Contemporary PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Series Being Developed for ABC by DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES Creator Marc Cherry

by     Posted 5 hours ago

phantom-of-the-opera

The classic romance/horror story The Phantom of the Opera might be finding its way to television thanks to Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry.  According to Variety, ABC is developing a “drama with musical elements” and would be set in the modern-day music business.  However, the series is not an adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s famous musical, but rather the musical’s source material, the original 1909 novel by Gaston Leroux.  For those who don’t know, it’s about a musician who is scarred by acid, goes into hiding beneath an opera house, and then tries to lure a beautiful singer to his lair.

This modern-day update “is billed as revolving around the cutthroat world of the music biz and will incorporate musical moments into story lines in the same vein as the ABC drama Nashville.”  It’s an intriguing take on the material, and Cherry showed with Desperate Housewives he has the skill to create a delectable soap opera.

James Spader Says AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON’s Titular Villain Is a “Powerful, Smart Child” and “Batshit Crazy”

by     Posted 6 hours ago

avengers-age-of-ultron

Yesterday, fans finally got a look at Avengers: Age of Ultron (click here for screengrabs from the trailer), which was dominated by James Spader voicing the eponymous, evil robot.  The highly-anticipated sequel looks much darker than the first, and obviously a large part of that comes from an intimidating villain.  If audiences are going to buy Ultron as a true threat—and, let’s face it, someone as charismatic as Loki—then it’s going to come from Spader.

Thankfully, the actor has a strong understanding of how he sees the character, and how he’ll bring the Avengers’ foe to life.  Hit the jump for what Spader had to say.  The film also stars Robert Downey Jr.Chris EvansChris HemsworthMark RuffaloScarlett JohanssonJeremy RennerElizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, and Aaron Taylor-JohnsonAvengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015.

JOHN WICK Review

by     Posted 7 hours ago

john-wick-review

Because so many directors are overwhelmingly lazy with how they capture action (i.e. shake the camera around because nothing is as thrilling as nausea), we’ve gained a greater appreciation for filmmakers who can deliver excitement cleanly and clearly.  It’s an art and a science, and John Wick is an exercise at how to succeed at both.  Directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski show they are masters of efficiency as the kills are stylish and direct.  But technical proficiency doesn’t inherently lead to exhilaration, and while the technical craft of John Wick is undeniable, its half-hearted storytelling is supported not by strong characters or a deep narrative (the impetus for the protagonist would be comical in its simplicity if it wasn’t wholly depressing), but by an interesting world that’s far more intriguing than any of the people who inhabit it.

“The Sentence Is Death” in Full Trailer for JUDGE DREDD: SUPERFRIEND; Check out 4 New Images from the Producer Adi Shankar’s Animated Miniseries

by     Posted 7 hours ago

dredd-animated-miniseries

Earlier this week, we showed you the teaser trailer for producer Adi Shankar‘s unofficial Judge Dredd animated miniseries, Judge Dredd: Superfriend.  Today, the full trailer has landed online and we’re pleased to bring you four exclusive images as well.  This online animated miniseries, written and directed by The Junquera Brothers, looks irreverent and madcap, and I’ll be interested to see how fans of the original comics take to it.

Hit the jump to check out the Judge Dredd:Superfriend trailer, images, episode titles, and a statement from Shankar about the project.  The miniseries premieres on October 27th.

Extended INTO THE WOODS Featurette Provides Plenty of New Footage from the Upcoming Musical

by     Posted 9 hours ago

into-the-woods-anna-kendrick-cinderella

Following yesterday’s EW covers and new images, Disney has now released an extended featurette for Rob Marshall‘s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim‘s classic musical Into the Woods.  The Disney production stars James Corden and Emily Blunt as a Baker and his wife who venture into the woods to confront the witch (Meryl Streep) responsible for putting a curse on the childless couple.  Along the way, they run into a number of familiar fairy tale characters, all of whom have wishes to change their lives.  While I’ll admit that Johnny Depp‘s costume and makeup for the Big Bad Wolf continue to plunge the actor into self-parody, the rest of the movie looks surprisingly great.  This featurette really sells not only the fantastic visuals, but also shows that this is a true ensemble piece.  The featurette also provides the first time we’re hearing the actors sing some of the songs, and they sound terrific.

Hit the jump to watch the Into the Woods extended featurette.  The film opens December 25th, and also stars Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Lucy Punch, Lilla CrawfordMackenzie Mauzy, Daniel HuttlestoneTracey Ullman, and Christine Baranski.

Awards Season Has Begun: BOYHOOD Leads Gotham Award Nominees; FOXCATCHER Stars Receive Special Jury Award

by     Posted 9 hours ago

boyhood-gotham-awards

And here we go.  The 2014 Awards Season has begun, and it begins with Richard Linklater‘s Boyhood leading with four nominations from the Gotham Awards.  Linklater’s terrific film picked up nominations for Best Feature, Ethan Hawke (Best Actor), Patricia Arquette (Best Actress), and Ellar Coltrane (Breakthrough Performance).  Also of note was Oscar Isaac receiving a Best Actor nomination for A Most Violent Year even though it has yet to be screened for the public (it will debut at AFI Fest next month).  Finally, I’m very amused that rather than choose between nominating Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, they received a Special Jury Award jointly for their performances.  That’s one way to do it.

It’s also worth noting that the Gotham Awards mean next to nothing in the overall awards race.  They have the distinction of being the starting gun, but I’m glad they’re continuing to honor worthwhile movies.  Hit the jump for the full list of nominees.  Winners will be announced on December 1st.

Aaron Sorkin Confirms Christina Bale Will Play Steve Jobs in Untitled Biopic; “He’s Gonna Crush It”

by     Posted 9 hours ago

christian-bale-steve-jobs

Last week, we reported that Christina Bale was in talks to replace Leonardo DiCaprio in Danny Boyle‘s untitled Steve Jobs movie.  Written by Aaron Sorkin, the script will drastically differ from not only 2013′s Jobs, but all other biopics as the movie is only three scenes, all of which take place backstage before a famous Apple product launch.

In an interview with Bloomberg [via Variety], Sorkin has confirmed that Bale will play Jobs.  “We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale,” he said. “It’s an extremely difficult part and he’s gonna crush it.”  Sorkin also says, “There was a meeting. The role is an extremely difficult role; he has more words to say in this movie than most people have in three movies combined. There isn’t a scene or frame that he’s not in.”  I like the part about having more words in this movie than in three movies combined because it implies only Bale has the power to master Sorkin’s verbosity.  I assume in this movie, Jobs is the cleverest, funniest, sharpest, and most erudite person on the planet.  Hit the jump to watch Sorkin’s interview with Bloomberg.

BLOODLINE Teaser Trailer: Netflix’s Upcoming Original Series Promises Darkness and Burning Boats

by     Posted 11 hours ago

bloodline-tv-series

Netflix has released a teaser trailer for their upcoming original series Bloodline.  Per the logline, “Set in the Florida Keys, Bloodline centers on a close-knit family of four adult siblings whose secrets and scars are revealed when their black sheep brother returns home.”  That’s a solid premise, but it becomes a must-see when you have a cast that includes Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, Sam Shepard, and Sissy Spacek.  This teaser trailer is incredibly brief, but it immediately conveys the show’s presumably dark and brooding tone.

Hit the jump to check out the Bloodline teaser trailer.  The series will premiere all 13 episodes in March 2015.

Brad Pitt Gets Viciously Berated by Zach Galifianakis on New Episode of BETWEEN TWO FERNS

by     Posted 11 hours ago

between-two-ferns-pitt-galifianakis

In the last episode of Between Two Ferns, Zach Galifianakis squared off with Barack Obama.  In the newest episode, his guest is the significantly more popular Brad Pitt, who’s appearing to promote Fury (pronounced “Furry”), and proceeds to get demolished with a barrage of insults by Galifianakis.  Pitt plays the sketch as if he’s barely tolerating Galifianakis, which makes it even funnier.  There’s also a surprise appearance by an acclaimed stand-up comedian, which I won’t spoil here.

Hit the jump to check out the new Between Two Ferns episode.

THE COLLISION: Episode 108 – World War II Films and FURY

by     Posted 21 hours ago

collision-podcast-slice

This week on The Collision, we talk about World War II films and David Ayer‘s new picture, Fury.  Our discussion of World War II movies explores the various sub-genres, the difficulty of balancing revereance with entertainment, depicting war honestly, the development of the genre over time, how it compares to movies depicting other American wars, and more.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations.

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Ghostbusters 3, Cinematic Universes, and Robert Downey Jr. “), click here to add the podcast to your RSS, and click here to find us on iTunes. To keep up to date with The Collision, you can follow us on Twitter at @MattGoldberg and @AdamChitwood.

Xbox’s Live-Action Digital Series HALO: NIGHTFALL Gets a Full, Dramatically Overwrought Trailer

by     Posted Yesterday

halo-nightfall

Quality storytelling has never been the first thing that has come to mind when I think “Halo“.  I think “Excellent multiplayer gaming in the first installment” and “teabagging your opponent’s avatar”.  But I guess the Halo mythos must have enough going in its space-marines-versus-aliens plotline to warrant not one, but two series.  The first is Halo: Nightfall, which is being executive produced by Ridley Scott, and will serve as a lead-up to Halo 5: Guardians.  The series follows Jameson Locke (Mike Colter) and Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) agents as they attempt to investigate terrorist activity on the colony world of Sedra.

The full trailer for the series has gone online and…hoo-boy.  I’ll just ask this: If this didn’t have the Halo brand attached, would you care at all?  Also, none of the characters are jumping and strafing at the same time, so how does this really tap into the spirit of the games?  Hit the jump to check out the Halo: Nightfall trailer.  The series will be released November 11th with Halo: The Master Chief Collection for Xbox One, a game that will require only 85GB of your 362GB hard drive.  The first episode of Nightfall will premiere the day prior, November 10th, as part of the official HaloFest livestreamClick here for our report on Halo: Nightfall from Comic-Con.

Steve Coogan to Replace Philip Seymour Hoffman in Showtime Comedy Series HAPPYISH

by     Posted Yesterday

steve-coogan-philomena

Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s death left a gaping void in the acting world, and there are so many more roles it would have been wonderful to see him tackle.  Among his planned projects was Happyish, a 10-episode half-hour comedy series for Showtime created, written, and executive produced by This American Life contributor Shalom Auslander (who also wrote the terrific book Foreskin’s Lament).  The series is described as “a soul-searching examination of our pursuit of happiness, a pursuit that might just be the very thing causing our unhappiness in the first place.”

The project was in stasis following Hoffman’s death, but Showtime has decided to move forward by casting Steve Coogan in the lead role of “Thom Payne, a 44 year-old man whose world is thrown into disarray when his 25 year-old “wunderkind” boss arrives, saying things like ‘digital,’ ‘social’ and ‘viral.’” The series was also set to star Kathryn Hahn and Rhys Ifans, but there’s no mention of them in the press release, so it’s possible that their roles—Thom’s wife and his mentor—are being re-cast.  Hit the jump for the press release.  The half-hour pilot will be shot in New York in December.

Official Image and Concept Art Revealed for Adrianne Palicki in Her Mockingbird Suit from AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

by     Posted Yesterday

agents-of-shield-mockingbird-adrianne-palicki

On last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (read Evan’s recap here), the show introduced the character Bobbi Morse (a.k.a. Mockingbird) who, as we previously reported, would be “popping in perhaps not as an ally to Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team.”  Today, we have an official image of Adrianne Palicki in Mockingbird’s tactical outfit along with some concept art.

Hit the jump to check out the outfit along with an explanation from Costume Designer Ann FoleyAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday nights on ABC, and if you don’t watch it, you may want to next week because it’s going to have the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron.

A Horrifying Education: MARTYRS

by     Posted 2 days ago

martyrs-movie

I’ll give this to my teachers: When they assigned torture porn, they didn’t do half-measures.

I knew of Martyrs by reputation, with the reputation being a mix of “One of the goriest films ever,” and “GAAAAAAHHHHH.”  And that got me excited because this was coming from die-hard horror fans; people who have seen the worst of the worst and they were still affected by this film.  I was ready to jump in with both feet by watching it in my darkened apartment right before going to bed.

Instead of making me afraid of possible nightmares, Martyrs helped me drift off to sleep by being so boring. [Spoilers and gory images ahead]

Check out the Trailer for MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Short Film, “Party Central”; Watch the Full Short Now for Free on Disney Movies Anywhere

by     Posted 2 days ago

monsters-university-party-central-short

Earlier this year, the Monsters University short film “Party Central” played in front of Muppets Most Wanted, and if you didn’t catch that film (and judging by the movie’s box office, you didn’t), you now have a chance to watch the short online for free.  The story has Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) using a door station to clandestinely move a frat party over at ROR to Oozma Kappa.  If you ignore the fact that (unlike the Toy Story shorts) there’s no way for this one to factor into the movie’s timeline, and that it’s out of character for the monsters to risk being caught by humans, this is a fairly amusing short.  It’s certainly worth seeing for free if you download the Disney Movies Anywhere app for iPhone or iPad.

Hit the jump to check out the Monsters University Party Central trailer.  The short also features the voices of Charlie Day, Dave Foley, Sean Hayes, Bobby Moynihan, Joel Murray, and Julia Sweeney.

Click Here