Objects in Perpetual Stasis: On Werner Herzog’s NOSFERATU: PHANTOM DER NACHT

by     Posted 65 days ago

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Towards the end of Werner Herzog’s remake/reimagining of Nosferatu, pseudo-Mina-stand-in Lucy** (Isabelle Adjani) wanders outside through a crowd of revelers, basking in dance and each other’s company.  The rub here is that in the background of all this merriment – half-discarded coffins and lost crud-stained pigs roam unnoticed.  Lucy finally comes to a stop, noting an upper-class family enjoying a lavish dinner outside.  The family gobbles platters of grub while delicately sipping their goblets of wine; however underneath the elegantly carved wooden table the family dines at, hundreds of rats scurry along nibbling at their bare feet.  The imagery here clearly gets at the bleak nihilistic heart of Herzog’s picture: life just a series of distractions from the cold inevitability of death.  All the joy and cheer of existence – a simple means for laymen to wish away and ignore their own impending insignificance.  Hit the jump, to continue reading.

WonderCon: DC Animation’s SON OF BATMAN Review

by     Posted 93 days ago

Son of Batman Review

Another in the long line of pseudo-edgy animation, DC’s Son of Batman (from hereon out SoB), a loose adaptation of Grant Morrison’s Batman and Son, feels like the sort of disjointed mess you get when there’s one too many cook in the kitchen.  Striving for the dark edge of what I guess people expect from a ‘Batman’ movie while still maintaining that Saturday morning toon sheen, the film feels mass produced to appeal to all (give the adults – gore; the kids – a spunky child sidekick.); however in the effort to appease everyone, SoB in fact caters to none.  Hit the jump for the full review. 

WonderCon: DELIVER US FROM EVIL Panel Recap Featuring Jerry Bruckheimer, Scott Derrickson, Eric Bana, Joel McHale, Olivia Munn, and Edgar Ramirez

by     Posted 94 days ago

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At WonderCon, Sony Pictures previewed a new trailer for their upcoming ‘based-on-a-true-story’ release Deliver Us From Evil.  Producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Scott Derrickson (Sinister) and stars Joel McHale (Community), Olivia Munn (Attack of the Show!), Edgar Ramirez (Domino) and Eric Bana (Munich) were on hand to discuss the real life exorcism the film is based on, whether the cast believes it to be true and just what separates exorcism films from other genre films.  For a full recap of the Deliver Us From Evil footage shown and bullet point highlights from the Q&A, hit the jump.

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST WonderCon Panel Recap Featuring Simon Kinberg and New Footage

by     Posted 95 days ago

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At WonderCon 2014, 20th Century Fox presented select footage from their upcoming sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past.  Of course there was the big white elephant in the room – which everyone chose to ignore/avoid (the panel was curiously the only one without any audience questions).  The focus was strictly on the film itself.  Writer/Producer Simon Kinberg was on hand to discuss adapting the beloved comic, getting time travel ‘right’ and making-up for X-Men: The Last Stand.  For the full recap of the footage shown and bullet point highlights of the Q&A, hit the jump.

WonderCon: INTO THE STORM Panel Recap Featuring Director Steven Quale, Richard Armitage, Arlen Escarpeta, Jeremy Sumpter and Max Deacon

by     Posted 95 days ago

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“What would it actually be like if you were in the eye of a tornado.”  At WonderCon 2014, Warner Brothers presented select footage from their upcoming found footage release Into the Storm.  You’ve probably seen a teaser for the film already – and if not, see it here.  The under-the-radar film concerns a group of extreme storm chasers who document the ‘storm-of-the-century’ when it hits a small town.  Basically it’s ‘Twister On Steroids’. Filmmaker Steven Quale (Final Destination 5) and stars Richard Armitage (The Hobbit trilogy), Arlen Escarpeta (Friday the 13th), Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan) & Max Deacon (I, Anna) were on hand to discuss the intense shoot, the found footage genre and ol’ Twister (aside: isn’t it odd how that Jan De Bont flick has become somewhat of a cult classic in recent years).  For a full recap of the footage shown and bullet point highlights of the Q&A, hit the jump.

WonderCon: THE SECRET SERVICE Footage Preview; Get Ready for Colin Firth: Action Superstar

by     Posted 95 days ago

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The biggest surprise at WonderCon today was 20th Century Fox’s presentation of exclusive new footage from their upcoming adaptation of Mark Millar’s comic The Secret Service being directed by Matthew Vaughn.   For those unfamiliar: the comic book is basically ‘Harry Potter’ meets ‘James Bond’.  Colin Firth stars as a superspy who takes his hooligan nephew under his wing and teaches him how to be James-Bond-like.  An early scene from the film was screened in addition to a brief teaser afterwards.  For highlights of The Secret Service movie footage, hit the jump.

WonderCon: LUCY Panel Recap Featuring Luc Besson Q&A and New Footage

by     Posted 95 days ago

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At WonderCon 2014, Universal Pictures previewed select footage from Luc Besson’s Lucy.  The Scarlett Johansson led action-flick sports a number of impressive action sequences, two of which premiered to the attentive audience of WonderCon.  After the screening, Besson was on hand to discuss coming up with the premise of Lucy, the gender dynamics of his films and a funny story from his cult classic The Fifth Element.  For a full recap of the footage shown and bullet point highlights from the Q&A, hit the jump.

WonderCon: GODZILLA Panel Recap Featuring Gareth Edwards Q&A and New Footage

by     Posted 95 days ago

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At WonderCon 2014, Warner Brothers presented select footage from their upcoming remake/reboot of Godzilla.  Filmmaker Gareth Edwards was on hand to discuss recreating the titular monster, the fantastic marketing for the film and the themes of the picture.  For a full recap of the footage shown (INCLUDING A FULL SCENE WITH GODZILLA ABOUT TO FIGHT ANOTHER KAIJU) and bullet point highlights of the Q&A, hit the jump.

WonderCon: EDGE OF TOMORROW Panel Recap with Bill Paxton Q&A and New Footage

by     Posted 95 days ago

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It’s mid-April – which means it’s time for a slew of articles covering Anaheim’s WonderCon: aka the mini, nicer, friendlier Comic-Con. I’ll be recapping all the ‘bigger’ panels of the day from Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal and Sony Pictures hopefully in a moderately timely manner.

First up for the day, Warner Brothers previewed their upcoming slate of features starting with Edge Of Tomorrow, the Tom Cruise/Emily BluntGroundhog Day meets [insert-your-alien-invasion-film-of-choice-here] mash-up.” Co-star Bill Paxton was on hand to preview some exclusive footage from the upcoming sci-fi flick and offer insight into its making. For a recap of the footage (hint: there were a lot of explosions), hit the jump.

Sonoma International Film Festival 2014 Recap and Reviews for BESIDE STILL WATERS, JADOO, and More

by     Posted 105 days ago

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Smack dab in the front of the city-square, white wooden 12-foot letters spell out the phrase “SONOMAWOOD”.  For a week in April, this bon mot feels particularly appropriate as filmmakers, producers, press and film fans converge onto the city for the Sonoma International Film Festival.

Over this past week, Collider attended the 17th iteration of the festival, a celebration of independent filmmaking from across the globe.  For a recap of the event and reviews of the features screened there, including Beside Still Waters, Jadoo, Tasting Menu, Roxie, and more, hit the jump.

Seth Green, Geoff Johns, and More Talk ROBOT CHICKEN: VILLAINS IN PARADISE DC Comics Special

by     Posted 109 days ago

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It’s amazing to think that Robot Chicken first premiered nearly a decade ago. This strange dissection of pop culture via stop motion & Claymation action figures has become one of the bedrocks for Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.  Not only that, the show is now a gateway for popular series and companies to poke fun at themselves (for proof, see George Lucas’s participation in the Robot Chicken Star Wars specials).  This Sunday night, Robot Chicken’ s 2nd DC Comics Special: Villains in Paradise premieres – and it’s another fascinating example of the show’s ability to ‘eat its cake and have it too.’  The episode, the most plot-heavy Robot Chicken has ever done, focuses on DC Comic’s villains – Lex Luthor, The Joker & Gorilla Grodd among others – as they travel to the beach for a summer vacation.  The episode, a knowing homage to the beach pictures of the 80s, is at once both a love-letter to these well-worn characters and a merciless skewing of their ‘brand name’.  It’s this juxtaposition between reverence and criticism that makes Robot Chicken as endlessly watchable and timely as it was when it first premiered.

At the recent press day for Robot Chicken, I spoke with most of the creative team behind the show (Creators/Executive Producers Seth Green & Matthew Senreich, DC Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, Head Writers Douglas Goldstein & Tom Root, and Writer/Co-Producers Kevin Shinick & Zeb Wells) about the process behind the new DC Special and the show in general.  For the full Robot Chicken: Villains in Paradise interview, hit the jump.

Halle Berry Talks FRANKIE & ALICE, Preparing for the Role, Her Reasons for Signing on to Steven Spielberg’s TV Show EXTANT, and More

by     Posted 111 days ago

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It’s been a long road to theaters for Frankie & Alice. The Halle Berry psychological melodrama finished filming back in 2009. You might remember that it was briefly released at the end of 2010 for a qualifying awards run that never quite caught on. And then the film seemingly vanished. This Friday, four years later, Frankie & Alice finally gets a proper release in select theaters. It’s a strange film marketplace where even an intimate character drama starring and produced by a former Oscar winner struggles to find a foothold into theaters.  In the film, Berry stars as Frankie, a go-go dancer with dissociative identity disorder, who with the help of a benevolent doctor (played by the always great Stellan Skarsgård), attempts to confront whatever past misdeeds and/or tragedies caused the break in the first place. The film, an obvious passion project for Berry, deserves far better than its difficult ‘road to release’ would hereto suggest.

In the following interview with Halle Berry, she discusses her frustrations with the protracted release of the picture, her interest in telling the stories of real people and her move into television this summer (she stars in the Steven Spielberg produced sci-fi series Extant). For the full interview, hit the jump.

Director Errol Morris Talks THE UNKNOWN KNOWN, the “Horrifying” Truth to Donald Rumsfeld, the Construction of False Narratives, and More

by     Posted 112 days ago

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How does one interview perhaps the greatest interviewer of our time?  Errol Morris, a titan of documentary filmmaking, has elicited introspective confessions from both a former US Secretary of Defense and a death-row inmate.  He’s a man that can interview a self-avowed Holocaust denier (as he did with Fred Leuchter in Mr. Death) — and somehow make you, the viewer, understand where this misguided man is coming from.  In Morris’s latest, The Unknown Known, the great interviewer meets his match in the gobbledygook and aphorisms of two-time Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.  The film (a sequel of sorts to Morris’s Academy Award winning The Fog of War) is pretty much just two men in a room – one asking questions, the other finding ways to shy away from answering.  But this isn’t a film necessarily about Iraq or Abu Ghraib or any other political lightening-rod; instead it’s an expose of a man and how he wields/twists/misuses language to justify his means.  A film that posits sometimes when you peel back the layers of a person, you discover the most horrible of truths: that there wasn’t anything there to begin with.

In the following interview with filmmaker Errol Morris, he discusses the ‘horrifying’ truth to Donald Rumsfeld, the perversion of language, the construction of false narratives, his own ‘physical’ presence in his documentaries, and going the fiction route for his next film Holland, Michigan.  For the full Unknown Known interview, hit the jump.

We’ve Seen the First 15 Minutes of THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2; Recap and Thoughts on the Footage

by     Posted 126 days ago

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Early Monday morning, Sony gathered select press for a preview of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  The first fifteen minutes of the sequel was shown, in addition to two other sequences from the film: an early Times Square fight between Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) & Electro (Jamie Foxx) and a later scene involving Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) and Electro.  For a recap and thoughts on the footage screened, hit the jump.  (Of note: there are, of course, spoilers in the following article).

Ben Kingsley and Writer-Director Drew Pearce Talk Marvel One-Shot ALL HAIL THE KING, Fan Reaction to the Mandarin Twist, Satire, and More

by     Posted 147 days ago

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Is Iron Man 3 the most divisive superhero film ever made?  There are those that look at its third act reveal (the archly evil Mandarin exposed to be nothing more than a boorish struggling English actor) as a brilliant deconstruction of the superhero genre, whilst others will maintain it pisses on fifty years of Iron Man comic lore.  The ‘Marvel One shot’ All Hail The King (which can be found as an extra on the Blu-ray of Thor: The Dark World) is very much a reaction to that angered subset of fandom. Trevor Slattery (Ben Kingsley) is now a “star” in prison – with his very own doting entourage, lavish prison room and his own exclusive documentary interview.  But not all is as perfect as it seems.  Slattery’s interviewer (Scoot McNairy) doesn’t have the slightest interest in getting any sort of story/scoop out of his subject – no, he has a far more sinister agenda: to confront Slattery on ruining the good name of the real Mandarin.  McNairy’s character though ultimately serves as sounding board for every comic fan that bemoaned Iron Man 3’s twist.

It’s a nifty bit of satire – and on the red carpet for the World Premiere of All Hail the King, I had the opportunity to talk with writer/director Drew Pearce and Ben Kingsley briefly about fan reaction and the satirical undercurrents of the short.  Their answers couldn’t have been more different.  For the interviews, hit the jump.

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