PIXELS Behind-the-Scenes Video Features Peter Dinklage Welcoming You to the Electric Dreams Factory, Suckers

by     Posted 9 minutes ago

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Oh buddy, if you’re excited for Chris Columbus’ upcoming sci-fi comedy Pixels, then this has been a banner week for you!  The movie shows the outcome of aliens catching a glimpse of classic arcade games and misreading them as a declaration of war.  In response to their attack, President Will Cooper (Kevin James) recruits his childhood best friend and former ‘80s video game champion, Jules Brenner (Adam Sandler), to pull together a team of the best arcaders and save the world.  About a week ago, we saw the first image of those arcaders, the logo and a list of classic games that will be featured in the movie, and a movie poster from Comic-Con.  Now, we have a special behind-the-scenes video that features co-star Peter Dinklage in character as he welcomes viewers to the Electric Dreams Factory.

Also starring Josh Gad, Brian Cox, and Michelle Monaghan, Pixels is slated for release on May 15, 2015.  Hit the jump to watch the video.

First Images from HITMAN: AGENT 47 Feature Rupert Friend As the Title Assassin

by     Posted 44 minutes ago

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News has been kind of quiet on Aleksander Bach’s action sequel Hitman; Agent 47, but 20th Century Fox has decided to change that up by releasing the first pair of images from the film.  Each of them feature Rupert Friend in the title role of a bald assassin who is genetically engineered and barcoded; unfortunately that’s about all we have in the way of synopsis information at the moment.  The images also feature Friend’s co-star Hannah Ware as Katia van Dees.

Also starring Zachary QuintoCiaran Hinds, and Thomas KretschmannHitman: Agent 47 opens February 27th, 2015.  Hit the jump to view the new images.

INTERSTELLAR Comic-Con Panel Recap: Christopher Nolan Surprises with First Ever Comic-Con Appearance; Debuts New Trailer

by     Posted 46 minutes ago

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The Paramount panel at Comic-Con today was not packed.  The program didn’t specify what the studio was showing.  We assumed that they would be bringing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and then it wasn’t too much of a surprise when they also featured Project Almanac, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, and even Hot Tub Time Machine.  It was a nice bit of promotion when Dwayne Johnson came on stage to tell people he was hosting free screenings of Hercules tonight at three theaters.  People love Dwayne Johnson.  And maybe if he was announced on the program, it could have packed the hall.

If Paramount had announced the final panel of its presentation, I would have had to line up well before sunrise.  Christopher Nolan and Matthew McConaughey were here.  Hit the jump for my Interstellar Comic-Con panel recap. 

HALO: NIGHTFALL Trailer and Comic-Con Panel Recap: Web-Series Leads Directly Into HALO 5

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Today at San Diego Comic-Con, fans were treated to a special first look at Halo: Nightfall, the live-action digital series from executive producer Ridley Scott and writer/director Sergio Memica-Gezzan.  Available in November, the movie is set after the events of Halo 4, placing the story in the “present” in terms of the game’s present timeline, and shows the story leading up the events of Halo 5: Guardians, due to release on Xbox One this December.

Hit the jump to watch the Halo: Nightfall trailer and to read my full Comic-Con panel recap.

HOT TUB TIME MACHINE 2 Red-Band Trailer: The Gang Travels to the Future

by     Posted 1 hour ago

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Paramount Pictures has released the first Hot Tub Time Machine 2 red-band trailer for director Steve Pink’s comedy sequel.  The film sees the return of Clark Duke, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Chevy Chase, with Adam Scott taking over leading man duties from John Cusack.  As a fan of the ridiculousness of the first film, I find this follow-up trailer sufficiently swell.  Pink and Co. take the time travel conceit and go a few steps further, as Corddry, Robinson, and Duke’s characters find themselves transported to the future.  The jokes are on point, the visual gags are great, and the characters are still just as mean-spirited.

Hit the jump to watch the Hot Tub Time Machine 2 red-band trailer.  The film opens in theaters on December 25th.

THE GIVER Comic-Con Panel Recap: Jeff Bridges and Lois Lowry Discuss the 20-Year Journey of Bringing the Sci-Fi Adaptation to Life

by     Posted 2 hours ago

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I had never read The Giver until a few days ago even though I was the target audience when the book came out in 1993; it had just fallen through the cracks for me.  Feeling that I had to read the novel as due diligence, I blew through the book in a matter of hours (I read at a 1st grade level!) I was intrigued by the dystopian story, but it also made me aware that the trailers for the film adaptation were trying to squeeze it into the mold of The Hunger Games.  A sensible marketing decision, but one that may shortchange a solemn story about a young man who realizes his sterile world has wiped away memories of not only pain but also love.  I hoped that the panel would make it clear if the Hunger Games angle was more of a marketing approach or if the book had undergone some dramatic changes.

Hit the jump for my The Giver Comic-Con panel recap.  The film opens in theaters on August 15th.

Comic-Con Film Festival Is a Nice Break from Hall H and Opportunity to Learn the Basics of Filmmaking

by     Posted 2 hours ago

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This is my fourth year at San Diego Comic-Con, but not once have I ever stepped foot in the Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival – until today.  It’s nearly impossible not to become totally preoccupied with all the major movies and TV shows flooding Ballroom 20 and Hall H, but in the Marriott Marquis adjacent to the convention center, there’s a full fledged film festival underway.

Admittedly, I only gave it a go because one of my short films screened in the event’s action/adventure program this morning, but for anyone interested in a crash course in short filmmaking, the Comic-Con Film Festival really does have some solid resources that are well worth checking out.  Hit the jump for more.

New Ben Affleck BATMAN V SUPERMAN Image Celebrates the Character’s Anniversary

by     Posted 3 hours ago

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Though director Zack Synder’s Man of Steel follow-up Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice doesn’t open in theaters until 2016, Comic-Con-goers will be quite disappointed if we don’t see something from the film during the Warner Bros. Hall H panel on Saturday.  The thirst for superhero footage should be temporarily quenched by today’s reveal of a new Ben Affleck Batman v Superman image that gives us another look at Affleck as the Caped Crusader.  The image premiered on the convention floor at the DC Booth to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Batman character.  This image is a much tighter shot than the previous character reveal, giving us a great look at some Batfleck Stubble.  I really think the choice of casting Affleck as Batman was a fantastic move, and I’m crossing my fingers we get to see a short tease of the character in action this weekend.

Hit the jump to take a look at the new Ben Affleck Batman v Superman image.  The film also stars Gal GadotJesse EisenbergAmy AdamsLaurence FishburneJason MomoaHolly HunterCallan Mulvey, Tao OkamotoScoot McNairy, and Jeremy Irons.  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters on May 6, 2016.

HOME Comic-Con Panel Recap: DreamWorks Animation Presents Dazzling, Colorful Footage from the Sci-Fi Comedy

by     Posted 3 hours ago

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Our Hall H coverage begins with the DreamWorks Animation panel.  I’ve stated my issues with DreamWorks Animation films in my reviews of their recent movies, but I’m always open to being surprised, and what they had to show today was encouraging.  They started off with Home, which is about a race of aliens, the Boov, who invade Earth, and follows Boov social pariah Oh (Jim Parsons) and his unlikely friend, a human named Tip (Rihanna).

Hit the jump for my Home Comic-Con panel recap. 

Benedict Cumberbatch Addresses DOCTOR STRANGE Rumors; Suggests He Had Conversations about the Role

by     Posted 3 hours ago

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Having appeared in Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness, and The Hobbit films, one might think that Benedict Cumberbatch would be a Comic-Con veteran by now.  However, the actor just made his Comic-Con debut promoting the DreamWorks Animation film The Penguins of Madagascar, in which he plays a wolf.  No stranger to speculation, after he departed Hall H Cumberbatch took part in an interview with MTV News in which he actually addressed a major superhero rumor head-on: whether he will be leading Marvel’s Doctor Strange.  See his answer after the jump.

LUCY Review

by     Posted 4 hours ago

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Luc Besson’s new film Lucy often feels like 10% of a movie, despite its very clear ambitions to be some sort of ultimate experience. Which is weird because it nails so many of its objectives.  It’s gorgeously shot.  It’s incredibly kinetic and, even when it’s not in the middle of an action scene, it’s rarely static.  Scarlett Johansson throws everything she has into the role (or, at least, gives the role everything it requires of her).  And yet I had to do everything I could to keep from falling asleep during the film’s turgid first act.

WHIPLASH Trailer: J.K. Simmons Induces Terror as the Jazz Instructor from Hell

by     Posted 6 hours ago

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Fresh off a prestigious TIFF selection, Sony Pictures Classics has released the first Whiplash trailer for writer/director Damien Chazelle’s Sundance award-winning drama.  The film stars Miles Teller as a student jazz drummer who aspires to greatness under a ruthless instructor, played with palpable intensity by J.K. Simmons.  I caught the film at Sundance, and this trailer does a great job of conveying the pic’s tone.  It’s essentially a story about the cost of striving for artistic perfection, but it almost plays out as a small-scale horror film with Simmons wholly embodying the role of a relentless teacher.  Teller does excellent work here as well, and he’s already making plans to reteam with Chazelle on another feature.

Hit the jump to watch the Whiplash trailer, click here to read Matt’s review, and click here to watch Steve’s interview with Teller from Sundance.  Whiplash also stars Paul Reiser and opens in theaters on October 10th.

Andy Samberg, Kit Harington, Lena Dunham, and More to Lead HBO Sports Mockumentary 7 DAYS IN HELL

by     Posted 7 hours ago

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HBO is putting together a sports mockumentary project, and the network has pulled together a rather promising comedic ensemble.  Girls writer/co-executive producer Murray Miller is teaming up with Andy Samberg to create 7 Days in Hell, which is described as a mockumentary send-up of professional tennis.  Per THR, the one-off HBO Comedy Event will star Samberg as a superstar tennis “bad boy” who becomes embroiled in a seven-day tennis match at Wimbeldon with an Andy Murray-type prodigy and certified truck driver, played by Game of Thrones star Kit Harington.  The current roster also includes Fred Armisen, Lena Dunham, Will Forte, Karen Gillan, Howie Mandel, Michael Sheen, Mary Steenburgen, June Squibb, and Soledad O’Brien, who will play herself.

This sounds like the kind of delightfully goofy project that’s perfect for Samberg, and I’m very curious to see how Harington’s comedic skills stack up.  No word on when the project may air, but one assumes Samberg will have to fit the filming schedule into his hiatus from Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Unsung Hero: THE PURGE: ANARCHY’s Frank Grillo

by     Posted 8 hours ago

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Welcome to “Unsung Hero,” a new feature we’re starting up to bring attention to actors, directors and other folks behind our favorite films who might not be in the spotlight as much as they deserve.  With The Purge: Anarchy in theaters now, we’re giving the inaugural installment to Frank Grillo.

The guy’s been around for a while having had a run on Guiding Light back in the late 90s and appearing in movies like The Sweetest Thing and Minority Report.  But even with snagging more substantial roles in films like Warrior, End of Watch and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Grillo isn’t exactly a household name just yet, so we’re going to do our part to change that.  Hit the jump for more.

Watch: Guillermo del Toro Leads Personal Tour of CRIMSON PEAK “Gothic Gallery” and Reveals First Logo at Comic-Con

by     Posted 8 hours ago

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Last night at Comic-Con, right after the doors opened, I attended a very cool presentation at the Legendary booth.  Not only did I see a demo of the Pacific Rim: Jaeger Pilot Oculus Rift game (I now understand why everyone is raving about Oculus Rift), I got to check out a very cool Crimson Peak set-up which included a personal tour with writer/director Guillermo del Toro.  As you can see in the video, del Toro explains more of the story for his next film, why he selected which props and costumes are on display, and how he personally designed everything you’ll see inside the booth which they’re calling a “Gothic Gallery.”   Designed to look like a set from the movie, the booth is definitely worth checking out, and I love the way it’s all-encompassing with great sound design by Randy Thom.

In addition to the video, you can also check out the Crimson Peak logo which is the family crest.  Crimson Peak stars Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, and Charlie Hunnam and will be released by Legendary and Universal in October, 2015.  For more on the film, here’s 35 things to know about the film from my set visit and a great on set interview with del Toro.

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