Now That We’ve Seen the AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Trailer, Who Is This Ultron Fella?

by     Posted 8 hours ago

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How about that Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, eh?  What an entrance!  We’ve come a long road and seen a lot of Marvel films to get to this point, and it seems certainly well earned.  You may be wondering, though, who is this Ultron fella that seems to be creeping out our heroes by shambling into Tony Stark’s pad?  What’s his deal and where does he come from?  In the comics, Ultron is, arguably, the major Avengers villain as he is first and foremost an antagonist to the group itself, rather than say Loki who’s really more of a Thor villain. While the origin of Ultron may be different in the movie, we thought we’d walk you through the birth and “life” of this sinister automaton who has been a thorn in the Avengers side for so long.  Get better acquainted with the comics history of Ultron after the jump.

Christopher Meloni Talks WHITE BIRD IN A BLIZZARD, The Impact of MAN OF STEEL and Whether He’ll Return in a Future DC Film

by     Posted 8 hours ago

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Christopher Meloni needs to stay far away from Eva Green.  Earlier this year in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, he co-starred opposite Green as a square-jawed detective easily corrupted by her ample charm.  Meloni now finds himself once again under the actress’s spell in the indie feature White Bird in A Blizzard.  In the Shailene Woodley headlined film, Meloni stars as Brock – the mild-mannered husband to Eva Green’s sultry Eve.  It’s a loveless marriage, Eve never hesitating to remind Brock just how worthless and disappointing a man he truly is.  When Eve suddenly disappears one morning, Brock naturally becomes a suspect in his wife’s vanishing. But could somebody so weak-willed be capable of such a monstrous act?  Meloni, sporting a burly mustache and some wretched polo shirts, counters his naturally intimidating appearance to fully embody Brock’s emasculated demeanor.  It’s a fine turn for the versatile actor – and between the dramatics of White Bird in A Blizzard and the comicality of his short-lived sitcom Surviving Jack, Meloni has proven himself to be as proficient in one genre as the next.

In the following interview with Christopher Meloni, he discusses coming up with the physical appearance for Brock, the parallels between his characters in White Bird in a Blizzard & Sin City and gaging his performance towards the heightened tone of filmmaker Gregg Araki (The Doom Generation).  In addition, Meloni talks about how his role in Man of Steel affected his career and whether we’ll ever see his character Colonel Harding in the DC Film-verse again.  For the full interview, hit the jump.

TOP 5: First AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Trailer, JOHN WICK, THE LOOK OF SILENCE Trailer, BIRDMAN, Brad Pitt Sits BETWEEN TWO FERNS

by     Posted 9 hours ago

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With Halloween under a week away, today marks my final horror recommendation of the season. Whether it’s been a while since your last viewing or you’ve missed it all together, this is the perfect (and perhaps only) time of year to check out writer/director Tommy Lee Wallace‘s Halloween III: Season of the Witch. Often regarded as the odd duck of the franchise due to its storyline departure and a severe lack of Michael Myers, Season of the Witch relies less on slasher tropes in favor of sci-fi tinged horror. The gist of the plot is that a popular Halloween mask company (Silver Shamrock Novelties) is planning to kill every kid that wears one of their masks on Halloween night. Not a great business plan, but a serviceable witchcraft/sacrifice plan I suppose. The result is a vintage 80′s horror pic complete with solid practical effects, surprisingly violent deaths, killer androids, an old guy who more or less warns you to get out of town before it’s too late, and Tom Atkins‘ stellar mustache. While I’m not sure Season will hold up well under critical review, if you sit back and embrace the silliness of it all I think you’ll have a new Halloween favorite on your hands.

Recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, interviews for and Matt’s review of John Wick, a trailer for Joshua Oppenheimer‘s The Act of Killing follow-up The Look of Silence, interviews for and Matt’s review of Birdman, and Brad Pitt essentially getting eviscerated by Zach Galifianakis on Between Two Ferns. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Garry Trudeau Talks ALPHA HOUSE, Bringing the Show to Amazon, His Writing Process, Choosing to Maintain a Low Personal Profile and More

by     Posted 9 hours ago

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From show creator/executive producer Garry Trudeau, the Amazon original series Alpha House is a hilarious comedy about four misfit senators – Gil John Biggs (John Goodman), Robert Bettencourt (Clark Johnson), Louis Laffer Jr. (Matt Malloy) and Andy Guzman (Mark Consuelos) – who rent a house together in Washington, D.C. and deal with all of the outrageousness that comes with a life in politics.  Having watched Season 1, I can vouch for the fact that the writing is smart, the acting is great, and the stories are sometimes all-too-real, and Season 2 is sure to be that much stronger.

During this exclusive interview with Collider, Pulitzer Prize-winner Garry Trudeau talked about why a TV show and why Amazon, at this point in his career, what John Goodman brings to the show, why he’s turned down so many offers over the years, his previous TV experience, why he’s maintained such a low personal profile, what his writing process is like, and why the actors pretty much stick to the script for Alpha House.  Check out what he had to say after the jump.

Friday Box Office: OUIJA Conjures Easy Win; JOHN WICK Strong in Second

by     Posted 9 hours ago

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After four adult-skewing frames in a row, teen audiences will regain control of the box office with Ouija this weekend.  The PG-13 horror movie starring Hasbro’s venerable “board game,” earned $8.3 million from 2,858 locations on Friday despite receiving some of the worst reviews of the year.  Ouija is not going to break out like R-rated Annabelle did a few weeks back, but the Universal release should have no trouble summoning over $20 million on its first weekend in theatres.  John Wick took second place yesterday, earning an estimated $5.45 million from 2,589 locations.  The R-rated drama marks the return of Keanu Reeves to the action genre after a less than stellar run in 47 Ronin last year.  Originally expected to bring in under $12 million, good reviews and strong word of mouth should get John Wick closer to $15 million through Sunday.

More box office news and Friday’s top five after the jump.

CONSTANTINE Premiere Recap: “Non Est Asylum”

by     Posted 22 hours ago

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Batman.  The Flash.  Even Green Arrow.  These DC Comics heroes are household names, and though some may be more well-known than others, they’ve all got just a bit more recognition in common circles than the antihero exorcist John Constantine.  So it was that NBC took on the challenge of bringing this conjurer and spellcaster into living rooms with its new series, Constantine.  The blessing and the curse of such a project is that the network can draw on the series’ rich mythology while putting their own spin on the character, though it walks the line of confusing new audiences while possibly alienating fans.  However, if the pilot is any indication, then this series may be the surprise supernatural hit of the season.  Hit the jump for my Constantine recap.

NIGHTCRAWLER Red Band Trailer Packed with Critic Quotes and Hilariously Crude Behavior

by     Posted 23 hours ago

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Dan Gilroy’s Nightcrawler isn’t even a comedy, but this clever new red trailer had me laughing more than any other promo I’ve seen in a while.  The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Lou Bloom, a guy desperate to score a job.  While on the hunt, Lou stumbles across a “nightcrawler,” someone who captures footage of fires, murders and all sorts of chaos to sell to new stations and Lou comes to the conclusion that the gig is perfect for him.

Nightcrawler is due in theaters on October 31st and in honor of the release, Open Road Films just unveiled a brand new trailer for the movie.  As this is likely one of the last promos we’ll get, naturally, this Nightcrawler red band trailer is loaded with critic quotes.  They’re all glowing, but not in the way one might expect.  This is a see it to believe it kind of piece so hit the jump to check it out and click here to give Matt’s Nightcrawler review a read.

Paul Greengrass to Direct Berlin Wall Drama THE TUNNELS

by     Posted 23 hours ago

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Paul Greengrass has a lot going on right now, making his schedule nearly impossible to track, and now this is only going to make it more difficult; it’s being reported that Greengrass is attached to direct a film called The Tunnels.

FilmNation Entertainment just snagged the rights to Greg Mitchell’s book proposal for a Berlin Wall drama, which would recount the untold true story of a group of West Germans who attempt to get their loved ones out of East Berlin with the help of American news networks who fund the mission.  Hit the jump for more on The Tunnels.

Adam Davidson to Direct the Pilot Episode of THE WALKING DEAD Spin-Off Series

by     Posted Yesterday

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AMC’s The Walking Dead companion series just locked a director for the pilot episode and he’s an Academy Award winner!  Adam Davidson snagged the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film back in 1991 for The Lunch Date and, ever since, he’s been racking up TV credits.  He’s worked on a slew of shows including Lost, Deadwood, Dexter, True Blood, Fringe, Big Love, Masters of Sex and so many more.

Davidson is expected to start shooting his Walking Dead companion series episode late this year.  Hit the jump for more on the show and Davidson.

Zach Galifianakis and Amy Ryan Talk BIRDMAN, Working with Director of Photography Emmanuel Lubezki, Michael Keaton, and More

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I love this time of year.  The weather starts to cool off, football games start to matter and Hollywood releases some incredible movies that will be in play during Award season.  That brings me to Alejandro González Iñárritu’s incredible new film, Birdman.  Made to look like one long shot, Birdman stars Michael Keaton as an actor who once played an iconic superhero and now faces troubles with his ego and family as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.  While some movies have incredible performances or a great script, Birdman is one of those rare films where everything across the board is memorable.  It’s absolutely one of my favorite films of 2014 and it should be seen as soon as possible.  Trust me, this is a special movie that you will want to see.  The film also stars Edward NortonNaomi WattsEmma StoneZach GalifianakisAndrea Riseborough, and Amy Ryan.

Last week at the New York City press day I landed a video interview with Zach Galifianakis and Amy Ryan.  They talked about what it was like to work with Alejandro González Iñárritu and his amazing director of photography, Emmanuel Lubezki, if the script changed during production, working with Michael Keaton, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

LAGGIES Review

by     Posted Yesterday

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[This is a re-post of my review from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.  Laggies opens today in limited release.]

There is certain kind of movie that I would describe as a “Sundance Comedy”. They’re technically indie films even though they feature movie stars, and they’re almost always fairly tame. They’re cute at best and forgettable at worst, and Lynn Shelton’s Laggies has the distinction of being both. What begins as a moderately interesting coming-of-age tale eventually devolves into something so light and airy that it’s on the verge of floating away, especially when the characters’ implausible actions do nothing to keep the story grounded.

Elle Fanning on LOW DOWN, Jazz Music, Kissing Peter Dinklage, Ben Affleck’s LIVE BY NIGHT, TRUMBO, and More

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Based on Amy-Jo Albany’s memoir about growing up in the care of her gifted but frequently absent musician father, Low Down focuses on what it was like for Amy (Elle Fanning) to turn to the love of her aging grandmother (Glenn Close) while Joe (John Hawkes) struggled as much with his heroin addiction as he did finding gigs.  In the years between 1974 and 1976, surrounded by a ragtag bunch of Hollywood outcasts and eccentrics, Amy was witness to heartbreak and tragedy, but still hung onto the love she had for her family.  Directed by Jeff Preiss, the film also stars Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage and Flea.

During this exclusive phone interview with Collider, actress Elle Fanning talked about why she wanted to do this project, using her imagination to put herself in Amy’s shoes, learning about the jazz music that’s showcased in the film, having to kiss Peter Dinklage, and what most touched her about what she learned of Amy and Joe Albany.  She also talked about getting ready to shoot Live By Night (written, directed and starring Ben Affleck) next year, having just finished her work on Trumbo, in which she plays the daughter of Bryan Cranston and Diane Lane, and growing up at the same time that her roles are getting older and more complex.  Check out what she had to say after the jump.

Jim Parsons to Lead NBC’s Animated ELF: BUDDY’S MUSICAL CHRISTMAS TV Special

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Who’s ready for a little extra hugging, smiling, singing, candy, candy canes, candy corn and syrup this year?  Once we hit December, 2003’s Elf will likely be airing on TV nonstop, but this year, in addition to the Will Ferrell live-action comedy we’ll also get a Buddy the Elf animated special as well.

NBC will air Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas on Tuesday, December 16th at 8pm with The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons voicing the title character.  Hit the jump to find out who will be joining him.

Warner Bros. Nabs WORLD BREAKER from THE SIGNAL Director William Eubank

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William Eubank’s second feature, The Signal, didn’t sell nearly as many tickets as it deserved during its limited theatrical run, but he’ll get another go at it because it’s being reported that Warner Bros. just acquired a script he penned with Philip Gawthorne called World Breaker.

Eubank is set to direct and will be switching gears big time on this one.  Whereas The Signal is a horror/sci-fi mash-up of sorts, World Breaker is a medieval-themed project with a mythical Scottish warlord at the heart of it.  Hit the jump for more on Eubank and World Breaker.

Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti to Lead Showtime’s Finance Drama BILLIONS

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Showtime’s got a new series in the works that’s well worth keeping an eye on called Billions.  It’s being described as a complex, contemporary drama that digs deep into the world of high finance.  Neil Burger (Divergent) is locked to direct the pilot early next year in New York using a script penned by Brian Koppelman, David Levien and New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin.

Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis will star as the show’s two main characters, a U.S. attorney and a hedge fund titan, respectively.  Hit the jump for more on Showtime’s Billions.

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