Last summer’s Man of Steel brought a new take on Superman to general audiences, and in the wake of the film’s massive level of destruction and violence at the hands of Superman, it’s hard not to think at least some of that was a reaction to 2006’s Superman Returns. Fresh off the immense success of X-Men and X2, filmmaker Bryan Singer was tasked with rebooting the Superman franchise and he chose to make a film that was directly tied to Richard Donner’s original Superman film and its sequel. The result was a surprisingly low-key superhero movie with a romantic bent, and many fans expecting the same level of excitement from Singer’s X-Men films were disappointed to see that Superman never even hit another person in Superman Returns.
Singer is returning to the superhero genre for the first time since Returns with this May’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, and in a recent interview the director talked about what he may have done to make Superman Returns more palatable in hindsight and discussed his plans for the sequel that never was. He also revealed his thoughts on Man of Steel. Read on after the jump.
With an Oscar nod for Best Documentary under its belt and Matt having named it his favorite film of 2013, the last thing Joshua Oppenheimer‘s The Act of Killing needs is an endorsement from me. And yet, here it is. I watched the film on Netflix several weeks ago and, to be honest, I’m still having trouble coming to grips with it. It’s the most the surreal and disturbing look at human atrocity I’ve seen and the more I think about its subjects and overall approach, the more I’m in awe of the fact that it exists. I drown in hyperbole when thinking of words to describe it because it’s so profound that calling it a “good film” seems not like an understatement but a complete inaccuracy. The Act of Killing is not a “good film”, it’s a stunning work of humanity that makes awards, critical reception, the sentence I’m typing at this very moment, etc., seem absolutely trivial.
Speaking of trivial, in what may go down as one of the worst segues in Collider history, I’ll now attempt to jump into this week’s Top 5. Highlighted today is Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons joining Zack Snyder‘s Batman vs. Superman, Steve’s Neighbors set visit coverage, the first trailer for The Fault in Our Stars, Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar being exempt from Paramount’s digital mandate, and the first trailer for Seth MacFarlane‘s A Million Ways to Die in the West. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s (21 Jump Street) new film The LEGO Movie, and it wonderfully takes advantage of the fact that the film includes Superman and shares the same studio as Man of Steel. This new trailer focuses on the LEGO version of Superman (voiced by Channing Tatum) and uses Hans Zimmer’s score and the font from Man of Steel to make a delightful homage of sorts to Zack Snyder‘s film. Additionally, a new TV spot reveals the LEGO version of Green Lantern.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer and TV spot, and click here to watch nine clips. The film also features the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Charlie Day, Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, and Alison Brie. The LEGO Movie opens in 2D and 3D on February 7th.
Here’s a round-up of the latest news bits in the world of DC movies:
- Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious 6) confirms a three-picture deal to star as Wonder Woman. The report also reveals Gadot’s payday for the film (if you’re interested in that sort of thing), and more importantly, a May start date for the Man of Steel sequel.
- While it will be a little while before we see Ben Affleck in the Batsuit for that sequel, his wife Jennifer Garner has already gotten a peak, calling it “unbelievably cool” and “a total reinvention.”
- Stephen Amell, star of The CW series, Arrow, recently commented on the state of the Justice League movie and his discussions for possibly joining the DC superhero team-up.
Hit the jump for more on each story.
Because I’ve grown tired of never following through on my New Year’s resolutions to get in shape, this year I’m trying something more attainable: to keep a list of all the movies I watch in 2014. Many thanks to my colleague, Mr. Goldberg, for throwing out a Letterboxd recommendation in this collage of films he watched in 2013. I joined the site shortly after reading his rec and think it’s a great way not only to keep a viewing diary (and actually stick with a resolution for once) but also to create/share your own lists and communicate with fellow movie lovers. If you want to keep up with my 2014 watch diary, check out my Top 10 of 2013, and/or my most anticipated for 2014 then hit me up on Letterboxd by clicking here.
Shameless self-promotion aside, the first Top 5 of 2014 features a recap of Matt, Adam, and Dave’s Top 10 of 2013 lists, a new trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, video interviews for Inside Llewyn Davis with Oscar Isaac and more, the great first trailer for writer/director Gareth Evans‘ The Raid 2: Berandal, and a new installment of Cinemath that breaks down the 2013 box office. Continue reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
Yesterday, I listed my Top 10 posters for 2013. To the casual moviegoer, posters are something passed by in a theater lobby. They’re in between Auditorium 1 and Auditorium 2. Trailers, on the other hand, are part of the moviegoing experience. If you’re at the movie by showtime, you’ve got about 20 minutes of trailers ahead of you. They’ve become so prevalent, that studios have turned the release of a new trailer into an event. We now have trailers for trailers, which irks me to no end. Nevertheless, there’s still something to be said for a well-made trailer. Like posters, studios make plenty of trailers we’ll never see for one reason or another. Furthermore, these trailers have to abide by parameters such as available footage, studio wishes, licensing music, etc. But if it’s done right, a trailer can turn the tide of public opinion and create anticipation for a movie like nothing else.
Hit the jump for my Top 10 trailers of 2013.
We report on a lot of posters and trailers. These little bits of advertising are crucial in steering fan anticipation for blockbusters or bringing attention to smaller movies. Posters and trailers serve a purpose, and they’re not easy to make. Dozens of posters and trailers are created for movies, and studios carefully select the ones they feel will work the best and have the broadest appeal. Sadly, when it comes to posters, many of the designs are generic. The recent trends are “Back to the Audience”, “Gigantic Tagline”, and “Sparks and Debris”. I’ve chosen ten posters from 2013 that took a chance, broke the mold, and came away with something eye-catching and original.
Hit the jump for my top 10 posters of 2013, and come back tomorrow for the top 10 trailers of 2013.
Now playing in limited release and expanding nationwide December 20th is director David O. Russell’s comedic drama American Hustle. The story is based on the Abscam sting operation that uncovered widespread political corruption in the late 1970s, and Russell’s fantastic ensemble cast is led by Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner. The film is definitely an awards contender, landing a Best Picture award from the New York Critics Circle and many nominations from a number of other groups, including the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild. While the holidays are filled with a lot of choices, American Hustle should definitely be on your list. For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverage.
At the recent New York City press junket I landed an exclusive video interview with Amy Adams. She talked about how she got involved in the project, what it was like to work with Russell and Bale, her costumes, when she found out that Wonder Woman would be part of Batman vs. Superman, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
Forgettable films are a waste of time because they leave us with nothing. Being completely inoffensive is arguably worse than being terrible because at least terrible movies give us something to talk about. We may be ragging on it, but at least it’s not something like After Earth, a film where the only thing I remember about it is how forgettable it is. But to focus on the positive, the best movie moments move us in a positive way. They provide more than a target for snarky putdowns or jaw-dropping examples of complete incompetence. The best movie moments can inspire us, shock us, exhilarate us, and bring us absolute joy.
Adam, Dave, and Matt have written about five movie moments that jumped out at them in 2013. They’re unranked and there could have been far more selections, but these 15 moments are as good as any that came out this year. [Spoilers ahead, obviously]
Earlier today, we reported that Warner Bros. is interested in Joaquin Phoenix playing the villain in their upcoming superhero sequel, Batman vs. Superman. While much of the casting has yet to be finalized, we now have word of another screenwriter joining the behind-the-scenes mix in Oscar-winner Chris Terrio (Argo). David S. Goyer penned the first draft of the film that finds Henry Cavill reprising his role as Superman, with Ben Affleck starring as an older, weathered Batman and Gal Gadot stepping into the shoes of Wonder Woman. Terrio, who has a strong relationship with Affeck, has brought in to clean up the script before production gets underway. Hit the jump for more.
About a year ago I landed an extended video interview with Weta Digital’s Sr. Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri for Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. During our wide ranging conversation we talked about everything from how performance capture technology has reached a new level in terms of integrating CG characters into live-action filming, to how they didn’t use miniatures on The Hobbit, and so much more. With the second installment in the trilogy (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) now in theaters, a few days ago I landed a new video interview with Letteri here in Los Angeles. He talked about the technical advancements they made to create Smaug, how they decided to visualize Smaug’s speech, the time required to render visual effects like the billion coins in Smaug’s vault, just how many people worked on the film, the Desolation of Smaug extended edition, and so much more.
In addition, with Weta working on other projects, we talked about Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (Weta did the incredible opening on Krypton), whether Weta will be doing some of the effects on Batman vs. Superman, the Tintin sequel, Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, what it will take for motion capture to be recognized as a legitimate art form, and more. Hit the jump to watch.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the list of 114 original scores that are eligible for the Best Original Score Oscar. Though John Williams has worked almost exclusively with Steven Spielberg for the past few years, he’s eligible this year for scoring director Brian Percival’s Holocaust film The Book Thief. Prolific composer Hans Zimmer has three scores in the running with Rush, Man of Steel, and 12 Years a Slave, and other notable scores include Steven Price’s excellent Gravity, David Wingo’s work on Mud, Ramin Djawadi’s rocking Pacific Rim score, Michael Giacchino’s Star Trek Into Darkness, and the collaboration between Arcade Fire’s William Butler and musician Owen Pallett on Her. Frustratingly, though, Steven Price’s The World’s End score appears to have been deemed ineligible, presumably due to the abundance of pre-existing tracks.
Hit the jump to see the full list of eligible scores and for my thoughts on the early Oscar favorites. The 86th Academy Award nominations will be announced January 16th.
It’s not too often you get to tell one of the stars of a huge franchise like Man of Steel casting news, but that’s what happened earlier today when I interviewed Amy Adams for director David O. Russell’s American Hustle. For whatever reason, I was one of her first interviews, and towards the end of our conversation I tried to ask when she knew Wonder Woman (being played by Gal Gadot) would be in Batman vs. Superman. However, as I was asking the question, she revealed she didn’t know the character would be in the film or that the role had been cast. But even though she didn’t know, Adams said it was “awesome” news and she “hoped she gets a scene with her.” While she didn’t know the casting news, she confirmed the sequel starts to film in February, which makes sense, since the sequel hits theaters in the summer of 2015 and they need plenty of time in post production for the effects.
Hit the jump to watch Adams talk about the Man of Steel sequel, Batman vs. Superman., and look for the full interview soon.
One of the biggest movies of the year, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel, is now available to take home on Blu-ray. If you only saw the picture once, or even twice in the theaters, there’s likely quite a bit you missed. Luckily, the Blu-ray is packed full of behind-the-scenes featurettes and a multimedia commentary track that delves into every facet of the filmmaking process. And for those of you who want to minor in Kryptonian studies, the special features also explore the newly created language and alphabet, technology, and all-around culture of the inhabitants of Krypton, plus an in-depth look at the alien world itself.
Starring Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Laurence Fishburne, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Antje Traue and Russell Crowe, Man of Steel is an enjoyable, yet absolutely detailed and expansive entry in the pantheon of Superman films. The quality of the film alone is worth picking it up on Blu-ray, but the special features put the icing on the cake.
A few days ago we reported Nightwing is set to make his live-action feature film debut in Zack Snyder’s Batman vs. Superman, and Warner Bros. was eyeing Adam Driver (Girls) for the part. Supposedly, Driver is the frontrunner for the role, which is described as being Batman/Bruce Wayne’s (Ben Affleck) estranged partner, Dick Grayson. Grayson took on the Nightwing moniker to go off on his own crime-fighting adventures after being taken under Batman’s wing as his side-kick, Robin, but this new iteration finds the former dynamic duo apart for a number of years, and it remains to be seen just how frosty the relationship is between the the Dark Knight and his former protege.
So when I sat down with Driver during the press junket for the Coen Brothers awesome movie, Inside Llewyn Davis (Driver has a small but memorable role), I asked him about the rumor. Hit the jump for what he said.