“I’m Just the Fool Who Got Played”: Matt Revisits X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE

by     Posted 100 days ago

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[With X-Men: Days of Future Past opening on Friday, I'm taking a look back at the X-Men movie franchise.  These reviews contain spoilers.]

Since X-Men: The Last Stand killed Cyclops and Jean, half-killed Professor X, and weakened Magneto, the trilogy had concluded not because it was narratively fulfilled, but because it was exhausted.  There was no place left for the X-Men to go, but fans knew that Wolverine’s story had plenty of places to visit, most notably, his origin.  X2 gave causal viewers enough information to figure out what happened to Logan, but fans knew there was far more to his story.  The movie lined up not only the Weapon X narrative, but also provided fan-favorite characters such Deadpool and Gambit.

But behind-the-scenes disasters and an abominable script weakened Wolverine and the franchise more than a revolver full of adamantium bullets.

Gavin Hood to Direct Colin Firth in Drone Warfare Thriller EYE IN THE SKY

by     Posted 119 days ago

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Ender’s Game director Gavin Hood has settled on his next project.  Deadline reports that Hood will helm the contemporary action thriller Eye in the Sky for Entertainment One, with Colin Firth attached to produce and star in the military drone-centric pic.  Scripted by Guy Hibbert (Five Minutes of Heaven), the story revolves around a London-based military intelligence officer who is remotely commanding a top secret drone operation with the aim of capturing a group of terrorists in Nairobi.  When she realizes the terrorists are on a suicide mission, she must alter her plans.  Meanwhile, an American drone pilot (presumably played by Firth) is tasked with destroying the safe house, only to run into trouble when a nine-year-old girl enters the kill zone.

Hit the jump for more on the timely project, including how soon it will come to fruition.

ENDER’S GAME Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 126 days ago

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If you’re looking for a film that deserves a second chance, Ender’s Game will certainly fit the bill. It came and went without much fanfare last fall, another adaptation of a beloved teen novel that failed to catch fire the way the producers clearly hoped it would. It was further burdened by homophobic comments made by the novel’s author Orson Scott Card, which the filmmakers were quick to disavow to no avail. Ender’s Game came and went with nary a hiccup, which sadly overshadowed the fact that – in and of itself – it’s actually rather terrific. Hit the jump for my full Ender’s Game Blu-ray review.

ENDER’S GAME by the Numbers

by     Posted 298 days ago

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Orson Scott Card published “Ender’s Game,” a futuristic science fiction short story about a young genius training to be a military commander, in 1977.  Card developed the short story into a Hugo Award-winning novel published in 1985, and Hollywood has tried to make an Ender’s Game movie ever since.  As recently as last week, Card called the book “unadaptable [because] the book takes place entirely inside Ender’s head.”

However, writer/director Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) was up to the challenge, and teamed with producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek Into Darkness) and Summit Entertainment to try to adapt the “unadaptable” book.  Hit the jump for Ender’s Game by the Numbers, a numbers-based feature that tracks the three-decade journey of Ender’s Game from page to screen.

TOP 5: ENDER’S GAME, First Trailer for X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, 12 YEARS A SLAVE, THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, A Detailed History of GHOSTBUSTERS

by     Posted 298 days ago

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With Halloween 2013 now a few days behind us, I may be a little late to the punch on this recommendation. Still yet, every October I find myself liking 1995′s Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers more and more. Directed by Joe Chappelle (who would later go on to direct episodes of The Wire and Fringe among others) and written by Daniel Farrands (a long-time fan of the franchise who, at the time, had little produced work under his belt), the film is notorious for its troubled production and its “Producers Cut” which features nearly 45 minutes of alternate footage, including a different ending. Watching it as a kid I remember it being the Halloween film that made me fear Michael Myers. To date, I still feel like the pic features the killer at his most ruthless (just try looking at doing the laundry the same way after watching). Rewatching it as an adult, I admire Farrands’ script for exploring the forces at work behind Michael’s madness. Even with October 31st, 2014 a distant 363 days away, I encourage Halloween fans to watch or revisit The Curse of Michael Myers this next week and see how your feelings towards the film stack up against my own.

Mid-90′s horror recommendations aside, this week’s Top 5 includes Ender’s Game interviews with Asa Butterfield and more, the excellent first trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past, a slew of interviews for 12 Years a Slave, a new trailer for The Wolf of Wall Street, and a detailed history of the Ghostbusters movies, comics, cartoons, and merch. In what should come as no surprise, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

ENDER’S GAME Review

by     Posted 300 days ago

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Orson Scott Card‘s 1985 novel, Ender’s Game, is shockingly ahead of its time.  It predicted the wide-spread adoption of e-mail and the Internet, the use of drone warfare, and the connection between video games and players causing an emotional disconnect between war and action.  The book can also be a bit of a chore because of how much time it takes to describe kids shooting freeze guns behind boxes.  Gavin Hood‘s adaptation makes the action come alive, but more importantly, he never forgets the compelling protagonist or the relevant social commentary from Card’s 28-year-old book.  The mind games and weariness might fade into the background, but the intensity of the action and performances make the story not just immediate, but exhilarating.

Learn How Ender’s World Was Created in New ENDER’S GAME Featurette

by     Posted 313 days ago

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Summit Entertainment has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette for director Gavin Hood’s adaptation of Ender’s Game, focusing on the film’s extensive visual effects.  For those unfamiliar, the pic tells the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a young boy sent away to Battle School to hone his military skills in order to save the world from an impending alien invasion.  In addition to providing looks at how the Battle School and Command School sequences were crafted, the featurette also offers up some new footage that should entice fans of the book.

Hit the jump to watch the new featurette, and if you missed them, click here to watch eight clips from the film and click here to read our recap of the Ender’s Game fan Q&A in London earlier this week.  The film also stars Harrison FordHailee SteinfeldBen KingsleyViola Davis, and Abigail Breslin.  Ender’s Game opens November 1st.

Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Director Gavin Hood, Producer Roberto Orci, and More Talk ENDER’S GAME at London Fan Q&A

by     Posted 314 days ago

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The Odeon Leicester Square in London was surrounded by eager science fiction fans when I approached the cinema for the Ender’s Game Q&A fan event, being held for the MCM London Comic-Con. The book (by controversial author Orson Scott Card) has its fans and the crowd was there to see the film’s cast and crew. Stars Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and Sir Ben Kingsley were in attendance, joined by the film’s director, Gavin Hood and producers Gigi Pritzker and Roberto Orci. However, the crowd really turned-out for the one and only Harrison Ford. The iconic Star Wars actor was his usual dry self as he took to the stage to discuss the film with his colleagues. There was a buzz in the air and clear excitement as he took to the stage to discuss the film in the lead-up to its release.

Hit the jump for my recap of the Ender’s Game Q&A.

Watch 8 Clips from ENDER’S GAME Starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, and Hailee Steinfeld

by     Posted 315 days ago

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Summit Entertainment has released eight clips from director Gavin Hood’s highly anticipated sci-fi adaptation Ender’s Game.  The film tells the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a young boy sent away to Battle School to hone his military skills in order to save the world from an impending alien invasion.  The pic comes with high expectations as Orson Scott Card’s novel is beloved by many, and these clips tease a sci-fi story on a large scale.  If you missed any of our set visit coverage, including 25 things to know about the film, click here.

Hit the jump to watch the clips.  The film also stars Hailee SteinfeldBen KingsleyViola Davis, and Abigail Breslin.  Ender’s Game opens November 1st.

TOP 5: ENDER’S GAME Set Visit, DALLAS BUYERS CLUB Trailer, Stop Asking for Bryan Cranston to Play Lex Luthor, DIVERGENT Trailer, INTERSTELLAR Plot Info

by     Posted 361 days ago

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After weeks of deliberation, last night I made the decision to resume my Netflix subscription. Today, after having watched the pilot episode of its original series Orange is the New Black, I can say with confidence that was $7.99 well spent. Only one episode in and I can absolutely see myself spending the rest of this Labor Day weekend devouring the remaining 12 episodes with ease. While you’ve likely read some of the show’s rave reviews elsewhere already, I’ll lend my own endorsement by saying that the pilot offers a near-perfect balance of humor and drama. Moreover, the pace is never slowed by consistent cutting between Piper Chapman’s (Taylor Schilling) past transgressions and present consequences. If anything, it serves to heighten the depressing reality of the situation we find Chapman in. All said, I give the pilot high marks all around and myself a disappointed facepalm for not having got in on the series sooner.

My reintroduction to Netflix aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights part one of our Ender’s Game set visit, the first trailer for Dallas Buyers Club, an editorial by Matt imploring all of us to stop asking for Bryan Cranston to play Lex Luthor, the first trailer for Divergent, and a little bit of extra plot info regarding Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar. As you may expect, a brief recap and link to everything I just mentioned can be found after the jump.

Collider Visits the Set of ENDER’S GAME Part One: 25 Things to Know About Gavin Hood’s Epic Sci-Fi Adaptation

by     Posted 364 days ago

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I’m just outside New Orleans, standing inside a massive space that’s been filled with what I can only describe as a military base that’s been constructed inside a series of oddly-shaped boulders.  They’ve built it for real, and it dwarfs the group of journalists who’ve come to visit the set of Gavin Hood’s Ender’s Game.  As we watch on a bank of monitors, we see director Gavin Hood direct Asa Butterfield (clad in military cadet garb and almost unrecognizable as the street urchin who scampered his way through Martin Scorsese’s Hugo), and it’s the same “set-up, take, cut, talking; set-up, take, cut, talking” process you see on every set visit.

Except this time Harrison Ford—Indiana goddamn Jones himself—walks up, stands next to us, and nods a hello when I look up to see who’s wandered over.  It is immediately one of the most surreal moments of my life.  But it’s far from the last amazing thing I’d witness during my Ender’s Game set visit.  Find out what else I saw—and what you need to know before the film’s November 1st release—after the jump.

Final Trailer for ENDER’S GAME Starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, and Ben Kingsley

by     Posted 1 year, 21 days ago

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Summit Entertainment has released the final trailer for director Gavin Hood‘s adaptation of Ender’s Game.  The film tells the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a young boy sent away to Battle School to hone his military skills in order to save the world from an impending alien invasion.  As someone who hasn’t read the book, I was pretty underwhelmed by the previous trailers.  However, this final look at the film does a nice job of selling the massive scope of Ender’s Game, and it finally gets across the stakes that Ender faces.  The visual effects are mighty impressive and the ensemble cast is more than proven, so here’s hoping Hood delivers a worthwhile adaptation.

Hit the jump to watch the final trailer.  The film also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin, and Harrison Ford.  Ender’s Game opens November 1st.

Gavin Hood and Bob Orci Talk ENDER’S GAME, the Controversy, STAR TREK 3, and the Status of a New STAR TREK TV Show

by     Posted 1 year, 30 days ago

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Opening on November 1st is Gavin Hood‘s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s award-winning sci-fi novel Ender’s Game.  The film tells the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a young boy sent away to Battle School to hone his military skills and, hopefully, save the world from an impending alien invasion.  The film also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, Viola Davis, Khylin Rhambo, Moises Arias, and Ben Kingsley.  For more on the film, here’s the trailer, our Comic-Con recap, and all our previous coverage.

While at Comic-Con, I sat down with Hood and producer Bob Orci.  We talked about how they decided on the footage they’d show at Comic-Con, the debate and controversy surrounding Card’s homophobic comments, the editing process, the current running time, and more.  In addition, with Orci co-writing and producing the recent Star Trek films, I asked about the current status of a new Star Trek TV show and Star Trek 3.  Hit the jump to watch.

Comic-Con: ENDER’S GAME Panel Recap: New Trailer Revealed, Orson Scott Card’s Involvement, Putting the Characters Before the Visual Effects, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 40 days ago

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I finally got around to reading Ender’s Game last month, and it’s an interesting book.  It’s incredibly strange at some points, but it’s also quite visual in addition to having interesting characters, so there’s certainly the potential for a strong adaptation.  After today’s Comic-Con panel, I’m still not entirely convinced, but I’m pretty damn close.  If nothing else, the action should be exhilarating, and while it may not quite hit at the deeper themes (it sounds like they were going too broad to really hone in one aspect), it should at least be an entertaining sci-fi flick, especially where the space battles are concerned.

Hit the jump to read my recap of the panel.  Ender’s Game opens November 1st.

TOP 5: First Trailer and Poster for GRAVITY, NINJA TURTLES Set Pics Galore, Kevin Feige Interview, ENDER’S GAME Trailer, IRON MAN by the Numbers

by     Posted 1 year, 108 days ago

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Last night I turned to Xbox Live to check out Shane Carruth‘s Upstream Color for the first time. While not quite as impenetrable after one viewing as its predecessor, 2004′s Primer, Upstream still demands the utmost attention of its viewers in exchange for the slightest hint of clarity. The dialogue is sparse, the setting is ever-changing, the editing is heavily dependent on juxtaposition as a way of creating meaning, and the sound design/foley work is turned up to “11″ at times. Whereas Primer played more to the intellect behind making time travel a reality, Upstream is an extremely visceral experience that is more interested, or at least more successful, in eliciting an emotional response than explaining how a rare organism can be harvested, used as a method of mind control, and ultimately link humans to pigs. The exact degree to which it succeeds will vary from viewer to viewer but it’s ultimately an experience I recommend taking in.

Of course a movie like Upstream lends itself to more than a few lines of my humble analysis, but that’s not actually why we’re here. In this week’s Top 5 you can check out the first trailer and poster for Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity, a generous number of set pics from director Jonathan Liebesman‘s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, Steve’s exclusive phone interview with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, the first trailer for Ender’s Game, and a look at Iron Man by the Numbers. A brief recap and link to each will greet you after the jump.

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