TOP 5: SEX TAPE, First AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Image, POWER RANGERS Movie News, THE PURGE: ANARCHY, First Trailer for ANNABELLE

by     Posted 10 days ago

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Thanks to the greatness that is VOD, last night I was able to check out David Wain and Michael Showalter‘s rom-com parody, They Came Together. Starring Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd, the film looks to deconstruct the romantic comedy much like Wain and Showalter’s Wet Hot American Summer sought to satirize summer camp films. From the standpoint of ripping the often shallow and happenstance conceits of the modern rom-com to shreds, They Came Together is wildly successful. Poehler and Rudd are great and Wain and Showalter know the genre so well that the script often feels like a template for a Valentine’s Day release waiting to happen. While its constant barrage of meta can be distracting at times (a scene where Rudd drowns his sorrows at a bar specifically comes to mind), more often than not I found myself laughing too hard at the absurdity of the genre’s conventions to care. In only 83 minutes, They Came Together manages to satirize every bland romantic comedy you’ve seen in the last 15-20 years and tops it off with a Christopher Meloni sequence that may go down as my favorite toilet joke of all-time.

My VOD recommendation aside, this week’s Top 5 features interviews for and Matt’s review of Sex Tape, the first image from Avengers: Age of Ultron, Power Rangers movie news, The Purge: Anarchy interviews and review, and the first teaser trailer for New Line’s The Conjuring spinoff film Annabelle. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

TOP 5: DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Set Visit, GONE GIRL Trailer, BOYHOOD, EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS Trailer

by     Posted 17 days ago

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New to Blu-ray this week is the fascinating documentary Jodorowsky’s Dune. I caught the film earlier today and have no reservation calling it a must-see for sci-fi fans. Seeing Alejandro Jodorowsky passionately recant the events that led to his convincing the likes of Orson Welles and Salvador Dalí to join the pic is a joy in its own right, but illustrating the impact his unmade movie had on future science-fiction films is one of the doc’s greatest achievements. The level of imagination, creativity, detail, and ambition that Jodorowsky and his visionary team put into their adaptation of Frank Herbert‘s seminal sci-fi novel is staggering and a bit awe-inspiring when you consider its influence on future entries such as Star Wars, Alien, The Terminator, and more. Ahead of its time doesn’t even begin to describe it. For better or worse, I’m not sure that the world is prepared for the madness that is Jodorowsky’s film even today.

My Jodorowky’s Dune endorsement aside, this week’s Top 5 features interviews for and Matt’s review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Steve’s visit to the set of Guardians of the Galaxy, a new trailer for David Fincher‘s Gone GirlBoyhood interviews and Matt’s review, and the first trailer for Ridley Scott‘s biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

TOP 5: DELIVER US FROM EVIL, FOXCATCHER Trailer, Saturn Awards, HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 Trailer, Our Most Anticipated Movies: July to September

by     Posted 24 days ago

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This week I rewatched Errol Morris‘ landmark 1988 documentary The Thin Blue Line for the first time in around six years and was reminded of how remarkable it is. Available on Netflix to stream instantly, the film is not only lauded for Morris’ unique use of reenactments and “interrogation” style of interviewing but also because it was the primary catalyst behind Randall Dale Adams having his murder conviction and subsequent life sentence overturned. Morris’ private investigator skills are on full display in the pic as he dismantles the flawed testimony of witnesses that led to Adams’ conviction, culminating in a final taped interview with David Ray Harris that’s as surreal and powerful a conclusion as you’ll find committed to film. I try and avoid using hyperbole as much as possible, and I don’t think I’m overselling it when I say that The Thin Blue Line is among the most important documentaries ever made. If you haven’t already, watch it as soon as possible.

My Netflix recommendation aside, this week’s Top 5 features Deliver Us from Evil interviews with Olivia Munn and more, the fantastic new trailer for Bennett Miller‘s Foxcatcher, interviews from the 40th annual Saturn Awards, the first trailer for Horrible Bosses 2, and a look at our most anticipated movies from July to September. As you’ve come to expect, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.

TOP 5: TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, FURY Trailer, Shane Black Directing PREDATOR Sequel, SNOWPIERCER, First Trailer for LIFE AFTER BETH

by     Posted 31 days ago

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If you’ve been around the site for a while then you may remember my love for Boy Meets World which I professed in this DVD review nearly four years ago. That devotion in mind, I’m choosing to write about last night’s premiere of Girl Meets World in this week’s opening paragraph in spite of the fact that I’m a 27-year-old man. While the pilot may have been a little too on the nose about GMW being young Riley Matthews’ chance to discover the world like her parents did before her, I still enjoyed the heck out of it. Played well by Rowan Blanchard, the character of Riley looks to be a great blend of Cory and Topanga as she is hopelessly awkward around the new boy at school and stresses out about the possibility of missing a homework assignment in a way that young Cory Matthews would have never dreamed. Another highpoint of the episode is Corey Fogelmanis‘ turn as Farkle Minkus and a fresh take on BMW‘s Stuart Minkus character (I’m going to assume that Farkle is Stuart’s son though I don’t believe that was revealed in the pilot). Regardless of how GMW pans out, I’ll always have its predecessor to hold near and dear. Along those lines, I’d love to see GMW be successful not for me but so adolescents today can have something other than Dog with a Blog to call their own.

All Disney Channel sitcom reactions aside, this week’s Top 5 features our Transformers: Age of Extinction interviews and review, the first trailer for Brad Pitt‘s WWII pic Fury, Shane Black being tapped to helm a Predator sequel, our Snowpiercer interviews and review, and the first trailer for Life After Beth starring Aubrey Plaza and Dane DeHaan. As is typically the case, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

TOP 5: 22 JUMP STREET, First Trailer for DUMB AND DUMBER TO, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2, BIRDMAN Trailer, E3 2014 Coverage

by     Posted 45 days ago

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Following on the heels of one of my favorite comedies of the past five years is no small task and yet 22 Jump Street manages to stand toe-to-toe with its hugely successful predecessor at almost every turn. Sure its self-awareness can be heavy-handed at times, but the film’s deconstruction of comedy sequels is refreshingly on point and far more incisive than a summer blockbuster has any right to be. As far as performances go, while Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and Ice Cube deserve all the praise they receive for carrying the movie, I can’t say enough about how much Jillian Bell brings to the table in every single scene she’s a part of. The former SNL writer is responsible for my biggest laugh of the film which is saying a lot when you consider the consistent laughs that 22 elicits. Add in a near perfect end credits sequence for good measure and the result is the rare sequel that knows exactly what it is, where it came from, and where it wants to go.

We’ll talk more about 22 Jump Street after the jump while the rest of this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for Dumb and Dumber To, interviews for and a review of How to Train Your Dragon 2, the excellent first trailer for director Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s Birdman starring Michael Keaton, and a look at some of the most popular video game trailer premieres from E3 2014. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

TOP 5: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, Josh Trank Lands STAR WARS Spinoff Film, EDGE OF TOMORROW, DOCTOR STRANGE, JUPITER ASCENDING Delayed

by     Posted 52 days ago

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The Fault in Our Stars will break you. Don’t think for a second that it won’t. If you come out of it saying otherwise then there are only two explanations: you’re lying or you’re a sociopath. Either way, I’m not sure we can be friends. Led by terrific lead turns by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (and solid supporting efforts by Laura Dern and Nat Wolff), director Josh Boone‘s adaptation of the John Green novel disguises a lesson in how much of a cold hard bitch the universe can be as a romantic teen drama. Every sweet moment that Hazel and Gus share (of which there are plenty) has an all-consuming gray cloud overhead. Even the catharsis that comes from pelting your ex’s car with eggs only lasts as long as the inevitability of your own mortality will allow. For all of its borderline grief-inducing moments, The Fault in Our Stars is actually a solid entry in the genre that handles its subject honestly and respectfully. It deserves praise for this even if it does depress the hell out of us along the way.

In addition to more on The Fault in Our Stars, this week’s Top 5 also includes Chronicle director Josh Trank landing a Star Wars spinoff film, Matt’s Edge of Tomorrow review, Scott Derrickson getting the Doctor Strange gig as well as casting rumors surrounding the pic, and Warner Bros. pushing Jupiter Ascending back from next month to February 2015. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

TOP 5: MALEFICENT, ANT-MAN Director Search, New SNOWPIERCER Trailer, A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST, LEFT BEHIND Trailer Starring Nicolas Cage

by     Posted 59 days ago

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I’m a week late to the game on this one but I’m going to share my thoughts on X-Men: Days of Future Past today nevertheless. While not on par with the excellent X-Men: First Class, I found DOFP to be a worthy follow-up that does an admirable job of bringing continuity to the movie tapestry while mercifully retconning X-Men: The Last Stand out of the discussion almost entirely. Also, for all of the cynicism I threw the film’s way over Quicksilver’s costume design, Evan Peters steals the show during his all too brief screen time. Without giving away too much to those who still haven’t caught the movie, his primary scene is the best that DOFP has to offer and tops Nightcrawler’s attack on the White House in X2 which is not praise that I heap lightly. While not without its flaws (the scenes set in the future are far less compelling than the story playing out in the past), DOFP is still a solid entry in the series that has me looking forward to X-Men: Apocalypse.

All DOFP reflections aside, this week’s Top 5 features our Maleficent interviews and review, Marvel’s ongoing search to find someone/anyone to direct Ant-Man following Edgar Wright‘s departure, the new trailer for Snowpiercer, Matt’s review of A Million Ways to Die in the West and an interview with Seth Macfarlane and Charlize Theron, and Nicolas Cage starring in the first trailer for the new Left Behind film because he can. Keep reading for brief recaps and links for all of the above.

TOP 5: X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, New GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Trailer, Gareth Edwards to Direct STAR WARS Spinoff, MAN OF STEEL Sequel Gets Official Title, LIFE ITSELF Trailer

by     Posted 66 days ago

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And just like that, my excitement for Marvel’s Ant-Man has been severely diminished. Understanding that making a film of this size is hardly the work of a single person, the loss of Edgar Wright from the director’s chair remains a huge subtraction nonetheless. I’m undoubtedly biased as Wright is one of my favorite working filmmakers, but I can’t see how you let a talent of his caliber walk away from a project that he’s been developing in one way or another for nearly a decade and cite “creative differences” as the culprit. I realize the film industry has brass at the top calling the shots like any other big business, but if I’m made to believe that there are two irreconcilable visions for Ant-Man (Marvel’s and Wright’s) then I can’t help but think that we’ll now be getting the lesser one next July. As unfair as it is, even if the finished product turns out great (which could very well happen), I’ll always wonder how it might have been with Wright at the helm.

All Ant-Man talk aside, this week’s Top 5 features our interviews for and review of X-Men: Days of Future Past, the new trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, the news that Godzilla director Gareth Edwards will direct the first Star Wars spinoff, the lengthy official title for the Man of Steel sequel, and the first trailer for director Steve JamesRoger Ebert doc Life Itself. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

TOP 5: NEIGHBORS, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, First Trailer for GOTHAM, New Live-Action POWER RANGERS Movie, SNOWPIERCER Trailer

by     Posted 80 days ago

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Now available via On Demand and iTunes, and in limited theaters June 6th, is writer/director Ti West‘s The Sacrament. I wrote about my anticipation for the film a few months ago and I finally got the chance to check it out last night. For those unaware, the pic utilizes the found footage conceit to immerse viewers in a story akin to that of the Jonestown Massacre of 1978. West fans will likely note how the found footage approach and the emphasis on psychological terror over more conventional scares set The Sacrament apart from the filmmaker’s previous work. In spite of those differences, it utilizes the same slow burn before all hell breaks loose in the final act approach employed by The House of the Devil and The Innkeepers to great effect. Anchored by fantastic pacing and a mesmerizing performance from Gene Jones as the sect’s leader “Father”, the result is West’s most disturbing and lingering film to date.

In addition to a wholehearted recommendation for The Sacrament, this week’s Top 5 also features our review of and interviews for Neighbors, the new trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the first trailer for Fox’s Gotham, word of a new live-action Power Rangers film, and an excellent red-band trailer for Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer. Discover a brief recap and link to each of the above after the jump.

TOP 5: STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Cast Announced, THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, GODZILLA Trailer, Zack Snyder to Direct JUSTICE LEAGUE, THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY

by     Posted 87 days ago

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I’ll say this much for The Amazing Spider-Man 2: it’s unique. I can’t recall a film off the top of my head that delivers one cringeworthy moment after another, eye roll upon eye roll, only to stick the landing and actually make me semi-look forward to the next installment. As many have stated already, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are actually quite good in the film as its emotional anchors. As much as I enjoy Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man (and love his Spider-Man 2), I’ll take Garfield over Tobey Maguire as my wall-crawler of choice any day of the week. Still yet, that doesn’t change the fact that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a tonal mess for about 90% of its runtime. To make matters worse, Jamie Foxx‘s Electro is so poorly written, and so ridiculously portrayed, that he’d be right at home in a Joel Schumacher Batman movie. And yet, that ending still resonates with me and I’m kind of interested to see what’s next. Like I said, it’s unique.

We’ll talk more about The Amazing Spider-Man 2 after the jump with Matt’s review and Steve’s video interviews. In addition, this week’s Top 5 also highlights the Star Wars: Episode VII cast announcement, the new international Godzilla trailer, Zack Snyder officially landing the Justice League directorial gig, and the first trailer for the excellent looking doc The Internet’s Own Boy. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

50 Cosplay Images from Chicago’s C2E2 Featuring X-Men, Star Wars, Halo, Green Arrow, and More

by     Posted 93 days ago

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This weekend I had the opportunity to attend my third consecutive C2E2 held in Chicago’s McCormick Place.  In only its fifth year, the Reed Pop event continues to grow and is becoming something of an April tradition for yours truly.  Like other pop culture conventions, C2E2 features its fair share of panels, screenings, celebrity guests, and more.  For me, though, the element that offers the most fun is hands down the Cosplay. Seeing devoted Con-goers walk the show floor dressed as their favorite pop culture characters generates a sense of camaraderie that helps make geek culture undeniably unique.  All setup aside, after the jump you can check out 50 pictures from this year’s C2E2 including cosplayers doing Ghostbusters, Batman, Spider-Man, Hellboy, Halo, Spawn, an excellent Frankenberry, Silent Hill, and much more.  Hit the jump for all of the images.

TOP 5: WonderCon Coverage, BOYHOOD Trailer, Orci Lobbying to Direct STAR TREK 3, Ray Fisher to Play Cyborg in BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN, STAR WARS News

by     Posted 94 days ago

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I’d like to apologize in advance for today’s opening paragraph lacking the fascinating insight and ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 gushing that you’ve come to expect. I’m writing from the press lounge of the 5th Annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (also known as C2E2) where a majority of my time will be spent on the convention floor taking Cosplay pictures and searching for heavily discounted hardback comics. It’s not a complete loss, though, as I should be posting an image recap from the convention in the coming days much like I’ve done the last two years.

All dreams of hardback treasure hunting aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights our extensive WonderCon Anaheim coverage, the first trailer for Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood, word that Roberto Orci is looking to direct Star Trek 3, Ray Fisher landing the role of Cyborg in Batman vs. Superman, and several new pieces of Star Wars info. Resting on the other side of the jump is a brief recap and link to each of the above.

TOP 5: GONE GIRL Trailer, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Set Visit, TRANSCENDENCE, THE EXPENDABLES 3 Set Visit, Zack Snyder Talks BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN

by     Posted 101 days ago

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I’ve used this space on a few occasions to profess my love for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentary series and today’s opening paragraph will get a similar treatment. Director Zak Levitt‘s aptly titled Bad Boys debuted this past Thursday night and, even as someone who grew up adoring the Chicago Bulls, I loved almost every second of it (even with his Detroit roots, I could have lived without the Kid Rock narration). The film focuses on the years of Detroit Pistons basketball known as “The Bad Boys Era”, which included back-to-back NBA Championships for the franchise in ’89 and ’90. As is often the case with 30 for 30 films, Levitt does a nice job of framing the Pistons’ iconic run within a societal context; in this case, the 1967 Detroit riot. In doing this, the pic not only offers a fascinating perspective of the team itself but also great insight into what their trademark physical style of play meant to a city still reeling from the effects of the riot. Less important, but an added plus nonetheless, is the fact that I’m now buzzing with nostalgia for the SNES game Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball.

My broken record praise of 30 for 30 aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for David Fincher‘s Gone Girl, Steve’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes set visit, Transcendence interviews and Matt’s review, Steve’s The Expendables 3 set visit, and Zack Snyder discussing Batman vs. Superman costumes and more. Do the right thing and keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

TOP 5: DRAFT DAY, Early Reactions to THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, Colbert Replacing Letterman, Drew Goddard Directing THE SINISTER SIX, STREET FIGHTER: ASSASSIN’S FIST

by     Posted 108 days ago

collider-top-5-sliceFor the first time that I can remember since I started writing for Collider in 2010, director Peter Weir‘s The Truman Show made headlines this week when we learned that Paramount is developing a TV series adaptation of the film. While I won’t waste any space today discussing my feelings on the adaptation (mostly because there aren’t any real details to dissect as of now), I will absolutely take this opportunity to talk about my adoration of the film. The Truman Show ranks among my all-time favorites with ease and, if pressed to name a lone favorite, it would likely make that cut too. I actually didn’t watch it until my second year of college, circa 2007, but I credit that first viewing as a benchmark cinematic experience for me; one that helped me begin to understand the impact that a movie could have on a person’s outlook and perception of the world around them. I would eventually go on to dedicate my graduate school research to the film, during which I watched it at least 15 more times; wrote this semi-boring perceptual effects analysis; and wrote/recorded this somewhat less boring seven song record. On paper, these projects were a way to fulfill requirements towards my degree. In reality, it was an excuse to delve further into the headspace of a work that, for all intents and purposes, changed my life.

All personal reflections aside, this week’s Top 5 features interviews for and Matt’s review of Draft Day, early reactions to The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the announcement that Stephen Colbert will replace David Letterman on CBS’ The Late Show, Sony selecting Drew Goddard to direct The Sinister Six, and the first look at Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

TOP 5: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, First Trailer for LUCY, 22 JUMP STREET Set Visit, THE EXPENDABLES 3 Teaser, Our Most Anticipated Movies

by     Posted 115 days ago

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Given the near universal praise it has received, I doubt that one more voice in its corner will persuade you to check out Captain America: The Winter Soldier this weekend if you weren’t already planning on it (especially when that “one voice” belongs to yours truly). Still yet, that fact won’t prevent me from gushing about it in these next few sentences. The Winter Soldier is fantastic. The action, humor, performances, and storytelling are all on point and work seamlessly together to create what is instantly one of my favorite Marvel movies and, more impressively, a really good film in general. It joins The Avengers on the short list of Marvel movies that I can see myself revisiting outside of canon just to enjoy again as a singular experience. While I believe a healthy dose of skepticism should be retained until you see it for yourself, I feel comfortable in saying that you can believe the hype surrounding The Winter Soldier.

In addition to me continuing to high-five the new Cap film, this week’s Top 5 also features the first trailer for director Luc Besson‘s Lucy starring Scarlett Johansson, our 22 Jump Street set visit coverage, the first teaser trailer for The Expendables 3, and a look at our most anticipated films from April to June. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

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