RUSH Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 184 days ago

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As a director, Ron Howard has always described himself as a journeyman who put the story first.  He’s never embraced a particular visual style, which means he can make something great, or something less than, but it’s always going to be determined by the material and the performers.  2013’s Rush is one of his better films, though it didn’t catch on domestically.  Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl star as ultra-competitive Formula One race car drivers who approach the sport differently, but eventually come to respect each other.  My review of the Blu-ray follows after the jump.

TOP 5: THOR: THE DARK WORLD, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, Marvel Live-Action Series Coming to Netflix, 47 RONIN Set Visit, Blockbuster Video Is Dead

by     Posted 261 days ago

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Although I hate to naysay, I’ve gone on record several times with my lack of excitement for the upcoming RoboCop remake (here’s one example although I’m sure there are more). This past week MGM and Sony released the new trailer for the film and while I think the cast has the potential to be great, in general the movie just keeps digging itself into a bigger hole with every bit of new footage that I see. Whereas Paul Verhoeven‘s original was laced with social critique that was often ahead of its time if not at least skillfully deployed, this latest trailer goes out of its way to show that it too has something to say about social issues with on the nose references to the idea of using American resources to promote peace abroad rather than at home and the invasive nature of corporate marketing/branding. You keep up with current affairs, we get it. Speaking of marketing, probably my biggest beef with this latest cut comes in its final seconds when it shows RoboCop making a grandiose landing that essentially says “You guys liked the Iron Man movies, right?! You should definitely check this out then because it has a guy in a futuristic suit too!”. Thanks but no thanks, MGM and Sony.

Now that I’ve levied more criticism on a 2:30 trailer than is likely fair, let’s move on to something more positive. This week’s Top 5 features Thor: The Dark World interviews with Tom Hiddleston and more, Dallas Buyers Club interviews with the likes of Jared Leto, the news that Marvel will bring live-action series to Netflix featuring Daredevil and others, a recap of Steve’s 47 Ronin set visit, and a farewell to the once massive video rental chain, Blockbuster Video. If I haven’t lost you yet, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD Review

by     Posted 263 days ago

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The biggest hurdle of 2011’s Thor wasn’t getting audiences to believe that a Norse god/space alien was just as convincing as a wealthy inventor with technologically advanced armor or a guy whose body turns big and green when he gets angry.  The challenge was leaving Earth and taking us to a new world, and while Kenneth Branagh’s film didn’t hold up for me on repeat viewings, I was still taken with his vision of Thor’s homeworld of Asgard.  Thor: The Dark World is a case of being careful what you wish for and being grateful for what you have.  Alan Taylor’s sequel becomes far too enamored with the design of otherworldly realms and the supernatural machinations of the villain than with its eponymous hero.  But when the story finally turns its attention to the God of Thunder and his scene-stealing adopted brother, then The Dark World hits with the force of Mjolnir.

Thor and Loki Share a Loving Embrace in Shanghai Poster for THOR: THE DARK WORLD

by     Posted 264 days ago

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There are many strange recesses of the Internet, and one of them belongs to slashfic writers.  “Slashfic” is like fan fiction except it involves putting together any characters together in a sexual relationship.  It doesn’t matter what their relationship is in the official version; if they’re characters, you can make them bump uglies.  With that in mind, Thor/Loki slashfic writers must be ecstatic to see this Shanghai poster for Thor: The Dark World.  The imgur poster says they’ve used the wrong poster, but I couldn’t disagree more.  Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has far more chemistry with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) than he does with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman)

Hit the jump to check out the poster.  The film stars Christopher Eccleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, and Anthony HopkinsThor: The Dark World opens in 3D on November 8th.

TOP 5: First Trailer for CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER, DIVERGENT Set Visit, THOR: THE DARK WORLD, ANCHORMAN 2, Superheroes Who Never Were

by     Posted 275 days ago

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Last weekend I checked out director Kimberly Peirce‘s Carrie remake and found it to be a perfectly solid retelling of Brian De Palma‘s 1976 classic. With a solid lead performance from Chloë Grace Moretz and a downright terrifying turn by Julianne Moore, I found more than a few things to like about the pic. I also thought the opening scene was terrific and was surprised to hear Judy Greer tell Steve that it wasn’t in the original script. Although I knew how the story would play out, I found myself wanting so badly for Carrie’s prom night to go smoothly which I think is a credit to Peirce’s direction and the time she takes setting up the obstacle-laden road Carrie traverses on the way to her first date. Ultimately, is there anything extraordinarily fresh and/or updated about the remake? Not really. Nevertheless, it’s a solid movie that proves Stephen King‘s tale is just as relevant and effective today as it was nearly four decades ago.

With my paragraph review of Carrie in the bag, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Adam’s Divergent set visit, Steve’s Thor: The Dark World video interviews with Chris Hemsworth and more, two new trailers for Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, and Evan’s look at superhero movie casting decisions that nearly came to fruition. Much like in the past, a brief recap and link to each of the above is waiting after the jump.

Chris Hemsworth Talks THOR: THE DARK WORLD, How the Sequel is Really Funny, THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON, Michael Mann’s CYBER, and More

by     Posted 278 days ago

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With director Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World opening around the world next week and in North America on November 8th, I was able to interview the cast and filmmakers in London this past weekend.  As most of you know, Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, who reluctantly teams up with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to fight off the villainous dark elf Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston).  The film also stars Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins.

During my interview with Hemsworth, he talked about how the sequel is very funny, how he gets to have some fun with Mjolnir in the film, if Joss Whedon has told him anything about The Avengers: Age of Ultron, if London is his second home since he’s filming so many movies there, his character in Michael Mann’s Cyber and what the movie is about.  Hit the jump to watch.

2 New Clips from THOR: THE DARK WORLD Featuring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and Jaimie Alexander

by     Posted 284 days ago

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Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World opens in theaters next month, and as we’ve seen with Iron Man 3 and The Avengers, Disney’s marketing campaign is about to go into full-on saturation mode.  A pair of new clips from the pic have now landed online, teasing an action-centered sequence involving Jaimie Alexander’s Sif and the first reunion between Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Natalie Portman’s Jane.  I’m interested to see how The Dark World fits into the larger pantheon of Marvel films post-Avengers, and the promise of exploring worlds beyond Earth and Asgard are certainly intriguing.

Hit the jump to watch the two clips.  The film also stars Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Rene Russo, and Anthony Hopkins.  Thor: The Dark World opens in 3D on November 8th.

Tom Hiddleston Talks Thor/Loki Relationship in New THOR: THE DARK WORLD Featurette

by     Posted 291 days ago

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A new featurette for Marvel’s upcoming sequel Thor: The Dark World has landed online.  Directed by Alan Taylor, the film finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) reluctantly teaming up with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to fight off the villainous dark elf Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston).  In this new featurette, Hiddleston and Hemsworth discuss the complicated relationship between Thor and Loki and how the two are drawn together after the events of The Avengers.  One assumes some bitterness and backstabbing ensues.

Hit the jump to watch the featurette. and if you missed Steve’s set visit coverage check out 50 things to know and his interviews with TaylorTom HiddlestonAdewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and producer Craig Kyle.  Thor: The Dark World opens in 3D on November 8th.

TOP 5: GRAVITY, THOR: THE DARK WORLD Set Visit, THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Trailer, BREAKING BAD, JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT Trailer

by     Posted 296 days ago

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As someone who has never considered 3D films to be more than a gimmick, here is something I never thought I would write: Alfonso Cuarón‘s Gravity in IMAX 3D is a stunning achievement that is not to be missed. You’ve probably read this advice over and over already, but seriously, do whatever you can to watch the film in this format. I honestly can’t imagine seeing it any other way and, while I understand not everyone has access to an IMAX theater, I have to believe that any other presentation type will do the pic a disservice. It’s the most awe-inspiring, immersive moviegoing experience I’ve ever had; the type of thing I’ll tell my kids about one day. I can heap praise its way all day, but speaking as concisely as possible, Gravity is science-fiction perfection.

Any guesses what our lead topic is this week? This installment of Top 5 features even more Gravity love, a recap of Steve’s Thor: The Dark World set visit coverage, a new trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, more science fact-checking of Breaking Bad as well as a breakdown of our favorite series moments, and the first trailer for Chris Pine‘s Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. As protocol states, a brief recap and link to each of the above is waiting after the jump.

Thor and Loki Work Things Out in First Clip from THOR: THE DARK WORLD

by     Posted 297 days ago

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Marvel has released the first clip from director Alan Taylor’s Thor: The Dark World.  The film finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) reluctantly teaming up with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to fight off the villainous dark elf Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston).  In this first clip, we see Thor approaching Loki for his help, though things aren’t exactly straightforward given that Loki just tried to blow up Earth and all.  I’m really interested to see how the events of The Avengers are addressed in Thor: The Dark World, since one of the principal characters in the film was the villain in Joss Whedon’s team-up pic.  It feels like a pseudo-sequel of sorts to The Avengers, in which we follow the antagonist’s imprisonment and subsequent shaming amongst his kin.

Hit the jump to watch the clip, and if you missed Steve’s set visit coverage check out 50 things to know and his interviews with TaylorTom HiddlestonAdewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and producer Craig Kyle.  Thor: The Dark World opens in 3D on November 8th.

10 New High-Resolution Images from THOR: THE DARK WORLD

by     Posted 300 days ago

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With my Thor: The Dark World set visit embargo lifting this morning, Marvel has sent over a number of new images from the film.  While a few of the images look like screengrabs from the trailers, there are a few new behind-the-scenes images.  Included in the new pictures are director Alan Taylor, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, and more.  Hit the jump to check them out and click here for all our Thor: The Dark World set visit coverage.

Two International TV Spots for THOR: THE DARK WORLD; Scarlett Johansson Talks CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Timeline

by     Posted 300 days ago

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We have some brief Marvel stuff for you this morning.  First up, there are a couple new international TV spots for Thor: The Dark World.  In the upcoming sequel, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) reluctantly teams up with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to fight off the villainous dark elf Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston).  Watching these two TV spots, it may be time to change the title to “Loki & Thor: The Dark World”.

Hit the jump to check out the TV spots along with some comments on Captain America: The Winter Soldier from Scarlett JohanssonThor: The Dark World opens in 3D on November 8th.

Chris Hemsworth Talks Michael Mann’s CYBER; Says “It’s This Sort of Cat-and-Mouse International Heist-Thriller”

by     Posted 301 days ago

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While doing the press rounds for his new film Rush, star Chris Hemsworth talked about Cyber, his upcoming movie directed by Michael Mann.  Previous details on the plot were thin beyond the story centering on cyber-theft and cyber-attacks.  Hemsworth went into far more detail, saying this character had previously written a code that could hack into a major stock market.  When the code is used by someone else, Hemsworth’s character, who’s currently in prison for a separate cyber crime, is offered a deal if he joins a joint task force to bring down the criminal who used the code.  The story will also span the globe going from Chicago to Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong and Jakarta.  “It’s this sort of cat-and-mouse international heist-thriller.”  When putting the words “heist” and “Michael Mann” together, it’s best to be positive and think of Heat rather than Public Enemies.

Hit the jump for some more details but beware of minor spoilers.  Cyber is set for a 2014 release.

TOP 5: RUSH Interviews, Fact-Checking the Science of BREAKING BAD, Fox Bringing Commissioner Gordon Series GOTHAM to TV, DON JON Interviews, Cinemath

by     Posted 303 days ago

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Perhaps the combination of my new found love of fantasy football and my fondness of sports documentaries in general make me a less than unbiased voice, but I can’t recommend writer/director Rory Karpf‘s documentary The Book of Manning enough. The made for TV doc premiered on ESPN this past week and it blew me away from a perspective that had nothing to do with sports or athletic achievement and everything to do with its noteworthy focus on parenting, family, and legacy. This may not seem like a huge achievement on paper, but when your film’s protagonists are some of the most highly decorated football players in the history of the sport, it’s a testament to the patriarch, Archie Manning, that the biggest takeaway I have from The Book of Manning isn’t how many records he set at Ole Miss or how many of those records his son Eli broke decades later, it’s that our families and kids are the most important responsibilities we can have and the way that we treat both is ultimately what defines us as people.

Now that I’ve hit you over the head with an “After School Special” message right out of the gate, this week’s Top 5 features Rush interviews with Ron Howard, Chris Hemsworth and more, our resident scientist Dave Trumbore fact-checking the science behind Breaking Bad, Fox landing a new television series based on Batman’s Commissioner Gordon, Don Jon interviews with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and more, and a new Cinemath installment focusing on adjusting for box office inflation and the inherent dangers of comparing Gone with the Wind to The Avengers. As is often the case, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

Another TV Spot for THOR: THE DARK WORLD

by     Posted 306 days ago

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Unsurprisingly, Marvel aired a new TV spot for Thor: The Dark World during last night’s premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  In the upcoming sequel, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) reluctantly teams up with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to fight off the villainous dark elf Malekith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston).  This new spot goes heavy on the action and also gives a little more screen time to Thor’s girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman).  I don’t mean to be dismissive when I describe her as “Thor’s girlfriend”, but I’m not exactly sure how she factors into the story other than hitching a ride with the Asgardian to check out his home world.  Hopefully, her science background will make her an active character rather than a damsel in distress.

Hit the jump to check out the new TV spot.  The film also stars Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, and Anthony HopkinsThor: The Dark World opens in 3D on November 8th.

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