THE PURGE: ANARCHY Review

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2013′s The Purge had a mish-mash of good ideas.  It was important socioeconomic commentary, but smothered by the confusion of its genre trappings.  The overt commentary was out of sync with the stakes of the story’s moral drama, and the audience ended up identifying more with the violence than the message about economic inequality.  Director James DeMonaco has returned for the sequel The Purge: Anarchy, and although he hasn’t dropped the commentary, he’s reconciled himself to a tight action-thriller that may not be particularly thoughtful, but at least it’s exciting and holds few pretensions.

SEX TAPE Review

by     Posted 6 days ago

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One would think that a movie entitled “Sex Tape” wouldn’t have a problem being raunchy.  Sadly, director Jake Kasdan‘s latest picture can’t seem to find the balance between a sweet relationship and salty dialogue, and mostly goes with the former at the expense of the latter.  Even more baffling is why the movie constantly feels the need to justify its premise as it reiterates plot points, character decisions, and the technological chicanery involved in the story’s inciting event.  There’s always more emphasis on explaining what’s going on instead of going all the way.

DAREDEVIL Adds TRUE BLOOD’s Deborah Ann Woll to Play Love Interest Karen Page

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Marvel’s Daredevil TV series has added Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) to the cast to play Karen Page.  The character has long been the blind superhero’s love interest in the comics, and it looks like the Netflix limited series will continue that tradition.  In the comics, the two go through periods of break-ups and make-ups that ultimately ends with her being killed by Bullseye, because what good is a female character if she can’t be murdered by the hero’s arch-nemesis? (see also: Elektra)  Hopefully, the Daredevil TV series makes Page more than a love interest followed by tragedy fodder.

Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire) will star as Murdock/Daredevil, along with Elden Henson (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) as Murdock’s best friend and legal partner Foggy Nelson, Vincent D’Onofrio as the crime lord Kingpin, and Rosario Dawson, who has an unknown role on the show.  Daredevil will premiere on Netflix next year. [EW]

New GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Posters Focus on Villains Ronan, Nebula, and Korath

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Following yesterday’s Guardians of the Galaxy posters for supporting characters, Marvel has now turned their attention to the film’s villains.  The studio has now released character posters for Ronan (Lee Pace), Nebula (Karen Gillan), and Korath (Djimon Hounson).  I’ve enjoyed all these character posters because they’re bright, colorful, and don’t fill the image with sparks and debris.  It looks like we now have all of the character posters except Benicio Del Toro as The Collector.  If we do get one for him, I hope it’s based off this image.

Hit the jump to check out the new Guardians of the Galaxy posters.  The film also stars Chris Pratt, Zoe SaldanaDave Bautista, Glenn Close, Michael Rooker, John C. Reilly, and the voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin DieselGuardians of the Galaxy opens in 3D on August 1st.

New THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Image Featuring Ian McKellen and Luke Evans

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Warner Bros. has released a new The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies image ahead of the film’s big presentation at Comic-Con next week.  In the conclusion to the trilogy, Smaug and an army of Orcs descend on the Lonely Mountain, and elves, men, and dwarves must unite to save Middle-earth.  Since Smaug and the orcs are all CGI, this image focuses on the flesh-and-blood characters of Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and Bard (Luke Evans) whose stunned faces are presumably looking at things that are still in post-production.

Hit the jump to check out the image.  The film also stars Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, John Bell, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Graham McTavish, Michael Mizrahi, James Nesbitt, Dean O’Gorman, Lee Pace, Mikael Persbrandt, Ken Stott, and Aidan Turner.  The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens in 2D, 3D, HFR 3D, and IMAX 3D on December 17th.

New STAR WARS REBELS Featurette Takes a Look at the Inquisitor and Voice Actor Jason Isaacs

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Last week, we got a Star Wars Rebels featurette focusing on the Imperial Security Bureau’s Agent Kallus (David Oyelowo) aka the “Rebel Hunter”.  This week, we have a featurette for another baddie, the Inquisitor.  Despite the chalk-white face, red tattoos, and yellow eyes, the showrunners make clear that the Inquisitor is not a Sith even though he also has a red lightsaber.  The showrunners also make clear that the Inquisitor has a personality distinct from the saga’s other major baddies, Darth Maul and Darth Vader.  But most importantly, this featurette reveals that the character is voiced by Jason Isaacs, and that alone tells you the character is evil.  I’m sure Isaacs is a lovely human being, but his voice is the sweet sound of vengeful wrath.

Hit the jump to check out the Star Wars Rebels featurette.  The show also features the voices of Freddie Prinze Jr., Vanessa Marshall, Taylor Gray, and Steven Jay Blum.  Star Wars Rebels premieres this fall with a one-hour telecast on Disney Channel, followed by the full series on Disney XD.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Origin Story for Vision Will Stay Close to the Comics [Updated]

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With EW pumping out so much info about Avengers: Age of Ultron, I’m wondering if anything other than footage will be left for the people who camped outside for twelve hours to get into Hall H for Marvel’s Comic-Con presentation.  Yesterday we learned more about the plot of the movie and got nine new images including a first look at the film’s villain, Ultron (voiced by James Spader).  EW’s Comic-Con issue also contains more about the movie including the story behind one of its new characters, Vision (Paul Bettany).  For those who don’t know, in the comics Vision is an android created by Ultron, and while he was intended to fight the Avengers, he eventually teamed up with the superhero team to battle his creator.

It looks like the Avengers: Age of Ultron Vision origin story isn’t going to stray too far from the source material.  Hit the jump for more, and click here for Joss Whedon‘s thoughts on Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch.  The film also stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Elizabeth OlsenAvengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1, 2015. [Update: We've added quotes from Downey Jr. regarding The Vision to the article as well.]

Derek Cianfrance’s THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS to Film in September; Drama Stars Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander

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2015 will be filled with some ridiculously-sized blockbusters, and while those are all well and good, I’m definitely going to be keeping an eye on The Light Between Oceans.  The story takes place on a remote Australian island following World War I and “follows a lighthouse keeper and his wife who are faced with a moral dilemma when a boat washes ashore with a dead man and an infant.  When they decide to raise the child as their own, the consequences are devastating.”  The adaptation of M.L. Stedman‘s debut novel is being directed by Derek Cianfrance, who previously helmed the haunting Blue Valentine and the powerful, family epic The Place Beyond the Pines.  Furthermore, he’s attracted yet another talented cast.  Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander are attached to play the lighthouse keeper and the wife with Rachel Weisz in talks to play the child’s mother.

That’s a lot of talent for one film, and it looks like it will start filming in September.  Hit the jump for more.

Atlanta Readers: Win Passes to See LUCY

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If you just push the “100% of your brain” tagline for Lucy out of your mind (because brains don’t work in a capacity measured by percent), you have what could be an incredibly exciting movie.  Director Luc Besson has a knack for creating memorable, ass-kicking women from Nikita to Mathilda to Leeloo.  He may have another one with Scarlett Johansson‘s eponymous protagonist.  Judging by the trailer, it looks like a damn fun movie and an opportunity for the actress to get an action vehicle to herself rather than sharing it with superheroes.

I’m pleased to announce we’re giving away 20 admit-two passes to the Atlanta screening of Lucy.  Hit the jump to find out how you can see the movie early and for free.  The film also stars Morgan Freeman and Analeigh TiptonLucy opens in theaters nationwide on July 25th.

Screenwriters Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan to Create Crossover Universe for UNIVERSAL MONSTERS Starting with THE MUMMY

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Last year, we reported that Universal had hired Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman to create a crossover universe employing the studios famous monsters such as Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula, The Mummy, et al.  But a few months ago, Orci and Kurtzman dissolved their long partnership, and have gone their separate ways.  However, Universal still wants their Avengers-style crossover world featuring the studio’s treasured creatures, and has now brought on Chris Morgan to team up with Kurtzman on the project.  Morgan is a favorite at the studio having written the scripts for every Fast & Furious movie since Tokyo Drift, which is good because when I go to a Fast & Furious movie, it’s because of the screenwriting.

Hit the jump for more on what Kurtzman, Morgan, and Universal have planned for the classic monsters.

Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige Talks AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, Avengers Tower, Iron Man vs. Hulk, and More

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Yesterday, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige talked a bit about Ant-Man and hiring Peyton Reed to direct.  Today, after screening two minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from Avengers: Age of Ultron, Feige spoke with IGN about the highly-anticipated film.  The reel included director Joss Whedon talking about Avengers Tower, and there was also some pre-viz of Iron Man fighting Hulk.  Feige elaborated on both of these aspects.

Hit the jump for more, and click here to get a first official look at Ultron and learn new plot details.  The film stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, and James SpaderAvengers: Age of Ultron opens on May 1, 2015.

October’s Criterion Titles Include John Ford’s MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, Federico Fellini’s LA DOLCE VITA, and Orson Welles’ F FOR FAKE

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Criterion has announced their October titles, and as always, the collection continues to manufacture must-own titles.  This October, they will add one of John Ford’s most celebrated westerns to their collection, My Darling Clementine, along with Frederico Fellini’s beloved La Dolce Vita.  They’ve also put together The Complete Jacques Tati, which includes all six of the director’s films.  Additionally, the following titles will now be getting re-released in Blu-ray: George Sluizer’s thrilling The Vanishing and Orson Welles’ brilliant, unique documentary F for Fake.

Hit the jump to check out the cover art and special features for these upcoming Criterion titles.

THE COLLISION: Episode 97 – The PLANET OF THE APES Franchise

by     Posted 8 days ago

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This week on The Collision, we look back at all of the Planet of the Apes movies.  We talk about the flexibility of the series, its core themes, the best and weakest films in the franchise, and much more.  All of this leads up to our discussion of the latest entry in the series, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  As always, we finish up with our recommendations. [Note: at one point I say there will be spoilers, but then we quickly decided that this should be a spoiler-free podcast.  There are no spoilers for any of the Apes films aside from the classic ending of the 1968 original and the infamous ending of the 2001 remake]

Click here to listen to the new episode of The Collision, click here for the previous episode (“Looking Back and Looking Ahead for 2014″), 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.

First Trailers for the Anthology Film RIO, I LOVE YOU Directed by Fernando Meirelles, Paolo Sorrentino, Jose Padilha, and More

by     Posted 8 days ago

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The first Rio, I Love You trailers have gone online.  The movie is the latest in the “Cities of Love” series, which includes Paris, je tamie and New York, I Love You.  This latest anthology includes short segments from directors Fernando Meirelles (City of God), Carlos Saldanha (Rio), Im Sang-soo (The Housemaid), Stephan Elliott (Easy Virtue), Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty), Guillermo Arriaga (Babel), Andrucha Waddington (Party Crashers), Nadine Labaki (Where Do We Go Now?), José Padilha (Elite Squad), and John Turturro (Fading Gigolo).  Vincent Cassel, Rodrigo Santoro, Jason Isaacs, Ryan Kwanten, Emily Mortimer, Harvey Keitel, and more appear in the segments.

Hit the jump to check out the Rio, I Love You trailer.  The movie opens in Brazil on September 11th, and while it doesn’t have a U.S. release date, I’m sure it will open here eventually.  I also wouldn’t be surprised to see it pop up during the fall festivals.

More GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Images Released Featuring Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, and More

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Marvel has released more Guardians of the Galaxy images online.  The story follows five intergalactic misfits—Peter Quill aka Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista), Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), and Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper)—as they set out to protect a powerful and mysterious orb from the villainous Ronan the Accuser (Lee Pace).  I wouldn’t go so far as to qualify these stills as “new” since we’ve seen most of them in the trailers, but I still appreciate the high-quality close-ups, and I certainly don’t want to see new images that end up spoiling the film.

Hit the jump to check out the Guardians of the Galaxy images.  The film opens in 3D on August 1st, and also stars Karen Gillan, Glenn Close, Benicio Del Toro, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, John C. Reilly, and Peter Serafinowicz.

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