. The reason I spent so so so much time outlining the history of Star Wars fandom is because I believe where you fit into the current Star Wars fandom will determine how you react to Solo.



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    I think those that loved the direction The Last Jedi and, to a degree, The Force Awakens were going in will feel like Solo is a step backwards. Their interest will be muted because it's not a story about pushing the overall lore forward. It's a nostalgia bath that wants you to relax in the warm waters of characters and iconography most of us grew up with.


    There's no real attempt at gaining any deeper understanding of the characters you already know and love. They're so focused on just making them look and feel right that any deeper reason for this movie to exist within the established lore is thrown out the window.


    For me that was frustrating. We'd get little glimpses going in that direction. In particular there's a conversation between Han and Lando where they're getting to know each other and talk a bit about their parents. The way Lando talks about his awesome mother piqued my interest. It was the first time I felt like they were exploring something about that character I didn't already know, but it's dropped as soon as it is brought up.


    And that's fine. It's not what I want out of Star Wars at this point, but I'm sure it's what a lot of people do want. They just want a fun story told in an exciting way with the characters they loved. There's nothing wrong with that, but it's not all that interesting to me.


    But I'm the guy that never really got into the Extended Universe books either. I liked what I read just fine, but they just never felt like real Star Wars to me. They did for a whole lot of people, but I wasn't one of them, despite trying as hard as I could to be one.


    Solo is made for those people. It really does feel like a movie adaptation of an EU book that never was and for some that will be music to their ears.


    Whether you will think Solo is good, bad or mediocre will entirely depend on what you want out of Star Wars. My guess is that history will show it as an entertaining, but inconsequential addition to the overall lore, but only time will tell.


    On a technical level it's a solid movie. There are a couple really thrilling action sequences, one involving a train heist and one being a rather creative envisioning of the Kessel Run. These sequences are unquestionably well-executed. Towards the end they finally go for the character complexity I was hoping for with a band of pirates and smugglers, but at that point it felt like too little too late to me.


    The idea of doing a Han Solo on his pirate adventures story is pretty fun, but much like Rogue One I felt like they missed the target on integrating a famous cinematic genre into Star Wars. If they made Heat, but in Star Wars or even The French Connection, but in Star Wars, that would have been amazing, but we don't get nearly enough of the smuggler life or spend enough time in the gritty criminal underbelly of this universe. That stuff felt like a side note, kind of like how the Men On A Mission aspect of Rogue One was backgrounded pretty much until the final third and we never got to see those people actually work as a team until the big mission... when they're all separated anyway.



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    Everything you've heard about Donald Glover's Lando is spot-on. He's got the charisma and chops to make me buy that he's Lando. Alden Ehrenreich is trying his damndest to pull off young Harrison Ford's swagger and he succeeds on some levels, but the fact that Glover seems to do it so effortlessly really shows how much Alden's struggling to find that pencil line thin balance between capturing a character's essence and just giving us an imitation.


    It made me wish this wasn't a story about Han Solo, to be honest. If Ehrenreich was playing a character in the Han Solo mold then I think he would have been freer to try different things and make it his own.


    I have some issues with where things leave off at the end, particularly when it comes to Solo himself. I kinda feel like it undercuts who he is at the beginning of A New Hope, but I'm not too much of a stickler about that because there is still a question about stuff that could happen between the end of Solo and the beginning of A New Hope.


    The score is pretty damn good, as to be expected. Some great themes return at the right moments and really help give those big scenes the Star Wars feel. John Powell does a fine job at keeping the non-John Williams cues feeling like Star Wars and not a pale imitation, which is a tall order.



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    Ron Howard is a guy who knows how to put a film together. He has decades of experience telling him what angles work best for what scene, how to manipulate the edit and to keep the pace going, but there's not much of a director's voice on display. He does a solid job, no doubt, but I didn't feel like there was anything special going on, which is kind of my issue with the entire movie to be honest. Maybe if he had been able to build this one from the ground up instead of pinch-hitting when things went bad between Lucasfilm and Chris Miller and Phil Lord things could have been different, but that's not what we got here.


    At the press screening there was a bit of a technical difficulty. Right in the middle of the movie, just as the main heist was about to begin, the screen went dark, but the audio kept playing. This went on for about 60 seconds and then the projectionist stopped it and rewound the film. The problem was they rewound it almost a full reel, maybe 15 minutes.


    As I rewatched those 15 minutes I found I was bored, which doesn't bode well for my next actual re-watch. If that had happened during The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi or literally any original trilogy movie I wouldn't have felt that way, but I did here and that might be the most blisteringly critical thing I could say about the movie.


    It doesn't make you a bad person or a bad fan if all you want is to cuddle up to an old friend and bask in nostalgia for 2 hours and 15 minutes. If that's what you want then you'll get your money's worth here. If you want something a little deeper then you might find this journey into the Star Wars universe a little hollow.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 108

    1 week ago

    g1Features

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    MADHERO: Hey everyone. I hope you're ready for the SUMMER MOVIE EXTRAVAGANZA! Since Infinity War moved dates , it no longer was the summer start we all were hoping for. But hey, who cares when you've got so many other summer movies like.....a Melissa McCarthy comedy...or one starring old people reading 50 Shades. Hmmmm....o hey this Deadpool 2 thing seems kinda fun.


    LARRY: ...it basically still was the Summer start. It just started the Summer earlier lol


    STICKMAN: 50 Shades of Deadpool. He'd be into that.


    MADHERO: Well he got pegged in the first one, so its already way more kinky than that whole trilogy. I imagine this is the type of convo Deadpool would want us to have.


    LARRY: Yeah, you could say it really lights a fire under your ass.


    STICKMAN: Don't do that, kids. That's bad for your anus to dry it up.


    MADHERO: ......right. Lets talk some news.


    NEWS

    FIRST TEASER RELEASED FOR SHANE BLACK’S THE PREDATOR LEADS TO A MIXED RESPONSE


    Boy oh boy this one's been a while coming, huh? Announced waaaaay back in 2014, The Predator came out strong in the early days with its promising director (Shane Black of Iron Man 3 and Nice Guys fame), ambitions of a big budget R rated picture from FOX, and a fantastic cast of actors. And then...things changed. The film's release date has changed more times than there's been Predator films to date, from March, to February to August and now September. Throw in what felt like total radio silence from everyone involved and the always troubling reshoot situations going on...and you'd be forgiven for having no hope...BUT..we finally got our first look at the film in action this week..and...uhh...


    Well...it looks okay? It's got Predators in it, good cast, competently filmed...uhh...there just doesn't seem to be much to discuss, huh? Opening on the much touted suburban angle with a child ...randomly getting a box of Predator gear and crashing a space ship by crashing a toy space ship. And then we cut away from anything related to that completely and instead get a lot of military action, guns, screaming and some shots of Predators being angry. And...that's it? Most of note is the use of weapons by the Predators previously only featured in the AvP films...and in general, it does feel a bit worryingly similar to AvP R in setting and characters so far. There's the rumblings of genetic hybridization going on, which means more action figures I guess. I dunno, I want to be enthusiastic but this didn't really do much for me, hope there's a better trailer waiting for us in a month or so.


    MADHERO: Well..... this was underwhelming. You give me the promise of a Predator movie directed by Shane Black, director of The Nice Guys, and THAT'S the teaser you put out. Pffffft


    STICKMAN: I know right. It didn't look like the work of a acclaimed director at all. FOX are usually pretty good with trailers too, even if the film ain't so hot. This one just don't work at all.


    LARRY: When Shane fucking Black is attached to Predator in the suburbs, you expect a really good first trailer... And this was....bland. To be fair, tone is a very big part of Shane Black and it's hard to capture that in a minute and a half.......but it could've been better than THIS.


    MADHERO: I guess that's the best thing you can say about it. It looks well made, but besides Jacob Tremblay playing around with a spaceship, it just looks like your average alien invasion, and with Black and the cast involved, you kinda expect more.


    LARRY: I love how, with this cast, they chose to spotlight Olivia Munn and Boyd Holbrook and not KEEGAN MICHAEL KEY. C'MON.


    STICKMAN: I'm hoping they're just hiding the best parts for the release, but you gotta get bums in seats first and then surprise us when we're watching.


    MADHERO: Either this is hiding a way more fun movie, or a complete distaster. Or something that got turned into the editing booth as something kinda bland.


    LARRY: I think it's the third.


    STICKMAN: As someone who likes all the Predator movies, and even enjoys AvP (the first one) quite a bit? I'm worried. I think this could turn out a real clunker. We've like...had next to no marketing up to this point, and a bunch of delays. I'm concerned. At least Alien Covenant was half a good movie.


    MADHERO: Its one of those things where you put faith in the people involved, but this did not really inspire confidence in the way I hoped it would. Also there's a Predator with fish-net stockings in one of the teaser images. That enough to raise hope?


    STICKMAN: I'm all about that fishnet, bruh. And he had a hell of a cod piece on.


    WARNER BROS OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES A SHERLOCK HOLMES 3 STARRING ROBERT DOWNEY JR AND JUDE LAW. DIRECTOR GUY RITCHIE NOT YET CONFIRMED.

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    Hey, remember when Robert Downey Jr. played other roles instead of Iron Man? HAHAHAHA NEITHER DO I. Seriously though, its been a while since we saw Downey in anything other than as Tony Stark. While he’ll be playing Doctor Dolittle in 2019, there were also many wondering what was happening to his other franchise: his Ritchie Sherlock Holmes movies.


    Yes, in 2020, RDJ, along with his partner-in-crime Jude Law, will return on screen as Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson in the third installment of their Sherlock Holmes series. You may recall the first installment from 2009, which was...okay, and the second, subtitled "A Game of Shadows", which came out in 2011 and was actually pretty damn good. After nine friggin years without this series, you’d think they’d leave it at peace, but nope. Currently, there is no director attached, but there is a script by Chris Brancato, who is mostly known for his work in television (Hannibal, Narcos). For those hoping to see Guy Ritchie return to the series, considering his work with the live-action Aladdin, it seems unlikely. So who will take the mantle? LET'S SPECULATE, SHALL WE?


    STICKMAN: I'm the other way around on those films, Larry. First one was pretty damn good, second was okay.


    LARRY: Nah. Moriarty makes everything better.


    MADHERO: Boy they sure took their sweet time. I guess it helps that they have a framing device in Sherlock Holmes being presumed dead in the last one. I remember liking the first one, but I really didn't like the 2nd one since so much of it felt like more of the same. I haven't seen them in a while.


    LARRY: Personally I'm just happy to see RDJ doing something other than Iron Man. Granted I'd rather he do a prestige project or something, but it's nice to see him do anything else.


    STICKMAN: My concern of a third one without Guy Ritchie is that he really kinda...gave the film its personality visually and action-wise? They are very distinctive films.


    LARRY: I'm with you Sticky. With Ritchie taken up by Aladdin, I can't think of a quality replacement.


    MADHERO: The lack of Ritchie would be weird, since the first two films are consumed by his style. You can of course argue whether that's a good thing.


    STICKMAN: I think it's a good thing personally. Also get Hans Zimmer back for the score. That score is top notch. Regardless it's a much better franchise than Sherlock is.


    MADHERO: I'm kinda done with the concept of Sherlock as a whole tbh. But again, been ages since I last saw these films.


    LARRY: HOW DARE YOU, STICKY! YOU WITH YOUR YOUR BACKHANDED SHERLOCK COMMENT


    STICKMAN: SHERLOCK SUCKS. BENEDICT BUMBERSNAIZZLE MIND PALACE BULLSHIT.


    LARRY: YOU SUCKS


    SYLVESTER STALLONE ANNOUNCES NEW MOVIE IN RAMBO FRANCHISE. PLANS A 2019 RELEASE

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    Just when you thought he was done, they pull you back in. That seems to be Sylvester Stallone's mantra, as he returned to his role of Rocky Balboa in Creed, showing a much more vunerable side to him and see that his character has truly aged, which isn't a surprise considering he's now in his 70s. It nearly nabbed him the Oscar, and we'll see what Creed 2 does with his character, but for now, Stallone is returning  to his 2nd most famous character: John Rambo. 2008's Rambo was the last we ever saw, which was cartoonishly violent to the point of self-parody, it seemed like the series was over....until now.


    To be fair, a Rambo 5 (or Rambo V as its now known) had always been somewhat teased as a possibility, but thanks to Stallone's Instagram, we now know that its happening for realsies, with Rambo in retirement but called back when his friend's granddaughter is being taken by a Mexican sex trafficking ring. Shooting is supposedly happening this fall, with a fall 2019 release date planned. Not gonna lie, there is something cathartic about a 70 year old man continue to do this like its the 80s, but I'm fairly sure that Stallone could kick my ass easily, so I'll just shut up.


    STICKMAN: I can't believe this is real.


    LARRY: Not the MOST out of nowhere sequel we'll be talking about today.........


    MADHERO: Its been one of those things teased for such a long time that you can't believe its happening until its there, kinda like Venom for me.


    STICKMAN: I've only seen Rambo 1 and Rambo 4...I really didn't like Rambo 1 and Rambo 4 was garbage but...my kinda garbage.


    LARRY: Ya know, this film could be a great...individual, original film with an up-and-coming writer. Doesn't have to be Rambo 5!!


    STICKMAN: We didn't need Creed but that went down pretty well.


    MADHERO: There's a huge audience for his stuff in Asia. We're getting an Escape Plan 2 and 3 because of China alone. I forgot the first Escape Plan was even a thing


    STICKMAN: What the hell's Escape Plan.


    MADHERO: The big Stallone/Schwarzenegger crossover about 3 decades too late.


    STICKMAN: Oh dear. Anyway, this is a film. Rambo vs Cartel. Sicarambo. I made that joke in Screwvies DMs but I'm making it again for the luls.


    LARRY: SICARAMBO


    MADHERO: Anyway, its happening, and if it is, I hope its as cartoonishly violent as Rambo 2008 was. That or awkwardly thank the Taliban like in Rambo 3.


    LARRY: Oooooooooof.


    JORDAN PEELE (GET OUT) ANNOUNCES NEXT MOVIE “US” STARRING LUPITA NYONG’O, ELIZABETH MOSS AND WINSTON DUKE

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    Hoooooo boy. So Get Out was a huge fricken deal, and deservedly so in my opinion (watched it for the third time recently, still love it), and everyone has been curious as to what Jordan Peele is bound to do next. Well, saddle up, because details have just recently been revealed. His new film is titled Us and it slated for a March 15th, 2019 release date. He will once again be directing a script he wrote, and it will be produced through his production company Monkeypaw Productions and Blumhouse, with whom he worked with for Get Out. Currently, negotiations are underway for Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, and Elizabeth Moss to star; the story details are scarce at the moment but so far we know it will center on two suburban couples, one white and one black. Woohoo, more RACIAL TENSIONS!


    Based on these details, we can see that Peele is continuing to explore racial relations with a horror lens, but will this film be enough to feel distinctly different from his last picture? We'll just have to wait and see.  Its apparently a lot more expensive than Get Out was, with the price range supposedly around 25 milliona as opposed to Get Out's 5. i guess that's what happens when you can call yourself a Academy Award winner. Also that probably makes it the most expensive Blumhouse movie ever. All I know is, consider my ticket purchased.


    MADHERO: There's not much to go on based on what has been said, but enough is there to have my interest peaked.


    STICKMAN: Get Out was 2017's big event horror...and even though it wasn't very horror based at all...it was pretty good, and went on to win an Oscar no less. I think there's gonna be a lot of hype around this one just on  that prestige alone. I just hope it's not more of the same.


    MADHERO: I do think Peele realizes he can't just do what he did with Get Out. It might hit on similar topics, but we probably won't see Lupita Nyongo fall into the Sunken Place.


    STICKMAN: I don't know what to expect really, although he's not new to the bizz, it was his first movie project in both writing/directing...I dunno if he's got more up his sleeve. I hope so, that'd be great. The cast is tremendous already.


    LARRY: Yeah it seems to be following a similar vein, but I think there's a lot to explore here past racial relations and maybe discuss romantic themes as well? I dunno, it should be interesting to see where it diverges and where it doesn't. Also this is suburbia as opposed to upper class people, so there's that.


    STICKMAN: Wish we had more to go on, the poster was cool. I dunno, I feel Get Out is a bit overrated but it was a good film for sure. Hope he builds on his first attempt and makes an even stronger follow-up, and actually includes some horror.


    MADHERO: Well he has plenty of experience with Key & Peele, which even though that was sketch comedy, hit on a lot of different themes regarding race. I'm already interested based on his first film, and the cast so far looks excellent.


    LARRY: Yeah, loving the pairing of Nyong'o and Duke. The two most underused BP stars coincidentally.


    STICKMAN: The cast is great. Don't let me down, Peeeeeeele.


    MADHERO: I'm glad Duke is getting more work after his breakout role in Black Panther. He really showed off his charm and I was surprised he hasn't been in much else besides a few Modern Family episodes. Also good to see Elizabeth Moss do more movies.


    STICKMAN: Praise be. Get it. References.


    LARRY: The way I see it, I'm fine with more Get Out. I'm fine with this being totally different. For me, it's a win win. Peele knows what he's doing.


    LAIKA ANNOUNCES FURTHER DETAILS REGARDING THEIR NEXT FILM “THE MISSING LINK.” MIGHT POSSIBLY BE MOST EXPENSIVE STOP MOTION FILM EVER

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    Last episode we reported on a double dose of stop motion animated goodness, which included finally getting confirmation of a new film from LAIKA. Now, at the time, LAIKA hadn't revealed any details of their project, referring to it as 'Film 5', and we all naturally assumed it'd be a little while until we heard more details. Nope. A week later and we've got the full scoop on what we now know is called 'Missing Link'.


    This new project, which sees LAIKA team up with Anapurna, sees Hugh Jackman's character, Sir Lionel Frost go in search of all things monsters and mythical. This leads him to encounter 'Mr Link', who's the last remaining missing link between man and ape, played by Zach GhagalifaI cantspellhisnameifItried. And eventually the pair go off in search of a legendary Shangri-La, a valley of monsters where the rest of his kind may be waiting for him. Zoe Saldana joins the pair as Adelnia Fortnight, who helps them on their journey, whilst a as of yet unknown villain stalks them.  Joining the cast are a host of talented people, including Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, Timothy Olyphant, and some British comedians nobody except me has probably heard of. The film is set for release (In the US) in Spring 2019, and has a rumoured budget of $100 Million which...seems risky, but there you go. Looking forward to it very much.


    MADHERO: 100 million for a stop motion anmated film seems.... risky.


    STICKMAN: Super risky. I guess they're banking on Hugh  Jackman's box office draw. LAIKA as a brand means quality, but it doesn't mean greenstacks.


    LARRY: I can almost guarantee the movie ain't making that back.


    MADHERO: LAIKA is semi-funded by Nike, so in that sense they have cash to burn. Anyway the movie. Seems definitely more comedic sounding, though we're all definitely gonna cry about Mr. Link loneliness or something


    STICKMAN: You say that Larry, but LAIKA have made that kinda bank before. Kubo was a box office disappointment and made around $70 Million. If the marketing focuses in Jackman, the film is good, and it's released at the right time,  they could do it.


    MADHERO: I also think that the film is aiming to be more comedic, and that tends to get the families in seats rather than an adventure story like Kubo.


    STICKMAN: Kubo was very dark but it had a lot of comedy, that wasn't the focus of the marketing for sure. Anyhow, I hope LAIKA get a hit from this. I really do. Paranorman and Coraline both did pretty well, but Boxtrolls and Kubo kinda fizzled out.


    LARRY: Depending on their release date, if they find an open time to really grab the family market, it could make good money.


    MADHERO: The movie sounds fun. Laika has yet to make a bad film (even though Boxtrolls was only just ok.) and it'll be good to see what they can bring. I admire their ambition


    LARRY: I just think the odds are immediately stacked against them at $100 million.


    STICKMAN: Given Aardman seem to have lost their ambition in recent years, LAIKA are kinda the last champions of ambitious stop motion cinema....so yeah, I wish them nothing but the best, I'll be there to see it, no doubt.


    MGM WORKING ON LONG GESTATING SEQUEL “BILL AND TED FACE THE MUSIC.” ALEX WINTER AND KEANU REEVES TO REPRISE THEIR ROLES

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    Holy shit, its actually happening this time. So once again, I'm talking about an old ass property making an comeback. Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure popped up in 1989, and managed to become a cult hit that's still beloved by many who grew up with it and its bodacious attitude. The sequel, Bogus Journey, while not as good, promised a utopia where the Wyld Stallyns would write the  greatest song ever written, which would create a righteous utopia. that would save the universe from annihilation


    Of course, not much came of that. Even as his career took off in many different directions, Keanu Reeves (Ted) has always said he wanted to continue the story, as well as Alex Winter (Bill), who's career went more into the behind the scenes stuff. After years and years of teasing, it seems now that Bill and Ted Face the Music is finally happening, with MGM taking care of the production and looking for international distributors at Cannes. This installment will see Bill and Ted go back in time once again, having become middle aged, starting up families  and still not writinn the greatest song ever written, with the space time continuum now starting to get torn apart. Original writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon are writing/producing, with Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest, Red 2) in charge to direct. I'll be honest, Bill and Ted was something before my time, but I know plenty of people happy with this news, and it'll be fun to see Keanu Reeves do something like Theodore Logan after nearly 2 decades of Neos and John Wicks. So not for me, but know plenty who'll find this news.....EXCELLENT *guitar riff*


    STICKMAN: Bill and Ted is one of the most cheesy franchises ever. But I mean, can't deny that kinda feel-good cheese isn't welcome in this era of society.


    MADHERO: Its so cheesy that it bounces right back to endearing. Its the ultimate pair of time capsule movies. So its funny to  see it brought back in a way.


    LARRY: Ehhhhhhhh I'm not really on the boat for this. I think the original film is cheesy fun, the second is kinda lame though. I just don't like unearthing these franchises that are so deeply of their era. It doesn't feel like it needs to be brought back, it was fun at the time and it finished its run. I don't see it translating well.


    STICKMAN: I'm not sure how Keanu Reeves is gonna regress back to TUBUULARRRR DUUUUDE after being John Wick.


    MADHERO: The 2nd is nuts in a fun kinda way honestly. And I do think there's something interesting about seeing these guys now in their late 40s and not having fullfilled the prophecy yet. There's potential in that, and it'll be fun to see that contrast with Reeves especially.


    LARRY: This just makes me think about Dumb and Dumber 2 honestly.


    MADHERO: Honestly, Dumb and Dumber just did the same schtick only now with the characters being older, making it kinda sad. Here it seems like they wanna go in a different direction and its about exploring that youthful part again.


    LARRY: I guess...it's just cheesy vs....gross out?


    STICKMAN: There's gonna be a depressing angle on the whole...middle aged schtick. Given they were like, 19 or whatever in the first film. I mean it's not gonna be Logan, but there's gonna be  bittersweet feel I'd hope.


    LARRY: Yeah. I don't think I wanna see a depressing Bill and Ted.


    MADHERO: Its also probably not going to be as needlessly expensive as Dumb and Dumber Too. I think its hopefully gonna be a fun throwback. Bill and Ted was never this huge commercial hit. Also, Logan but with Bill and Ted would be a riot


    LARRY: That's true, it won't cost a whole lot.


    STICKMAN: I'm down for BILL.


    MADHERO: Wait a minute. Logan. Bill and Ted....Bill S. Preston and Theodore LOGAN! HOLY SHIT


    STICKMAN: We're through the looking glass here, people.


    ------------------


    MADHERO: On that massive revelation, its now time to move on to Deadpool 2.  I could also highlight the other movies, but really, this seems like the only one people care about. Unless there's some hardcore Melissa McCarthy fans out there who really want to know more about Life of the Party.


    LARRY: #MelissaMcCarthyStopMakingMovies2018


    STICKMAN: I agree with this hashtag.


    MADHERO: Harsh. Lets maybe wait with that discussion and go and talk about somethng we're interested in.


    LARRY: Meh, Deadpool who?


    MOVIES

    DEADPOOL 2

    DIRECTOR: David Leitch (John Wick, Atomic Blonde)

    STARRING: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Julian Dennison, Zazie Deetz, TJ Miller, Brianna Hildebrand, Terry Crews

    SYNOPSIS: Deadpool (Reynolds) forms a team of mutants called the X-Force to protect a young mutant (Dennison) from the time-traveling soldier Cable (Brolin)

    MADHERO: I've been all over the map in terms of excitement for this honestly, but especially after the final trailer, I've found myself really excited for this movie. Helps that the marketing is once again top notch,


    STICKMAN: I'm kinda eh on Deadpool. I enjoyed watching the first but it is massively overrated and overstated in terms of being unique, I feel. If the new one turns out good I'll probably go see it, but I'm not excited, per ce.


    LARRY: I'm excited. Originally I wasn't but the trailers have really turned me around.


    MADHERO: I agree that I dont think its as unique as it thinks it is, and it kinda falls apart when you don't watch it with an audience, but I laughed my ass off the first time,


    STICKMAN: My hope with the sequel is that they go all in with the fourth wall breaking and don't just relegate that humour to turning to the camera and saying X-Men a bunch. The first one is funny but it's kinda a generic superhero movie once you get beyond that aspect.


    LARRY: Well there's gonna be plenty of that. X-Men references, I mean.


    STICKMAN: One plus the film has going for it is having a John Wick director on board, which means hopefully at least the fight scenes are gonna be cool...riiight?


    MADHERO: I do hope that the X-Force either get treated as more of a joke and not as characters we're supposed to care about. Domino and Peter aside, they look kinda lame. Either that or I hope they saved some good Terry Crews bits.


    LARRY: MY BOI PETER. Peter is gonna be the MVP of this film, guaranteed.


    STICKMAN: I just hope in general the film tries to be less sentimental in parts, it felt weird In the first.


    MADHERO: Well there's a Celine Dion song in there. There's gonna be sentiment at some point.


    STICKMAN: I think the MVP of the film is going to be Ryan Reynolds to be hoonnest. Without him these films would just  not work.


    MADHERO: Its gonna be hard when they need to find someone else to do it. Also Josh Brolin looks like fun as Cable. I hope they go all in on his stupid origin bullshit.


    LARRY: He probably isn't in the film all that much.


    STICKMAN: Deadpool gonna turn to camera and go "Disney, hehehe" and people gonna die laughter.


    LIFE OF THE PARTY

    DIRECTOR: Ben Falcone (Tammy, The Boss)

    STARRING: Melissa McCarthy, Molly Gordon, Gillian Jacobs, Maya Rudolph, Jacki Weaver

    SYNOPSIS: When her husband suddenly dumps her, longtime dedicated housewife Deanna (McCarthy) resets by going back to college - landing in the same class and school as her daughter (Gordon)

    LARRY: #MelissaMcCarthyStopMakingMovies2018


    MADHERO: I can't believe they remade Extremely Goofy Movie with Meliisa McCarthy.


    LARRY: NO! DO NOT SLANDER THAT MOVIE LIKE THAT. EXTREMELY GOOFY MOVIE IS AN UNDERRATED GEM.


    STICKMAN: Gawwwsh, ayuck. Anyway, wow many times does Mellisa McCarthy fall over in this movie.


    MADHERO: All of them. Its in her contract. I'm not as anti McCarthy as you guys are, but she really needs to stop doing movies directed by her husband. They are no bueno.


    STICKMAN: Anti McCarthyism. It's the 50s all over again.


    LARRY: I really don't comprehend it. This formula has been bad MULTIPLE TIMES. McCarthy can be a talented comedic force, she just keeps getting into clunkers.


    STICKMAN: Nobody gonna give me an award for my history joke. Okay. It's probably better written than this entire movie.


    MADHERO: Lets hope Happytime Murders isn't one of those clunkers when that eventually comes out. Also Sticky, I liked your historical joke.


    STICKMAN: Thanks babe.


    BREAKING IN

    DIRECTOR: James McTeigue (The Raven, Survivor)

    STARRING: Gabrielle Union, Seth Carr, Ajiona Alexus, Christa Miller

    SYNOPSIS: A woman (Union) fights to protect her family during a home invasion.

    STICKMAN: The prequel to Breaking Bad.


    MADHERO: Yep. This suuuuuuuuuuure is an home invasion movie.


    STICKMAN: The basic premise is a fun subversion but like, other than that. Hoowee...textbook. I hear it's fine? Like...the very definition of....watchable but nothing.


    LARRY: Yeah, besides for Gabrielle Union, who I do like, this looks passable. Then again, sometimes taking standard plots and infusing some representation can be a good thing.


    MADHERO: Union is not in enough movies, so its good to see her lead one, but this screams something you rent or watch drunkenly on Netflix.


    STICKMAN: Netflix is the home of 'Eh, why not' movies. In a cinema landscape too expensive to be worth taking risks on this caliber of films.


    MADHERO: Well it probably wasn't too expensive to make, so who knows. I can't say I really care about this film, but it'll have its audience.


    LARRY: I'd see it if I got the time. Deadpool 2 is gonna get my money first.


    STICKMAN: It looks fiiiine but I'm not gonna watch it unless it's on Netflix or TV and I'm bored, probably. But to be fair, I'm bored quite a lot.


    MADHERO: Its a perfect Moviepass film except that seems to be kinda dead sooooooooooo..... moving on


    SHOW DOGS

    DIRECTOR: Raja Gosnell (Beverly Hills Chihuahua, The Smurfs 2)

    STARRING: Will Arnett, Ludacris, Natasha Lyonne, Jordin Sparks, Gabriel Iglesias, Shaquille O’Neal

    SYNOPSIS: Max (Ludacris), a macho, solitary Rottweiler police dog is ordered to go undercover as a primped show dog, along with his human partner (Arnett), to avert a disaster from happening.


    STICKMAN: OH GOD.


    LARRY: Welp.


    MADHERO: The mouths. THE MOUUUUUUUUUUTHS


    STICKMAN: I had to sit through this trailer in front of Isle of Dogs and it was excruciattaiiinggg.


    MADHERO: Lol, that must've been quite the mood whiplash. I know its not really my scene, but I thought this kinda family film had died off.


    STICKMAN: I mean they tend to go direct to DVD these days. Spooky Buddies and what have you.


    LARRY: I have no comment other than the ever usable PASS.


    STICKMAN: That dog did not need a Brazilian, and I didn't need fart jokes either. This is my kryptonite.


    MADHERO: I was mainly distracted by the terrible mouth movement. Also, poor Will Arnett.


    STICKMAN: A career dive on par with his horse fursona.


    LARRY: This definitely feels like a BoJack project


    STICKMAN: But would they be real dogs or people dogs?


    BOOK CLUB

    DIRECTOR: Bill Holderman (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, Mary Steenburgen,

    SYNOPSIS: Four lifelong friends (Keaton, Fonda, Begen, Steenburgen) have their lives forever changed after reading 50 Shades of Grey in their monthly book club.

    STICKMAN: The less interesting spiritual sequel to Fight Club.


    MADHERO: And here I thought Show Dogs was going to be the most "Not my Thing" movie we'd talk about today.


    STICKMAN: Old people movies sure have made a resurgence these days. Much like the audience themselves, I'd imagine they'll die off soon.


    LARRY: Ooof.


    MADHERO: I think here it can be somewhat forgiven in that none of us are the right age nor gender for this. This isn't even a mom movie. Its a grandma movie.


    STICKMAN: I can't think of any movie I'd want to see less than 'Granny gets horny reading a book about BDSM and watersports'.


    MADHERO: Show Dogs?


    STICKMAN: Ah fair point.


    LARRY: Okay, to be fair, 50 Shades is a small plot point here. It's ultimately a romantic comedy.


    STICKMAN: Oh good, now it's boring too.


    LARRY: I'll take boring over horny grandmas.


    STICKMAN: We are so not the audience for this, like...it's almost unfair to talk about it. It's like going to a baby store and complaining none of the clothes fit us


    ----------


    MADHERO: Right. Lets talk about MOVIE OF THE WEEK INSTEAD!!!!!


    STICKMAN: We should rename Movie of the Week the Movie Club, and we watch Fifty Shades of Grey and get horny and decide to explore ourselves, y'know.


    LARRY: Calm it down, Stix.


    MADHERO: No, we're not. We're keeping the original formula of talking about recent VOD/DVD releases and once we saw in the theater. No need to fix what isn't broken


    STICKMAN: I wish someone would fix me.


    MADHERO: Maybe that can happen....what your MOTW? That might be able to help you


    LARRY: Likely won't. Given his usual choices.


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    STICKMAN: Oh...WELLLLL....I watched a weird South Korean superhero... comedy... drama.... nnn...thingghh? Psychokinesis, from the same director who brought you the cult favourite Train to Busan, along with a host of animated films, is exclusive to Netflix outside of South Korea, and given it was just there to waaatch? I watched it...and it was...okaaaay? 


    It's kinda  a weird one, and not as good as Train to Busan, which in of itself had issues too. Basically, it's about a father attempting to rekindle a relationship with his long-seperated daughter after her mother dies during the start of an aggressive demolition project on her place of work and living. Also...the father drank weird meteor juice that gives me telekinesis powers. What follows is a film that's part...weird slapstick comedy that feels like it's aimed at a family audience, part melodrama about lost loved ones and rekindling relationships...part violent police/corporation corruption story, and part superhero movie. That last part only really coming into play at the end. It's a film of many parts and they don't all gel that well together, but the last 30 minutes are quite fun, and it's never bad by any means. It's on Netflix, so...yeah...can't complain.


    LARRY: Train to Busan is NUTS. And...this one sounds similarly hard to pin down


    MADHERO: Well this is.... different


    STICKMAN: South Korean cinema I've noticed is always a weird blend of tones. You get a lot of goofy comedy, and then out of nowhere it'll be super melodramatic and weepy.


    LARRY: Hm. Important to keep in mind... But hey, slapstick comedy with telekinesis? I'd watch that.


    STICKMAN: There's lots of people falling over, if that's your thing. It's being promoted as something of a super hero movie, but it's not really so much that until the final act, so don't go in expecting as much.


    MADHERO: True. I think it can be interesting, and considering superhero movies are so American, its nice to get a different peespective


    STICKMAN: Yeah, it's always fun to see how a different country tackles a well-trodden genre. As it was with Train to Busan and zombie movies. I'd recommend Busan over this one, mind.


    MADHERO: Alright, Larry. What's your MOTW? Surely nothing too melodramatic, right?


    LARRY: Well, that's not exactly the word I would use.


    STICKMAN: What is the word you'd use? WHAT IS IT!? TELL ME


    LARRY: Funny. My MOTW is Tully, directed by Jason Reitman from a screenplay by Diablo Cody. This is a pair that has worked together before on both Juno and Young Adult, and it's clear that they are a good pairing for each other; whether or not you enjoy their films, This is the case with Tully, a film that stumbles here and there, but is otherwise a charming, hysterical, and poignant look at the effects of motherhood on the female psyche. Charlize Theron plays a mother of three who hires a night nanny, Tully (hey, that’s the title), played by Mackenzie Davis, and it soon becomes apparent that Tully is something of an anomaly. That's all I'll say, but the film definitely takes some...weird turns, which I'll get to later.


    Charlize Theron continues to prove that she is best when restrained, and Mackenzie Davis is a pitch-perfect match for her on screen. The cinematography is beautiful, the sound design is effective and the pacing is generally strong...until the third act, which is where the film starts to bite off more than it can chew. Still, that doesn't take away from an otherwise enjoyable film that you'll probably miss thanks to all these Wars of Infinity or whatever. I'd suggest giving it a watch if you ever get the opportunity to.


    STICKMAN: Does she drink a lot of mother's milk in this film.


    LARRY: Sticky, yes there is a lot of breastfeeding in the film.


    MADHERO: I've heard a bunch about this movie, including the twist, and honestly, I still don't really know what to know of this film and Jason Reitman as a  filmmaker.


    LARRY: I generally like Reitman, though I hear he's had a few missteps as of late. What with Men, Women, and Children and Young Adult not doing so hot.


    STICKMAN: These films do not appeal to me at all.


    MADHERO: I liked old Reitman. Don't mean Ivan, but I feel he started really well with Thank You For Smoking and Juno. Then I hated Young Adult but that's really my thing. But stuff like Labor Day and especially Men, Women and Children made me feel he really regressed as a filmmaker.


    LARRY: Well Tully definitely gets back to his roots. It feels very reminiscent of Juno. Also Thank You For Smoking is one of my all-time favorite films.


    STICKMAN: Sounds like it's a bit all over the place though.


    MADHERO: Good to hear that's it a turnaround. I don't think the subject matter interests me enough to see it, but I'm happy you liked it, even with the weird twists and turns.


    LARRY: What interested me was Theron most of all, and she is excellent here. Reminded me why she became a powerhouse in the first place.


    STICKMAN: Coo. What about you, Madthew Heroic, what manner of bullshit did you watch this week?


    LARRY: ...Madthew? Really?


    MADHERO: Welll..... just like you, I watched my bullshit through the magic of Netflix on my laptop, because its easy. So Netflix is kinda bad at advertising their movies. You'd think having an all new John Woo movie would be something to advertise. As it stands, they were too busy making Oblvious Anime Man memes and watching followers talk about Everything Sucks. Anyway,  Manhunt is the new Woo movie in question, and its very much a return to classic form.


    A Chinese prosecutor gets framed for a crime he didn't commit in Japan, and a lot of shit ensues. This has all the classic Woo tropes you can hope for. Gun Fu? Check. Crazy plottwists? Check. And Doves? O you bet there are doves. In a way, it feels like a throwback and almost like a parody of his films. It does feel a lot cleaner than his previous.films., but if you know what you're in for. you'll have a good time


    STICKMAN: Is there good action, though. Like...I can't put up with John Woo's bullshit unless there's good aaction.


    MADHERO: Yeah. A lot of the action is great.


    LARRY: Sweeeeeeeeeet. Or shall I say. WOOhoo.


    STICKMAN: What's the balance between Wooshit and Action.


    MADHERO: Theres a lot of Wooshit in there. It doesn't go full Mission Impossible 2, but there's a LOT of the things people make fun of when they talk Woo.


    STICKMAN: Ooyy. See I love over the top action films and cool fights, but John Woo ain't never done it for me.


    LARRY: I really don't feel strongly one way or the other. If it's a good movie, I'll watch it. Plain and simple.


     MADHERO: I don't think this'll be your thing. But hey, you can always give it a try since its on Netflix and turn it off otherwise.


    STICKMAN: I mean, it works for weird anime shows. Netflix is a window into all sorts of shit.


    LARRY: I'm always looking to expand my film viewing. Not afraid to dive down some weird rabbit holes.


    STICKMAN: I wish I could unxpand some of my film viewing, and remove Mission Impossible 2.


    ------

    MADHERO: Alright. That does it for this week's episode. Next up, we're getting into more summer fun with..... uh oh. The Starred Wars. Finally, I can't wait for more porg adventures. Oh wait, its a prequel before porgs existed, so I guess we have to do with gungans.


    LARRY: And Woody Harrelson.


    STICKMAN: Oh fuck, do we have more Star Wars ALREADY!? AAAGGHH. I SCREAAAAAAM.


    MADHERO: I can't bear another batch of hot takes. I'm not strong enough


    LARRY: You must become one with the hot takes, Mad. That is how you will become stronger.


    MADHERO: I refuse, but I'll prepare. See ya next time.


    STICKMAN: NOT MY STARGATE. GOODBYE.


    LARRY: See y'all later!!

  • Captain Marvel Enlists Annette Bening!

    2 weeks ago

    ericvespe

    You know, I love it when the MCU lands big, serious actors. I mean, superhero movies on the whole don't have a problem hiring all sorts of actors, from A-list to Oscar types, like Viola Davis and Will Smith in Suicide Squad or Benedict Cumberbatch for Dr. Strange or Jeff Bridges in Iron Man, but occasionally there's a bit of old school casting that makes me sit up and take notice.


    Gary Shandling in Iron Man 2 was the first one. I just never pictured a world in which Larry Sanders himself would be on screen with Tony Stark. Kurt Russell in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was another happy surprise.


    The biggest get up to this point was Robert Redford in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Him being the big bad guy of that film helped Winter Soldier set a new tone for the MCU. It's still got goofy comic book shit in it (the whole Zola/Talking Computer sequence for instance), but there's a degree of legitimacy that comes with someone like Redford.


    It seems like Captain Marvel is going in that same direction, at least in terms of casting. The Hollywood Reporter has a story saying that Annette Bening was cast in a secretive role that is most likely a scientist of some sort. 



    Annette-Bening.jpg




    Bening doesn't do a lot of giant budget movies and when she does they tend to be weird. Mars Attacks jumps to mind. Her big films all seem to be awards stuff, like American Beauty. She usually stays in the more serious adult drama world so when she signs up for something like Captain Marvel that tells me she believes in the story being told and/or really wants some of that sweet, sweet comic book movie money.


    Either way it's an exciting development for MCU fans. 

  • Burt Reynolds May Star In Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood!

    2 weeks ago

    ericvespe

    Burt Reynolds was once the biggest movie star in Hollywood. He rode that wave for a decade before audiences opted for more action hero types like Schwarzenegger and Willis and Stallone. Movie star ranking aside, Reynolds was one of the most charismatic leading men to enjoy success in the movie industry. Watch Smokey and the Bandit or Hooper or White Lightning or Gator and tell me I'm wrong.


    The dude can phone it in for a paycheck (he did star in a Uwe Boll movie once after all), but when he's challenged he can be magic. Look no further than the performance Paul Thomas Anderson got out of him in Boogie Nights. Although he quarreled with his director that collaboration gave us something wonderful. 



    burt-reynolds.jpg


    I'm hoping we'll get the same kind of commitment here. According to Deadline, Reynolds is in talks to star alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt in Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. He'd be playing George Spahn, the 80 year old blind owner of the infamous Spahn Ranch, which he would rent out as a western town to movie and TV productions from time to time, although that's not why Spahn Ranch is well known today. 


    Today it's more famous as being home to the Manson Family. Spahn let Charles Manson and his follows camp down at the ranch and in exchange Charlie had his follows have sex with the elderly man. This is the real life dude here:



    a451fed8811c7762b41f5d54c30f2a51.jpg




    The part is supposed to be a pretty juicy one. Deadline also reported that Tarantino regulars Kurt Russell, Michael Madsen and Tim Roth are also in talks to join up in smaller parts. 


    At CinemaCon Tarantino said that there were going to be a ton of small, but memorable roles in this one, much like in his early work. I'd be shocked if Sam Jackson doesn't already have a part locked down.


    This is one of my most anticipated movies in production right now. Can't wait to see how it all comes together!

  • At the Screwvies: Infinity War Spoiler Special

    2 weeks ago

    g1Features

    tumblr_p8a32rVe5z1vuwsa7o1_1280.png


    MADHERO: Hello, and welcome to something that we haven't done in a while and probably should've done for Last Jedi but oh well: A SPOILER SPECIAL!  Yes, there is, at it turns out, a lot to discuss about Tully. I personally can't believe Charlize Theron turned out to be a vampire at the end. I did not see that coming. Wait? Nobody watched that movie Dang. Guess we'll discuss Infinity War then.


    STICKMAN: Thanos: The Hands of Fate.


    LARRY: Alright that was a good one, Stix. Can't beat that.


    STICKMAN: End of blog, goodbye everyone.


    MADHERO: The Hand of Fate, or the Gauntlet of Fate as it turns out. In case it wasn't clear, its a spoiler special, so if you're one of the five people (seeing from the box office) who hasn't seen Infinity War yet, turn back now.


    STICKMAN: f you read the blog entitled SPOILERS and get spoiled that's your own fault.


    --------------------

    MADHERO: Alright, with that out of the way......hoooooooooooooowee what a movie. Quite the gut punch of an ending, I'll tell ya hwat. Nothing meme-worthy about that.


    STICKMAN: Another MCU film's big twist turned into  a meme less than a day after it releases in the US.


    XJTLlCC.png


    LARRY: I don't think anyone predicted the presence of memes as a potential spoiler, and yet here we are. Its a meme based on the PIVOTAL FINAL MOMENTS OF THE MOVIE


    MADHERO: First Hail Hydra, now crumbling into dust. What a world.


    STICKMAN: Just got a bit dusty is all.


    MADHERO: If you don't know the context, I guess its something people can still somewhat understand. Still though, its funny to see such a tragic moment being turned into a meme. My mom was honestly surprised that Thanos had effectively won in the end.


    STICKMAN: Most people have come to the conclusion that the narrative arc of this film followed Thanos and not everyone else, which is an interesting idea.


    LARRY: Yeah it certainly isn't...usual for the villain to "win". I would argue this film, ultimately, is about Thanos more than anyone else. Besides maybe Tony.


    MADHERO: Its about his quest to get all the Infinity Stones. I'm not sure if I believe that he's the main character, though Infinity War has so many character that it doesn't really have a main one. Its definitely his story and his victory, and it takes balls to end the film with sad music and your main villain smiling at peace, having completed his insane goal.


    STICKMAN: Someone was having a panic attack throughout the credits  in the screening I went to.


    1512599217avengers_infinity_war.jpg

    MADHERO: I definitely heard some kids sniffing, particuarely when Spidey was the one to go. Its quite surprising all the people that have gone. Spidey, Doctor Strange, Black Panther, pretty much all the Guardians except Rocket, and while they're almost certainly some that are going to return,  its definitely a surprise at the brutality at play.


    STICKMAN: It was a memorable and emotional sequence but it didn't hold much weight to it beyond the events of the next film.


    LARRY: I don't agree it doesn't hold weight but I do see where Sticky is coming from given the news cycle.


    MADHERO: Well, that's another thing I wanted to ask. We obviously know more films are in development. There's a Homecoming 2 along the way, Black Panther 2 might not be officially announced but is probably happening soon. Guardians 3. With all that in mind,  does this ending have weight? Cause obviously we know all that stuff but the majority of the audience doesn't.


    LARRY: I do feel it holds weight, dramatically within the film's context. And I don't feel it's fair to say the ending fails at something it can't really help.


    STICKMAN: Depends on the person, from a general standpoint it lacks a sense of permanence for me. It lives and dies by being tied to this massive universe in terms of the emotional payoff of that scene.


    MADHERO: Someone compared it to Han Solo being frozen in carbonite at the end of Empire, and I feel that's a apt comparison, though of course the way films were released was way different then.


    STICKMAN: I disagree on that being  an apt comparison, because there was no suggestion at the time necessarily that Han Solo would return  in the following film.


    LARRY: I think the very act of killing off so many characters, characters that people genuinely cared for and connected to, is an act of filmic courage all in itself, even if some of them have sequels coming up. Because, let's face it, we all got caught up in that moment, sequels or otherwise. We all forgot until the credits rolled. And, I dunno, I just love cinematic moments that genuinely shock.


    STICKMAN: I absolutely did not forget. Is it courageous to kill them off knowing they'll be back in a year? Feels more about shock value than storytelling, and it worked big time, but yeah. It was a great moment, I'm just saying I didn't for one moment genuinely believe Spider-Man had just died forever.


    avengers-infinity-war-vision-scarlet-wit


    MADHERO: Obviously there's some deaths we know that aren't going to remain dead, but there are some we're confident are totes goners. Heimdall, Loki, Vision (maybe?) Gamora and probably some others as well.


    STICKMAN: I feel anyone who had an actual death scene is dead. I don't think it'd be fair to have sequences like that and then bring them back. Particularly Gamora and Vision.


    MADHERO: Vision I expected to go considering the stone he had in his head. The way he went out though......oof.


    STICKMAN: If you're gonna die. Die twice. That's what I always say.


    LARRY: The idea of their efforts being so damn futile. It hurt, even though it was inevitable.


    MADHERO: Thanos being so chill about it as well, just using the Time Stone to bring him back. Damn.


    STICKMAN: Well that's an interesting question in of itself. Did you go in assuming this film would end this way? Or was it a shock to not have any sort of resolution?


    LARRY: For me? A shock. I got caught up in the moment, honestly. The scene on Titan filled me with some hope, genuinely. We always knew there wasn't gonna be a complete resolution seeing as this was Part 1 or 2 originally.


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    MADHERO: Well it did have a resolution. Just not the one I think many expected. Obviously we know that it originally started as Infinity War Part 1, and if you know that, the ending definitely feels like that, but after seeing it twice and seeing the film as Thanos' story, I feel like the movie genuinely holds up on its own. Movies like Deathly Hallows part 1 and Mockingjay don't really work as their own movies. I feel this does


    LARRY: Oh it definitely does. I would agree with that whole-heartedly.


    STICKMAN: Well those are different because they're telling a linear story about one group of characters. This is like, 6 or 7 franchises colliding in one cosmic nightmare. Good luck watching GotG 3 without having seen this film I guess. I think it's a great movie, providing you have that connection to the MCU


    LARRY: I would also agree with that. This is essentially the point of no return for non MCU bois. If you weren't following, you aren't gonna get half of the shit in this film.


    MADHERO: Its funny, cause their recently was a Digital Spy article about a woman seeing it without having seen any of the other stories and she actually enjoyed it. You can miss a lot of context, but maybe this works more on its own than we think, cause we have seen all those films.


    STICKMAN: I think it's a fun movie with great action scenes regardless of if you've seen the MCU collective. But in terms of characters and emotional connection? You're lost. The backstory  and development of the characters is in the past 18 movies.


    LARRY: Yeah. Audiences will always like big action. Honestly, Sticky is just me at this point haha


    MADHERO: Agreed. Its weird, cause that can be an issue, but also this movie is the fastest to reach the billion mark and still needs to go to China, so they must be doing something right


    LARRY: Because there are a LOT of fans, and the fanbase keeps growing.


    STICKMAN: If they maintain the quality of each film? Great. If there's gonna be duds and ones people choose not to see, that's gonna be an issue for Avengers 5: Moon Knight Begins.


    Avengers-Infinity-War-Gamora-Plot-Hole.j


    MADHERO: Going back to deaths and moments a bit, while I expected Vision to go, I was honestly kinda surprised Gamora went. That was probably the biggest surprise other than Red Skull suddenly reappearing.


    STICKMAN: Gamora's death was somewhat diluted by my confusion and shock at seeing Red Skull back randomly. Played by some guy from The Walking Dead who does good impressions of Huge Weaver.


    LARRY: ...to be honest I thought it was Hugo Weaving. Couldn't tell the difference...


    MADHERO: it didn't take away from it imo. I just always assumed she'd be safe. In fact, I think the favorites in the deadpool were Iron Man, Cap, and Thor and they're all fine in the end. Like, when Tony got stabbed I assumed he'd be toast as well, but he's alive at the end. My guess for one last sendoff in Avengers 4.


    STICKMAN: Oh it was a great death, I was just sorta like...Red Skullll?  When Tony got stabbed, someone in my screening screamed OH GOD NO


    LARRY: LOL that was me in my screening. I was TERRFIED to  see him die, Jesus. But no....not today Starkkkkkk


    STICKMAN: He did feel like the guy most likely to get his card punched. If he survives the next one, I'll be very surprised.


    MADHERO: I didn't scream that, but I felt it. And then Strange had to save him by giving the stone. Wonder why he'd do that considerinig they weren't exactly tight. Could it be.....A PLAN?!


    STICKMAN: Maybe there was some sorta. MAGIC PLAN READING AFOOT


    LARRY: WOAH MAGIC? IN THE MCU?


    doctor-strange-and-wong-in-infinity-war.

    MADHERO: Its a prevailing theory that Strange has for the most part edged things towards the one victory in the 14 million posibilities, and I guess that means keeping Tony alive. Remember, he said he wouldn't hesitate letting Tony and Peter die for the stone, so for him to give it up is definitely weird,


    STICKMAN: It can be viewed as him bluffing. But I'd imagine, given the source material, this was the plan. In the comics he squirrels a bunch of people away in a pocket dimension thing. But in this one he poofed so.


    LARRY: Yeah that's what I thought...Strange having a plan isn't hard for me to believe. He probably saw Captain Marvel in his visionssssss


    MADHERO: Obviously we don't know the plot of Avengers 4, but there's already plenty of rumors of time travel being involved in some capacity based on some set photos. Its going to be interesting to see Captain Marvel's involvement, but more will be clear once we actually see her film.


    STICKMAN: Which comes out befoooore Infinity...More? I think that's the working title.


    LARRY: Infinity (One) More (Movie). Yeah she's gonna save the MCU, and I’m here for it.


    MADHERO: Evangelion style. Nice. Would be really awkward if she has crumbled into dust as well.


    STICKMAN: Avengers: You (cannot) kill Spider-Man when he has a sequel.


    MADHERO: I do wonder how in the hell Homecoming 2 is going to be marketed considering its Sony but Spidey is also canonically dead in the MCU. It has a July release date, so its not like they can't talk about it until May when Avengers 4 is out.


    LARRY: I speculate it's gonna be pushed. And a trailer for Spidey 2 will premiere after Avengers 4.


    MADHERO: Well again, Spidey is in a awkward position since it technically comes from a different studio.


    STICKMAN: What happened to Stan Lee. Did he dissolve? “Excelsior, I don't feel so good.”


    LARRY: ...Let's hold off on the Stan Lee dying jokes for now. Not sure my heart can take it.


    MADHERO: Its definitely an interesting dilemma to have. Anyway, what about some other characters and moments. How about giant dwarf Peter Dinklage?


    STICKMAN: He was there.


    MADHERO: WHERE'S THE HANDLE?!


    STICKMAN: That whole sequence was there. I can't get a handle on its location.


    LARRY: Kinda funny how Dinklage has now been in TWO Marvel films only to be throwaway characters.


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    MADHERO: I do feel that sequence was probably the one I couldn't be bothered with, even if it leads to Thanos getting stabbed and an awesome entrance, and I loved Thor and Rocket's character interactions.


    LARRY: Yeah Thor's entire sideplot felt like the most tangential.


    STICKMAN: Oh yeah. I'm always here for Rocket, especially now nobody else is here for him.


    MADHERO: Rocket is close to MVP in this movie, but its probably Thor. Hemsworth's really showing his dramatic and comedic chops in this film.


    STICKMAN: What about Drax though. What about Drax.


    MADHERO: I mean, he had the best lines, but in terms of moments, Thor just edges out for me.


    STICKMAN: Did everyone else enjoy how the goofy mid-credits scene of hit comedy Thor Ragnarok led directly into a dark opening sequence where the entire remaining cast of Thor is murdered?


    MADHERO: RIP Korg and Miek, they were too good for this world.


    STICKMAN: I struggle to sleep at night not knowing their fate.


    MADHERO: Thor does mention only half of his ship was decimated andi its like....how? So maybe they're still around.


    LARRY: I didn't love Ragnarok so peace out, those people. The death of Valkyrie tho is sad.


    STICKMAN: Piss off, ghosts. What if the ghosts Korg sees in Ragnarok are the spirits of the people who died in Infinity War trying to reach out to Thor before the events of the film unfold?


    MADHERO: I think she's still around probably. Part of the half that got away. Loki tho seems gone for realsies


    STICKMAN: With Loki, third times the charm. He never turned Thor into a frog tho. His work is not yet done.


    LARRY: Was about time for Loki to be honest. That boi had to learn a lesson.


    MADHERO: Well hard to learn one when you're dead.


    LARRY: ....the death IS the lesson, Mad.


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    MADHERO: What about Hulk never showing up despite being in the trailers. That was actually a surprise.


    LARRY: Good misdirection.


    STICKMAN: Part of me feels gipped out of that cool running scene, but it was a surprise for sure. The trailers misdirected on Thanos' mentality as well. He was played much more VILLAIN'y in those than he was in the film. Lot of unused sinister lines.


    MADHERO: No smiles of his face. He's kind of a bummer throughout. There are a lot of toys of Hulk bursting out of the Hulkbuster armor, so either they were going to do it at one point or it was a misdirect all along.


    STICKMAN: Maybe that's in the sequel. Thanos needs to take a me-day. Sit down and play some Fortnite or something.


    LARRY: He's gonna have plenty of time for me-days.


    STICKMAN: Well daddy daughter day's not happening so I guess so.


    MADHERO: He seems to be doing that at the end. Does make me wonder what his character arc is gonna be like. The Gauntlet is kaput at the end so how powerful is he now.


    LARRY: ...yes but if they go back in time, the gauntlet WON'T be kaput.


    STICKMAN: Go back in time with what infinity stone exactly. The Eye of Shigeru Miyamoto is gone too I guess. What I want to know is how Tony gonna get off that planet, what with no ship, no team and a hole in his front.


    LARRY: There are other ways of time traveling when you're literally a universe of comic books.


    MADHERO: I'm honestly surprised the film hasn't caused some sort of backlash Last Jedi style considering some of the directions it takes. I'm kinda happy with that, since I was prepared for so many bad Infinity War takes to swamp my feed and now I'm glad almost everyone seems to love it.


    STICKMAN: The only backlash I've seen is dumb backlash relating to Gamora's death, which I thought was excellent. But it's been mainly loved quite a bit so huzzah, thanks Marvel. But also fuck you Marvel, how dare you delay Ant-Man and the Wasp by a SHITTING MONTH in the UK because of a football event that ends two days after the release of the GOD DAMN MOOOVIE.


    LARRY: Yeah I am surprised that Infinity War lived up to the hype this much, honestly. Cuz.......MAN the hype was high.


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    MADHERO: You could argue whether that emotional beat was earned (I'm sorta inbetween on it) but that's been basically it. Its a film that I already liked, and while I wish more characters had their moment (Cap has like.,,, 5 lines tops), I'm really impressed by the remarkable achievement the Russo's have pulled off.


    STICKMAN: Cap had one of the best lines though. Captain America meeting Groot was the comedy highlight I never saw coming.


    MADHERO: Rocket wanting Bucky's arm was better imo.


    STICKMAN: Basically, this film was awesome. It's got issues but it's hard to care when it gets so much right and delivers great visuals, action, laughs, drama and tears. It's like, the full package.


    LARRY: Also, the team up of Quill, Spidey, Strange, Tony, Mantis, AND Nebula? Surprisingly impactful. A strange but solid hodge-podge.


    STICKMAN: A DOCTOR Strange hodge-podge.


    LARRY: Oh....oh, you.


    MADHERO: Tony's utter disbelief at the Guardians' idiocy was a delight. Anyway, I think that about wraps everything up. We could be going on all day about this films and the moments in it, but we have to wrap up at some point. I think that about does it for our yearly spoiler special.


    LARRY: Damn, let's not wait so long next time...


    STICKMAN: Are we not getting the band back together for...Han Solo... A Solo Hand Story. That film I'm probably not watching tbh. Or Jurassic World 2; Oh look, there's Blue.


    MADHERO: That or Deadpool 2 or whatever. Its hard to say what everyone will be talking about. We'll find out soon enough. BYE EVERYONE!


    STICKMAN: Uh Aah GOODBYE


    LARRY: BUH BYYYEEE

  • Fox Continues To Kill It With Their Deadpool 2 Marketing! New Poster Is Both Funny And Beautiful!

    2 weeks ago

    ericvespe

    If you couldn't be more psyched for Deadpool 2 then prepare to push yourself even further with this gorgeous and funny art poster Fox just released. "From the Studio That Killed Wolverine." Bless you all. I want this on my wall now. 



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    Ain't that thing a beaut? I mean, we have Blind Al, Terry Crews, Negasonic Teenage Warhead, Ricky Baker, Shatterstar and Rob Delaney all on one poster! I mean, there's everything AND, literally, the kitchen sink in this poster. If this movie is even a fraction as awesome as this poster we're all in for a great time. Only a week and a half to wait, folks!

  • Fox says Gambit Movie Might Still be in the Cards | I.G Movie News

    3 weeks ago

    Donjre

    ***https://youtu.be/qLiE2_fkXRc***video form of post


    The production of the Gambit movie has been a rocky one. The movie was officially announced in 2014, with Channing Tatum signed to the role. Unfortunately, despite Tatum's enthusiasm for the movie and his efforts to keep it alive, the production has seen three directors quit altogether, including Gore Verbinski. However, X-Men producer, Simon Kinberg claims the project isn't dead and that fans should be patient.


    The only word about any sort of production getting off the ground is the rumored start date for filming (June 19th of this year in New Orleans), speculation that director Ben Wheatley might be attached to the movie, and the possible 2019 release date. Very little information has come out otherwise, and both fans and the producers are unsure of the future of the X-Men film series, especially following the Fox/Disney buyout. As of now, nobody is sure about what will happen.


    The other issue is all the other X-Men movies that are being filmed. Deadpool 2 is set to release later this month and is expected to springboard an X-Force series. X-Men: Dark Phoenix is also undergoing pre-production, and The New Mutants is currently experiencing reshoots. It's possible Gambit might be put on the backburner for all these other, larger projects.


    As Kinberg said, we'll need to be patient and wait for any concrete updates on the status of the movie. Should things go well, we might finally have a Gambit movie very soon.


    SOURCES:

    https://screenrant.com/x-men-channing-tatum-gambit-movie/

    https://screenrant.com/gambit-movie-2018-filming-start/

  • Wait, John Lithgow is going to play Jud Crandall in the new Pet Sematary remake?!?

    3 weeks ago

    ericvespe

    This may be a little niche, but today's casting news of John Lithgow joining up with the pending Pet Sematary remake is right up my alley. Lithgow is awesome and he's going to be playing of my favorite King characters: Jud Crandall. 



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    You'll remember the late, great Fred Gwynne played Jud in the original film and he did a bang up job, putting on an authentic Maine accent so thick he became a quick parody. South Park straight up cut and paste him into the series he was so memorable in that role. "Don't go down that road..." 


    Much like Gwynne, Lithgow's career has been mostly built around him being such a lovable guy. There have been a few exceptions, my favorite being his cold-blooded strangler character in Brian De Palma's Blow Out, but on the whole Lithgow was mostly the dad you always wanted.


    Crandall is the granddad you always wanted, so that fits. He's kind, smart, has an answer for everything, but he's also haunted. In this case he's haunted by the knowledge he has... of a little clearing beyond the pet cemetery where the soil is stoney, like a man's heart. And he's haunted by the power he knows that place possesses. 



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    The remake cast Jason Clarke as the lead, Louis Creed, a doctor who moves his family to a small town in Maine and now Lithgow. Both have starred in recent Planet of the Apes movies, so here's hoping Andy Serkis comes in to MoCap the Creeds' undead cat, Church.


    This marks a post-IT renaissance of Stephen King adaptations and I'm there for it. What do you folks think? 

  • Eric Vespe Takes You Behind The Scenes Of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom!

    3 weeks ago

    ericvespe

    The summer of '93 was an import one for me as a movie geek. Of course I had grown up with Steven Spielberg's work like Jaws and the Indiana Jones films and Close Encounters and ET, but I had never been caught up in one of those as an “event.” They had simply existed, either on cable or VHS. I did go see Last Crusade opening weekend with my family, but it was just a cool thing to do, not necessarily a landmark moment.


    The evening of Friday June 11th, 1993 I was at my grandparent's house. We were watching the news after dinner and the big story were the lines around the block for Jurassic Park. 



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    I was so pumped to see the movie, but also nervous. I was supposed to go see it the next morning, but could I even get in?


    My grandparents very rarely went to the movies with me. Grandpa Vic would often say “I want to keep my shoes” when I'd ask him to go watch movies with me, referring to the sticky floors of the theaters. But they encouraged my movie habit and bright and early Saturday morning my Grandmother dropped me off at the domed Century Theaters in San Jose, California.


    I walked up to the ticket booth while my Grandmother waited to make sure I could actually get in and sure enough I was able to buy a ticket to the first screening that morning. No lines, no problems. I vividly remember getting a Coke and some Red Vines, thinking all that stuff on the news was overblown and then I entered the theater... a buzzing, packed theater.


    Somehow I hit the sweet spot between sold out and lining up hours in advance and just kinda slid on in. I remember sitting off-center and being perfectly happy with my seat and then the usher came in and asked everybody to scoot towards the middle so the next wave of people could have easy access to remaining seats.


    When all was said and done I somehow ended dead center, middle of the theater. It's like fate put me in that seat. Then the movie played and I was hooked in a way I had never been before. Some of it was the buzz of the crowd, some was the technical majesty of the effects, both practical and digital, on the screen, some of it was the charisma of all the actors, a good deal was John Williams' score and there was also a little bit attributed to the state of the art immersive screen I was watching it on.


    The Century theaters were domed, with curved screens so it felt a little bit like I was surrounded by the movie. Not only that, but this was my first experience with Digital Sound. The DTS logo is super cheesy now, but at the time it blew my mind (and my eardrums).





    I was so into the movie. A 12 year old boy in 1993 was already the perfect mark for Jurassic Park and when you add in the fantastic presentation to the mix you get something life-changing.


    I'll always love Jurassic Park thanks to that screening. That summer I was boy obsessed. I both read the original Michael Crichton novel and listened to the audio book (read by John Heard). I collected Jurassic Park trading cards, I bought the making of book, I listened to the soundtrack on repeat, I pumped countless quarters into the Jurassic Park pinball machine. And I dreamed of petting a real life dinosaur.


    Cut to 24 years later and I found myself in the jungles of Hawaii, about to enter a tent filled with animatronic dinosaurs. Twelve year old me was very much on my mind in that moment.


    But lets back up a second. I got the call asking if I wanted to visit the set of the Jurassic World sequel after I had booked a much-needed vacation to New Zealand in that same timeframe. However you must remember that whole page of backstory I just made you read. A little thing like vacation wasn't going to keep me from getting to visit a Jurassic park in real life. The way it all worked out I flew from Austin to LA to Aukland to Wellington (roughly 20-ish hours of travel), got to sleep for a night and then got on an airplane and headed about 10 hours back the way I just came and I did so with a smile because there was a chance I was gonna see some goddamn dinosaurs and for that I'd fly around the world three times over.


    One of the perks of getting to touch down in New Zealand first was I happened upon a bag of limited edition Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 Doritos that was only available in the Southern hemisphere. The chips were green colored and “Gamora themed” and I said “Screw it, I'm going to gift these to Chris Pratt if I get the chance.”


    So, me and my movie tie-in junk food ended up in Hawaii where I found out the set visit was very limited. It was just me and Slashfilm's Peter Sciretta there, which made the whole thing feel intimate and less junket-y where you're herded like cattle from one part of the visit to another. Don't get me wrong, those visits are fine, too, but this kind is way better.



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    Our first stop was the destroyed Main Street of Jurassic World, built up off of Police Beach on the North Shore of Oahu. This exterior set was totally cool to be exposed to the elements because in the story for the sequel the Park has been abandoned for years. They've given it back to the dinosaurs and thus everything is overgrown, broken down, unkempt and probably filled with a bunch of dino doo-doo. I didn't see any, but I'm sure it was there.


    They built Main Street on an old WW2 airfield and it looked identical to the one you see (in much better shape) in the first Jurassic World even though that original set was built in New Orleans. The production design team was able to recreate it in exacting detail from the construction drawings, 3-D scans and photos taken on set the first time around.


    I didn't see any evidence of it, but I'm hoping we see a skeleton holding margarita glasses in each hand somewhere in this scene.


    While that's wishful thinking on my part, what I can say is that this location doesn't play a huge part of the movie, but I was told that it serves a pretty big moment that sounds like it mirrors the original Jurassic Park.


    When our heroes return to the island they find more dead dinosaurs than alive dinosaurs. Bones, carcasses, etc. I mean, the dinos have been left to their own devices so naturally the meat-eating meatasauruses have been eating the veggiesauruses and they don't tend to clean up after themselves.


    Apparently our heroes come to Main Street and see their first sign of life: a Brachiosaur walking amongst the ruins. Like I said, it sounds like a callback to the original moment when Grant sees the Brachiosaur for the first time. There's still awe and majesty even as this island is about to go up in flames.


    One of the big characters that has been kept out of pretty much all advertising is Ted Levine's character, Wheatley. We didn't get to see him work, but we heard a lot about him. Ted Levine is a very great and intimidating character actor probably best known as Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs and his character here is apparently a real son of a bitch. He's a hard-ass military style dude on the ground to organize the extraction of the very specific species he's tasked to grab and from the sounds of things he's a little bit of a mix of Pete Postlethwaite's Roland Tembo and Peter Stormare's Dieter Stark from The Lost World in that he'd rather hunt the dinosaurs instead of saving them, but he doesn't seem to have Tembo's respect for the animal. He's a little more cruel about it and like most cruel people in the Jurassic universe things probably aren't going to end too well for this dude.


    While the production was very secretive about what happens after everybody gets off the island we did get filled in on some of the key on-island locations. We know that our group is trying to find Blue and to do so they need to journey to a radio tower on the island where they can plug in and track the dinosaurs (remember they all had tracking devices implanted). I assume there is where Justice Smith's character comes in since he's a computer dude who is deathly afraid of literally everything on the island.


    We've all seen the trailers by now so you know they find Blue. What you might have missed is that Blue has made her nest in the overturned jeep that the T-Rex messed up so beautifully in Jurassic Park. I was told later that the idea to do that came from Mondo, of all places. You may remember their teaser poster print they did for Jurassic World depicting a Raptor on top of the ruins of the car. Apparently that image stuck with the creative team and they couldn't find a place to put it in the first film, so they wrote that into the sequel.



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    And speaking of Blue, I guess it's time to talk about losing my mind and petting a real, living, breathing dinosaur.


    I'm jumping forward a little bit here, but before the final part of our set visit, Peter and I got to step into the SFX tent and see some of the animatronics involved in the movie. We missed the biggest animatronic build of the shoot, sadly. They built a full sized T-Rex all drugged out and in her container, but that wasn't brought to Hawaii so I didn't get to see her.


    I did get to see a baby stegosaurus and Blue in all her head to toe glory, though, so I'm not complaining.


    The stego was a partial build. The body wasn't fully animatronic as the scene it's in apparently calls for it to be fairly stationary. The head, though, was articulated and puppeted by two guys, one controlling the rig that made its head move around in a surprisingly big range and the other using a remote control to make the eyes blink.


    Working together they made this head on metal skeleton come to life. It sniffed at my leg and nudged my outstretched hand like a big, goofy dog. Even though I could see the illusion thanks to the physical body not being in that tent at the time I still bought into it thanks to the animation happening before my eyes.


    The raptor didn't require as much suspension of disbelief. Blue was a full build. She was groggy, laying on the ground, but fully articulated. Her legs could push out, her arms moved, her ribcage expanded and contracted with each breath, her head could raise up off the ground and move around, her eyes opened and closed and could follow you, her mouth and tongue were working. In short, she was alive. In that tent at that moment, with a huge team of puppeteers behind her, Blue was a living thing.


    This was the moment I had dreamed of since I was a wide-eyed kid sitting in that movie theater watching dinosaurs come to life.


    The SFX crew told us that this particular build breaks down into three parts that when connected makes a seamless, full body Velociraptor and that it typically takes 11 puppeteers to bring her to life. Some will operate individual limbs, some the bladders built in that make it look like she's breathing, some on her face.


    The SFX team, lead by Star Wars' Neal Scanlan, didn't just create living dinosaurs. Nope, there's lots of dead ones as well. Near Blue's nest, out in the jungles of Hawaii, they built a full scale, dead adult Stegosaurus. This thing was massive. Sixty feet long, 15 feet tall, and immaculately detailed. Leathery, drying skin hanging over an exposed ribcage... It was sad and beautiful at the same time.


    There were a good dozen more dino carcasses scattered around the landscape. We went to visit the Radio Tower location, which is near where they shot the Gyrosphere Valley sequence in the first Jurassic World, at a place called Kualoa Ranch, which has been the location of a ton of movies and TV shows. When Hurley was golfing in Lost or when Lex, Tim and Dr. Grant were running from the Gallimimus in the original Jurassic Park, the Kong skeletons scene from Skull Island... that was all shot at Kualoa, a giant gorgeous amazingly beautiful reserve. I'm also told the Obamas frequent the event center.



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    One of the locations in this huge natural wonder is a steep green hillside and the Radio Tower was down at the foot of that. They had rigged the whole area with gas pipes so they could pump out fire for a big lava sequence and they even dotted the landscape with those dino carcasses. From the tower location you could easily see for miles and they had a bunch dotting the landscape and like the Stego these aren't just bones, but fully detailed decomposing carcasses.


    The scene in the trailer where Chris Pratt is running down the hill yelling “RUN!” is from this location and it looks way more steep and treacherous in person than it does on camera, let me tell you.


    We saw very little actual filming, but our last stop of the day did take us to the active set.

    The scene is the finale of the big island escape and involved Justice Smith and Chris Pratt and a speeding truck racing down a dock, trying to make it to a boat being chased by lava and probably a dinosaur or two. I don't know about that last part, but it is a Jurassic movie, so if someone's running odds are there's a dinosaur involved somewhere.


    Instead of getting to watch the scene unfold we instead spent our time at this location interviewing many of the key players, including legendary producer Frank Marshall, Justice Smith and Chris Pratt. I've run all those interviews separately and will list them at the bottom of this article. I highly recommend you give them a read if you want to know more about the movie and hear some fun filming anecdotes.



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    This was my first time meeting Pratt and he was every bit the joking, charming leading man type I expected from his film work. Of course within seconds of him entering our interview tent I bestowed upon him the gift of limited edition Doritos that had his face on them and to my delight he was super over the moon about it.


    There was a debate about whether or not he was going to “smash them” that night or hold on to them for posterity's sake and eat them in 20 years. That spurned a quick conversation about just how high you could get eating 20 year old movie tie-in Doritos and then we calmed down and had a nice chat about Jurassic stuff.


    Before we left we got a visit from Bryce Dallas Howard, who was in the tent next door to the one we were doing interviews in. We had interviewed her earlier in the day and since she knew she had two full blown geeks she asked us if we had any thoughts about her dad signing on to do the Han Solo movie. Of course we did and we listed off a few words of geek wisdom that she rapidly typed into the notes app on her phone and she said she was going to send them on to her dad. Whether or not she did and whether or not he took any of them to heart I have no idea, but it was a pretty cool moment nonetheless.



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    And that ended the big trip. The next day I got back on a plane and went back to enjoy my vacation knowing that I had gotten to bond with a real life dinosaur. The SFX guys could explain all the servos and components that made Blue look alive all they want, but I'm pretty sure they just cloned a real life dinosaur. That's my story and I'm sticking with it!


    Thanks for following along on this crazy adventure. Hopefully you know a little bit more about this crazy new Jurassic movie. If not now you know about limited edition Doritos, so I guess it's a win either way.


    If you want to read full transcripts of the interviews with the main players then here you go:


    Director JA Bayona On Making Jurassic World Scary Again

    Producers Frank Marshall & Patrick Crowley Discuss The Goals Of This Huge Sequel

    Chris Pratt Talks About Jumping Through A T-Rex's Mouth

    Bryce Dallas Howard On Becoming A Dinosaur Rights Activist

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 107

    3 weeks ago

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    MADHERO: There was an idea, to bring together a group of mediocre people, to see if we could become legit film critics, so that people may ask about our opinion some day, so we could see the things that they never should need to see. Of course, that doesn't really apply here cause HOLY SHIT EVERYONE'S GOING TO SEE INFINITY WAR! ITS FINALLY OUT WOOPWOOP!


    STICKMAN: Who you calling mediocre. How dare you, I'm terrible.


    LARRY: ITS FINALLY HERE. THE BIGGEST CROSSOVER LIKE EVER


    STICKMAN: It's no Freddy vs Jason.


    MADHERO: I've waited for this since they showed his ugly purple mug in 2012 and now its finally here. But first, we need to talk about other things.....like the news.


    NEWS


    SONY RELEASES NEW TRAILER FOR VENOM AT CINEMACON. ACTUALLY SHOWS VENOM THIS TIME.

    A few months back, we got our first look at Sony's unnecessary, MCU excluded Spider-Man spin-off, Venom. Venom itself wasn't really anywhere to be seen, barring a splattering of black goo here and there. That's all changed now...SORTA. Sony, being one of the few studios to actually release any Cinemacon trailers to the public, have given us a more extended look at Venom that...actually had Venom in it! For 3 seconds maybe, but...heeeeey!


    The film itself looks more or less the same, a lot of cringey lines, a moody/edgy atmosphere that seems out of place in a Marvel film in 2018, and a continuing suggestion that Venom itself will not be featured in the film a huge deal in favour of Tom Hardy's oddly attractive mug. We did get to see the symbiote in action...although apparently it's a sym-BI-ote in this film. There was a lot of gooey tendrils shooting out and about, in something that felt more like The Darkness than a Venom film...and then we got our look at the big boy himself. And he was...a mixed bag? Looked fine in a still image, but the mouth movements were goofy...to put it lightly. Naturally, most of the internet is now horny for Venom because he's got a tongue that looks like a dick I guess. Oh well. If you can't beat them, join them.


    LARRY: AhhhhhHhHHHHHHHH THIS LOOKS LIKE GARBAGE


    MADHERO: "I think that you're working for an evil person" - a line of dialogue in the year of our lord 2018


    STICKMAN: So fellas, how erect were you at the end when you saw Venomnum.


    MADHERO: His tongue looks like a penis, as pointed out by Elizabeth Banks, so very.


    LARRY: God pls fix his mouth movement...He looks so goofy


    MADHERO: Either way, while I think this is a far better trailer than the first one, its still one that doesn't really fill me with confidence. There's a lot of talk that Venom only really shows up at the end, and if that's the case, hoo boy.


    STICKMAN: It being better than the first in only that we actually saw Venom,  really. Briefly. And considering the film is called VENOM if he's not in it for a considerable portion of time...I might just go to bed.


    LARRY: ...honestly this one may be worse for me. I am filled with ZERO confidence. Tom Hardy looks like he has no idea what the fuck he's doing half the time. Jenny Slate looks ridiculously miscast.


    MADHERO: Sym-bi-ote


    STICKMAN: I think it is time we have a Sym-Bi-Ote. Get representation going, folks. So we're all really excited then.


    LARRY: It feels more like a Mr. Fantastic origin film than a Venom origin film. Also the voice is utter cheese.


    STICKMAN: I'll just wait and look at the porn on Twitter instead of seeing the film.


    MADHERO: I'm.......indifferent. I don't think it'll be good, so I'm kinda just hoping its ok. Its such a weird thing that it exists honestly.


    PARAMOUNT TALKED ABOUT THEIR SCHEDULE AT CINEMACON, INCLUDING STAR TREK, CLOVERFIELD AND SPONGEBOB

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    So hey, CinemaCon happened, and Paramount came and revealed a solid chunks of news. Here are three of the bigger pictures: Cloverfield will be getting a brand new movie developed from the ground up, going back to Abrams’ ol’ Mystery Box fun times. Meanwhile, Overlord, originally a new Cloverfield movie out in October, will now be its own thing, and the first R rated film from Bad Robot, and is apparently insane looking. Also, A Quiet Place, which was originally going to maybe be a Cloverfield film, is confirmed to be getting a sequel following its smashing success. So, yay.


    Star Trek is getting two, count ‘em, TWO, sequels. One will be the hotly speculated-on entry from crazy boi Quentin Tarantino (my oh my what a world we live in), speculated to be its own thing with its own characters, so not related to Abrams Trek. Speaking of which, Star Trek 4 will directed by SJ Clarkson, best known for Jessica Jones, will direct that, becoming the first female director in the series!! Hooray for inclusion and representation!!


    Finally, for those of us are who still children at heart, the third Spongebob movie will called “It’s a Wonderful Sponge”. Gee, I wonder what that could be referencing. It will be another combination of 2D/3D animation. So, yay, more animated adventures with everyone’s favorite nautical sponge. Oh, and a Mission Impossible stunt so insane it defines explanation. That's going to be fun to watch.


    MADHERO: That Mission Impossible stunt, based on description alone, sound so fucking insane that I have to see it, and I was already going to do that anyway.


    STICKMAN: I haven't read it but I look forward to seeing it. Mission Impossible been on a great streak.


    LARRY: I'm just kinda here for all this Trek news.


    MADHERO: Its interesting that 2 projects are essentially moving forward, but one is going to be so dramatically different that its understandable. Don't want it to completely overtake Star Trek 4, cause I like that series, but I'm extremely curious by Tarantino's take.


    LARRY: I just think its great for a franchise to have two distinctly different directors at the helm of the same franchise


    STICKMAN: He's going to make Kirk crash the Enterprise into a tree.


    MADHERO: Holy shit, Sticky. Now you're just making me feel bad. As the resident Cloverfield stan, how do you feel about the development surrounding all of that?


    LARRY: I'm happy A Quiet Place wasn't a Cloverfield film. That's about it. Also apparently Overlord is NUTS, so I'm here for it.


    STICKMAN: I mean...I want whatever's best for my boy Cloverfield. Paradox wasn't exactly  a smash hit, and I didn't want them to continue with the lazy tie-in bullshit. Overlord being its own thing is good, especially since we might get a proper Cloversequel too.


    MADHERO: I'm curious whether Quiet Place can work concept wise as a sequel. Its not really a slasher who can come back and kill more teenagers. Curious how they'll do it without being shit.


    STICKMAN: I guess tell a story from a different perspective. But it seems based purely around the money possibilities rather than something that makes sense to doooo.


    LARRY: Part of its success was its originality, so a sequel sounds…. bad.


    MADHERO: Quiet Place is one of Paramount's first genuine hits in a while. They're gonna bleed that stone dry.


    STEVEN SPIELBERG TO DEVELOP DC COMIC ADAPTATION “BLACKHAWKS” AT WARNER BROS. CATHY YAN IN TALKS TO DIRECT HARLEY QUINN MOVIE

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    Its time to once again discuss the continuing developments of the DC slate over at Warner Bros. One of those newly announced briefly sent the internet buck wild, as Warner Bros and Steven Spielberg announced that they would re-team for an adaptation of the comic book series Blackhawk. Now I know what you're thinking: what the hell is that? Basically, it follows a group of multicultural ace pliots, led by their mysterious leader Blackhawk as they fight the Nazi's in WWII. Since then, they've only popped up now and then, including an episode of the Justice League cartoon. You can see why Spielberg might be interested in such a project, but considering his other projects, it remains to be seen when we'll get this and whether it has any ties to the DCEU.


    Speaking of ties  to the DCEU, projects with connections seem to be moving forward. Suicide Squad seems to have a million spin-offs in development, and one of them, the Harley Quinn spin-off starring Margot Robbie, seems to be moving along, with Warner Bros and Robbie's production company Lucky Chap locking on to Cathy Yan to direct. Yan is relatively new on the block, having made Sundance hit Dead Pigs, which Robbie liked a lot. She would be the first Asian American woman to direct a superhero movie, which is pretty neat. Aquaman and Shazam were shown footage at Cinemacon,  with Aquaman really impressing with its scope despite director James Wan saying VFX werent done yet. Shazam was more BTS stuff. All in all, a lot going on at WB.


    STICKMAN: I'm sad to report that DC are at it again.


    LARRY: God, fuck ALL of this. I feel like a broken record.


    MADHERO: They're doing their best.....which isn't very good.


    STICKMAN: I mean it's too early to say if they're good or not. Then again, after Justice League, I'm pretty much done.


    MADHERO: I do think that the concept of Spielberg doing Blackhawk sounds very interesting. That is something that's seemingly very far removed from all the potential DC stuff besides WW, since its basically pilots fighitng Nazi's.


    LARRY: Eh they'd probably use WW to tie in. Doesn't seem super far fetched. Seems like an easy way of going back to the SOLE DC FILM THAT HAS BEEN OF ANY QUALITY


    STICKMAN: I don't really get why DC, who own all their properties, are off-shooting so many of their films into different categories and universes.


    MADHERO: Because their attempts to make an actual universe has turned into the DCEU.


    LARRY: I'm sick of hearing these announcements. Even if its directors I like. In fact, that kinda makes it worse.


    LAIKA ANNOUNCES NEW STOP MOTION FILM IN DEVELOPMENT. AARDMAN ANNOUNCES A SEQUEL TO CHICKEN RUN

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    It's fair to say 2018 has been a pretty good year for stop-motion. Although Early Man underwhelmed slightly, it was still a lot of fun, whilst Isle of Dogs managed to be super charming. But what about the future? Well it's looking pretty bright,  LAIKA has finally announced they’re working on something new. The as of yet untitled and ungenre'd 'Film 5' is now in production, with a change of distributor/financier. Annapurna, taking over from Focus Features/Universal Studios. We don't know much about the film except it's being directed by Paranorman's Chris Butler, and stars Hugh Jackman and Zoe Saldana. They said it'd be a moving and funny adventure, which LAIKA described as an 'evolutionary step' for the studio, but to me it sounds like par for the course, in a good way.


    The good news don't stop there though...in a rather out of the blue and shocking announcement, we now know that Aardman Animations are working on a sequel to their first, and most successful feature film, Chicken Run. Dropping Dreamworks in favour of their current partner, StudioCanal, as well as original co-producer Pathe. That's literally all we know at this point, but it's a cool, if somewhat...unnecessary project. That will come out in the years that follow Autumn 2019, which is when Shaun the Sheep : Farmageddon (Yes I know) comes out. Great to see stop motion films continuing to be made, and the two biggest in the bizz still going strong.


    LARRY: Damn, a sequel to CHICKEN RUN... Never thought I'd see the day...


    STICKMAN: Dreamworks actually wanted to make a Chicken Run 2 right back in the day, but without Aardman and in CGI. Thank god they weren't invited to this party.


    LARRY: Fuck that.


    STICKMAN: It was super unexpected, and exciting...but also....a bit unnecessary. Chicken Run is Aardman's best non-Wallace & Gromit thing.


    MADHERO: I think Early Man kinda didn't do as well as hoped so now they're doing something that's brought them the most success. Its still their most successfull movie release, despite releasing in 2000


    STICKMAN: It's the most successful stop motion film of all time. But then that was with Dreamworks marketing/budget, and fuck, they can sell Boss Baby, so they can sell anything.


    LARRY: This is true. But it'll be fun to give the franchise to a new generation of people. Inject some fucking British humor in our American veins.


    STICKMAN: Early Man was a disappointment financially, but I don't know how much it invoked this sequel, Aardman projects take literally years to develop so it may well be it was always the plan to do it.


    MADHERO: Well, not everything, but having a big budget helps. I do wonder if Mel Gibson is going to be back as well, cause....y'know. 2000 Mel Gibson and 2018 Mel Gibson are in very different places.


    STICKMAN: Please don't bring Mel Gibson back. Kill Rocky, I don't care. The world is ready for an all-female stop motion chicken movie.


    MADHERO: LAIKA making a new movie is always good. They always kill it and I hope to see something even half as good as Kubo.


    STICKMAN: They always kill it except when there's Boxtrolls involved. Kubo is their finest work though. And that's coming from someone who loved Paranorman.


    LARRY: KUBOOOOO What a masterpiece.


    MADHERO: Good times for stop motion announcements.


    STICKMAN: GOOD TIMES FOR MEEEE.


    WARNER BROS AND GEORGE MILLER’S PRODUCTION COMPANY IN COURT BATTLE OVER UNPAID BONUSES, LEAVING FUTURE MAD MAX MOVIES IN DOUBT

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    Back in the glorious days of Summer 2015, when life was a tad better, we got Mad Max Fury Road, arguably (certainly among us hosts) one of the best films of the decade and one of the greatest action movies ever made. After years in development, it all seemingly worked out in the end, making close to 400 million at the box office,  and riding its way to 6 Oscars and a nomination for Best Picture, something I don't think any of us expected. The stars all seemed allign for a sequel, with the film ready for Tom Hardy's Max to ride another day, with director George Miller talking about a Furiosa spin-off and a sequel titled The Wasteland in development.


    Three years later, and not much has come from that, and now we kinda know why.  Turns out that Miller's production company Kennedy Miller Mitchell have sued distributor Warner Bros  for unpaid bonuses up to 7 million, claiming they kept the budget under 157 million as promised. WB meanwhile claims the movie cost 185 million and therefore doesn't have to pay the bonuses. It sounds like with all that's going on, even when its all settled down, we won't see Miller and WB working together any time soon, and leaves any future sequels with the Australian director in doubt. Its a shame it has to go this way, because I'd have loved another Fury Road.


    STICKMAN: Ohno. This isn't shiny and chrome at all.


    MADHERO: We shall not witness the Mad Max sequels.


    STICKMAN: You okay Larry? Need a hug?


    LARRY: *yawns* Oh, who, me? I'm quite content. Fury Road sucks and never deserved a sequel.


    STICKMAN: These words will not pass. My take is the original Mad Max films sucked, Fury Road is the fuckin dogs bollocks.


    LARRY: LOL can't wait for them to go somewhere and then just go back again OOOOOH THE POWER OF CINEMA


    MADHERO: I think its mainly the reaction of us liking it as much that makes him hate it more. I've been that petty with things


    STICKMAN: I feel my love for Fury Road is stronger than any enraged Larry discorse can destroy. It lives, it dies, it lives again. Basically, I suggest an assassination.


    MADHERO: It sucks that we'll never see a sequel, certainly not from Miller. He can't even go back to dancing penguins since that's owned by WB as well.


    STICKMAN: Maybe he can make a movie about penguins driving fast cars and going insane.


    LARRY: Tbh I don’t hate Fury Road. I just don’t like it and got get the appeal. Maybe George Miller can do....like....anything else????


    STICKMAN: George Miller made Happy Feet when he was making a vision that wans't Mad Max.


    MADHERO: Happy Feet was a weird fucking movie now that I think about it. Maybe a crossover is needed. Happy Max. Mad Feet?


    STICKMAN: FUCK HAPPY FEET. I'd watch a crossover though.


    MADHERO: Either way, I hope George Miller gets to make other things and while we're at it, Fuck WB.


    CINEMACON LIGHTNING ROUND

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    Alright, so as we discussed regarding Venom and Paramount, Cinemacon happened this week in Las Vegas, an annual events from theater chains and distributors to talk about all the stuff they have in development or have coming up to get butts in seats, something that's often more difficult than it seems since the American theater experience sounds terrible. But anyway, most of this revolved around showing footage that we didn't get to see. We basically only got Venom. So here a quick recap of some of the more interesting stories at Cinemacon



    20TH CENTURY FOX DEVELOPS APP FOR A CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE MOVIE

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    In what was easily the weirdest thing to come out of Cinemacon, 20th Century Fox (possibly going through their last Cinemacon considering the Disney deal)  talked about developing an app called CtrlMovie. This app prompts you to make an decision of what's going to happen in the movie and in theaters this'll be done by vote. Its kinda like Telltale games, but a movie. This tech is now being used to make a Choose Your Own Adventure movie.  I hate this idea with every fiber of my being.


    STICKMAN: If it's anything like a Telltale game all the actors will noclip through the walls whilst t-posing. They actually did this idea of a joke on Futurama over a decade ago, so...yeah. Not a great idea.


    MADHERO: Its the woooooooooooooorst. I want to see a movie. Not play some scenes through my smartphone. And you know fights 'll break out cause others wanted to make a different decision. This could work for a theme park ride, but not for a movie


    LARRY: I see this as more so being like...an interactive experience? Like a team-building thing? This ain't good for like...theatergoing.


    STICKMAN: I don't want to build a team. I want to watch a mOVIE.


    UNIVERSAL SHOWS OFF FIRST TRAILER FOR INTENSE LOOKING FOLLOWUP TO HALLOWEEN

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    As we now know, Halloween is back, and once again its wiping the slate clean to focus on a sequel  of the original, now over 40 years later. Directed by David Gordon Green and written by Danny McBride of all people, the tense footage apparently features an older Michael Myers escaping from the mental facility he's been imprsioned in for years, once again ready to terrorize the one that got away: Laurie Strode, playerd once again by Jamie Lee Curtis. Strode is happy he escaped, cause now she can do what she always wanted: kill Michael Myers. Sounds like a good time.

    STICKMAN: God damn I wish I could've seen this FOR MYSELF.


    MADHERO: You will.....eventually.


    LARRY: Yeah, not much to comment on really. Is it any good?


    STICKMAN: I will say, Halloween ain't my favourite horror franchise, even the first film. But there's something tantalising about a reunion sequel like that.


    MADHERO: I'm just hoping Halloween III is still canon. The Silver Shamrock must live.


    STICKMAN: Oh god, I hope. Halloween III is the best one. Fight me.


    AMAZON SHOWS OFF LUCA GUADAGIGNO’S SUSPIRIA TEASER DURING A LUNCHEON TO HILARIOUS RESULTS

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    In what is arguably the funniest story coming out of Cinemacon, Amazon presented their Cinemacon panel during a standard Vegas luncheon. All was fine and dandy, up until the room started to turn red and the people got their first look at Luca Guadanigno's (Call Me By Your Name) remake of Dario Argento's Suspiria. It turns out that the footage shown was a little.....extreme, showing a dancer being telepathically thrown around a room until she's a pile of bones and all contorted, as the crowd reacted to a mix of awe and disgust at the insanity that unfolded, with people reportedly vomiting. So yeah, fun for the whole family.


    STICKMAN: Apparently she shit and piss herself as she was thrown around the room. So. There's that too. It was a luncheon event, which is pretty funny.


    MADHERO: An unforgettable luncheon indeed.


    LARRY: God, what a presentation tho. Makes me wanna see Suspiria, what can I say...


    STICKMAN: I'd of loved to have been there, it sounds really funny. Not the video but the reaction and the poor timing. People spitting out their mini-sandwiches and falling over.


    MADHERO: Its a obvious stunt, but its fucking hilarious to hear about it. Does make me really interested in the other fucked up shit that's in there.


    LARRY: How is this from Luca fucking Guadaningo? The man who gave us Call Me By Your Name and A Bigger Splash now gives us....pissing and shitting ourselves...


    STICKMAN: And here we thought jizzing in peaches was going to be the most disgusting thing we talked about this year. This guy needs a doctor.


    RIP VERNE TROYER

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    Hopefully, one day, we won’t have to consistently report on the passings of beloved celebrities. Alas, today is not that day. Verne Troyer, known mostly for playing the iconic role of “Mini-Me” in the Austin Powers series, has passed at the age of 49. Known for his shorter stature, he used his height to his advantage to portray unique and iconic characters in film and music videos, including The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, Postal and even Harry Potter. Despite facing adversity in his life, he consistently persevered, and became a beloved face in the world of nerd-dom. It is sad to see him gone, but he will always be remembered for making us laugh, and making us smile, even if it was a tad crude. Farewell, Verne.


    STICKMAN: I can't say I've seen much of this guy, outside of some searingly annoying online casino adverts, but it's always sad to hear someone die, especially when it's pretty young at that.


    LARRY: Only 49...he had so much time left.


    MADHERO: This was kind of a bummer to hear, especially since it seems to have been a suicide. Mini-Me was a really iconic role for him. He didn't do a whole lot of other roles  (I remember seeing him in Terry Gilliam's Doctor Paranassus), but he did build a genuine connection with his fans, and you can see that by the people mourning him.


    STICKMAN: The response says a lot about what he meant to people even if he wasn't a hugely prolific actor.


    MADHERO: I still remember the ads he did for stuff like World of Warcraft.


    LARRY: And, let's face it, just two movies made Mini-Me a household name. Everyone knows that role.


    STICKMAN: I mean I ain't ever seen it but I've heard of it.


    MADHERO: Everyone knows about it in some capacity, and few actors get that oppurtunity to be that defined in a part they played. Some resent that, but I don't believe Troyer ever did. Either way, we wish Troyer's family nothing but the best in this difficult time.


    STICKMAN: Rest in peace.


    LARRY: Rest in peace, Verne. Condolences to his family and friends during this time.


    ------------------------

    MADHERO: Alright. That's it for the news. Now its time to talk the movie we've all been waiting for: the Overboard remake starring Anna Faris and Eugenio Derbez. Haha. Finally. But for real, Infinity War has been something that we've been awaiting for over 4 years, and after all that waiting and plenty of movies inbetween, its finally here: the seeming endgame of the current MCU as we know it.


    STICKMAN: Eh. Let's skip it.


    LARRY: Yeah it ain't that important, y'know? Same ol', same ol'


    MADHERO: Well geez. Guess the Spoiler Special we had planned is canceled then. O well. For real though we're talking about it. We're not going to spoil anything in case you haven't had the time to see it yet, and trust me, there's a lot to talk about with this film that I wouldn't dare to spoil..


    STICKMAN: AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH HUH


    LARRY: Ridiculously so...


    MADHERO: No time wastin, its time to tackle this goliath of a movie.....NOW!


    REVIEW

    THE AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

    DIRECTOR: Joe and Anthony Russo (Captain America: Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War)

    STARRING: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, Karen Gillan, Josh Brolin,

    SYNOPSIS: The Avengers (Downey Jr, Evans etc.) and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos (Brolin) before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

    MADHERO: So how do you even tackle Infinity War, because everyone is going to have a different experience with this film. The Marvel Cinematic Universe continues to absolutely baffle us with its scope and quality, with some bumps along the way. As someone who was there since the beginning alllllllllllll the way back in 2008 with Iron Man, I can of course say that Infinity War..... is fucking awesome. Its genuinely amazing to see a film of this magnitude unfold, with this many characters and stars all interacting with one another, and it does genuinely feel like a conclusion to what has been a  decade of films. Its an overused word, but its deserves the term "epic" with its insane action set pieces. At the same time, the movie still managed to surprise me in ways I didn't see coming , particuarely in its portrayal of Thanos, who's given a lot more pathos than expected and has been absolutely worth the build up since Avengers.


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    That doesn't mean the film isn't without faults. The grand scale of it all leaves some characters more sidelined than others, and it does often feels like its spinning  its plates to make sure they don't all fall and break. Its grand scale can be quite exhausting at times, and the film really takes its time to breathe, though there are plenty of jokes and character interactions that are worth seeing. Also, anyone that hasn't been watching everything up until Captain America might find it a incomprehensible mess. Still, I can only speak from it as a fan that I thought it was an amazingly huge experience that I can't wat to see again in IMAX and has been worth all the buildup.(edited)


    STICKMAN: I'd have to agree for the most part, I really enjoyed this movie a whole bunch. It is something that's really only going to truly land  for the diehard fans, the ones who've been invested since day 1, because as it's being sold and marketed, it's all been building to this...so...if you haven't done any of the construction? S'kinda...I dunno how it'll be, actually.  For me it really worked though, it was about as satisfying as it could've been, given so many different franchises and worlds had to be collided, in addition to continuing the stories laid out in those often very different films. It does feel all a bit too loud and crazy at times, for such a long film, you do come out of it very drained...in a good way for the most part.


    I will say, the specific divisions of the characters throughout the film surprised me, and there were some connections I'd of liked to be seen made that didn't happen, but this is just part 1 of a two part epic...so...yeah. And it is epic, it's a true epic, in scale, ambition and stakes. People wanted the stakes to be raised in this film...and...well...yeah, they were.


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    LARRY: Yeah I agree with a lot of what's being said here. I do feel like certain characters are left underwritten and underused, but the ones who are used to their fullest are excellently crafted. Thanos in particular is probably my favorite villain in the MCU, brilliantly developed with a very nuanced Brolin performance. The action is top-tier Marvel, its different intergalactic locals are stunning, and its story is paced pretty well. I do still have a quandry with just how reliable this film is on its predecessors, but as someone who has been on this journey, this was absolutely worth all of the build-up.


    STICKMAN: I'm not sure about favourite, but he was very good, they didn't go the way I expected with him, I'll say that much.


    LARRY: Yeah he wasn't just a simplistic baddie. They give him a lot of time to breathe, which I appreciated.


    MADHERO: I think we can all agree that your enjoyment of the film is going to heavily rely on your previous knowledge. My mom is going to see it on Monday and we raced through the essentials, but even then you're going to miss some pieces. Other MCU films felt strengthened by their lack of a connection almost.


    STICKMAN: I will say he didn't quite gel well with previous showings of Thanos within the MCU.


    MADHERO: Thanos has been a bit all over the place in the MCU, but I really like his take here. I don't think he's sympathetic or even relatable, but his cold calculated pragmatism and unrelenting belief that he's doing the right thing makes him an effective villain. Plus the fact he kicks everyone's ass


    STICKMAN: He does kick some ass, that can't be denied. Also I'm glad it's pointed out in the film how stupid his massive fucking testicle chin is.


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    LARRY: Honestly, this film, to me, started showing the cracks in having so many directors write the same characters. I felt the Guardians were sorely underwritten in this one. They lacked the charm that Gunn brought to them.


    STICKMAN: I disagree, I think they did a good job with the Guardians. Especially Drax, the funniest boy who ever lived.


    MADHERO: Well you could say the same thing about how comic book writers tackle different characters. You can't expect every character to be written by the same person. Though apparently Gunn wrote the Guardians'' dialogue


    LARRY: ...did you like Groot? Cuz I particularly found him underused.


    MADHERO: He wasn't in it much, though I didn't expect him to be in for much. Rocket got a lot more screentime than expected. That applies to a lot of characters. Those hoping for Black Panther 2 might be a tad disappointed with how little he's in it.


    LARRY: Yeah BP is just kinda here, honestly. Those unfamiliar with his film probably will be lost.


    STICKMAN: Film felt very LotR'sy at times.


    Avengers-Infinity-War-Marvel-MCU.jpg

    MADHERO: The final battle is very Helm's Deep, so I agree with that. A lot of it comes back to whether this film can be enjoyed without seeing the other films. I'd say you can, because howee the action is fun, but you lose a hell of a lot of context and depth. Its super enjoyable as a fan, and better than Age of Ultron, but maybe not as good as the Avngers. I'm definitely surprised by some of the bold choices they make, especially the end, and its makes me absolutely hungry for more. This will not convert non-believers, but those drinking the Marvel Kool-aid will only want more.


    STICKMAN: I feel like it's maybe better than The Avengers because it's doing so much and succeeding in the majority of its ambitions The emotional strengths of this film are probably lost without the context. But then...who's going to see Infinity War without any MCU knowledge. I  guess we'll see how it stacks up with part 2 next year, because it really is a film of two halves.


    LARRY: Yeah, I agree part of this film can only be appreciated once we get Part 2. That being said, some of the more thematic, conceptual scenes were stunning, and this film does feature some of the most heartwrenching moments of the series as whole. So, for that, I'll say it's on par with the first Avengers at least.


    MADHERO: I don't think it needs the Part 2 to be appreciated. It stands up surprisingly well on its own in my opinion, though it does leave you with one hell of a cliffhanger. In that sense its more successfull than most Part 1's in that it actually feels satisfying on its own. But hey, maybe that's enough Infinity War for now, because believe it or not. Other movies are coming out as well.


    ----------------

    STICKMAN: That’s a damn lie and you know it. Nothing has come out.


    MADHERO: Well, somehow, 2 other movies decided to take on the fight with Thanos. Will they be more successful? Looking at the box office, probably not, but hey it was worth a shot.


    LARRY: Yeah what I'm saying is what Sticky is saying. But anyway YEAH I GUESS OTHER MOVIES EXIST


    MOVIES

    OVERBOARD

    DIRECTOR: Rob Greenberg (episodes of How I Met Your Mother)

    STARRING: Anna Faris, Eugenio Derbez, Eva Longoria, John Hannah, Swoosie Kurtz

    SYNOPSIS: A spoiled playboy (Derbez) winds up with amnesia after falling off his yacht. A single, working-class mom (Faris) convinces him that they are married.

    LARRY: Over? I barely know her.


    MADHERO: Ok, who thought it was a good idea to remake Overboard in the  year of our lord 2018?


    STICKMAN: It's a remake? It's 2018?


    MADHERO: A remake of a Kurt Russell/Goldie Hawn movie, yes. In that movie, its Hawn's character who's a rich socialite who gets amnesia which leads Russell's average joe character to make her believe he's her husband.


    STICKMAN: Oh good. Sounds exactly the kinda film that can take on Infinity War.


    LARRY: Perf. Wait, non-MCU Kurt Russell?? Pass.


    MADHERO: Needless to say, that shit wouldn't really fly today, which I guess it why they genderflipped it with the man getting amnesia, but its still, kinda, y'know, a tad gross.


    STICKMAN: Are we sure Aardman aren't releasing something this weekend? They seem to love releasing their financially iffy releases in the US on the same day as the biggest films of the year.


    MADHERO: Stopmotion takes time, unlike lazy remakes.


    STICKMAN: OH DAMN. This board just went WAY over.


    TULLY

    DIRECTOR: Jason Reitman (Young Adult, Men, Women and Children)

    STARRING: Charlize Theron, Mackenzie Davis, Mark Duplass, Ron Livingston

    SYNOPSIS: Mother of three Marlo (Theron) comes to form a unique bond with the sometimes challenging young nanny Tully (Davis).

    LARRY: Okay this one I'm actually excited for.


    MADHERO: Ok, so I guess if intergalactic space battles aren't your thing, you can always watch Charlize Theron being tired from doing mom stuff.


    LARRY: Well the implication is that Tully is..."not from this world".


    MADHERO: Wait hold on what? The babysitter's an alien? This..... changes everything.


    STICKMAN: Is this a remake of that David Bowie documentary where he was from space. And had like, weird sex or something. I ain't seen that film.


    LARRY: No she's not an alien lol. I'm saying there's something like mystical and odd about her.


    STICKMAN: Ah poo. I'm bored now. Where's the big purple man?


    MADHERO: Oh..... I guess my main source of contempt is that I hated Young Adult, which previously featured Reitman, Theron and Cody and Reitman especially I feel has kinda stagnated as a filmmaker imo, but hey, this is supposed to be good.


    LARRY: I like Theron, man. Holding out hope.


    MADHERO: But not in Fury Road apparently.


    LARRY: Where she was utterly wasted? Yes.


    STICKMAN: AHAHAHA LARRRRYY. YOU CARRRD.


    ------------

    MADHERO: Well with that hot take bombshell, its now time for MOVIE OF THE WEEK! The part of the show where we tackle DVD/Netflix releases or movies we just saw in the theater. Gee, I wonder what's it gonna be.


    LARRY: ...um.


    STICKMAN: Hey how about something I went and did at a film fest-Oh...never mind, we're doing Bradley Rocket and the Glove Gang. Cuz nobody else watched anything interesting.


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    …..itsInfinityWar

    &t=


    MADHERO: Look, guys, we can beat around the bush all day long and I could let Stickman be a fucking hipster and talk about his Cardiff animation festival thingy.... but c'mon, Infinity War is out right now, its just been announced that its taken Star Wars: THe Force Awakens' record with the highest domestic opening weekend of all time, and not much interesting (that we saw at least) is coming to DVD at this point. So yeah, at least on my end, Infinity War it is. My thoughts you can read in the review.


    STICKMAN: Infinity War was okay I guess.


    LARRY: Yeah something about a glove or whatever.


    STICKMAN: Did I see it at the Cardiff Animation Festival, the first of its kind? No I don't think so.  I saw ducks dancing to existential poetry. But SUUURE, this one had a tree that talked. Did you two come out of Infinity War with the worlds throbbiest headache?


    MADHERO: Well I did see it at a midnight screening, so I was pretty tired at the end of it all. No headache though.


    STICKMAN: I watched it in IMAX 3D, it was an amazing, priceless experience that left me holding my head in pain for the rest of the day.


    LARRY: Ouch. I almost never see films in 3D anymore.


    -------------

    MADHERO: Going to see it in IMAX soon. Anyway, I think yhat about wraps everything up. We're not quite done yet with IW, as we'll definitely try and do a Spoiler Talk, the first one since Civil War, and then we can move on to the next big thing


    STICKMAN: That's pretty neat, we doing a Cardiff Animation Festival spoiler-talk too?


    LARRY: Wah-oh...


    MADHERO: Sure, that'll really get the clicks. People love Cardiff for its. ... sheep? Anyway we're doing Deadpool 2 next, cause the summer movie season is officially here. BYE Y'ALL


    STICKMAN: Keep your hands off my sheep. They're mine. GOOODBYYEE


    LARRY: BUH BYE

  • Best & Worst Movies of April 2018

    3 weeks ago

    tomtom4468

    We’ve arrived at Summer Blockbuster Season's Eve and honestly it’s been kinda meh. Don’t get me wrong, we got some great films, but most of it has also been crap. I feel like this second subpar month in a row is a bit of a bad omen for the year in film, but that’s a doomsday scenario for another day. For now, let’s talk about the best & worst films of April!


    Before I begin, a couple of disclaimers…

    1. This is based on movies that I SAW in April. Some of these movies may have officially come out in previous months and have only just come to my area. Other movies might have come out in April, but have not yet come to my area, so I haven’t seen them.

    2. This is purely based on MY OPINION. Some movies in The Best category might be movies you hate. Some movies in The Worst category might be movies you love. That is completely fine! Film is subjective and you are absolutely allowed to disagree with me. All I ask is that you don’t be a dick about it. Respect my opinion and I will respect yours.

    Now let’s begin!




    The Best:

    A Quiet Place- It would be an understatement to say this is by far the best horror movie of the year so far! It’s fantastic! John Krasinski does an incredible job, both in front of an behind the camera, proving himself as a talented filmmaker while at the same time giving a phenomenal performance alongside an equally amazing cast. Visually, it’s also masterful, the cinematography, editing and effects all blew me away and HOLY CRAP THIS THING IS TERRIFYING! It’s incredibly effective horror, partially because of the horrific monsters and tense crafting, but mainly because of how brilliantly it conditions you to be afraid of any form of noise. They establish very early on that noise means death, so the slightest rustle in the theater is enough to get you to piss your pants. This makes the usually lazy horror crutch of jump scares, even false jump scares, legitimately effective in a way no other film I can think of has managed. It’s masterfully minimalistic, the world building is magnificent, the characters are extraordinarily compelling and the plot itself is extremely well written and engaging and refreshingly micro. The pacing is absolute perfection and the ending is awesome! This is such a brilliantly crafted, simplistic, original, effective, riveting horror film that I can’t possibly recommend enough. Go see this movie! It deserves all the money!


    Isle of Dogs- I’d be lying if I said I fully loved this movie , but goddamn did I have a great time watching it! While it does have its fair share of flaws, overall, it’s a solid film. Wes Anderson’s direction is fantastic as always, the animation is extraordinary, the voice acting is incredible, it’s really funny, shockingly mature and the plot itself is very well written and engaging. Also, although the characters are hit or miss, the best of them are extremely compelling with absolutely incredible backstories. This is such a fun, delightful, unconventional film that is by no means perfect, but it’s absolutely worth watching! I recommend seeing it as soon as possible!


    Avengers: Infinity War- It is no exaggeration to say this was my most anticipated film of all time and HOLY SHIT IT’S FUCKING AWESOME! Ten years of Marvel movies have lead to this and it was 100% worth the wait! The MASSIVE cast all give incredible performances, each having at least one moment to shine. The characters continue to be extremely deep and compelling, there are a bunch of satisfying meetups we’ve been waiting years to see and it manages to pull off such an extraordinary balancing act. 20+ heroes and yet, somehow, it never feels like too much because the Russo Brothers have become experts at knowing exactly how much screen time each hero should have, who should be at the forefront, who should be in the background, who should be glorified cameos and the decision to split them all up into several smaller teams helps with this immensely. It’s insane that something this ambitious exists and they pull it off flawlessly. Thanos is also the most terrifying Marvel villain to date with real depth to him, providing overwhelming stakes and is portrayed brilliantly by Josh Brolin. If you don’t have nightmares about this dude after seeing the movie, something's physically wrong with you! The Russo Brothers’s direction is magnificent, the visuals are phenomenal, the action sequences are awesome and Alan Silvestri’s score is masterful. To say that the plot itself is brilliantly written and unpredictable and riveting is the understatement of the century, it’s one of the best stories Marvel has told to date which is really saying something! It genuinely feels like a true culmination of 19 films, it never feels overstuffed or unbalanced or pure setup, it’s really funny while also being incredibly hard-hitting and soul-crushingly emotional and there’s a magnificent tonal balance between the two. The ending… holy shit… the ending is brilliant and subversive and I honestly have zero idea where they’re gonna go now for the first time in this franchise’s history. Of course, there’s also an awesome Stan Lee cameo and an equally awesome post credit scene. This whole film is such a magnificent, phenomenal, incredible superhero achievement! It’s the most satisfying anything I’ve seen in years and you must see it immediately! GO TO THE THEATER AND WATCH INFINITY WAR RIGHT FUCKING NOW!




    The Worst:

    Best F(r)iends- Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero reunited on the big screen and it’s every bit as brilliantly terrible as you’d expect. The performances are awful, the direction is subpar, the filmmaking is unprofessional and lazy, there are a ton of audio problems, the dialogue is ridiculous, the music choices are dumb, the characters are nothing and the plot itself is so poorly written and bizarre and makes no form of sense. The pacing is horrendous with long drawn out sequences of nothing that completely call into question whether or not this really should have been divided into two movies (we’ll find out the answer to that question in June). The whole thing is laughable and dumb and filled to the brim with The Room bait and the ending is absurd. This is such a ridiculous mess of a film, but I kinda love it. If you can, check this out if for no other reason than to see more of Wiseau being Wiseau.


    Truth or Dare- This is the best worst movie I’ve seen in years! It’s so hilariously bad! The performances are shit, the direction is shit, the filmmaking is shit, it’s such a flat, jump scare riddled attempt at horror, the characters are less than nothing, the plot makes no sense at all, it’s fucking laughable, the rules of this haunted game of truth or dare are so under explained, the deaths are absurd, the teen melodrama subplots are cringy as fuck and it all leads up to THE MOST AMAZINGLY DUMB ENDING OF ALL TIME! This is such an absolute trainwreck and I highly recommend everyone see it because it is unintentionally the best comedy of the decade!


    I Feel Pretty - I despise this piece of shit! It’s fucking awful and borderline offensive! The performances are awful, the direction and filmmaking is awful, it’s entirely unfunny, the characters are nothing with the main character being completely unlikeable and the plot itself is so cliche and predictable. What really makes this movie anger-inducing though, is that this film’s definition of “promoting body positive” is a series of fat jokes aimed at someone who isn’t even fat. It’s so shallow and acts as a tacit admission of Hollywood’s constant fat shaming problem rather than the moral high ground stance that everyone involved almost certainly thinks it is. The worst part is, it feels like they figured out their fuck up halfway through and tried to make up for it with the most eyeroll inducingly preachy ending of all time (this fails miserably)! This is such a colossal failure in pretty much every possible way and I fucking hate it! It’s easily one of the worst movies of the year! AVOID AT ALL COSTS!




    And now we’ve come to the end! If you want to listen to my dumb voice talking about these and other movies, listen to my podcast, Clark Film, at http://clarkfilm.libsyn.com/ and on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music and all your other podcatcher apps. Raw video versions can also be found at https://www.youtube.com/c/thomasclarkpodcasts.


    I’ll be back here with another installment of Best & Worst next month!

  • CinemaCon: First Footage From The Suspiria Remake Is Brutal, Intense and Mean!

    4 weeks ago

    ericvespe

    On this busy last day of CinemaCon I went to Amazon's presentation specifically because I was hoping to see something from the Suspiria remake.



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    Dario Argento's original is considered by many to be a true masterpiece of horror. From a production design, tone and music standpoint it's hard to disagree with that. Argento's gothic, colorful movie about witchcraft at a dance school gets under the skin.


    Over the years a few different directors have approached this project, like David Gordon Green. His movie didn't happen, but he ended up with Halloween, so don't feel too bad for him. Luca Guadagnino is the one who was able to get this remake off the ground.


    He's an interesting choice for this. He's known for very emotionally charged dramas, most recently Call Me By Your Name. The fact that he's following that sensitive gay romance drama with frickin' Suspiria is bonkers by itself. What's even more bonkers is he shot Suspiria BEFORE he did Call Me By Your Name.


    But what the hell was a Suspiria remake going to look like? Well, today I got to see a little piece of it and it was sure something.


    The footage was graphic, brutal and a little mean. That's a good thing, by the way. Guadagnino ties witchcraft to dance, which is interesting. The footage began with a girl trapped in a mirrored room and then cuts to Dakota Johnson's character about to practice a dance for her instructor, the great Tilda Swinton.


    As Johnson does her routine, her movements have an impact on the poor girl trapped in the mirrored room. I didn't get the impression that Johnson knew the connection was there, but the more intense her dance got the more damage she was doing to the girl in the mirrored room. With each jerk of the Johnson's arms or twist of her body the girl is thrown around the room, her limbs contorting in unnatural ways, bones cracking, jawbone slowly dislocating, until it culminates with Johnson finishing her dance and the girl is left a crumpled, drooling ball of twisted legs, arms and torso.


    When I say the footage was mean, I'm not kidding. This scene went on for a long while. Maybe three or four minutes long and when it ends the girl in the mirrored room isn't dead. Oh no. She should be, but that mound of body parts is hitching for breath, drool spilling out of her broken mouth.


    Tonally that was right on. Visually it was radically different from Argento's movie. It's a good thing that Guadagnino isn't copying the original, but his choice seems to be to go in the complete opposite direction. 



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    The footage I saw was stark and almost colorless. The walls and floor were white, the clothing was all muted, light colors.


    I only saw one little sequence, so who knows if he gets crazier with the colors later in the movie, but I don't see how you remake Suspiria and don't, you know, use color. That's like doing Superman without John Williams' score or a Jaws movie without a shark.


    That said, the most important thing for Guadagnino to nail is tone and boy did he.

  • On-set Interview: Chris Pratt Talks About Jumping through a T-Rex's Mouth from the set of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom!

    4 weeks ago

    ericvespe

    When I got the invitation to the Hawaii set of the Jurassic World sequel I had already booked a vacation... In New Zealand. Of course I couldn't say no, but the timing was such that I flew from Austin to Wellington, New Zealand, which is about a total travel time of around 20-ish hours, get to sleep for a night, and then get right back on a plane and fly halfway back home, spend a few days in Hawaii and then fly another 8 hours back to New Zealand to enjoy the rest of my vacation.


    I mention this only because in that day and a half I was in New Zealand I found a bag of Doritos... a special bag of Doritos. I know, any bag of Doritos is a special bag of Doritos, but this was a limited edition Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2 Doritos flavor that was only available in the southern hemisphere. Naturally, being the thoughtful guy I was, I picked up a bag of these green chips with Chris Pratt's face on it and hauled it all the way to Hawaii to give it to Chris Pratt himself.


    This interview was conducted in a tent on a dock where they were shooting a scene involving a big truck surrounded by fire racing to the water. The tent next door housed Bryce Dallas Howard. How do I know this? Well, she cameos in this interview after covertly dropping some eaves. You'll see.


    Right before this interview started I delivered unto Mr. Pratt his Doritos and, as expected, he was super nice about it and thanked me for bringing them to him and said he was going to either A) Destroy the whole bag or B) Save them for posterity and eat them in 20 years, which was either going to result in his death or him getting high as fuck.


    Pratt was every bit the magnetic dude you'd imagine him to be. Very laid back, but clearly super charming. You understand why he's a movie star when you meet him. The dude's funny, never put on airs and was just an overall pleasure to talk to.


    As a reminder, I conducted this interview with Slashfilm's Peter Sciretta, who joined me on this trip, so don't be surprised when you see his name pop up in the below interview, which covers a lot of ground. We learn more about where Owen is at, what he's been doing in the years since the events of Jurassic World, how Pratt deals with fanboying out over the legends he works with and much more!


    Enjoy the chat!



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    Peter Sciretta: It's been a few years since Jurassic World. What has Owen been up to?


    Chris Pratt: I have an idea as to the backstory. What I know and what Bryce and I and JA have all decided on... We hint at it a little bit through the interaction between Owen and Claire, but I think he's been running away a little bit. Where we landed in terms of my backstory and our relationship is that something has broken us. We're not together. The thing that has broken us is that Claire feels as though she has to do something to make it right and Owen feels as though there's no way to make it right, so you have to move on. I think that's the thing that destroyed us.


    Claire is now working for this organization and she's pouring all her energy into trying to save these dinosaurs and my character is like “let's go on a road trip. Let's forget what's happened. You keep obsessing about this.” It all came from the idea that he's a combat veteran. He's been through some stuff beforehand, so this isn't the first time he saw something really terrible happen. He's come to realize you have to sometimes accept what you've gone through and realize there's no way of changing it. That's what broke them. It's a control thing between the two of them.


    So, what he's been up to is he's been building a cabin by a lake, off the grid a little bit, probably drinking a little bit of beer and listening to music, hanging out... being solitary.


    Eric Vespe: We know part of Owen's motivation for returning to the island is to help Blue. Can you talk a little bit about how Owen might be different this time around considering the experience he had last time around. Has his point of view changed at all?


    Chris Pratt: Through the course of this film it will change, but it happens now, not between the two movies. He's coming to terms with his responsibility in working with the raptors and ultimately what the final intention with these things could be.


    We do this cool thing... It's this video log from early on in the Raptors' lives. Owen kept a video diary tracking their progress, so we see the Raptors as hatchlings to two months old, then six months old. It's this way to look into just how mammalian they are in their intelligence levels and their cognitive reasoning skills. They exhibit behaviors of empathy. He starts to realize that they've created these things that look like raptors, but they're much more.


    This movie really does open up a whole new concept for the Jurassic movies moving forward. You get an understanding that he knew a little bit more about these raptors than he'd want to let anybody know. I think he's cynical about Hoskins from the first movie, In-Gen, what their intentions are about creating animals this dangerous and this intelligent. You can assume what somebody bad would want to do with animals like that. Part of him feels as though the best case scenario is that they all die. When this island goes up in smoke it might be the right thing and maybe finally his responsibility for potentially creating a disastrous result with these animals will go away.


    So, in a way he thinks it's a natural thing for the dinosaurs to go away, but what brings him there is not so much saving the dinosaurs, it's protecting Claire; his love for her. He knows she's too big-headed. He knows she's going to go. He's not going to let her go on her own, so it's his love for her that brings him back to the island. At first. Through the course he realizes there's a little bit more to his relationship with Blue. And that he's a robot. (laughs)



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    Eric Vespe: Yes, a learning computer. He's Arnold from Terminator 2, not Terminator 1.


    Chris Pratt: Yeah, T2! (laughs)


    Peter Sciretta: The last film had a couple animatronics, but this one has a lot more. What was it like meeting these dinosaurs? I mean, I touched Blue and I almost cried.


    Chris Pratt: I know! It's really great. Because of the scenarios contrived in this film we have these passive dinosaurs. When you see the movie you'll see why they're not always running or jumping or leaping or doing things that animatronics aren't good at. They're sitting still. We did that in the first film with the Apatosaurus as it was dying in our arms. That was a real animatronic and it was amazing to hold this thing that felt living and breathing, its eyes were opening and closing. As many advancements in CGI that they've made since '93 when the first film came out they've also made some serious advancements in animatronics. These things are really very, very lifelike.


    Because of these situations we have a T-Rex and a Raptor that are full animatronic puppets. You got a dozen guys operating them and it's really cool. It's much easier as an actor to have something to react to. It's been great. Blue is awesome.


    Eric Vespe: How cool is the Rex? We've only heard about that build. We weren't able to see her in person.


    Chris Pratt: There's an awesome moment where Claire essentially rides this passed out, drugged T-Rex, which wakes up and I have to dive through its jaws. It's a really crazy sequence...


    (From next door, through the thin tent flap) Bryce Dallas Howard: SPOILER!


    Chris Pratt: Hey, I read the talking points. It said I could talk about it!


    (Still from the tent next door) Bryce Dallas Howard: Even the T-Rex?!?


    Chris Pratt: It what it says right here! (to us) Of course, Bryce is over there listening.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: (laughs) And I wouldn't call us broken, Chris!


    Chris Pratt: You've got to read the talking points.


    Peter Sciretta: Bryce was talking about how JA will play music between takes and sometimes during takes. You're used to that. James Gunn does that on the Guardians films. How is it different here with this movie?


    Chris Pratt: It's a great tool. I love it, I'm in full support of playing music through a take, even if it comes at the expense of the dialogue. Having a rhythm that's resonating through each person caught on screen is very, very helpful. You can forget that it's mid-third act and we are running for our lives. You're making this million piece puzzle and you may spend all day shooting something that takes 5 seconds. You get bored, you're sitting there annnnd action! Cut! You forget you're supposed to be breathing heavily. You forget when it's linked together it gets very manic and suspenseful. The music really helps with that.


    (JA) uses that a lot and he uses it for jump scares. He has this whole playlist that's always wired in, including a T-Rex roaring. From time to time he'll play it and we'll all react to it naturally because we don't know it's coming. He loves to manipulate us in that way, which is really helpful as an actor. He'll scare us out of nowhere or do something unexpected.


    Eric Vespe: Like play a fart sound?


    Chris Pratt: (Laughs) Not yet. We're almost done, but he hasn't done that quite yet. But I like that. It's a good tool to use to get people excited or scared or give a sense of wonderment. Especially when he plays the John Williams score. (hums the main theme) Oh my God! It allows you to do nothing because in this film we are actors and we contribute so much, of course, but there are characters we don't even see because they're going to be animated, but they're going to need to have their moment or the score will need to have its moment. It's a big collaboration and sometimes you need to sit back and let the music take center stage. When you play that music it reminds you “Oh, I don't need to try to upstage this with acting or faces or anything. I don't have to do anything here, just let the music guide me and the audience to what we're supposed to be feeling.”


    There's some great stuff, like when we're flying to the island for the first time and we're looking out the window and he's playing this music and it puts you in the scene, like you're an audience member. It's really cool. I like it a lot.


    Eric Vespe: JA was telling us that there's a heavy focus on suspense in this film. There was a little bit of that in the first Jurassic World, but it was more focused on the spectacle of the new park and the disaster movie aspect of things going wrong. Hearing that this one was going rely more on suspense did that make you more excited to do this? I can imagine the worst thing for you to do is read the script and think “We just did this.”


    Chris Pratt: It was really exciting to understand we were doing something really different. I was thrilled when I got the script. I think people have high expectations for sequels. I think with this one those expectations will be met, if not surpassed. It does something different. It opens up a new chapter. It's called Fallen Kingdom. The Kingdom of this movie is people stuck on an island with dinosaurs freaking out and killing everyone. That is falling and we're moving onto something else.


    The first one was a disaster film. Shifting the tone over to suspense is really nice because I think with suspense you can do a lot with very little. You don't see Jaws for a good 2/3rds of the movie. You know he's there, there's music, you see the evidence of it... Not to say we're doing exactly that. I don't think that necessarily works as much anymore. I was just watching Jaws the other day with my son and he's like “Where's the shark?”


    Eric Vespe: And you're like “Disowned!”


    Chris Pratt: Yeah, disowned! Get the fuck outta here! He's four and during the third act battle I was like “I'll show you the shark, get in here!” He was like “Aaaaaaaaahhh” and I was like (sternly) “You'll sit and watch! You earn this!”


    Peter Sciretta: What's it like working opposite Jeff Goldblum?



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    Chris Pratt: Man, he's amazing. A huge part of the success of Jurassic World was the success of Jurassic Park. It all started in '93 with them and with him. I know that we had the blessing of Steven Spielberg and Universal and fans, but it's nice that he signs up to do this movie because in a way it's giving it his blessing. That was really cool. He's a terrific actor and maybe the kindest actor out there. He's really cool and smart and funny and interesting. It's really awesome to have him in this movie.


    Peter Sciretta: He has such a unique rhythm in how he plays things. He's different from everybody else. I feel like if I was in a scene with him I'd just become the kid that saw Jurassic Park and I'd be watching him instead of being in the scene.


    Chris Pratt: I feel like if I answer that I'll be giving away too much, but you do have to get it out of the way when you work with someone like Jeff Goldblum or I just did Guardians with Kurt Russell... You work with these people who are icons... It's a two step process. First, you have to be authentic and let them know just how crazy about them that you are. You make that really short and brief. You get that out of the way so you're not a liar or the guy that doesn't acknowledge them. You pay your respects.


    After that you immediately move to step B which is you become a peer and a collaborator or else you lose their respect. If every time you see them you go “Dude, this is so crazy!” you might not be the right guy for this job. Even when you're feeling that the third, fourth, fifth, sixth day you work together you kind of have to bury that and get right to the work.


    It's a strange thing being famous. I'm certainly not an icon like a Kurt Russell or a Jeff Goldblum. They are icons and maybe one day I will be, but if their journey is similar at all to mine you don't really feel that way about yourself, so if people feel that way about you it's kind of an uncomfortable situation that you politely and patiently wait for to be over so you can get back to being normal again. So you get through that stuff. You go “Oh my God, I love you! I can't believe we're working together!” and then you get to work.


    Peter Sciretta: All the great Michael Crichton stories had a little something on their mind. They weren't just adventure plots. They always had some kind of commentary. What do you think is on this movie's mind?


    Chris Pratt: (Pauses) It feels relevant to now and I think part of that has to do with technology, which is not necessarily something that doesn't serve the greater good, but is valuable. Maybe we put aside moral dilemmas because you can make money. It has a little to do with greed. That's a theme that resonated in the first movie as well and continues to resonate in this series. It's a cautionary tale against greed and over-ambition and a lack of respect for the natural order and confidence in our ability to control that which we can't control.


    Eric Vespe: Which is Dr. Malcolm's stance in that first movie, so it makes sense that he's back in play here.


    Chris Pratt: Yeah, that's right.


    Peter Sciretta: Who are the real monsters: the humans or the dinosaurs?


    Chris Pratt: That's a good question! (laughs)



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    So that's the interview! Still got a couple more, with the two new faces in the group Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda, coming up plus my detailed set report where I tour the island, see some dead dinos and also some very much alive (read: amazing animatronic) dinos and so much more!


    Stay tuned!

  • CinemaCon: JJ Abrams Says Bad Robot's OVERLORD is NOT a Cloverfield Sequel!

    1 month ago

    ericvespe


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    Hey, everybody. At the big Paramount panel at CinemaCon this afternoon JJ Abrams appeared on-screen to introduce some footage from Bad Robot's Overlord, a WWII horror movie directed by Julius Avery. First, he said that Overlord is Bad Robot's first R-rated movie and that it's "batshit crazy."


    Then he said contrary to what you may have heard on forums and Reddit Overlord is NOT a stealth Cloverfield movie. In fact he said they're developing a "true, dedicated Cloverfield sequel" according to JJ. That means it's not one they retrofit into the universe late in the process like both 10 Cloverfield Lane and The Cloverfield Paradox. 


    So, what is Overlord. Like I said it's a WW2 horror movie about a small squad of soldier shot down over enemy lines during the Normandy Invasion. From the footage it seems like the survivors stumble across a bunker with some real messed up shit inside. We're talking Re-Animator stuff involving syringes with red stuff in them that can seemingly bring people back to life, seemingly undead monstrosities and other nightmarish things. Those Nazis are never up to any good, are they?


    The standout sequence in the footage was one of the soldier approaching a gurney with a woman on it, obscured mostly by a curtain. She's begging for help in French. The soldier pulls back the curtain and reveals the head is about all that's left. It's just her head, still asking for help, and her spinal column. Everything else has been stripped away.


    So, it's gonna be gnarly. That's very much my kind of horror movie, so count me on board with this one as well!

  • CinemaCon: First Footage From Halloween Is Screened! Michael Myers Comes Home And Jamie Lee Is Ready For Him!

    1 month ago

    ericvespe

    Universal's presentation at CinemaCon was pretty spectacular. Yes, they had Cher there to Fernando in celebration of the Mama Mia sequel. Yes, they have video introductions by people like The Rock and Peter Jackson... but the thing I was most looking forward to was the very first look anywhere of the new Halloween movie.


    And boy did they deliver.



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    Producer Jason Blum brought out the great Jamie Lee Curtis to introduce the footage. The set up is that after Loomis shot Myers at the end of the first movie he was eventually captured and re-institutionalized and Laurie has been waiting and preparing for the last 40 years for him to escape. She's with her daughter and granddaughter the Halloween he does get out.


    So the footage definitively states that none of the Halloween sequels matter. Everything that has been made after the events of the first film is out the window. There was even a scene with teenage characters talking about Laurie Strode and Michael Myers. “Wasn't it her brother that killed all those people?” “It wasn't her brother. That was something people made up.”


    In the footage we see a couple of reporters or documentarians visiting the asylum where Myers is and they approach a man standing in an open courtyard, back to them, chained to the ground. Of course the dummy reporter guy pulls out the mask. I can't tell you whether or not Michael responds to that (because we didn't see any more of that scene), but it introduces the mask and Michael certainly gets it back at some point.


    My biggest takeaway from the footage was that they were taking everything very seriously. If you were wondering if having Danny McBride co-writing this with David Gordon Green meant we were getting a more comedy/horror thing you were fuckin' wrong.


    There's an insanity to Michael this time out that is really off-putting. He's not going crazy, but his body language and actions are just “off.” Super creepy.


    Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode is no damsel in distress here. In fact I don't think there was one shot of her being afraid. Quite the opposite. She's not only prepared for this moment (having rigged her house with various safe rooms, weapons and hidden compartments), she's been hoping for it. At one point she even says that she prays he gets out someday so she can kill him.

    From the footage I can say that when he does get out (looks like a bus crash lets loose a lot of the inmates) Laurie is hunting him just as much as he's hunting his victims.


    There was a great scene where a woman (I think maybe one of the reporters/documentarians?) is in a bathroom stall and you see Michael's boots walk in. She's like “Occupied” and his hand reaches over the top of the stall door and drops a half dozen bloody teeth down on her.

    That's the kind of crazy we're dealing with here.


    The footage ended with a kid in bed asking his mom (or maybe a babysitter?) to close the closet door. The door is open a crack, the light from inside spilling out. She pushes it closed, but it bounces back. She does it again, it bounces back open. Third time it bounces she opens it fully revealing Myers, knife in hand.


    Very much a straight horror movie and I can't wait to see it. The mask looked right, the tone was right, Jamie Lee was super fired up. I'm super psyched about that footage and I can't wait to see the movie.

  • On-Set Interview: Bryce Dallas Howard On What To Expect From Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom!

    1 month ago

    ericvespe

    I've been lucky enough to have run into Bryce Dallas Howard many times over the years. I remember interviewing her at Comic-Con waaaaaaay back for Spider-Man 3. She's always been nothing but gracious, kind and a thoughtful interview.


    The first thing I noticed when I walked into her trailer were the tall adventurers boots she was wearing. Of course a crack had to be made about the meme of her running around the jungle wearing high heels in Jurassic World and she rolled with it, saying it was in her contract that she had to suitable footware this time out.


    Claire has evolved quite a bit from the cold, uncaring businesswoman at the start of Jurassic World. She begins Fallen Kingdom as a political advocate, passionately fighting for the rights of the dinosaurs to exist. She's trying to make some amends for the part she played in the disaster at the park in the last movie.


    Howard talks a bit about this turn for her character, where Claire goes in this film and what the future potentially holds for her. Plus I get to recommend one of my all-time favorite movie series to her, so keep your eyes peeled for that! Enjoy the chat!



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    Bryce Dallas Howard: Obviously I haven't been able to talk to anybody else about this movie! You guys know a lot about the movie now, right?


    Eric Vespe: We know a little bit. We certainly know a lot more than we did yesterday!


    Peter Sciretta: It sounds cool. I'm glad that they're returning to the island. I was afraid it was going to move directly into militarized dinos or something.


    Eric Vespe: I like the set up. It reminds me of Son of Kong. Back in the day King Kong was a huge success and they rushed out a sequel about them going back to Skull Island, but they do it because the island is sinking and they're trying to rescue the last Kong. Of course that doesn't go well...


    Bryce Dallas Howard: These things never do!


    Eric Vespe: But I like that premise here because of what it means for your character. In the first movie Claire goes from someone who is cold and disconnected to realizing the implications of what she's been doing. JA told us you start this movie as a dinosaur rights activist, which means Claire gets to start the movie from a proactive position.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: It is. And going back to speak to what you were saying about being glad that it's back on the island, I feel the same way. Having shot so much of the movie in England... On the last movie we started in the jungle. We shot all in the jungle and then we went to New Orleans. For this one, we shot so much of it (in England) and then came here and Chris and I were like “Yeah, now it feels like Jurassic. Thank God!”


    Without human beings entering into a space that is dinosaur turf it doesn't feel like the Jurassic experience. That's a lot of what this movie is about. Up to this point the entertainment value of these films is that the most dangerous thing is the dinosaur where the truth is it's really human beings that are the most dangerous species. Finally in this movie we're having that clash. We've been on their turf and now they're coming on ours and ours is becoming theirs and what does that mean? That's the question.


    What I'm talking about right now isn't actually the plot. I'm not tricking you, but from a thematic standpoint that's the movie. The wish-fulfillment of Jurassic is the question “What if human beings and dinosaurs coexisted simultaneously? What would happen?” There are various permutations of what could occur. That's what these stories are examining.


    Peter Sciretta: They told us this takes place 5 years after the last one. What has happened in your character's life in those five years?


    Bryce Dallas Howard: I keep thinking 3 (years), but anyway!


    Eric Vespe: We were told it's 5 years from the end of the first movie and three years from events of the prologue in this movie. Does that make any sense?


    Bryce Dallas Howard: I'm gonna ask some questions! What I'm imagining is that it's been roughly the same amount of time that audiences have been away from this story. It's like everything has been occurring in real time, basically. When we watch this movie it's as if it takes place in 2018.


    To speak to what you were saying regarding Claire and the way she's shifted, her internal self and her external self are starting to become one whereas in the last film her behavior, her actions were really out of alignment with her values. That was the inner conflict with the character and by the end of it her power is being used for good; her righteousness is being used for good. The very thing that was leading her astray is the very thing that saved Chris Pratt and two cowering children surrounded by stuffed animals!


    Where we are now, I think, is we're seeing a woman who is definitely stepping into her power. She's fighting for these dinosaurs. She's taking responsibility and trying to basically present the argument that there's lions in the world and there are dangerous species of snakes and sharks... there's all these dangerous creatures and yet if those creatures are threatened with an extinction level event we protect them. So, guys, we have an endangered species here. They're actually here. This is now reality.


    Eric Vespe: It doesn't matter that they were genetically created by man.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: Yes. They're afforded the same rights as any other endangered species. That's her point of view of the situation and this is her cause.


    Eric Vespe: We know there are some newcomers and you'll be with Chris again onscreen, but tell me how Claire reacts to Ian Malcolm.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: Oh my gosh. I have a real hard time separating my own personal reaction to Dr. Ian Malcolm from Claire's reaction.


    Eric Vespe: So you just keep seeing the shot of him with his shirt open from Jurassic Park?



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    Bryce Dallas Howard: Exactly! That glistening chest, black shirt and perfect golden tan. Totally bronzed. I know that shot vividly! I could probably guess the lens they were using, but anyway... (laughs) I met him a couple of years ago. I mean, I didn't meet him, I saw him across a crowd. I saw him and he was his charming self, but I never met him because he was across the crowd, but we had a connection from the start.


    Then I met him in the UK. I think that Claire would absolutely have the utmost respect for his approach and his logic and his certainty and confidence. He's also very tall and did I mention he's tan and I happen to know he also sings and plays music...


    Eric Vespe: And cooks!


    Bryce Dallas Howard: And cooks food. But where does Jeff Goldblum end and Dr. Ian Malcolm begin, really? Wouldn't it be so crazy if the twist of the movie is that Claire ended up with Dr. Ian Malcolm? Forget about the dinosaurs, people!


    Eric Vespe: Well, we know he's always on the lookout for the next ex-Mrs. Malcolm.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: Yes! Yes! Yes!


    Eric Vespe: And the ultimate arc of these films is seeing him get married and divorced over and over again.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: Yeah, who he goes through. That's the real journey. Oh my gosh, that would be really funny.


    Eric Vespe: But from a character perspective Claire in the first Jurassic World seemed to not have any nostalgia for the original park or the goings on there. I imagine she might have a different reaction to Malcolm then as she would now.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: He's a character who is the voice of reason. He's Michael Crichton, in a way. He's the philosopher. You're right, at the beginning she was disconnected, but now it's a different story. I've never actually thought about what Claire would think about him. That's interesting because she would have known about him. Ugh! I didn't do my homework!


    Peter Sciretta: So, what is the plan? The plan is to save the dinosaurs, but bring them where?


    Bryce Dallas Howard: I mean, that's part of the question. If you can imagine what you would do in real life, that's the dilemma. Where do you bring them? Do you put them in a zoo? Do you create a private sanctuary? Do you do this all over again with another island? What's the plan exactly?

    It's so weird the way art mirrors life. The challenge that we're having with emerging technologies and the consequences that we're needing to live with because of these paradigm-shifting technologies that are getting introduced. Figuring out policy about these technologies from a government perspective is almost impossible.


    Our government was designed to move slowly so that our lives didn't change abruptly, yet our lives are changing abruptly because of free trade and the open market is evolving so, so quickly. We are experiencing this moment where we are having to regulate ourselves, hence this Dr. Ian Malcolm being the voice of reason and representing, thematically, what this movie's about.


    Where do we bring the dinosaurs? You can imagine the government would get involved with something like that, but would they figure out what they're going to do quickly enough? If not, what do you do?


    There's a lot of activism happening right now to accelerate the solutions. Anyway, I'll step gently off my soap box... (laughs)


    Peter Sciretta: I do love that this film seems to be going back to the Michael Crichton style of having a political commentary, of saying something about us.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: Yeah, absolutely. He's like Isaac Asimov or HG Wells. He's a futurist. He was a scientist and he understood what was going to be happening in the future. He had an analytical mind that he used to help propel his imagination. He was one of those guys, one of those thought prophets.


    The moral questions of the first Jurassic Park provided a lot of substance, but those questions are really what we're dealing with presently that feels so urgent and so personal. To get to make a Jurassic film where at the center of it is Michael Crichton's philosophies so we can have that mirror moment, that's when movies get to do more than what movies typically get to do. A little bit. If we can. Because it can't be didactic.


    What Crichton did was he never pushed an agenda at all. He presented a dilemma. That's what sci-fi is! Sci-fi is all about “what if?” I don't have to tell you guys what sci-fi is... (laughs) But it's not about the answers, it's the questions.


    Eric Vespe: The genius of the initial concept of Jurassic Park is... I want to go there! I'm on the side of the people making the park because I want to see a T-Rex. When you're reading it you realize “Ahh, I'm kind of the bad guy for wanting this...” There's a level to complexity to that initial idea and it sounds like you guys are expanding on it.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: Yeah, it is the dilemma. If something can be a little bit thought-provoking and a lot of fun then even that's enough. It's when things don't have a point of view (they fail.)


    Peter Sciretta: What is Claire's relationship now with Owen?


    Bryce Dallas Howard: That's... that's... that's a question, for sure.


    Peter Sciretta: We've been told that one of them moved on and one of them didn't.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: Okay.


    Peter Sciretta: Which one moved on?


    Bryce Dallas Howard: You know what? That's a question that they ask one another. (laughs) You guys will know what that means when you see the movie! It's based on an improv that Chris and I had in a room early on.


    In the trailer this morning I announced to the trailer “I'm going to start a Google Doc and if you guys have any ideas for the next movie, if there is one, fingers crossed, let me know, no matter how wild.” My makeup artist was like “You know what? You know what I really miss? Like I Love Lucy and the dynamic between Ricky and Lucy and how you would never think that they belong together, but they have each others back no matter what. The circumstances, the comedy, comes not from a lack of understanding, but from a lack of ability to communicate initially.” She said this and I was like “I'm putting it in the Google Doc.”


    There's something about the dynamic between these characters that both plays into and against the tropes of movie relationships. It's always fun to think about that. Chris and I were talking through what kind of parents Claire and Owen would be and that lead us to talk about what kind of parents we are, are we helicopter parents or not, the ways in which we could be better and blah-blah-blah.


    I was thinking later on, “You know what? I feel like Owen would be the helicopter parent and Claire would be chill and cool and be like you need to let them be what they're going to be.” That would show the evolution of Claire. It's fun to consider those things and have room for those things. You set up the trope and then you play against it. You set up the trope and then I'm with a flare outrunning a T-Rex while he's cowering with children. I like to mention that every once in a while, at least three times in every interview. (laughs)


    Eric Vespe: Can I give you a suggestion for your Google Doc? My favorite movie husband and wife of all time: Nick and Nora Charles in the Thin Man series. Myrna Loy and William Powell are the leads and they're an upperclass husband and wife duo who decide being rich isn't enough and they decide to solve murders on the side. To make it even better they're both drunkards.



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    Bryce Dallas Howard: That's so cool!


    Eric Vespe: They love each other through and through, but toss out barbs at each other all the time.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: Oh, dude, thank you so much! That's what we were talking about this morning! Someone else mentioned Castle and someone else mentioned Sherlock Holmes and Watson. It's so great when it gets to the point where's it's about partnership.


    This is interesting. In this movie, for Owen and Claire it is about partnership. We've talked about it a lot because that's what Chris and I feel like with one another. We always say “We make a good movie team!”


    JA and Belen (Atienza), his producing partner, are an incredible team. This story of what it takes to be a team and what it takes to become partners is encapsulated somewhat in the defying of the gender tropes.


    Eric Vespe: It'd probably be good to talk about JA since he's the main new ingredient here. We know that he likes to play music. He told us there was a specific scene where there was no dialogue and you were looking at something and he played three different pieces of music: a romantic one, a scary one and a funny one and he said you ended up playing it three different ways.


    Bryce Dallas Howard: I'm shocked that I've never thought of or experienced doing that before. Joe Wright plays music on set, but it's more for levity between scenes. JA doing that changes everything instantly. This whole generation of actors came up as cinephiles. That's why we love making movies because we're obsessed with movies, so for him to play these classic scores and different kinds of music just instantly gets you into that headspace and you understand what the scene's about.


    Also, we're working with a young actress... this is her first movie. She's naturally very gifted and extremely cerebral, so she's fantastic, but the music helps her just as much as it helps us. The premise of it was he was like “I'll do it for Izzy because it help her,” and Chris and I were like “Oh my God, this is amazing!”


    Something about JA that is crazy... we met each other years and years and years ago. We had a general meeting that was for a movie he didn't end up directing, that I didn't end up acting in, but he was attached as a director and we had this meeting at the Chateau that turned into this two-hour dinner and I just fell in love.


    Peter Sciretta: He's so charming!


    Bryce Dallas Howard: Oh my gosh! He's so charming and passionate and adorable. When the movie didn't happen, I honestly and kind of jokingly referred to him as “The One Who Got Away.” To all my friends! Like “The one who got away did another amazing movie without me!”


    When Colin (Trevorrow) was sharing with Chris and I who were the frontrunners he was hoping to work with and he mentioned JA I was like (gasp) “Dude, he was the one that got away!” He was like “You had a relationship with him?” “No, no, no.”


    I love Colin so-so-so-so much and it was such an incredible experience working with him and I was super bummed he wasn't going to be directing this movie, so it was really crazy to me that he mentioned JA who was literally the person I've been joking about for 10 years as the one that got away.



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    That's it for this one. Still more Jurassic World goodies to go! A young fella by the name of Chris Pratt will be tomorrow. I began the interview by gifting him a limited edition back of Guardians of the Galaxy Doritos, so you know he was in a good mood for that chat.

  • Han Meets Lando In Footage Shown At CinemaCon

    1 month ago

    ericvespe

    Today was a big day at CinemaCon. STX, Warner Bros and Disney all had their big panels and since we're so close to release of Solo: A Star Wars Story they actually treated us to a nice, juicy full sequence from the latest Star Wars movie.


    The scene had Emilia Clarke's Qi'Ra leading Alden Ehrenreich's Young Han Solo through some dingy gambling den to meet some mystery person, who is said to have slipped through the Empire's fingers more than just about anyone else. He has a ship they need for whatever they're up to. Star Wars fans know what's coming up.


    They pass a ring in the center of the smoke and alien-filled hive of scum and villainy where beat up droids are murdering the shit out of each other and then they get to the high stakes table where, yes, Mr. Lando Calrissian is playing some Sabacc with a bunch of scoundrels.


    Han walks up and the angle is low, catching his trademark DL-44 blaster at his hip, his legs framing Lando for this iconic moment of two charming rogues meeting each other for the first time.



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    Donald Glover as Lando is everything you want it to be. He's so at ease in this role and naturally charming. It's like he was meant to be Billy Dee Williams' heir. He has some line as Han walks up where he's talking to one of the aliens at the table and it was something like “There are no liars in this game, just players.” Simple line, but the way he delivered it felt so authentically Lando that I was instantly won over.


    Ehrenreich as Solo I'm still iffy on. He's got the charm factor and the swagger, but something felt a little forced about it. I'm not sure if I'll feel the same way seeing his character in the context of the full movie, but he didn't feel as natural a fit to me as Glover did playing Lando.


    They have a great interaction to start. Han: “Is this seat taken?” “If the seat's empty, it's not taken, friend.” Han introduces himself, Lando returns the favor.


    Han wins his first hand of Sabacc (“Beginner's luck,” he says)... the game seemed to be played like poker, where there were rounds of betting before revealing your hand. Lando wins the next one and a conversation develops about their ships... Han's laying the groundwork for a big bet where he bets his ship (whether it exists or not) against Lando's, which we know is going to be the Millennium Falcon.


    That moment eventually comes, but not before Lando needles Solo a little bit, calling him “Han,” not “Hawn.” Han corrects him. Lando repeats his mispronunciation and that made my inner geek stand up and clap a little bit. I wondered if they were going to address that since Billy Dee's Lando always mispronounced Han's name in The Empire Strikes Back. Now there's a character reason for it.



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    So, the big bet comes and Lando puts his ship on the line and then... I don't know. The footage cuts off.


    If I'm a betting man I'd say they did that for a reason. Han will win the Falcon from Lando, but I have a feeling this is a case where they're going to throw a twist on your expectation. Or they don't and I'm wrong, which happens all the time. But something in my gut is whispering that there's going to be something more to this scene.


    I'm a little bit of a tougher sell on these spin-off movies than most. I love a lot of the detail of Rogue One, but I couldn't shake the fan-fiction feeling I got from the movie. This Solo footage was fun, had great, colorful Star Wars-y feeling sets, wardrobe, aliens and characters, but I got some of that same vibe here.


    That's not necessarily a bad thing. People loved that feeling in Rogue One, just like people ate up the EU books. It's filling a niche and I can't begrudge those fans.


    For my part, it looked fun. If that's all the movie is I'll be happy. I just want it to be fun.


    Make sure to keep an eye out for more CinemaCon coverage as this crazy fest goes on!

  • CinemaCon: Leonardo DiCaprio and Quentin Tarantino Talk About Once Upon A Time In Hollywood!

    1 month ago

    ericvespe

    The biggest surprise of the Sony panel was when head honcho Tom Rothman brought out Quentin Tarantino and Leonardo DiCaprio to talk about their next movie called Once Upon A Time In Hollywood. 


    They played a little tone trailer that pretty much looked like slightly moving Mondo art (kind of an Olly Moss style) that showed iconic moments from Tarantino's past movies, all against bright neon yellow and pink and blue backgrounds and ending with that same style on the title Once Upon A Time In Hollywood with Brad Pitt and Leo DiCaprio's faces next to it. As this little kinda-but-not-really trailer played the music behind it was Indian Reservation by Paul Revere and The Raiders.





    They haven't shot a frame of the movie yet, but Tarantino vowed to make a big, sweeping LA-set -period epic and that he'd be spending the summer transforming huge swaths of LA into a 1969 version of itself. He also said that this script skews closest to Pulp Fiction in that you have the leads and a huge amount of crazy colorful supporting characters that bring texture to the movie as they go on their adventure.


    DiCaprio chimed in saying that he's a huge Tarantino fan, loves all his stuff and believe this is the best script he's ever written.


    High praise, indeed. I know I'm always down for a fired up Tarantino flick.


    Tarantino said that Pitt and DiCaprio play on-screen buddies in the same mold as Butch and Sundance. No mention of Margot Robbie, who is rumored to be in contention to play Sharon Tate, so I suppose that deal isn't done yet.


    They also dropped the news that Once Upon A Time In Hollywood will be hitting cinema screens August 2019, so we're not too insanely far away.


    So that's that! Be back tomorrow with some more CinemaCon funstuffs!

  • The Venom Trailer, Now With 100% More Venom, Hits The Net! Plus Some Extra Footage Details From CinemaCon!

    1 month ago

    ericvespe

    Sony just kicked off CinemaCon with a long, long, long presentation featuring everything from first looks at Sicario: Day of the Saldado to Hotel Transylvania 3 to some voice-over lost dog movie whose title I've already forgotten to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and, of course, Venom.


    Tom Hardy appeared on stage with Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed and director Reuben Fleischer and said that the trailer was going to drop tonight online, but we'd get to see it first. 


    The interesting thing is the trailer they dropped online was significantly different than the one they showed tonight at The Colosseum here at Caesar's Palace, something I didn't find out until well after I shot the video diary I hope you all check out. In that video diary I say you've seen the same trailer I have, but I was making an assumption.


    Here's the online trailer and I'll tell you about some extra stuff not seen here after it:





    So we didn't get any of the Jenny Slate explaining the symbiotes stuff, but we did get the full scene that leads up to the "We Are Venom" reveal. Eddie Brock wipes out on his motorcycle and is skinned up, leg broken, hand all smashed up as the bald bad guy approaches. The symbiote begins to spread across his body, snapping his broken leg and fingers back into place, eventually forming the full suit around him and getting to the "We Are Venom" line.


    So, now you know a little extra then the average fan! Good for you!


    Keep an eye peeled for more CinemaCon reports, write ups, reviews and some video diaries from the ground here in fabulous Las Vegas!

  • Supertroopers 2 Thoughts

    1 month ago

    Paul_Of_Duty Rocket Surgeon

    So I saw Supertroopers 2 last night and I genuinely had a wonderful time. 
    It is by no means the best movie to come out but it's not trying to be. It's simply trying to tell a good story full of slightly inappropriate jokes which I find hilarious. 
    They absolutely pick up where they left off with the first one and there is no loss of quality for the jokes they tell. If anything it is funnier.
    There is a bit about the "Key to Happiness" that is just amazing. 

    To sum up, don't listen to the reviewers, don't listen to rotten tomatoes. Make up your own mind about the movie. If you go, go with an open mind and remember how the 1st one was then you will have a good time with a lot of laughs. 

  • On-set Interview: Producers Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley Discuss Animatronic Dinosaurs, Jeff Goldblum and Making Jurassic World 2 Scary!

    1 month ago

    ericvespe

    Frank Marshall is one of the biggest producers in Hollywood. Name a movie you loved from about 1978 to today and odds are Frank had a hand in it. Back to the Future, Poltergeist, Indiana Jones, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Sixth Sense, Gremlins, The Goonies, The Warriors and, of course, the vastly underappreciated Arachnophobia to name a few.


    Oh, and Jurassic Park. Can't forget that one.


    As one of the cornerstones of Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment Marshall has made movie magic for decades and he's still going strong.


    I got to sit down with Frank and his producing partner Patrick Crowley on the Hawaii set of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom last summer. To set the tone, this interview was conducted in a sweltering tent on a dock somewhere on the west coast of Oahu while the crew was prepping a shot of Chris Pratt on a big truck racing up the dock with fire surrounding everything.


    Not a bad gig, right?


    Anyway, this interview was conducted by me and Slashfilm's Peter Sciretta. We had just come from the practical effects tent where we got to interact with real, breathing, actually-there dinosaurs. There was a full sized Blue, Pratt's best friend Raptor from the last movie, and a fully articulated baby Stegosaurus head. The puppeteers were there working the practical effects so a baby Stego sniffed me and nudged my hand with its snout and Blue (drugged out with a tranq dart and lying on his side) groggily looked me over, mouth opening and chest expanding as it took deep breaths.


    In short it was just about the coolest thing ever for this '80s kid who grew up worshipping at the altar of practical effects. Peter was on Cloud 9, too, so going into this interview we were gushing about seeing actual real life dinosaurs. That's where we start, we talk about using practical effects versus CGI, we talk about a ton of stuff: animatronic dinosaurs, the new characters, working with JA Bayona and why they chose him to direct this sequel, how Steven Spielberg helped them solve a location issue, the villains (both human and dino) and a bunch of other stuff.


    Enjoy the chat and stay tuned. I'll be dropping new on-set interviews all week as well as a big, detailed set report from my time in Hawaii. Spoiler alert: I saw dead dinosaurs, “live” dinosaurs, brought Chris Pratt some Guardians of the Galaxy-themed Doritos and took a stroll down down the wrecked main street of Jurassic World.


    Here's the interview!



    frank-marshall.jpg



    Frank Marshall: Where's Pat? My partner in crime.


    Eric Vespe: I don't know. I think he ditched you.


    Frank Marshall: That's usual.


    Eric Vespe: Yeah, so those animatronics were unbelievable.


    Frank Marshall: They're pretty cool.


    Peter Sciretta: Seeing that Raptor, Blue, I mean, I almost cried. Like really it's incredible.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah, it's, I mean, the obvious thing is it's so much better for the actors when they have something to act with. Yeah. It's that delicate balance. Sometimes the CG is better. It flip-flopped. It used to be animatronics was always better. And now it's like this. But you like to have something you can touch.


    Peter Sciretta: I think it's a thing that like… at least from what I've seen on set visits and the final product is like when there's something here and even if they do set extension, the something there helps the set extension.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah, absolutely.


    Eric Vespe: You're a magician, Frank, so you know it hides the trick.


    Peter Sciretta: Yeah.


    Frank Marshall: Absolutely. That’s why you want as many solid pieces that take your eye away from what's not real and not solid. So you're right. Misdirection.


    Eric Vespe: Misdirection, absolutely. You don't know where the seam is. You might know that there's an illusion and you can't figure out how they did it.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah.


    Eric Vespe: Growing up, that's what I loved. I loved not knowing the trick and then finding out about it. You know, like finding out about the bladders in American Werewolf In London and how that's what made the skin puff out and stuff like that.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah. Well Gremlins, I mean, we had all kinds of that stuff. It was really fun.


    Eric Vespe: Poltergeist is another great example where there's just every kind of practical effect in the world used on that movie.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah. On that movie, yeah. And we built that backyard with the mud and all that.

    Eric Vespe: And threw in real skeletons!


    (Patrick Crowley enters the tent)


    Patrick Crowley: Hi, I'm Pat.


    Frank Marshall: Here he is. Notice he's much more stylish than me. He's got the beard, he's got the pants, the hat.


    Patrick Crowley: I've been sitting out here all day.



    Frank+Marshall+Patrick+Crowley+Bourne+Le



    Peter Sciretta: So when you were developing this and Colin (Trevorrow) came in, what was the pitch for Jurassic World 2?


    Frank Marshall: Well, I mean, we knew we had to get off the island. I think he's been thinking about this since Jurassic World, where we're gonna go in 2 and 3. So it was just a question of how far we were gonna go in 2. So he kind of had it all sketched out. And basically from what I remember brought a treatment in. I mean, I don't think we sat down and talked to him about it.


    Patrick Crowley: Boy, it was interesting 'cause without revealing too much of it, he wanted to go much further in the second one. And we all sort of looked at it and said, I don't think everybody's ready for that. Pull it back a little. It was just in terms of the length of the time of the storytelling. He had started here and went all the way to there.


    Frank Marshall: Well we really felt we needed to spend time to get to know Chris and Bryce again. Where they'd been in three years. Because as you'll see, I mean, there's some changes... well for her mostly, there's a big change in her. She's realized that she made a mistake and that it was her responsibility, not her fault, but she was part of what happened. So she's now trying to make up for it, trying to do better and Chris is pretty much still a loner on his own. Not wanting to deal with anything. So we had to set that up.


    Eric Vespe: It must be interesting from your perspective since you not only have to hear the director's vision, but then also kind of think about it not only in the wider terms of the franchise, but also how to actually execute it in real life. So was there a particular element that you can talk about that got you really excited about his thing?


    Frank Marshall: Well, that challenge is at least for me what I get all excited about is how we're gonna do this. Where are we gonna do it? How are we gonna do it? And how we're gonna pull it off. And there's some locations in this one that are... we're not just on stage. Although on the last one we were here, but we went to New Orleans, so how do we do it and do the magic trick of having people believe we're where we are, but do it for the best price? And so it's always exciting to sit down and say, well should we go here, should we go to Atlanta. It just so happened that I knew how to get some stages at Pinewood Studios. 


    (Marshall's longtime partner in crime and wife, Kathleen Kennedy is spearheading all the Star Wars stuff for Lucasfilm, which shoots at Pinewood)


    Eric Vespe: Yeah. You might have been able to negotiate that a little bit.


    Patrick Crowley: Or not!


    Frank Marshall: (laughs) Yeah, or not.


    Eric Vespe: Yeah, that might have backfired on you too.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah, it could have, yeah. So it all worked out very well.


    Patrick Crowley: It was very interesting 'cause then Steven got into the mix. And with Steven would sort of go, 'cause we're on Isla Nublar, which is off the coast of Costa Rica. And it was like okay, well you need to get from there to somewhere in a relatively short period of time. So we had kind of a conceit about the location where we were gonna end up. And Steven goes “no, it's not possible. You can't do that.”


    Frank Marshall: It's not possible to do it in that amount of time.


    Patrick Crowley: In the amount of story time that we needed to have.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah.


    Patrick Crowley: They get on a boat in order to get off and that's what we're doing here. And so they need to get on a boat and then they gotta get somewhere. Rather than making it a movie about traveling on a boat, which is not very exciting, you needed to get to the new place.


    Eric Vespe: And it couldn't have been like “Two months later...”


    Patrick Crowley: Yeah. And Steven was going, well… if you wanna get to, we end up in Northern California, I think if you wanna get to Northern California that's gonna take too long. So then we were putting out scouts into Peru and Ecuador and just all kinds of places that we thought (could work.)


    Frank Marshall: I wanted to go to Cabo San Lucas. (laughs)


    Patrick Crowley: It just didn't work for the story. So then you go “Okay, how can we make those stages at Pinewood work?” And we essentially came up with a really good idea.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah. And I think that on this one we do have a lot more interior scenes than we've had on any of the other movies. So it made sense to be on a soundstage. A big soundstage, which Pinewood was perfect for.


    Eric Vespe: But, I mean, that's kind of in the DNA already of the franchise, 'cause some of the best moments from the original movie are like the Raptors in the kitchen.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah, in the kitchen, yes.


    Eric Vespe: Stuff like that and my understanding is that this one's a lot more suspenseful.


    Frank Marshall: Well you've seen the photo in what I call the museum.


    Eric Vespe: Yeah.


    Frank Marshall: Well that's a huge set. So yeah, so you just take the elements and you figure out how best to use them.


    Peter Sciretta: Who is that in the photo? We don't know much about that little girl.


    Frank Marshall: I don't know. It's some little girl.


    Patrick Crowley: She just wandered in. And see the other thing we had to do is we had to come up with sets big enough because the evil dinosaurs is bigger than the Raptors in the kitchen. I mean, the Raptors are like human size and they can sort of scurry around, whereas this one couldn't. So then the scale of everything had to be bigger to be able to have those kinds of scenes. To have them work. So somehow there were things that were driving the design of the movie that we hadn't anticipated.


    Eric Vespe: So do you guys have a like a main threat animal in this one? 'Cause the last few have had like the Spinosaur and Indominus and stuff like that.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah. We have a bad dinosaur that, of course, is released before it's ready.



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    Eric Vespe: Yeah.


    Peter Sciretta: Of course.


    Patrick Crowley: Not quite ready for primetime.


    Eric Vespe: Well, if it was then I'm sure it would be sweet and gentle.


    Frank Marshall: Yes. No, and to be fair, you guys, the little girl's name in the movie is Maisie.


    Peter Sciretta: Maisie?


    Frank Marshall: Maisie, yeah.


    Patrick Crowley: M-A-I-S-I-E.


    Frank Marshall: And her Grandfather... she shares a love of dinosaurs that her Grandfather has, so that was his museum. And they're connected to Lockwood.


    Peter Sciretta: And that's John Hammond's ex-partner?


    Frank Marshall: Yes. Yes. We like to play with the adults' and kids' love of dinosaurs as it exists in the world today.


    Patrick Crowley: And another thing that was just driven by the story is, as Frank was saying, we're in rooms, we're in buildings with dinosaurs. So we're closer to dinosaurs than for a longer period of time than we've ever been.


    Frank Marshall: And they're in cages, but still they're really close.


    Patrick Crowley: So one of the things that happens is if you go and you touch a dinosaur, okay, you don't try to touch a digital dinosaurs 'cause it doesn't work. So you then end up with more animatronics than there's been in 25 years.


    Frank Marshall: I think since Jurassic Park. We've got more animatronics than any of the other movies. Except for Jurassic Park.


    Patrick Crowley: So and it's an amazing thing to work with Neal Scanlan, who has done all of the stuff for Star Wars.


    Peter Sciretta: How'd you get him?


    Frank Marshall: I, you know, just made a phone call. No, breakfast. Breakfast. We'll work this out.


    Patrick Crowley: A late breakfast.


    Frank Marshall: Maybe that was dinner. Maybe a bottle of wine for that one. (laughs)


    Patrick Crowley: But I hadn't worked with him before. You hadn't worked with him before. But just the stuff that he brought to it. And we saw stuff like this (snaps fingers). It would be “So, what do you think it's gonna look like?” “Well, come down to the shop.” And he would already have done renderings and sculpting and gone through the whole process. So, Blue as a character, we are so much closer to Blue.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah. And I have to say the process of the animatronics is so advanced now from what it used to be. What they're able to do now is fantastic. And it's so much faster to see what you're gonna have. So that made it really cool.


    Eric Vespe: So, your life size Rex isn't gonna have the shivers like the old one did?


    Frank Marshall: No.


    Patrick Crowley: No. 'Cause they were working with hydraulics. And everything now is mostly servos and stuff like that. And there's guys at joysticks, but there are still puppeteers making it breathe and making that head turn and doing all the rest of that stuff. These guys they're all dressed in black and you know they spend a lot of time in yoga studios, 'cause they're like that (strikes an awkward pose) for hours at a time. It's amazing. They're really talented.


    Peter Sciretta: And this film introduces a whole new cast of people.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah.


    Peter Sciretta: What can you tell us about them? Because we haven't heard much.


    Frank Marshall: You know, it's a great variety. We have a great new cast.


    Patrick Crowley: Claire basically runs a “How do we protect dinosaurs society.”


    Frank Marshall: It's a Dinosaur Protection Group.


    Patrick Crowley: The Dinosaur Protection Group, the DPG. Okay? And she has surrounded herself with young, environmentally conscious, hard working, unpaid people.


    Frank Marshall: Also yeah, what do I wanna say? Not Internet savvy, but yeah, I.T. kind of savvy people who know how to raise awareness within the right age groups and--


    Eric Vespe: Like a grassroots political movement.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah, what you would put together for a campaign.


    Patrick Crowley: So there's Justice Smith, okay, and he plays a character named Franklin. And he is the essentially the I.T. guy for the group.


    Eric Vespe: And we hear reluctant guy, he doesn't seem to wanna come on this adventure.

    Frank Marshall: He's a reluctant adventurer. He loves being there at his computer and his keyboard, but he doesn’t wanna go out and be Indiana Jones. He's not interested in that.


    Patrick Crowley: So, he doesn't like to fly, he doesn’t like bugs, he really doesn’t like being outside.


    Eric Vespe: So, he's the perfect person to go on this adventure.


    Frank Marshall: Absolutely.


    Patrick Crowley: And then there's Daniella Pineda, okay, who plays Zia. And Zia is a paleo veterinarian. Okay. She's studied it, went to university, but has never actually seen a dinosaurs yet. Since they're all on Isla Nublar, this will be her first exposure to real flesh and blood dinosaurs.


    Frank Marshall: She's pretty fiery in her defense of dinosaurs. “Dinosaurs are like the rest of us and they need to be preserved and we have to keep him from being, becoming extinct.” Save the gorillas, you know. Or the dolphins or whatever we're saving this month.


    Peter Sciretta: And Colin told me that those two are the secret sauce of this movie. That's the words he used.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah. They're, they keep things moving. They're the characters you haven't seen and are unexpected. They're… court jesters, whatever you wanna call it.


    Eric Vespe: They can add a little brevity without being too silly.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah, exactly. They're believable but they make it fun and exciting and real.


    Patrick Crowley: 'Cause then you've got Chris and Bryce and they're basically still reliving It Happened One Night, which was totally Steven's idea. We sat down when we did the first one and Steven said, have you guys all seen It Happened One Night? He said, let's bring some of that.


    Eric Vespe: We want a little of that Clark Gable swagger.


    Patrick Crowley: A little of that, just that jousting.


    Eric Vespe: Can we talk a little bit about JA and how you guys decided he was the right one for the job?


    Frank Marshall: I'll tell you the story.


    Eric Vespe: Yeah. Please do.


    Patrick Crowley: It's what we're here for! (laughs)


    Frank Marshall: As a matter of fact… I called him for the first one.


    Eric Vespe: Oh yeah?


    Frank Marshall: Yeah. I love The Impossible and I love The Orphanage and I thought “Oh God, he can handle action and characters... who is this guy?” And so I called him and we met and it turns out he was this huge Jurassic Park fan. Sort of like Colin. This is before Colin.


    But we were on the fast track. And he said, “I need a lot of time. I know what I need. I need my prep time. I have a certain process I go through and all that. And I just don't think I can do it.” 'Cause we had that other script. And he said, “I've got this other movie that I'm thinking of doing, too. So thanks, but no thanks.” And so I filed that in the back of my brain. And then found Colin.


    So when we were starting to talk about the next one, I called JA and Belen and we met in England. At the time they were on World War Z 2, I guess it was. Right?


    Patrick Crowley: Yeah.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah, and so he wasn't really available. But we had a really great dinner. And then you know what happened, he decided not to do that. They called me and we were still looking for a director. The good news is Colin and Derek were writing the script as opposed to the last one, where we didn't have a script we liked. So the timing worked out perfectly for them to come on and for him to have the time to do his process.


    And because it's the middle movie it needs to be a little more suspenseful and scary and he just seemed to be perfect. It seemed to be perfect timing for having him come in.


    Patrick Crowley: And also Colin is very onboard with it, right? So Colin was the architect of the second one and the third one and he and JA hit it off, so JA then felt much more comfortable that one, he liked the original Jurassic World and he knew the direction Colin wanted to go in, so it wasn't as if it was just some script that he had to try to adapt. They kind of they shared together. So that was a big benefit there.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah, I think there's a lot to be said for understanding the mythology and understanding the journey that these characters are going on and being a fan of the franchise. And that's what Steven said about Colin, he's the perfect combination of a terrific filmmaker and a fan. And JA is kind of the same.


    Patrick Crowley: And also for JA and for us as producers, it was how do you take somebody who's never had the resources to do a movie like this and introduce them to him in a way so that he can take advantage of extensive storyboarding and pre-vis and you can go on location scouts, you can come to Hawaii twice before you shoot. All those kinds of things.


    And then working with our visual effects supervisor, visual effects producer at ILM to be able to get what you wanted. And it's like you start out with baby steps and you start to climb the ladder and then by the time you're ready to shoot, he's still a little raw around the edges just 'cause he's never commanded that many people, but then watch him work into it and make allies and build relationships and he's got his own DP, Oscar Faura, who's done all his movies. And he's got his editor. So particularly for a guy where English is not his first language, that's like a big comfort level. A big comfort level to be able to have that.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah, and that's part of our job is to surround him with the right people to help him get his vision up on the screen. Just knowing as a director that there are a couple people you gotta have that are like your security blanket, your DP, your editor... they're attached at the hip. If you don't have those people with you, you're gonna be lost. And so we understand that. And we made that part of what we wanted to do to support him.


    Eric Vespe: It also allows him to have that brand that you liked in the first place. The look, the pacing and tone of his work that made you want him for the job. That shorthand he already has with those collaborators that allows him to bring that to this and not trying to shoehorn him in to another specific thing.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah. And without referring to the current events, he knows that he's coming in to make a certain kind of movie. He's not here to be the auteur of “Oh I'm just gonna go off and create some crazy movie because that's what I wanna do.” That has really been great. It's really been exciting and fun and Colin's been involved and Steven looks at the dailies and it's so fun for us, because what we hoped would happen has happened.


    Peter Sciretta: And can you talk a bit about how Jeff Goldblum figures into all this?



    DjK86i6.jpg



    Frank Marshall: Yeah. From the start Colin wanted him to be the “Uh oh, danger, I told you from the start” kind of character. As he does so well.


    Patrick Crowley: It's not difficult.


    Frank Marshall: So when the volcano erupts and suddenly we're faced with are the dinosaurs gonna become extinct again, do we save them or do we not? That's the big question that he gets to pose again. And then we go from there. He's very philosophical in the movie. He doesn't come on the trip. But he's sort of an observer of what's been happening. And he speaks about that.


    Patrick Crowley: He bookends the movie.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah, he essentially bookends the movie with “I warned you and now I told you so. And now we're gonna be in a different place.”


    Peter Sciretta: Where is he at in his life now? 'Cause we haven't seen him in 20 years.


    Patrick Crowley: He was in Thor, wasn't he?


    Peter Sciretta: Oh, I just meant his character. We haven't seen him since The Lost World.

    Patrick Crowley: Oh, his character is... what he believed in before, he still believes in fervently now.


    Frank Marshall: Still very much so. He's a scientist/philosopher.


    Eric Vespe: Rock star.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah, Rock star. Well, he's very senatorial in this one. He goes to those kind of hearings now and speaks about science and the world and how science can affect the world and how we have to be careful what we wish for. Or just to be able to do something doesn't mean it's right.


    Peter Sciretta: What can you guys tell us, I know you're probably gonna be very vague, about the human bad guys in this?


    Frank Marshall: They're very complicated.


    Peter Sciretta: We like complicated villains.


    Frank Marshall: These movies are about... there's greed and that enters into it always, but there's the question: do you wanna have dinosaurs or do you not believe in us creating them? It's the whole cloning debate. There are two people on either side and yeah, we should have them and we can use them in real life for things and people should be able to go to the zoo and see a Tyrannosaurus Rex. There are other uses for them probably. So…


    Patrick Crowley: It's like in the last one, Simon Masrani moved things forward in terms of like genetic manipulation because he actually seemed to be relatively pure of heart. He wanted to provide entertainment for people. And we've evolved to and he was then a semi innocent villain. Whereas now you have guys who are sort of looking at what are the financial potentials? And then you have guys--


    Frank Marshall: How can we profit from this?


    Patrick Crowley: How can we profit from it? And then you have guys who are just real tough eggs.


    Eric Vespe: The Ted Levine character, right?


    Patrick Crowley: How'd you come up with Ted? He's so great in the movie. And Ted's just one of these guys that you go, if it came down to it I wanna make sure he's on my side.


    Eric Vespe: Yes!


    Patrick Crowley: And then you get Toby Jones. And Toby Jones can be anyone. He's the biggest chameleon of all. And Rafe Spall is just a great guy.



    Vq3gzg9.jpg



    Frank Marshall: Yeah, Rafe's great. And Lockwood is not a villain I wouldn't say.


    Patrick Crowley: No. He's no more of a villain than John Hammond was a villain.


    Frank Marshall: Yeah. So it's complex I hope.


    Eric Vespe: Nice.


    Frank Marshall: All right? You good?


    Eric Vespe: I think that's all I need. Thanks very much.


    Peter Sciretta: Yeah, we won't take any more of your time.


    Frank Marshall: We'll meet you again in a tent somewhere.


    Peter Sciretta: All right.


    Frank Marshall: Eric, Peter, great to see you guys.


    Eric Vespe: Thanks, Frank.


    Peter Sciretta: Thank you.



    AlmostHalfWay1.jpg


    Thanks for reading this first interview! I'll have more details from the set visit hitting tomorrow. On the docket are lengthy interviews with Bryce Dallas Howard, Chris Pratt, director JA Bayona and newcomers Justice Smith and Daniella Pineda as well as a more detailed piece on my adventures wandering the tropical set. Stay tuned!

  • Halloween Gets A Neat Teaser Poster! Michael Myers Is Getting Old!

    1 month ago

    ericvespe

    We're exactly 6 months away from the release of the new Halloween movie and I'm pretty stoked to see how it plays out. David Gordon Green is directing from a script by himself and Danny McBride and, under the mentorship of John Carpenter, they're wiping away all the convoluted backstory shit and making a direct sequel to the very first movie. 


    The new poster they put out is striking. It's a monochrome image of the aged mask of Michael Myers. The years shown on the mask perhaps mirror the aged man underneath. Michael Myers is getting old! 


    It's a striking image. Check it out:



    halloween-2018-poster-1103254.jpeg



    Can't wait for this one. What about you guys?

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 106

    1 month ago

    g1Features

    tumblr_p25pozHb1O1vuwsa7o10_r1_1280.png

    MADHERO: Hello ladies and gents. Today is kind of a weird episode. If only cause its somewhat caused by a sudden whirlwind of Avengers releasing at the end of April instead of the bieginning of May, so suddenly a lot of films came this way,  but in their fear, didn't realize they are now releasing on Friday the 13th, but the next Friday is 4/20 BABY! WOOPWOOP BLAZE IT! Also we''ll all be too busy with slaying Norse mytology and cardboard. So whoopsy.


    LARRY: ...do Europeans go ham on 4/20? Like is it equally a thing?


    STICKMAN: Let's get high...on the cinematic experience.


    MADHERO: We could be talking about the dank kush, but we should probably first get to the news.


    LARRY: Dank news. Way better than that ol' fake news garbage.


    STICKMAN: That dank Kushner.


    NEWS

    IT CHAPTER TWO CASTS JESSICA CHASTAIN, JAMES MCAVOY AND BILL HADER AS ADULT VERSIONS OF LEAD CHARACTERS

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    Horror is having quite the good streak going on. A Quiet Place just made over 50 million in its opening, one of the most successful in the genre, Get Out was nominated for a bunch of Oscar's a while ago. Its gonna be grand until Truth or Dare ruins it for everyone. But even with Quiet Place's success, it doesn't quite tip last year's horror phenomenon IT, starring dat boi Pennywise. Dat boi managed to score not only the best opening in horror history, but the highest grossing horror movie ever, and the 3rd highest rated R. So all of a sudden, being in an evil clown movie is a hot commodity, which has led to some very solid casting picks for the sequel.


    Now if you haven't seen the film/read the book, Chapter 2 will take place 27 years after It 1. After months of back and forth, we now know that Jessica Chastain (who has previously worked with It director Andy Muschietti in Mama) is the now adult Beverly, played originally by Sophia Lillis, and now we get word that James McAvoy will play adult Bill Denbrough (Jaden Lieberher in 1) and Bill Hader will be playing Richie Tozer (Finn Wolfhard's part), which is honestly a case of perfect casting. Obviously Bill Skarsgard will be back as the clown, and its going to be interesting to see how IT, which resonated a lot I imagine with the Stranger Things crowd, will do so in a modern day sequel with adults. We'll have to find out on September 2019 should nothing happen to the shoot this summer.



    STICKMAN: This film is either gonna make all the moneys or none of the moneys depending on how the age-shift plays out.


    LARRY: That's a star-studded cast thus far. I don't see it being a failure.


    MADHERO: I feel more and more IT hit a certain point before we started getting tired of the 80's (although we may not have reached that point yet. Chapter 2 going to modern day does make me wonder how it'll work, but the cast so far looks stellar


    STICKMAN: I liked IT more than I thought I would, I'd go see the sequel, if anything it not having the children in is a plus cuz some of them were pretty cringe.


    LARRY: I too did enjoy IT more than I expected and would gladly see these actors portray the kids.


    STICKMAN: Pennywise gonna be doing Gangham Style in the new one. Then a dab.


    LARRY: He. MUST. Dab. Perfect metaphor for......something.


    MADHERO: Muscietti. Make Pennywise dab. The people demand it. #MakePennywisedab


    STICKMAN: The campaign starts here. Also the casting is good, yes. I like horror movies and IT was a fun one. Less 80s nostalgia but same quality would be great.


    LARRY: I personally think the success of the first one will just ease people into the sequel.


    MADHERO: Also make the Babadook his boyfriend or something I think that was a thing for a while.


    STICKMAN: Babadook is shy, stop outing him.


    LIVE ACTION REMAKE OF MULAN ADDS DONNIE YEN, JET LI AND GONG LI TO NEW ROLES, SUGGESTING STORY CHANGES FROM ORIGINAL


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    Everyone has been keeping a watchful eye over the casting of Disney's live-action remake of Mulan; many once speculated that Disney would be white-washing it, akin to controversies with Aladdin, but Disney has confirmed otherwise, and now they're putting their money where their mouth is! The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed new additions to the cast, including Donnie Yen  as Mulan's mentor Commander Tung, Jet Li as the Emperor, Gong Li as the film's witchy villainess, and Xana Tang as Mulan's sister.


    This is all solid news, showing strong representation all around. It also indicates some new characters and story changes, given that the villain in the original film is Shan Yu, leader of the Huns...who wasn't particularly interesting so maybe it'll be an improvement? Also she didn’t have a sister in the original. I dunno, whatever the case, the addition of Yen and Li are awesome, and I look forward to seeing their performances.


    MADHERO: Yeah yeah, well known Chinese actors is all well and good, but WHERE'S MY JIVE TALKING DRAGON?!


    STICKMAN: THAT'S ALL I WANT.


    LARRY: Jay Pharoah is my pick for Mushu.


    STICKMAN: I shall voice him. It will be controversial.


    MADHERO: In all honesty, the Mulan remake is still quite a while away that I'm not all that excited for it (yet). Mulan these days is probably more known for causing Schezuan sauce mania now than as a film. Thanks, Rick and Morty.


    STICKMAN: I couldn't be less excited if it didn't exist.


    LARRY: Yeah butttttttt Donnie Yen. He's awesome and underappreciated here.


    STICKMAN: The robot was better in Rogue One.


    LARRY: LIES. SLANDER....I did love the robot tho.


    MADHERO: He's cool. So's Jet Li. It does sound like they're changing a bunch with  giving Mulan a sister and the witch. Like you said, the Hun leader is.... kinda boring in the original


    STICKMAN: Jet Li is just a cool name in general. I just want the robot from Rogue One in it now. Is he?


    MADHERO: Alan Tudyk isn't in it yet. Maybe he can play the dragon.


    STICKMAN: Yes. YES. We're starting lots of campaigns on this episode


    LARRY: He'd be dope


    MADHERO: He and Disney are pretty tight, so who knows. I'd be up for it, but the movie aint out till 2020. They have time


    STICKMAN: I hope I'm dead by then so I don't have to see it.


    GUILLERMO DEL TORO SIGNS DEAL AT SHAPE OF WATER STUDIO FOX SEARCHLIGHT TO CURATE NEW GENRE LABEL

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    I think it's safe to say we were all a little surprised, and probably a little delighted to see The Shape of Water take the Best Picture at this year's Oscars. Whether or not you liked the film, we all love the director, our chummy Mexican fishfucker, Guillermo del Toro. And that success seems to have paid off quite nicely for him when it comes to future projects, as the studio he worked with on that film, Fox Searchlight, have now inked a deal with him to become THE home of the Del Toro 'brand', opening a new genre label within FOX Searchlight to focus on genre films (Sci-Fi, Horror and Fantasy, or a mixture I suppose) which have the Del Toro name attached to them in some form.


     Basically, it gives him a home for both his own projects, but also for films he wishes to produce or 'curate'.  This is great news for genre fans, really, as Del Toro has often struggled to find a home for some of his more weird projects, which often tread a fine line between indie and mainstream that make them financially shaky, and therefore hard to finance. This deal seems to suggest Searchlight are going to let him take the risks required to make films like Shape of Water, that got them so much attention this awards season. Pretty great news, I must say.


    MADHERO: Any good news about del Toro is alright in my book.


    STICKMAN: I know right. God that fish was sexy.


    LARRY: Yeah this is great news. Del Toro deserves to do every project he wants.


    STICKMAN: I want that stop-motion Pinnochio film he wanted to make so so so badly. I can't believe we never got to see it made.


    MADHERO: Being a Oscar winning director does sorta  give you the clout to do anything you want provided you don't fuck up too much. He had to shop his projects to almost every studio so I'm happy for him he's found a home where he can continue creating the stuff he wants


    STICKMAN: Fox Searchlight is a good home for weird directors with ambitious projects, honestly. Glad they've got a focused genre department now.


    LARRY: Yeah Searchlight has a solid track record.  And who knows, plenty of other directors and writers probably can find a home there.


    MADHERO: I do wonder how solid the partnership is with the looming Disney deal, but maybe they wanna keep a good deal going


    STICKMAN: I swear if Disney fuck it up, I'll stab them.


    LARRY: Seems like a minute addition in the grand scheme of the Disney deal. I don't see it getting affected....drastically.


    STICKMAN: Protect Guillermo del Toro's projects and fish men at all costs. Keep Konami away from him.


    DISTRICT 9 DIRECTOR NEILL BLOMKAMP SETS UP CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN TO MAKE FEATURE FILM OF HIS SHORT, FIREBASE

    Remember District 9? The relatively low budget science-fiction film that could? Now...remember Elysium? Chappie? Oh. Yeah, so Neill Blomkamp was a director who smashed it out of the gate on his first try, and then struggled to replicate the same success ever since. After those  films, and a dream project of his coming true (Alien 5/Aliens 2), then getting scrapped, Blomkamp decided to walk away from studio pictures and form his own, more experimental production company, called OATS. They got a reasonable amount of attention last year from releasing a series of ambitious sci-fi short film projects, with the intention of gaging interest in which of those projects the audience they had would most like to see a feature out of.  That project was Firebase, and now the crowdfunding campaign has begun to decide just what form the next iteration of that story will take.


    Set in the Vietnam War, where a reality bending super being known as 'The River God' is causing havoc for the soldiers, with one guy being sent in to save the day.  The short itself was more a proof of concept and less a full-on narrative film, but obviously it was the one that captured people's interest the most, and you can now put money down to prove it. The more money they raise, the bigger the project, it starting out as another short film, before expanding to a feature, then a potential trilogy of films, which would then be distributed digitally, firstly to the backers, and then to the rest of the world, either for free or pay to own, depending. It's an interesting fundraising tactic, but it's a slight concern that Blomkamp, who clearly needs help when it comes to making films, has gone out on his own and is just doing his own thing...guess we'll see how good it actually turns out.


    MADHERO: Not gonna lie, I haven't watched all of OATS' work yet. I've seen the one with Sharlto Copely as God and Zygote. I don't think I've seen Firebase and now that one is becoming a (potential) movie. Whoopsy.


    LARRY: I haven’t seen any but I support it completely.


    STICKMAN: I think the interest in those releases dropped pretty sharply by the 3rd big one. There was a cooking show too. My favourite was Zygote.


    MADHERO: I admire the idea and Blomkamp's willingness to pursue it on his own terms. That said, Im curious how well this crowdfunding will do for him. His site doesn't really list a goal, so its basically just clicking a donate button


    STICKMAN: It doesn't say how much they've raised either. And there's no set limit, so whatever you donate is put towards whatever gets made, even if it's not that big a project. So you may donate $10 for a movie, but you may only end up getting another short film.


    LARRY: Well yeah isn’t each project based on how much they make? Makes sense to keep it all ambiguous and shit.


    MADHERO: I dunno, I tend to prefer when a crowdfund is as open as possible. Add some transparency and the like.


    STICKMAN: That said, it's a pretty cool  way to decide your project, and you get the same rewards no matter how much you donate. My fear is that it won't be very good, the writing on the shorts was pretty poor, and if it's him writing the feature? Oy vey.


    LARRY: Cool. Seems like a worthy cause to me. I want more original damn ideas yo.


    MADHERO: I wish Blomkamp nothing but the best. Chappie hasn't somehow washed that away.


    RIP DIRECTOR MILOS FORMAN (ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST, AMADEUS)

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    So, here's an odd coincidence. Just this past week, I was lucky to attend a special screening of one of my all-time favorite films, Amadeus. This was specifically unique because the score was being performed live by a professional orchestra alongside the film. It was an amazing experience, and gave me a deeper appreciation for a film I already so deeply loved. It was almost like a high.


    Well, less than two days later, I open my phone to check the ol' #filmtwitter and I see the heartbreaking news that its director, Milos Forman, passed away after a short battle with illness. Needless to say, I was heartbroken; I had just been reveling in the brilliant artistry that had yet to considerably age after 34 years, and mere hours later, a part of that art was lost. It hit me hard, and it reminded me of his other fantastic films: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Man on the Moon, Hair, etc. All exquisite films that tell human stories in unique, sensitive ways. He was politically motivated, but never indulgently so; he loved theatre, and often adapted it; he was a great director, and a huge impact on the way I saw film and stories. He will be missed, truly.


    STICKMAN: I've never seen Amadeus but I have seen One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, and that's a damn good film. This is a shame to hear.


    MADHERO: Damn, a real shame even if he was no longer involved in directing since 2006. Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus are stone cold classics anyone wants to have in their arsenal


    LARRY: It's actually very fascinating because, in my eyes, the best scene in Amadeus involves a Requiem. So it was as if we were sending him off properly, in a strange way. Things have an odd way of working out...


    STICKMAN: He also directed Man on the Moon, which we recently got that crazy ass documentary about.


    LARRY: Yeah seeing his process was fascinating. And like, how he was able to somehow handle Jim Carrey through all that.


    MADHERO: Yeah. Just wanted to mention that. Having to work with Jim Carrey in that headspace must've been wild. People vs Larry Flynt is also a really fun biopic that shouldn't be forgotten.


    STICKMAN: He made a lot of great films, and two genuine classic works of cinema, it's a real shame he's gone.


    MADHERO: He was, as mentioned, less active these days, but its still sad to hear we'll never get another Forman film. May he rest in peace.


    STICKMAN: Thanks for the movies, Milos.


    LARRY: Rest easy, Milos. You made this film boi very happy that night


    RIP STUDIO GHIBLI CO-FOUNDER ISAO TAKAHATA

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    Sadly, we have to report that Japanese animation legend Isao Takahata has passed away at the age of 82 following a battle with lung cancer.  Takahata is of course best known for being the co-founder of Studio Ghibli, and I don't think I need to explain much more why that makes him an automatic legend. Now while Ghibli is of course defined by Hayao Miyazaki's work, Takahata's work is worth talking about as well. Grave of the Fireflies, arguably his most well known work, is one of the greatest (and tragic) anti-war movies ever produced. His work has gone in very different styles and directions, from the realistic drama of Only Yesterday, the bizarrely weird Pom Poko, the simple comedy antics of My Neighbours the Yamada, to Japanese folklore adaptation The Tale of Princess Kaguya, which is still one of the most gorgeous animated movie I've ever seen. Needless to say, he leaves quite the legacy, and while he had already retired since Kaguya, its a shame we'll not see another Takahata movie. We wish his family and Studio Ghibli nothing but the best. RIP.


    STICKMAN: Damn, what a bummer.


    LARRY: I’m gonna go watch Grave again for the 15th time and cry a bit, peace. Artistry at its finest.


    STICKMAN: I don't watch a lot of anime, but Ghibli was the exception and he made some really interesting films with them.


    MADHERO: Yeah, really was a shame to hear this news. Not something you see coming even though he was old and sick


    STICKMAN: Pom Poko is the only film I've seen where testicles turn into a picnic blanket, andyet 

    Pom Poko is actually a really sweet film despite the ballplay.


    MADHERO: Pom Poko is so fucking weird and the fact its from the same director as Grave of the Fireflies makes it even weirder. He was skilled.


    LARRY: Princess Kaguya is a beautiful, beautiful film. And Grave is just.......amazing


    STICKMAN: Grave of the Fireflies is often the go-to film for people trying to show others that animated films can be for mature audiences. Because it pairs an widely accessible tone and content with dark themes and a serious OOMPH.


    MADHERO: Kaguya was one of my favorite films in 2013. Its an extremely melancholic piece of filmmaking, but my god is it beautiful.


    STICKMAN: I found Kaguya to be a bit too depressing but it looked fucking beautiful. All his films did really.


    LARRY: Sad to see he has left us, but damn did he leave his mark. He will always be remembered as an excellent storyteller.


    MADHERO: Once again, we wish his family and co-workers at Ghibli nothing but the best in this difficult time. Needless to say, he made his mark on the world.


    LARRY: Agreed. Farewell, Takahata-san


    --------------

    MADHERO: Alright, that's it for the news, and we're actually sticking to Japan somewhat. We haven't talked Isle of Dogs when it came out in limited release for reasons that are about to become clear....well now. We were waiting for an wide release, and we finally got it, and Stickman, stop motion connoisseur was able to see it. But I think its safe to say that Wes Anderson films tend to leave you cold. So what's gonna happen here


    STICKMAN: Oh boy oh boy, ANIMATION. But Wes Anderson...hrmmmm.


    LARRY: WELL I ALSO SAW IT WHAT A TWIST


    STICKMAN: Fuck, my review is ruiiinnned.


     MADHERO: O dannnnnnnnnnnng. That leaves me the only one that hasn't seen it, like a complete chump. Well guys, fight it out. What did you think of the doggo movie?


    LARRY: Sticky, you wanna start?


    REVIEW

    ISLE OF DOGS

    DIRECTOR: Wes Anderson (Fantastic Mr. Fox, Grand Budapest Hotel)

    STARRING: Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Bob Balaban, Koyu Rankin, Greta Gerwig, Scarlett Johansson, Liev Schreiber

    SYNOPSIS: A boy (Rankin) journeys to Trash Island to rescue his dog Spots (Schreiber), and gets help from a pack of misfit canines (Cranston, Murray, Norton, Goldblum, Balaban who have also been exiled.

    STICKMAN: So, like Mad said I'm not huge on Wes Anderson's whole shtick. In fact I actually watched The Grand Budapest Hotel for the first time the night after Isle of Dogs and found it to be a pretty cold and irritating experience. Isle of Dogs, however, I rather liked, but some of its shortcomings can still be tied to Wes Anderson himself. Pluses first, the film looks beautiful, after the slight disappointment that was Early Man, it's really nice to see an another ambitious and this time almost fully hand-crafted stop motion movie in the cinema this year. There's a ton of great details,  the set design is amazing, and the animation has a great mixture of subtle expressions and over the top cartoonish'ness that blends really well.  It's also a lot sweeter than you'd expect from this guy. There's some genuinely moving scenes and you really care for the plight of a good deal of the characters, even if thankfully the film doesn't fully milk that sentimentality as much as most animated films in this era do. Negative-wise, I felt a host of characters and side-stories were unnecessary, and given this is the longest stop motion movie ever made? Could've been scrapped, frankly. Also, like I said, the Anderson'isms are often a detriment, the humour doesn't always land, and some of the dialogue is a bit cringey...but...yeah, overall I liked this film quite a bit.


    LARRY: I actually am a fan of Wes Anderson, with most of his films ranging from excellent to still enjoyable yet flawed for me. Isle of Dogs falls somewhere in the middle for me, a film that has some shortcomings but ultimately is a funny, enjoyable, heartfelt piece from one of Hollywood's most unique voices. As Sticky said, great animation all around, the voice cast is superb, and I actually found the humor to mostly land. My issues are more story-based: the film's pacing is a bit of a mess, big reveals sorta just happen without being earned, and the script at times is heeeeeeavily expositional. All that said, I agree with Sticky that there are many moving scenes, and I think that Wes Anderson should continue crafting stories with stop-motion because it seems to be the medium that best suits his perfectionist cinematography. Overall, thumbs up for me.


    MADHERO: So both of you liked it with some shortcomings . How do you feel it compares to his previous stop motion film, Fantastic Mr. Fox?


    STICKMAN: I think this is a marked improvement on that one,  which felt a bit too cooky for its own good sometimes. The animation was lovely but I felt Fox lacked heart because the main character was such a wanker.


    LARRY: I actually think Fox is, on the whole, a better film, even if the lore of this one is a bit more interesting to me.


    MADHERO: Fox wanking aside. How about the characters here?


    STICKMAN: It's a mixed bag, Chief (Cranston) is a great lead, but a lot of the side cast don't really have much to do, particularly Oracle...who's...there? The core cast of dogs is fun, although there's a recurring gag from Goldblum's dog that just didn't land for me at all.


    LARRY: Yeah many of the characters introduced in the trailers aren't really given a lot to do, sadly. They provide some fun laughs but ultimately feels somewhat empty.


    MADHERO: The huge voice cast is wild, so its a shame that not all of them are put to good use. How do you feel about the Japanese language not being subtitled. Caused a bit of a minor controversy.


    STICKMAN: I don't really get that. There's an initial kinda...barrier to get over when there's a mixture of un-dubbed/subbed dialogue, and also either dubbed or subbed or both. But you settle in after the opening.


    LARRY: I mean....a good chunk of it IS subtitled or translated... So I don't get the hubbub. It never felt like direct cultural appropriation or alienating.


    STICKMAN: People have made a lot of fuss about it and I don't really get why, it's not offensive to anyone but cat-lovers, FRANKLY. And for that reason, I must boycott this film.


    MADHERO: Ehhh, I'd say its more minor. Now these points have largely been about the flaws, so in the wrap up, really go at it why you like this movie and why people need to see it now that its opening wide.


    LARRY: I mean, it's a wholly unique experience in cinemas right now. That alone should sell you. It's a nice breath of a fresh air amidst the Ready Player One's and Pacific Rim's and what not. The animation alone is worth ticket price. It's also just a deeply cultural story that involves a surprisingly fascinating lore that develops in interesting, albeit a bit rushed, ways. Also, people love dogs, and if you love dogs, you'll definitely be captured by it in some fashion.


    STICKMAN: Its just really nice to see stop motion get such a prominent and expertly crafted release, and with a film that's not  aiming to be either kid-friendly or particularly adult...it's a film, it's quite scrappy and a bit violent at times, but I mean, we should have more animated films like that. And it's a really fun and charming one, with some strong emotional beats but not in the style you'd expect from Camp Disney/Pixar. FIRST AND FOREMOST, it was a film, I...a Wes Anderson sceptic managed to enjoy quite a lot, so yeah. They're good dogs, Brent.


    -------

    MADHERO: Alright. That's probably the highest rated movie out now. OR IS IT! Maybe all these other films scurried away because they're actually amazing or something.


    LARRY: BWAHAHA of course not.


    MADHERO: Who needs Avengers when you have,, uhhhh... looks at handwritten note George the giant albino gorilla.....wait what.


    STICKMAN: Oh no, not another movie with Clint Eastwood and his best friend.


    MOVIES

    RAMPAGE

    DIRECTOR: Brad Peyton (Journey 2, San Andreas)

    STARRING: Dwayne Johnson, Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Joe Manganiello, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

    SYNOPSIS: Primatologist Davis Okoye ( Johnson), shares an unbreakable bond with George, an albino gorilla who has been in his care most of its life. But a mysterious genetic experiment mutates this once gentle ape, along with a wolf and crocodile into a raging creature of enormous size.

    MADHERO: The savior of the video game movie is here, and its Dwayne Johnson giving it a 2nd go.


    LARRY: Who's ready for some dumb fun? You know I am.


    STICKMAN: Is it the saviour though, really.


    MADHERO: Its still ranked higher than Tomb Raider on RT....for now.


    STICKMAN: By 1%. I'm not sure I call this winning.


    LARRY: I dunno, seems to be getting a solid reception.


    MADHERO: As a fan of one of the N64 games, its wild to me there's a film adaptation out now, and it seems that for the most part, it knows exactly what it wants to be.


    STICKMAN: I wouldn't call it solid, Larry...I'd say it was decidedly mixed with a small slant on it being dumb enough to be enjoyable. Also, the merchandise for this film is massively overpriced, I just thought I'd put that out there.


    MADHERO: Well I thought you of all people would shell out the big bucks for a giant mutant crocodile


    STICKMAN: I mean I'm always down for a big crocco. He can rampage over me anyday.


    MADHERO: Apparently there's even a new arcade game out. So that's neat. Bring it to consoles, Warner Bros. Also The Rock screaming GEOOOOOOORGE remains funny, and I like how the Doom twitter account responded to him slagging off the film.


    STICKMAN: Death Battle: GEOOOORRGE vs POOOOOH?


    LARRY: That Twitter response was GOLD.


    TRUTH OR DARE

    DIRECTOR: Jeff Wadlow (Kick-Ass 2, True Memoirs of an International Assassin)

    STARRING: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beanne, Nolan Gerard Funk

    SYNOPSIS: A seemingly harmless game of truth or dare turns deadly when someone -- or something -- begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse a dare.

    STICKMAN: Oh dear. Blumhouse here, reminding us they are still Blumhouse.


    LARRY: Those faces tho.... Making me morbidly curious.


    MADHERO: Welp, Blumhouse and horror had a good run. Had to end at some point.


    STICKMAN: We got Get Out and Happy Death Day, but we also still get Insidious 4 The Last Key and Truth or Dare. It's also called BLUMHOUSE PRESENTS Truth or Dare, like that brand means quality. It can sometimes mean quality, it can sometimes not. It's not a bankable brand, even if their ident is fucking rad.


    LARRY: You always have your duds.


    MADHERO: Like ok, this is a really dumb concept, but we got Final Destination out of a dumb concept and that series is mostly fun. This just looks.... kinda melodramatic. And I'm pretty sure the creepy smile is something you can do with a Snapchat filter.


    STICKMAN: That smile is just there to put on the poster, I swear. Like the baby mask in Happy Death Day. It's vaguely creepy and vaguely tied to the film in iconography to the point where you'd recognise it...maybe.


    MADHERO: Probably also wasn't a good idea to release a new horror when Quiet Place is raking in the dough. Whoopsy.


    LARRY: The clip in the trailer where he kills himself with the pool cue did make me jump. So give it SOME credit.


    STICKMAN: You big baby. YOU BIG BABY.


    MADHERO: You literal infant. Moving on


    I FEEL PRETTY

    DIRECTOR: Abby Koh and Marc Silverstein (Fairfax Fandango)

    STARRING: Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Rory Scovel, Naomi Campbell

    SYNOPSIS: A woman (Schumer) struggling with insecurity wakes from a fall believing she is the most beautiful and capable woman on the planet.

    MADHERO: Finally, I've been waiting all my life for a Shallow Hal 2......o wait no I haven't fuck.


    STICKMAN: I had to sit through this trailer in front of A Quiet Place and it was literally the scariest thing I saw that day.


    LARRY: This is front of A Quiet Place???? WHAT?


    STICKMAN: It was Infinity War followed by this film in the trailers. At least it wasn't Sherlock Gnomes like in front of Isle of Dogs.


    MADHERO: I feel like this premise doesn't really work with someone like Amy Schumer in the lead. Yeah, she isn't supermodel level pretty, but she isn't that unattractive either. But the trailer makes us want to believe like she's this absolute ghoul or something


    LARRY: Yeah I think she’s already pretty. Kinda hard to believe.


    STICKMAN: Amy Schumer is such a painfully unfunny comedian I swear. And this film's idea of what beauty means and how to view it is so warped and shitty. OH BOY.


    MADHERO: She's had her moments in her Comedy Central show, and I think she was good in Trainwreck, but recently its a tad downhill. The internet REALLY doesn't like her


    LARRY: Well I think she’s a funny comedian at times but sometimes she gets a little too awkward and vulgar for my taste. I feel like the internet’s view on celebrities changes every damn day.


    MADHERO: Nah they're pretty consistent with her.


    STICKMAN: Look, if you think yourself a bit  on the fat side, and if, like this film suggests, you feel incapable of being attractive to others. Hop on deviantArt, search Sonic the Hedgehog, and realise there's always hope.


    MADHERO: Truly the life lesson Hollywood is too afraid to teach


    STICKMAN: All morals should revolve around Sonic fetish artwork.


    SUPER TROOPERS 2


    DIRECTOR: Jay Chandrasekhar (Beerfest, The Babymakers)

    STARRING: Jay Chandrasekhar, Paul Soter, Steve Lemme, Erik Stolhanske, Kevin Hefferman, Brian Cox, Marisa Coughlan

    SYNOPSIS: After an international border dispute arises between U.S. and Canada, five wacky state troopers set up a new highway patrol station in the disputed area of Canada.

    STICKMAN: There's a Super Troopers 1?


    LARRY: Can you believe I got this before Isle?? This film looks so ridiculous.


    MADHERO: And now we're entering knee deep into "I know there's an audience for this but its definitely not me" territory.


    LARRY: Is there? I feel like ever the cult following of the first has sincerely diminished with time.


    STICKMAN: What's the deal with this. Is this...an American thing. Cuz I don't go in for those shenanigans.


    MADHERO: Ok, gather around kids, cause Super Troopers 1 was released all the way back in 2001. Now the original comedy troupe, Broken Lizard, went on to do a bunch more films like Beerfest and the like, and ultimately decided to crowdfund this sequel, which was really successful. So with that raised, they got a distributor and now here we are. Again, it being crowdfunded shows a clear audience is out there. I just have never found them all that funny.


    STICKMAN: Cops being outlandish and wacky and slapstick in an era where the relationship between the police and civilians is at times, lower than ever. Great idea.


    LARRY: Don’t forget the stupid weed jokes. Always makes it better.


    STICKMAN: At least they aren't chugging beer up their assholes. The only broken lizard I want to hear about, is me.


    MADHERO: But hey, good for those that finally get their sequel.


    LARRY: I feel like the only family for this is manchildren.


    STICKMAN: Where’s Paul Blart Mall Cop 3.


    MADHERO: We have to start our own Indiegogo for that, Stick.


    STICKMAN: Let’s do it. THE CAMPAIGN STARTS HERE


    MADHERO: I’ll contact Kevin James. But maybe before we do that, we should go and talk MOVIE OF THE WEEK!


    -----------------

    LARRY: Yayyyyyyyyy


    STICKMAN: OH FUUUCK. Larry stole mine, despite having seen it before me. The thief.


    LARRY: Well gee. Look at that.


    MADHERO: Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiit. Movie thievery. That's not very nice. That said, Larry saw it first, so he gets to talk about it first. So Larry, what's your (and Sticky's) Movie of the Week


    LARRY: Hahahahahaha TAKE THAT


    MOVIE OF THE WEEK

    LARRY: My film this week is A Quiet Place, which we actually were talking about earlier, specifically regarding its success, and well-deserved!! I am not a horror man myself, but I’m a fan of Krasinski and Blunt, so I decided to give it a shot and was pleasantly surprised. That being said, it decides to trade in spoopy shit for more family-driven, emotional suspense revolving around a family forced to survive apart from each other, and hoo boy does it work.



    The performances are stirring, the minimal writing is effective in more ways than one, and the suspense and thrills are consistent throughout the entire affair. Add that to its ingenious concept, and you have a wholly unique cinematic experience in a theatergoing sense. It is not without problems, but overall, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time, almost afraid to breathe at points. Definitely recommended from this boi.


    STICKMAN: This is also my movie of the week, because fuuucckkk, I guesss. As a big horror fan, I found it was a bit lacking in the horror department, but beyond that, it's a fantastic, well crafted and emotionally engaging human drama, and whilst it was a little disappointing for such a huge horror film success to be...well...not that great a horror film...AGAIN? This was really great all the same.


    LARRY: Yeah it’s light on the true horror. Maybe that’s why I liked it so much hehehe


    MADHERO: You 2 sharing a horror Movie of the Week? Never thought I'd see the day


    STICKMAN: I will say, if you want to see a true, masterfully executed slice of silent tension in a full-on horror movie, you HAVE to check out Don't Breathe. Like, wowza. Less raw human drama, more pulpy thriller.


    LARRY: For now, pregnant Emily Blunt has my heart.


    MADHERO: How are the monsters in general? Or is the monster.......MAN?!


    LARRY: ...no, it’s a monster.


    STICKMAN: The monsters are okay, kinda generic by modern standards, the threat isn't so much the monster as the sound that lures them, which is neat.


    MADHERO: The true monster? Nails.


    STICKMAN: Fuck dude, that nail. Why the fuck didn't they fix that. Idiots.


    LARRY: That being said, I did like their design, and the scenes where they did tease them were excellent in my eyes.


    STICKMAN: Anyway, Mad, what'd you see, some mainstream blockbuster TRIPE I'M SURE. HMMMM?


    MADHERO: Alright, after the billions and billions of hot takes, I'm ready to jump into the pool of Ready Player One takes. Its been a while since a blockbuster was this hotly debated before its even out and not a MCU/Star Wars movie. Some call it a celebration of pop culture, others will say its a celebration towards consumerism and doesn't get the point. And I am here to say: they're both kinda right. Ready Player One isn't even in Spielberg's Top 20 of films that he's made, but its been a while since he's made a movie like this, and you can still feel the man has a knack for entertainment.

    Now it helps that a lot of the more problematic elements of the book have been sawed off and are improved upon, though you can also say the movie is made a lot more generic. As dumb as it kinda is, I can't help but let out a slight chuckle when you see characters like the Battletoads or Spawn or He Man and the like pop up in the same movie. There's  a certain glee to that. Plus, the action is pretty damn spectacular to see on the big screen. So yeah, I didn't ultimately hate Ready Player One. 14 year old me  would've loved it, and as it stands, 24 year old me thinks its perfectly fine.


    STICKMAN: Spawn's in this movie? Does he look as shit as he did in his movie?


    LARRY: Like for a second and kinda


    MADHERO: Well he's more in shadows, but he's together with He Man in the shot. Also your old pal Xeno makes an appearance


    STICKMAN: Oh my gosh. Are the Xenos better than in Alien Covenant?


    LARRY: Yeah I enjoyed watching the film in the theater but it quickly degraded after... I realized just how truly stupid it is.


    STICKMAN - Yesterday at 2:40 AM


    MADHERO: I guess? They're in it far less. I think that might be a tad harsh Larry. The movie is kinda dumb, but its not offensively stupid.


    LARRY: Not offensively, no. But it is quite dumb. And certain plot points and plot holes and story contrivances reeeeeally made me cringe.


    STICKMAN: I was all prepped to see  this film after the decent reviews, but other films  came out...and then I got a Film Festival and Infinity War...and then the positivity kinda tapered out over the week after release. Now I'm gonna wait until DVD. Although there being Xenos makes me want.


    MADHERO: O you should read excerpts from the novel, Larry. You'd have a field day. I think I know one story contrivance you're talking about,  but that may go too deep into spoilers. I think a DVD release might be the best so you can pause so you can spot Hello Kitty or anyone else.


    STICKMAN: Am I in this movie? I feel they scraped the barrel enough that I'm in with a shot.


    MADHERO: I mean, if you look hard enough, maybe. I've heard people say Amaterasu from Okami is in it but I didn't see her. There's an awful lot to keep track of. So.....maybe?


    STICKMAN: Sweet, looking forward to the royalties from that, then.


    LARRY: Look i get why people like it but honestly the glamour and glitz faded fast. It’s stunning visually and there’s some inspiration found in the cracks, but ultimately I found it forgettable and easy to dunk on.


    -------------

    MADHERO: Oh its super easy to dunk on, as the internet shows. Alright. That's it for this episode. Good to finally have the isle of dogs talk out of the way. Now we can focus on the really important film coming out: Jason Reitman and Charlize Theron's reunion in Tully. Oh and something called Avengers Infinity War I guess


    STICKMAN: What's that. Sounds stupid.


    LARRY: A war that goes on for Infinity?


    MADHERO: Something about a purple alien gathering some stones so he can J O  with some bros.


    STICKMAN: Just like my never-ending war with my inner demons. GOODBYE EVERYONE.


    MADHERO: Alright. Byyyyyyyyyyye


    LARRY: Bye y’all

  • I introduced my young nephews to THE SHINING before watching Ready Player One. Here's how that went...

    1 month ago

    ericvespe

    When I was sitting in the Paramount Theater watching the SXSW world premiere of Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One a thought ran through my head: the kids are going to flip their shit for this movie.


    Yes, that includes all children who like big, goofy, fun adventure stories, but “the kids” in this particular fleeting thought referred to my nephews, Max (7) and Rocco (10). One of the greatest joys of my life over the last few years has been introducing these kids to various movies, some obvious kid stuff, some a little more challenging, and watching Ready Player One that first time it felt like I had been building them up to this moment where it would all pay off.


    We've seen all three Back to the Futures on the big screen. They were intrigued by my Iron Giant poster hanging in the guest room of my house and saw that. I've had them on a steady Spielberg diet pretty much since the very first time their parents let me take them to the movies.


    On top of that, the oldest has been getting really into video games lately. I've walked him through some Destiny quests and more recently have been playing a goodly amount of Overwatch with him.


    So, they were ready for Ready Player One.


    Almost.


    There was one glaring omission from their cinematic education, a movie pretty adult even for these little monsters. Of course I'm talking about The Shining.



    Stanley-Kubricks-The-Shining-at-Universa



    Here's the deal. The older one's great with horror movies. Rocco watches them the way I did at his age. Open enough to be creeped out, but focused more on how fun and awesome they are. He flipped out for It last year and I've had the absolute pleasure of introducing him to stuff like An American Werewolf In London and The Sixth Sense.


    The younger one, Max, isn't so hot on horror movies. He loves big smash-em-ups and giant monsters and stuff, but it's tone that gets to him more than gore or something. He was there when we watched The Sixth Sense and I heard from his father a few days later that he had nightmares about “the boy with the bloody head.”


    So I typically save the scary stuff for when it's just me and Rocco, but I knew the second key quest wasn't going to land for them if they didn't see The Shining first... plus I honestly didn't want their first impressions of that film to be from the glimpses we got in Ready Player One.


    So I sat them both down on my couch yesterday, told them to buckle in because we were going to watch The Shining. They asked why we had to watch this movie. I said “I'll tell you after we watch Ready Player One.”


    Max was nervous. He only knew of the movie by title and DVD cover. Rocco seemed down, if not super enthused especially when I reassured them it's not “jump scare” scary. I said it's mostly a lot of people talking and that's true.


    I remember watching The Shining when I was about their age and I remember being engrossed in it, but that was before the Internet changed attention spans forever. Could a movie as talky and deliberate of The Shining work for today's youth?



    room237.jpg



    The answer is, as always, it depends on the kid. Rocco was in it the whole way through, but Max needed an escape. In that sense it worked a charm because the tone was getting to him. He wasn't antsy so much as he couldn't handle the tension so about halfway through I let him play Splatoon 2 on the Switch while Rocco and I stayed focused on the movie.


    That said I'd look over at Max from time to time and he'd be watching the movie, the game still in his hands, going unplayed. I think he just needed the ability to check out for a minute if things got intense.


    It was amazing to me to see how quickly they grasped the geek minutiae. The carpet pattern, the bloody elevator visions, the twins, Room 237, the hedge maze, redrum (they figured that one out much quicker than I did. “That's murder backwards,” Rocco exclaimed waaaaay before the mirror shot revelation), etc. 



    The_Shining_8.jpg



    All those things they commented on. And, being young boys, they of course still snickered at a character being named “Dick,” but boy did they love Scatman Crothers. They kept saying over and over again how awesome he was, so you know they're wired right in the head.


    There were two moments I was worried about. I knew they could handle the deeper horror at play, that of a parent turning against their child. Jack Nicholson is cartoony enough and their real life dad is good enough that I didn't think any of that would get to them. But there were two things I wasn't sure about. One was the use of the “N word” in reference to Dick Hallorann and the other was the naked lady in the bathtub, which is pretty important they see because the whole point of watching The Shining at this moment was to give them a context for the sequence in Ready Player One.


    For the racial slur I was a little curious if they would know it and what it meant or if that would have be an uncomfortable conversation. When Grady utters the “N word” in the bathroom with Jack Torrance both boys instantly said “He's racist.” So they knew it and knew it was bad and that using it means you're a bad person. Phew.



    Green-Bathroom.jpg



    As far as the nudity, I gave them a little warning as Jack entered Room 237. “There's some nakedness coming up, so prepare yourselves.” They're at an age where I'm sure there's some curiosity digging in, but right now they're still embarrassed about sexuality, so they self-censored, looking all over the room and not at the TV while the naked lady gets out of the tub, stealing an occasional glance to see if the movie's moved away from the naked lady.


    When the big reveal happens next and the pretty naked lady becomes the creepy decomposing old lady ghost they were totally engrossed. I don't think they registered her body as something to be embarrassed about witnessing, which is interesting. Instead they were focused on the horror on display, with Rocco even commenting about how good the makeup was.


    Funnily enough the nudity to get the biggest reaction was Hallorann's giant-afro'd goddess portraits. It painted a completely different picture of the kind old dude they loved at the beginning of the movie and they're so of a different time and place that they thought they were the funniest things they've ever seen.


    When Hallorann met his fate they seemed a little upset... less that he died, but more that he went all that way just to get hacked up in the Overlook's lobby, which is a reaction I love because today everything is so streamlined and truncated that it really is shocking to see something where a guy spends 25 minutes of a movie trying to get somewhere and then almost instantly drops dead.


    We'll see if I hear any reports on nightmares from their parents but I don't think The Shining scarred them permanently. They were still curious why today of all days we watched this movie, but they figured it out soon enough.


    Going into Ready Player One they knew next to nothing. I told them it was kind of like Willy Wonka with video games and made by Steven Spielberg, the guy behind a ton of stuff I've showed them like Jaws, the Indiana Joneses, Jurassic Park, ET, etc, but they hadn't seen a trailer or poster or anything.



    share3.jpg.jpeg



    They were so into the movie from the get-go, just like I thought they'd be. The constant barrage of references had them always excitedly pointing out stuff. Rocco went especially nuts when he saw Tracer from Overwatch because that's his favorite character to play.


    The whole movie played like gangbusters, the I was anxiously awaiting The Shining section. When they realized what was about to happen they both went “Whoa!” Which is exactly what I did when I saw the movie for the first time. They laughed at Aech talking to the creepy twins, they shook their heads “no” when Aech goes into Room 237, pointed at the July 4th, 1921 photo. They were in on the reference in a way they absolutely would not have been just a few hours before and it absolutely grabbed them.


    I could see their engagement go from passive to damn near interactive. In that moment they were collaborators with Spielberg. He was talking directly to them and you could see it on their faces.

    That is movie magic right there and I'll never forget it.


    I liked it so much that I had to share it with you guys. I felt compelled to write about this experience, which was so emotional and powerful to me that it refused to be kept bottled inside. I have no idea if anyone will give a shit, but it meant a lot to me. Plus it was an excuse to talk about Kubrick and Spielberg again!

  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe: RANKED Part 1.

    1 month ago

    g1TheStickman


    WOoOoOaAaHHH NELLY, hello there ladies and gents and all! Whooo's ready for salt? Probable salt? I'm expecting this to get spicy.


    The Marvel Cinematic Universe, more commonly known as the MCU, is the biggest ongoing movie franchise of our times...I mean, literally. It's the highest grossing, and whilst that does have something to do with the volume of films released in this connected series of films that started 10 years ago this month...alllll the way back in 2008 with the game-changing Iron Man, it's also much to do with the consistent quality and entertainment they provide, particularly in recent years. With 10 years under their belt, and the (hopefully) epic Avengers: Infinity War right around the corner, set to hopefully shake up, and shape up the future of Marvel movies for years to come...I suppose it's time to look back on what we've seen so far, and y'know...offer opinions that might piss people off? Yeah that sounds good. It's time to RANK...the MCU. FUCK.


    So yeah, we're ranking every MCU movie released prior to the upcoming Infinity War. We're not including short films, comic tie-ins and most importantly, we're not including the TV shows, neither ABC or Netflix. Mostly that's because I haven't seen all of those, and because it would make an already complicated list about 1000% harder....but I mean...good or bad as those shows may be, they also are barely connected to the MCU films to begin with, and moreso ride their coat-tails for personal gain. As usual with these things, this is just my opinion, I'm not presenting what I decree to be the definitive ranking of the MCU, there are so many films, and personal tastes in genre and characters play a big part in what gets put where. This is just how I feel, I'd love to hear how you feel...so SHOOT THAT SHIT nicely IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. 

    ALRIGHT, THAT'S IT...LET US BEGIN.



    18. Thor: The Dark World (2013).

    We're starting our ranking way back in the distant past of 2013, perhaps the MCU's wonkiest year in terms of quality and dashed hopes. Coming hot off the heels of 2012's The Avengers, which is still considered by many to be the MCUs finest hour (We'll see where it ranks for me later, HUH?), and what many look back on now as the turning point for the tone, style and consistent quality of the franchise...2013? Kinda shit the bed a little. Not massively so, neither release that year was awful...no film in the MCU is really, but it was a worryingly turbulent start to 'Phase 2' of what had now become a much bigger world, deafeningly signposted by the mediocre waste of time that was Thor: The Dark World. This sequel to the original, decent enough Thor, Dark World is the go-to MCU film for anyone seeking to point out the ongoing problems of the franchise. Namely, predictability, crappy villains, and a hesitance to take its characters off the chess board...AKA, killing them off. The premise involves portals to different 'realms' starting to open up at random places, affecting gravity and also allowing all manner of things to pass in and out. One of these realms is Earth, and the unbearably bland Jane Foster, played by a Natalie Portman who clearly wants to be anywhere but on the set of this movie, finds a portal that leads to a ...place...where she finds red goo that...goo's inside of her....and yeah, things. Cue Thor turning up, along with Foster's band of somewhat irritating co-horts, Loki and...Christopher Ecclestone as a blood elf seeking to take control of the powerful goo substance that Portman now has within her. Yes that's right, there was a villain in this film that wasn't Loki. Don't remember? That's because he's fucking boring, does nothing, and then dies. I think? To be honest I'm struggling to remember all the details. Whilst the ending sequence in London, playing with gravity and travelling across 'realms' (Planets) is pretty fun, it's inconsequential filler, like the rest of the film. Nothing is really accomplished apart from putting pieces in place for future movies, which is absolutely not what the only purpose of any film should be. Hell, this film managed to make Guardians of the Galaxy look like a troubling concept, thanks to its cheaply made and jarring mid-credits scene. Thor: The Dark World isn't terrible, but it's bland, and massively forgettable...and that's almost worse, frankly. Easily...EASILY the worst MCU film made to date.



    17. The Incredible Hulk (2008).


    Perhaps the oddest MCU film of the bunch, at least in terms of its place within the grand connected universe, The Incredible Hulk, second MCU film out of the gate, both ready-baked to connect to the wider Marvel universe, whilst also being a standalone reboot from Universal for the Hulk franchise, having failed spectacularly with their previous attempt...it's funny to look back on this film and see just how little of what was set up was carried over in the future. First and foremost, you have the inclusion of Edward Norton as Bruce Banner, who's obviously now played by the vastly superior (In this role at least) Mark Ruffalo. This is so far the only time one of the major players in the MCU has been recast, and in a quite drastically different fashion at that. Liv Tyler's role as Betty Ross, a major Hulk character and love interest from the comics, although mentioned in passing in The Avengers, has never appeared again, and given romantic subplots between Hulk and Black Widow in later films, presumably never will. Tim Roth stars as The Abomination, who's never been mentioned ever again despite presumably being alive in some form...somewhere. Samuel Sterns is shown being mutated by Hulk's blood seemingly into a villain known as 'Leader', which...has never been followed through on. The veiny, gritty design of Hulk in this film is also massively changed in later films, becoming more traditional and comic-book in design...and just...yeah. The only follow-through from this film was Thunderbolt Ross, who weirdly was an important side-character in Civil War, 8 years after the release of this film. The reasoning is mostly based around licensing. Universal Studios have the rights to make Hulk films, and after failing to make the franchise a success for the second time, they seem massively opposed to trying again. Marvel/Disney, however, have the right to include the Hulk in MCU films, and as such, he's appeared as one of many characters in both Avengers films, and Thor Ragnarok where his backstory and library of Hulk supporting characters take a complete backseat to what's happening in the current films, and his relationship to more established members of the MCU. What's also clear is that this is a Universal movie with a quick tie-into the MCU at the end, and not one that follows the style and devotion to the source material that you'd expect. It's...entertaining, not great, but has some memorable moments. It feels out of place within the MCU collective, though...and perhaps that's why it's 

    the dark sheep of the pack, with Hulk's inclusion in later films choosing to focus on what's essentially a 3rd reboot of the character, without worrying too much about this early misfire.



    16. Thor (2011).

    We've gotten passed the genuinely shoddy MCU films now, and we're in the stretch of merely being iffy, so GET STRAPPED IN. We've already taken a look at Thor's second outing, ranked the worst for the whole shared universe, but now we arrive at his debut...which is just called Thor. Thor: Starring Thor. Easy. Whilst I'm not a particularly huge fan of this one either, it's certainly a more accomplished film than the sequel, creaking the door open just slightly into the larger, cosmic Marvel world we're now grown practically accustomed to 7 years later. It introduced Thor, obviously, one of the quite literal big hitters of Team Avengers, but we also got our first go-around with Loki, who's easily the most well known and loved of the MCU movie villains to date, having appeared numerous times in films, both Thor and not, that followed from this point. And look buddy, I hope you like Dutch Angles, because this film is so wonkily framed you'd think the entire Earth had been knocked off its axis slightly, it's quite remarkable. That's not necessarily a problem, but it's definitely noticeable, at least to me, a sad nerd. This film also suffers from a bit of a culture shock in comparison to previous entries in the MCU, which at this stage had been entirely earthbound and all featured Tony Stark, who's somewhat a cool, witty, modern dude. Thor? None of that, the film fully embraces the somewhat gaudy and goofy aesthetic of Asgard and all its inhabitants, including the way they speak and behave, something that would later go on to be ridiculed extensively in the Avengers films, and even the final Thor movie. Whether or not you like that style is subjective, I'm not a huge fan personally, and I don't think the film balances the self-aware humour the MCU has become known and loved for against the somewhat straight-faced and full on 'Shakespeare in the Park' style, as Mr Stark would put it. The human cast are a bunch of cheesy and slightly irritating goofballs, with Natalie Portman only half regretting her agreeing to the role in this entry. It's fun though, colourful and breezy for the most part, with some nice shots of a muscle-bulging Thor drenched in mud, so there's that I guess. A significant chapter of the franchise, in terms of expanding beyond the scope of just genetic experiments, robotics and Earthbound antics, but not a wholly successful one.



    15. Iron Man 2 (2010).

    Arriving at the 3rd MCU film out the door, and the first to really try and hammer home the fact this is a shared universe with infinite potential for expansion. Both Iron Man and Incredible Hulk were self-contained films, maybe a little subtle references peppered throughout, but the MCU'ness only came into play within the end credits scenes, back in the days when having those in a comic book movie weren't necessarily expected at all. Iron Man 2, unfortunately, suffers as a few MCU films do, from trying to set too many things/people up. Beyond massively expanding on the SHIELD aspect teased briefly at the very end of the first, and as such expanding the roles of Nick Fury and Agent Coulson quite a bit, it also has to set up what would go on to become one of the main Avengers, Black Widow, in addition to Rhodes getting his previously teased debut as War Machine, as well as tease other potential heroes and the possibility of the Avengers being 'assembled'. This is in addition to introducing, establishing and resolving the stories of two new villains, expanding the role of Pepper Potts slightly, telling an actual story with all of these pieces combined, and oh yeah...continuing to tell the story of Tony Stark, who this film is about, obviously. In fairness, these elements aren't that hard to manage,  the film just doesn't do a good job of doing so, particularly with the villains, who are generally underused, lacking in threat, and often played for laughs in the case of Sam Rockwell's character. Broadly speaking, the film bites off more than it's personally capable of chewing, rather than biting off more than any film could chew. It somewhat rushes through the most famous Iron Man storyline, involving his battle with alcoholism, lacking the impact and pathos within the context of this narrative to work on any level, really. The action scenes are also a little bit messy, the final fight just being a horde-mode of unremarkable robot enemies (Which won't be the last time we see this on the list), throw in a lot of lasers, explosions and slightly iffy CGI and...yeah. Where this film shines is in the humour, Robert Downey Jr is, predictably on top form as himself (AKA Tony Stark), and the supporting cast all deliver a laugh or two also, whilst Tony's exploration of his father's work adds a touch of heart to what's otherwise a film lacking in much charm. Iron Man 2 is perhaps the most 'loud and uninspired popcorn entertainment' the MCU has gotten, as usually films that followed delivered a better balance of story and action. Not bad, but not great, and super underwhelming as a film that was following on the heels of the game-changing original.




    14. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

    Oh boy, now we arrive at what's perhaps the spiciest of the MCU collection. It was never going to be easy, doing a sequel to The Avengers, one that delivered what people wanted, gave them things they wouldn't expect, upped both the ante and the number of heroes on the team and...God forbid, actually surpass the original film, which was the benchmark for ensemble hero antics at that stage. SPOILERS, it didn't quite manage it, and put a frosty, controversial end to the once peachy position of Joss Whedon as the gatekeeper of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you look back on what I said about Iron Man 2 and crank up the volume somewhat, you'll have an idea of how this film managed to stumble quite spectacularly upon its release a few years ago. Following on from the original, continuing that story, introducing new heroes, establishing, exploring and resolving a new villain, expanding the universe and teasing the future to come? That's not easy, and this film is the definitive example of the MCU going too far with its placing of pieces of the chessboard for future film projects. The most notable example being Thor's side-story, which is included purely to set up his 3rd film, Ragnarok (That would come out 3 years later) and basically amounts to him leaving the main story to go stand in a shallow pool and have a vision of something that ended up never actually happening, Thor Ragnarok itself deviating massively from what was set up, suggesting a good deal of course correction following on from this film. The most controversial aspect of this film was in its handling of Natasha Romanoff, AKA Black Widow, the only female member of the Avengers going into this film, who had a somewhat out of the blue romantic subplot between her and Bruce Banner, which resulted in some awkward scenes, particularly the infamous cabin sequence where she reveals her infertility, which she suggests makes her a 'monster' not worthy of love at one point, which did not go down well. At all. She later gets kidnapped, too. It was from this point onwards that the lack of diversity in the MCU was a major discussion point, and continues to be so to this date. Beyond that, the main villain, the highly anticipated debut of Ultron? Fizzled out pretty badly, once again, the villain not getting much development, being used mainly for laughs and lacking much in the way of menace or threat, which doubled up with another ongoing MCU issue, the lack of threat to the core cast (The only main character to die was introduced in this film) and you can see why this film is held up as a sign of the franchise starting to show its bigger flaws. That said? The film is still a lot of fun, got some great action and emotional moments, the Hulkbuster scene is amazing, and the main cast are all terrific. It's a good film, but it's a messy one.



    13. Iron Man 3 (2013).

    YO LISTEN UP, HERE'S A STORY, ABOUT A LITTLE FILM THAT LIVED IN A BIG UNIVERSE, AND ALL NIGHT AND ALL DAY AND EVERYTHING IT DID, WAS compared to The Avengers and Iron Man and could never live up to either of those. *Ahem* Yeah, poor Iron Man 3...poor poor Iron Man 3. To be the trilogy ender to Tony Stark's solo-outings, the most successful individual MCU franchise at that point....and be the follow-up to the bloody Avengers? Ooff. Iron Man 3 is part 2 of our two-part exploration of the MCUs worrying 2013 jitters. What was perhaps more worrying at the time was that it didn't suffer from the same issues as Thor: The Dark World, but instead presented a whole different spectrum of concerns to add to that pot. Whilst Dark World suffered from being massively forgettable and bland, and its villain being basically non-existent, Iron Man 3 suffered from potentially veering too far into the realm of goofiness, pushing the boundaries on the good balance of humour, action and drama established in the blueprint for what became the MCUs signature style, that was The Avengers. Iron Man 3 in its trailers and teasers promised an emotional exploration of Tony Stark's character in a post-Avengers world, suffering from PTSD over his near-death, eye opening dip into the infinite void of space, that...was buzzing with activity, ready to strike the planet at any point. It promised to do this, whilst one of the most well known Iron Man villains, The Mandarin threatened to tear apart everything he'd built for himself, both literally, and in his relationships with his friends and his lover, Pepper Potts. Whilst we got a degree of that in the film, and it was effective in parts, it somewhat parted away in favour of some goofy antics, mostly because this was a potent combination of Shane Black directing, with Robert Downey Jr acting. The film is perfectly enjoyable and was massively entertaining upon first viewing, whilst fully onboard the hype train that was the post-Avengers, pre-Iron Man 3 time period. But there's a lot of problems, particularly that last-minute surprise twist that SPOILERS...generic white dude business man #3, in this film played by Guy Pierce is the REAL Mandarin, a glowy orange...supercharged shirtless man who gets his ass handed to him by a similarly oranged-up Pepper Potts...not the Mandarin in the trailers, played by Sir Ben Kingsley, who was just an actor, and it was all a gag, removing any menace the character had once and for all. That pissed a lot of people off, and I didn't mind it too much, but it is dumb. Also the President gets kidnapped and draped over a giant Christmas tree in an Iron-Man suit...so that should give you an idea of the level of cheese present in this film. Downey Jr gives a great show, and the film is a lot of fun...but ooh boy does it go in the wrong direction sometimes. A victim of its own hype in some respects, but not a wholly successful film regardless.



    12. Iron Man (2008).

    Woah momma, we're here. The one that started it all, the game-changer, the franchise maker, our starting point on this 10 year journey of ups and downs, and we have Robert Downey Jr's big comeback performance to thank for it. It's hard to imagine now, but prior to Iron Man, Downey was just getting back on his feet, following a somewhat notorious downward spiral into drugs and alcohol after a meteoric rise to fame at a young age. He was perfect, then, to play the somewhat reckless and unstable, but charming Tony Stark, at the time a relatively unknown character to the general public, who knew their Spider-Mans from their Wolverines, but potentially not much more. This film changed that somewhat, Tony Stark and Iron Man are now household names, and possibly one of, if not the most well known and loved Marvel properties at one stage. And it's easy to see why, this was a drastic change of style and tone for comic book movies up to this point, Iron Man threw aside the assumption that a comic book movie had to behave like an actual comic book, cast aside the expectation for comic book cheese and sentimentality, and made what became for a while one of two modern blockbuster movie templates (The other being The Dark Knight, also out in 2008, which I'm afraid to say isn't on this list for some reason). It was witty, cool, found that fine balance between staying true to the designs of the comic books, without looking out of place and naff in regards to the suits...and best of all, was just a damn good movie in its own right. It's a really good origin story for Tony Stark, a self-obsessed war profiteer, who has a life-changing experience and decides to become something more, and do something better. Right from the get go, Downey Jr is fantastic in the role, and plays off really well with the supporting cast, which includes Jeff Bridges in the first of many stuffy business suit dudes who winds up going crazy and using advanced technology to do some CRAZY EVIL THIIIINGS. All in all, this is a damn solid film, funny but also touching in parts, and as with the rest of the film, that now infamous after-credits scene where Samuel L Jackson turns up, out of nowhere, as Nick Fury, teasing the arrival of the Avengers? Something that seems so obvious now, but at one point meant nothing to most people until they Googled it? It was a big risk and it paid off massively. Why is it so low on the list, then? Well...it's just...this was the starting point, y'know? You watch it now, and it's great, but it feels so...small? This was Marvel before they were bought out by Disney, before they had the money to go all-in, before they had enough confidence from the audience to go crazy...it's hard to compare it to the scale of later films on this list simply because it was the first step in a 10 year, long walk that they all continued on with. But yeah, with Iron Man at #12, you can tell we're getting into the properly good shit now.



    11. Ant-Man (2015).

    WHAT!? I hear you say. YOU PUT ANT-MAN IN FRONT OF IRON MAN? THAT MOVIE SUCKS, FUCK YOU! I hear you continue, loudly...as I try to hurriedly eat my breakfast and escape from your clutches. Yes, I did. A lot of people aren't so hot on Ant-Man, but I often wonder if that's less to do with the film itself, and more to do with its turbulent road to release, perhaps the most notable of all the MCU behind the scenes situations. Originally to be directed by Edgar Wright, the genius guy who brought you Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Scott Pilgrim and most recently, Baby Driver. He and Disney parted ways in the run-up to main production due to what's now become the Disney/Director division staple; 'Creative Differences'. The film was then given to another Disney staple, a 'safe pair of hands' in the form of competent but not particularly stand-out director, Peyton Reed. From this point people who very much opposed to this films continued existence, which is fair...Edgar Wright is an amazing and unique directing talent that could've infused the film was a lot of flavour and make it stand-out visually and tonally from the increasingly larger MCU crowd...instead we get someone who's mandate is seemingly to make the film in a way that keeps it in line with the rest...surely resulting in bland, charmless blockbuster filler, right? Well....I don't think so, whilst Ant-Man in a lot of ways is just Iron Man...with ants,  that's hardly a recipe for a bad film is it? And the film delivers a charming and likeable main cast, an action packed, funny heist-style caper, and best of all, some really great shrinking/growing scale set-pieces. Like...REALLY great. Seeing the world from the perspective of Scott Lang in the Ant-Man suit is a real treat, as are the action sequences that play with scale spontaneously throughout, a fight that took place in a helicopter one moment, can now suddenly be taking place within the confines of a suitcase falling out of said helicopter. A fight taking place in a child's bedroom one moment can be a fast-paced train chase on the child's toy railway shortly after. It's visually quite strong in these sequences especially. And perhaps more importantly, it delivers that much needed balance of humour, silly moments, fun action, but also heart. There's a lot of heart to spare between Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne, both characters who mask a lot of their feelings behind bombastic attitudes, but it's the peek behind the curtain, when their true natures and feelings are revealed, Scott with the love of his daughter, Hope with the loss of her mother, that's when the characters click and you do more than laugh, you feel something too. And I mean, he rides a flying ant at one point, so. Fuck yeah. RIP Anthony, I miss you every day. This might be Marvel at their most cookie-cutter in terms of basic tone and style, but I mean...it's a damn good cookie, hopefully the sequel this year doesn't disappoint.




    WOAH, those were some hot takes, huh? What's that I hear you say? How is  Ant-Man the best MCU film of all time? The answer is...no it isn't. No. Just no. For reasons of WORD LIMITS, this is merely Part 1 of a two part epic cinema event...you see what I did there? No? Okay. Anyway, Part 2, which can also be read as the Top 10 MCU Films if you have an evasion or allergy to two part events, will be up next week, just in time for the release of Avengers: Infinity War! Like what you read so far? Agree? Disagree? Let's have a civil discussion about it in the comments below! Yes, let's do that. If you enjoyed this blog, please do share it around the ol' place, and give it a ZING of approval with the button below. 

    Until next week, LATER GATORS.