Peeta Sends a Message in the Latest THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 TV Spot

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President Snow (Donald Sutherland) snatched Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) out of the arena at the end of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire for a reason.  He’s got big plans for the Boy with the Bread and thanks to this latest TV spot, we’re getting an extended look at them.  While Alma Coin (Julianne Moore) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman) are busy prepping Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) to lead the rebellion, Snow is using Peeta to destroy it.

Hit the jump to catch Peeta’s message to his co-74th Hunger Games victor and everyone else defying The Capitol in the latest The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 TV spot.  The film is due in theaters on November 21st and also stars Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright, Stanley Tucci, Sam Claflin and Jena Malone.

Alex Garland to Write and Direct Enviro-Horror Thriller ANNIHILATION

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Just yesterday, the trailer debuted for 28 Days Later, Dredd, and Sunshine writer Alex Garland’s directorial debut, the fantastic-looking sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, and now Garland is lining up another incredibly promising directorial project.  Variety reports that he has been tapped by Paramount to write and direct an adaptation of the first book in Jeff VanderMeer’s excellent Southern Reach trilogy, Annihilation. The books are at once terrifying and incredibly compelling, with each novel written from a different perspective and with a unique authorial voice.

The first book, Annihilation, follows the expedition of four women who are sent into the mysterious “Area X”, a portion of land in the United States that has been secretly quarantined due to abnormal activity.  They are the twelfth expedition sent into Area X.  The second ended in mass suicide, the third in a hail of gunfire as the members turned on one another, and the eleventh expedition returned as shells of their former selves, all dying of cancer shortly after coming back.  More after the jump.

Author Joe Hill Gives Update on the LOCKE & KEY Movie; Says Fox Passed on the TV Pilot Because It Was “Too Scary”

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It’s no secret that I love the Locke & Key graphic novels that are written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez.  It is a story of dark fantasy and wonder about Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them, and that only scratches the surface.  When I saw the pilot that was made for the 2011 TV season (starring Miranda Otto, Mark Pellegrino, Jesse McCartney and Sarah Bolger), I loved it so much that I was both shocked and greatly disappointed to learn that it wasn’t picked up and I would never get to see how it would continue.

Then came word that Alex Kurtzman, who was an executive producer on pilot, was now looking to make a trilogy of films to tell the Locke & Key story.  So, when I got on the phone with author Joe Hill to talk about the big screen adaptation of Horns, hitting theaters on Halloween, I couldn’t miss an opportunity to get an update on the possibility of seeing Locke & Key on the big screen.  Check out what he had to say after the jump, and stay tuned for what he had to say about Horns.

New to Blu-ray: DELIVER US FROM EVIL, WISH I WAS HERE, BEGIN AGAIN, and More

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This week’s new Blu-ray releases include the most recent film from the director of Marvel’s upcoming Doctor Strange, a nice indie music dramedy produced by Judd Apatow, Zach Braff’s long-awaited directorial follow-up to Garden State, and more.  Briefly:

Eric Bana to Fake Front Line War Reporting in Ricky Gervais’ SPECIAL CORRESPONDENTS

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With films like Deliver Us from Evil, Lone Survivor and Hanna on his resume, it’s easy to forget that Eric Bana kicked off his career with the sketch comedy series, Full Frontal.  However, Bana is about to step back into the comedy realm for a brand new movie called Special Correspondents.  It’s being described as a satirical comedy drama and will feature Bana as an arrogant New York radio journalist who pretends he’s reporting from the front lines of war.

Ricky Gervais penned the script and is set to direct the film as well.  Production is scheduled to begin in the Spring of 2015 in New York and Vancouver.  Hit the jump for more on Special Correspondents.

Thursday TV Ratings: ELEMENTARY Returns Down; BIG BANG THEORY Hits Season Low

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TV ratings for Thursday, October 30th are in.  Here’s a brief rundown:

  • The season premiere of CBS’ Elementary tied its series low with a 1.4 rating in the 18-49 demo, scoring 8.17 million viewers for a drop of 33% from its season two premiere.  Elsewhere on the network, The Big Bang Theory fell 11% to a season “low” 4.1 rating and scored 16.22 million viewers, the premiere of Mom hit a series high 2.7 rating and scored 11.72 million viewers, Two and a Half Men dropped 7% to a 2.7 rating and 11.02 million viewers, and The McCarthys series premiere notched a 1.9 rating and 8.78 million viewers.
  • Over on ABC, Scandal (read Allison’s recap here) matched last week’s 3.0 rating and garnered 9.15 million viewers, while How to Get Away with Murder fell 10% to a 2.7 rating and scored 8.52 million viewers.
  • NBC’s Bad Judge was down 10% to a 0.9 rating and 3.96 million viewers, A to Z fell 22% to a 0.7 rating and scored 2.56 million viewers, and Parenthood tied its series low 1.1 rating and garnered 3.85 million viewers.
  • Fox’s Bones fell 24% to a 1.3 rating and 5.53 million viewers, while Gracepoint (read Allison’s recap here) was even with last week’s 0.8 rating and scored 3.34 million viewers.
  • The CW’s The Vampire Diaries was down 13% to a series low-tying 0.7 rating and scored 1.56 million viewers, and Reign matched last week’s 0.5 rating and garnered 1.31 million viewers.

Rob Zombie Putting Together “Hardcore R-rated” Halloween Film 31; Crowdfunding Campaign Underway

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You know what would happen if Rob Zombie ran The Hunger Games?  It’d probably be a little like the idea behind this new project he’s putting together called 31.  In the movie, five carnival workers are abducted the night before Halloween and thrown into a secret facility called Murder World.  That’s where they play the game 31 during which they’ve got to survive 12 hours in the compound packed with maniacs dressed as clowns trying to kill them.

Protagonist Pictures is gearing up to bring the project to the international marketplace at AFM next month.  Production is expected to begin in February.  Hit the jump for more on 31.

Stephen Amell Thinks Grant Gustin Should Be Doing THE FLASH Movie

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Admittedly, I was a little annoyed when it was first announced that Evan Peters was set to portray Quicksilver in the X-Men films and Aaron Taylor-Johnson snagged the part for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Clearly one actor can’t play the part for both Fox and Marvel Studios, but the perfectionist in me was a little annoyed that there’d be two guys playing the character at the same time.  Deep down, I know it’s ridiculous and there’s no reason why we can’t have two successful renditions of Pietro Maximoff, but it’s just not as orderly as I would have liked.

Now the same thing is happening with Barry Allen.  The Flash TV show starring Grant Gustin is in the midst of a strong first season run on The CW, but Warner Bros. and DC still decided to give the character a movie, too – with a different actor.  Ezra Miller is top talent, but again, I find myself a little put off by the idea of have two Barry Allens running around and Arrow’s Stephen Amell has a somewhat similar feeling on the matter.  Hit the jump to find out what he said about Miller’s casting.

NIGHTCRAWLER Review

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.  Nightcrawler opens today.]

Local TV news is sociopathic. If I came up to you and began our conversation talking about the horrible deaths of total strangers that had no larger implication than seizing on your deep-seated fears about city living, you would think I’m not only insane, but predatory. And you would be right. Dan Gilroy’s chilling, pulse-pounding Nightcrawler manifests the essence of local news and puts it inside a protagonist where a soul should be. Anchored by Jake Gyllenhaal giving the best performance of the year thus far, Gilroy’s film is a scathing and decadently amoral portrait of ice-cold calculation and ruthless ambition speeding through the dark streets of Los Angeles.

HORNS Review

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Everyone has got some ugliness deep down in our souls.  It may be a fleeting thought or repressed anger, but good people try to keep it hidden, which isn’t a bad thing.  It makes us human, and without that humanity, our brutal honesty shines through.  Alexandre Aja‘s Horns tries to explore this inner darkness by weaving together religion, salvation, damnation, and dark secrets, and the movie’s approach, albeit heavy-handed at times, is admirable.  There’s not much room for subtlety, but the darkly comedic aspects help balance out the somber tone, and although the plot stumbles across clunky storytelling, it’s a refreshing horror film that conjures up some sympathy for a devil.

Comic Creator James O’Barr Shares New Details on THE CROW; It’s a New Adaptation of the Comic, Not a Remake of the Movie

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Should there be a remake of Alex ProyasThe Crow?  Does anyone even want one?  The film’s been in the works for years now, so we’ve been mulling over those question for quite some time, but now the man who created it all, James O’Barr, the artist behind the comic, is assuring fans this new version will do the source material justice and respect the legacy of Brandon Lee and the 1994 film as well.

In fact, the rendition starring Luke Evans isn’t even a remake of Proyas’ movie; it’s a new adaptation of the comic book.  And Evans won’t be playing Eric Draven in the new film either, but rather, Eric, just like in O’Barr’s original work.  Hit the jump for more on the new The Crow.

FUN SIZE HORROR Film #7: Josh C. Waller’s “The Collection”

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This is it, our very last Fun Size Horror short film.  We’ve caught a late-night sacred ceremony, heard voices, seen what happens when you pop in the Ninja Masters IV: The Possession VHS, watched two zombie apocalypse survivors go head-to-head, seen a hand with a face on it puke up bad eggs and experienced the wrath of Mr. Hendrix, but now it’s time to find out what horrors Lance Reddick is capable of in “The Collection,” a short about a young woman who’s thrilled to do a modeling session with a famous photographer (Reddick).

This one comes from Josh C. Waller who made his feature directorial debut with Raze starring Zoe Bell.  He’s also behind the crime drama McCanick with David Morse, Cory Monteith and Mike Vogel and is also busy developing three new projects – a genre-bending action film, another about what it takes to save a crumbling marriage and an action-comedy within a formerly exploitative sub-genre as well.  Hit the jump to check out what Waller’s capable of in his Fun Size Horror segment, “The Collection.”

FUN SIZE HORROR Film #6: Zeke Pinheiro’s “Mr. Hendrix”

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First off, happy Halloween!  Now how about we celebrate with a short that’ll make you want to keep the lights on at night?  Our latest Fun Size Horror film is Zeke Pinheiro’s “Mr. Hendrix,” a piece about a young girl who’s convinced a bogeyman named Mr. Hendrix is hiding in her closet.  The film boasts some impeccably timed scares that’ll definitely make your heart skip a beat, so it should come as no surprise that Pinheiro’s got quite a few credits to his name as an editor.

Hit the jump to check out “Mr. Hendrix” for yourself and, don’t forget, there’s more Fun Size Horror short films over at Shock Till You Drop, Dread Central, Bloody Disgusting and Badass Digest.

TERMINATOR: GENISYS Storyboards Show Film Isn’t Completely Comprised of Squinting and Shouting

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Terminator: Genisys doesn’t come out for eight months, and in all likelihood, we’ll have forgotten the movie’s atrocious first impression from the awful EW covers and photo shoot.  The film, which already has to overcome a fair amount of skepticism, has already opened itself up to ridicule with its promotional photos and vaguely defined plot (I don’t have a problem with calling an older Terminator “Pops”, but I know people who aren’t crazy about the moniker).  However, EW also has some storyboards to remind us that this is an action movie, and everyone likes action, right?  These storyboards give us a vague idea of what we can expect from the Future War scenes as the rebels fight the endoskeletons.  When the film begins its next promotional push and shows actual footage and stills, we’ll probably see a glimpse of these scenes, and hopefully they’ll get us excited about the movie.

Hit the jump to check out the Terminator: Genisys storyboards.  The film opens July 1, 2015 and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, Matt Smith, J.K. SimmonsDayo Okeniyi, and Byung Hun Lee.

Jake Gyllenhaal Talks NIGHTCRAWLER, the Reaction to His Character, How Working as a Producer Changed His Acting Approach, EVEREST, SOUTHPAW, and More

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In theaters this weekend is Nightcrawler, the stunning feature debut from writer/director Dan Gilroy.  The film centers on Lou Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) an ambitious and morally malformed young man looking to find his fortune.  When Bloom stumbles onto the world of “nightcrawlers”, film crews who capture footage of violent tragedies and sell them to the highest bidder, he finally finds his calling.  While Gyllenhaal has always stood tall among his peers as a brave and capable actor, his work in Nightcrawler sets a new standard. Bloom is chilling, charming, and the perfect representation of what happens when the American Dream turns nightmarish.

I recently sat down with Gyllenhaal for an exclusive video interview.  He talked about how people have reacted the complicated character of Lou Bloom, how working as producer changed his approach as an actor, if he wants to move into directing, and what’s coming up in 2015 like Everest, Southpaw, and Demolition.  Hit the jump to watch.

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