The acerbic, sly, and captivating drama series Veronica Mars was slightly ahead of its time. In addition to having a complex, compelling female character at the center (shock!), the cult TV show arrived before it could find a wider audience through new streaming platforms. Thanks to an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter campaign, the smart-ass, cynical private detective has returned and moved to the big screen. As a feature film, Veronica Mars is able to cut straight to the A-plot, ditch the bloat of filling a 22-episode season, and get to the heart of a more complicated protagonist and her corrupt hometown. Although it overreaches by trying to tease out extraneous plotlines, creator and director Rob Thomas has created a film that will make the fans cheer but still appeal to those who aren’t “marshmallows”.
After having put their differences aside to work together and save the day, the fairy tale characters from the ABC drama series Once Upon a Time will be facing a new threat, in the form of the Wicked Witch of the West (Rebecca Mader). When things pick back up, Captain Hook (Colin O’Donoghue) has come calling on Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) in New York City, in an attempt to jog her memory, which had been wiped clean in order to save the residents of Storybrooke, so that she can once again help her fairy tale family and friends out of a desperate situation. The show also stars Ginnifer Goodwin, Lana Parrilla, Josh Dallas, Emilie de Ravin, Michael Raymond-James, Jared S. Gilmore and Robert Carlyle.
During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Colin O’Donoghue talked about how Hook really believed that he would just swoop in and save the day, that the relationship between Hook and Emma is a complicated one, how big of a part of the story the Wicked Witch of the West will be, what fans can expect from the interaction between Hook and Blackbeard (Charles Mesure), how shocking the upcoming major character death will be, what he thinks of Hook’s backstory, that he believes Hook’s feelings for Emma are genuine, and what he’s enjoyed most about bringing this version of Captain Hook to life. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
Jon Favreau very clearly has something he’s eager say in his latest directorial endeavor, Chef, but there’s no harm in letting him use the film to express his feelings when he’s doing so in a highly entertaining and motivating manner.
Carl Casper (Favreau) is a talented chef working in a popular Los Angeles restaurant. The problem is, it’s not his restaurant and the owner is afraid of losing a good thing so demands that Carl push creativity aside in order to maintain their clientele with the familiar menu. When a popular food critic calls Carl out for playing it safe and sticking to the same old dishes, Carl loses his temper in the midst of a packed night and winds up an Internet sensation. Trouble is, Internet infamy doesn’t equal job opportunities and now, the only way for Carl to clear his name and get back on his feet is by taking the plunge and finally trying to do things his way – in a food truck. Hit the jump for my full review of Chef from the SXSW Film Festival.
While on our set visit to Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, our small group of journalists had a chance to interview screenwriters Stephen McFeely and Christopher Markus. The pens behind the sequel, McFeely and Markus are responsible for sending Cap (Chris Evans) along a path fraught with danger and betrayal, as befits their inspirational material: Ed Brubaker’s “Winter Soldier” storyline and 70s political thriller movies.
While on set, McFeely and Markus talked about deciding to write a conspiracy thriller, Steve Rogers as “A Man Out of Time”, comic book and film influences, the conflicting moral styles of Captain America and Black Widow, and having the movie stand on its own merits rather than setting up a future installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Hit the jump for the interview.
With the recent 86th Academy Awards ceremony, the Oscar race has finally come to a close—for now. We just spent the past five months here on Oscar Beat deconstructing every inch of the Oscar season, and while we still have quite a while to wait before the next race heats up, now seems like a fine opportunity to take a quick preview of what just might be on tap for next year’s ceremony. Obviously it’s way too early to take the 2015 Oscar race seriously, but there are plenty of anticipated films slated for release this year that could turn out to be the serious contenders in the next awards race. After the jump, I preview 10 of the films that might pop up in next year’s Oscar conversation.
While many wondered whether the opportune time had passed to capitalize on the massive success of 2007’s 300 with a sequel, it appears that a sizable audience for the franchise still exists. 300: Rise of an Empire earned an impressive $17.7 million on Friday, and while that won’t come close to 300’s insane $70 million weekend, it should be enough to hit a solid $40-$45 million for the weekend. Again, that’s a notable feat given the large time gap in between the original film and the pic’s R-rating, but it was no doubt given a boost by 3D ticket prices. The other new wide release of the weekend was DreamWorks Animation’s Mr. Peabody & Sherman, which debuted with $8 million on Friday and is on track for a modest $30 million weekend. DreamWorks has been pretty hit and miss at the box office lately, but Peabody and Sherman looks to fall somewhere in between.
On the returning films front, Non-Stop dipped 54% in its second week and took in $4.6 million on Friday, while the Biblical saga Son of God saw a large 70% drop from its opening weekend to a $3.2 million take on Friday.
||300: Rise of an Empire
||Mr. Peabody & Sherman
||Son of God
||The LEGO Movie
Ping Pong Summer does have a few glaringly weak components, but overall, the uniqueblend of nostalgia and satire gives the experience an oddly absorbing and charming quality.
The film stars Marcello Conte as Rad Miracle, a 13-year-old growing up in Mount Airy, Maryland in 1985. Every summer his family packs up and heads off to Ocean City, and this one is no different – except for the fact that Rad actually makes a friend (Myles Massey), meets a girl (Emmi Shockley) and buddies up with the town crazy lady, Randi Jammer (Susan Sarandon). The only thing threatening to keep the summer of ’85 from being Rad’s best yet is the local bully, Lyle Ace (Joseph McCaughtery). Rad can’t compete with Lyle’s wealth or hot ride, but if he practices enough, he might just have a shot at beating him at ping pong and finally putting him in his place.
Hannibal has truly taken on a new dimension this year, expanding its stories and building off of last year’s setup beautifully. It’s not taking a lot of time to integrate new viewers to the series if they didn’t catch up on the first season, but kudos to it for knowing its purpose in a way that just presses forward regardless. You’re either on this train, or you’re not (and you should want to be).
The writing and the staging in “Sakizuki” were beautiful (and occasionally horrible), and Hannibal continues to find new ways to approach and keep fresh its central conflict between Will and Hannibal. For what is the show about if not therapy and friendship? Oh, gruesome murder. Right. Hit the jump for why “I am the unreliable narrator of my own story.”
Max Brooks’ last adaptation to hit the screen – World War Z – ended up with a global box office take of over half-a-billion dollars. Now Sony is hoping lightning strikes twice for Brooks, as they’ve picked up the feature rights to his upcoming graphic novel, The Harlem Hellfighters. Based on the 369th Infantry Regiment (the first African-American regiment called upon to fight in World War I), the graphic novel follows the soldiers from basic training to the trenches of France, where they spent more time in combat than any other American unit. Hit the jump for more.
A new trailer for John Curran’s adventure drama Tracks is now available. Mia Wasikowska stars as Robyn Davidson, who set off on foot to traverse the West Australian desert, a near 2,000 mile trek. Accompanied by only her dog and four unpredictable camels, she meets National Geographic photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver) along the way, who documents her voyage. This new cut features some new footage not seen in the previously released trailer.
Tracks, also starring Emma Booth, Melanie Zanetti, and Jessica Tovey, is now playing in Australia and will open in international territories throughout the year. No U.S. release date is set at this point. Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.
There’s no trailer for writer-director-star Jon Favreau’s comedy Chef just yet, but the first clip is now available. The film is primed to make its premiere at SXSW. In fact, Favreau and co-star Robert Downey Jr. recently appeared in a video unveiling posters specially designed with the festival in mind. Chef centers on a chef who loses his job and opens a food truck with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John Leguizamo), and his son (Emjay Anthony) in order to recapture his artistic promise. Scarlett Johansson also stars.
Hit the jump to watch the clip. Chef opens in theaters starting May 9th.
Mondo’s Disney gallery show Nothing’s Impossible was another hit. People camped out for days in the freezing weather, and the line reached over 300 people by the time the gallery opened. Artists such as Martin Ansin, Tom Whalen, Aaron Horkey, and Jason Edmiston had killer pieces for this show which tackled hit Disney properties such as The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. Check out over 40 photos after the jump.
Fox is off to an early start in the renewal game. Here’s a quick look at the comedies that will be returning for another year:
- Freshman comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine, starring Andy Samberg, Joe Lo Truglio, Stephanie Beatriz, Chelsea Peretti, Melissa Fumero, Terry Crews and Andre Braugher, will return for a second season.
- The Mindy Project, starring Mindy Kaling, Chris Messina, Ed Weeks, Ike Barinholtz, Zoe Jarman, and Beth Grant, has been renewed for a third season.
- New Girl, starring Zooey Deschanel, Max Greenfield, Jake Johnson, Lamorne Morris, and Hannah Simone, will return for a fourth season.
- As part of its two-year pickup, Glee will enjoy its final season run next year, with Lea Michele and Jane Lynch starring.
Hit the jump for some drama renewal news.
We’ve got some new posters to share with you from the following films:
- Bad Words – Jason Bateman’s feature directorial debut, starring Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Ben Falcone, Philip Baker Hall and Rohan Chand. Bad Words opens in select theaters March 14th and expands across the country on March 21st and March 28th. Be sure to check out Steve’s recent interview with Bateman here.
- Divergent – The IMAX poster for Neil Burger’s adaptation of the Veronica Roth novel, starring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, and Mekhi Phifer. Divergent opens March 21st.
- Transcendence – Wally Pfister’s directorial debut starring Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Clifton Collins Jr., and Morgan Freeman. Transcendence opens in 2D and IMAX on April 17th.
- The Double - Richard Ayoade‘s dark comedy starring Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Cathy Moriarty, Chris O’Dowd, Sally Hawkins, Craig Roberts, and Paddy Considine opens May 9th in limited release in the U.S.
Hit the jump to check them out.
It doesn’t get much better than going down in history as the guy responsible for directing The Lion King, but Rob Minkoff is out to hit home with families yet again with his latest animated feature, Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Based on the characters from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, the 3D CGI feature hones in on the smartest dog in the world, Mr. Peabody (Ty Burrell), and his adopted human son, Sherman (Max Charles). When Sherman gets into an argument with a classmate at school, Mr. Peabody invites Penny Peterson (Ariel Winter) and her family over for dinner to smooth things over. His impeccable cooking, drink-mixing and musical skills seem to be doing the trick, but that’s only until Sherman and Penny hop into his time machine, the WABAC, and run the risk of destroying the space-time continuum.
Just ahead of Mr. Peabody & Sherman’s release, Collider sat down with Minkoff to discuss the opportunities that The Lion King afforded him, why he chose to making his Peabody & Sherman movie using 3D CGI versus other animation formats, requiring his animators to perform their work, and more. Hit the jump to check out the full interview.