LUCY Review

by     Posted 4 days ago

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Luc Besson’s new film Lucy often feels like 10% of a movie, despite its very clear ambitions to be some sort of ultimate experience. Which is weird because it nails so many of its objectives.  It’s gorgeously shot.  It’s incredibly kinetic and, even when it’s not in the middle of an action scene, it’s rarely static.  Scarlett Johansson throws everything she has into the role (or, at least, gives the role everything it requires of her).  And yet I had to do everything I could to keep from falling asleep during the film’s turgid first act.

LAST VEGAS Sequel Moving Forward at CBS Films

by     Posted 5 days ago

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CBS Films is moving forward with a Last Vegas sequel.  The 2013 Jon Turtletaub-directed comedy was a modest box office success last year, pulling in $134 million at the worldwide box office on a budget of just $28 million.  The cast was led by Robert De Niro, Kevin Kline, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Douglas in what was pitched as “The Hangover with old people”.  Deadline reports that David Diamond and David Weissman, whose resume includes The Family Man and Old Dogs, have been set to pen the script for the follow-up, taking over from the first film’s writer Dan Fogelman.  The plan is to bring Turtletaub and the entire main cast back, as the story will see the characters returning to their old stomping grounds in Brooklyn.  When they arrive, however, they discover that their home turf has changed significantly.

CBS Films is said to be moving “aggressively” on the Last Vegas sequel, so we should hear firm word about the cast and such in the coming months.  Laurence Mark and Amy Baer will return as producers.

13 New LUCY Images Featuring Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Amr Waked, and Behind-the-Scenes Shots of Luc Besson

by     Posted 17 days ago

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We’ve got 13 new images from Luc Besson’s latest action-thriller Lucy, starring Scarlett Johansson as a drug mule-turned-unstoppable warrior.  We posted a new red-band clip from the film yesterday that highlighted the title character’s newfound abilities.  These new images take a different approach and show off some of Johansson’s supporting cast, including Morgan FreemanAmr Waked, and Min-sik Choi.  There are also a few bonus behind-the-scenes shots of Besson at work scattered throughout.

Lucy opens July 25th.  Hit the jump to check out the new images.

New International Trailer for Luc Besson’s LUCY Starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman

by     Posted 76 days ago

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A new international trailer has gone online for Lucy.  Director Luc Besson‘s (The Fifth Element) upcoming action thriller stars Scarlett Johansson as a reluctant drug mule who is transformed into an incredible fighter capable of clairvoyance, telekinesis, and an ability to disregard pain and emotion when one of the designer drugs enters her system.  While I have to grit my teeth every time I hear the “only use 10% of our brains” line, it’s a premise I’m willing to accept if it means we’ll get the goofy fun that’s on display in this trailer.  The movie looks like someone said “We gave Black Widow superpower.  Enjoy.”

Hit the jump to check out the Lucy international trailer.  The film opens August 8th and also stars Morgan Freeman and Analeigh Tipton.

TOP 5: GONE GIRL Trailer, DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Set Visit, TRANSCENDENCE, THE EXPENDABLES 3 Set Visit, Zack Snyder Talks BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN

by     Posted 100 days ago

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I’ve used this space on a few occasions to profess my love for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentary series and today’s opening paragraph will get a similar treatment. Director Zak Levitt‘s aptly titled Bad Boys debuted this past Thursday night and, even as someone who grew up adoring the Chicago Bulls, I loved almost every second of it (even with his Detroit roots, I could have lived without the Kid Rock narration). The film focuses on the years of Detroit Pistons basketball known as “The Bad Boys Era”, which included back-to-back NBA Championships for the franchise in ’89 and ’90. As is often the case with 30 for 30 films, Levitt does a nice job of framing the Pistons’ iconic run within a societal context; in this case, the 1967 Detroit riot. In doing this, the pic not only offers a fascinating perspective of the team itself but also great insight into what their trademark physical style of play meant to a city still reeling from the effects of the riot. Less important, but an added plus nonetheless, is the fact that I’m now buzzing with nostalgia for the SNES game Bill Laimbeer’s Combat Basketball.

My broken record praise of 30 for 30 aside, this week’s Top 5 highlights the first trailer for David Fincher‘s Gone Girl, Steve’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes set visit, Transcendence interviews and Matt’s review, Steve’s The Expendables 3 set visit, and Zack Snyder discussing Batman vs. Superman costumes and more. Do the right thing and keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

Morgan Freeman Talks TRANSCENDENCE, Working with Wally Pfister on His Directorial Debut, the Success of THE LEGO MOVIE, LUCY, Future Projects, and More

by     Posted 101 days ago

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Now playing in theaters is Wally Pfister’s directorial debut Transcendence.  The film revolves around a group of scientists trying to build the first self-aware supercomputer, and when lead researcher Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) becomes the target of anti-technology extremists, he unexpectedly becomes a participant in his own transcendence.  Rebecca Hall and Paul Bettany play two of Will’s fellow researchers, and as we’ve seen from the trailer, they have conflicting viewpoints on turning their co-worker into a computer.  The film also stars Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, and Clifton Collins Jr.  For more on Transcendence, click here to watch some clips and here’s all our previous coverage.

Last week at the Los Angeles press day, I landed an exclusive interview with Freeman.  He talked about how he got involved in the project, working with Pfister, if he thinks great directors share some common traits, if directors get intimidated working with him, if he thought The LEGO movie would be such a huge hit, Luc Besson’s Lucy, how he won’t be in London Has Fallen (the sequel to Olympus Has Fallen), how he might be doing a remake of Going in Style, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say. 

First Trailer for DOLPHIN TALE 2 Starring Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, and Nathan Gamble

by     Posted 109 days ago

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The first trailer for writer-director Charles Martin Smith‘s family film sequel Dolphin Tale 2 is now available.  The follow-up sees the return of cast members Ashley Judd, Harry Connick Jr., Morgan Freeman, Nathan Gamble, and Cozi Zuehlsdorff as they continue Winter the Dolphin’s treatment at the Clearwater Marine Hospital.  This trailer markets the film as Inspiration with a capital “I”, and if you were a fan of the first pic, odds are you’ll be happy with the direction of this sequel.  If you weren’t, it doesn’t look like this follow-up will change your mind.

Hit the jump to watch the Dolphin Tale 2 trailer, and if you missed Dave’s set visit preview, click here.  Also starring Kris Kristofferson, Austin Stowell, Austin Highsmith, and a special appearance by professional surfer Bethany Hamilton, Dolphin Tale 2 opens September 19th.  Hit the jump to watch the trailer.

DOLPHIN TALE 2 Set Visit Preview: Collider Goes to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Plus 4 New Images from the Film

by     Posted 110 days ago

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While much of the country was in the grip of sub-freezing temperatures, a group of online journalists (myself included) were lucky enough to visit the set of Dolphin Tale 2 in Clearwater, Florida.  Writer-director Charles Martin Smith returns for the sequel, which also features returning cast members Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, Morgan Freeman, Nathan Gamble, and Cozi Zuehlsdorff to name a few.  Of course, Winter the Dolphin is back in her scene-stealing role at the center of the extended family drama which includes not just the human cast, but their animal patients as well.

Hit the jump to check out the first images from the film and for a preview of our set visit to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, which we’ll reveal in full closer to Dolphin Tale 2′s September 19th release date.

Watch 7 Clips and 13 Minutes of Behind-the-Scenes Footage from TRANSCENDENCE

by     Posted 113 days ago

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With Wally Pfister’s upcoming directorial debut Transcendence opening April 18th, Warner Bros. has provided us with seven clips and thirteen minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the movie.  The film revolves around a group of scientists trying to build the first self-aware supercomputer, and when lead researcher Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) becomes the target of anti-technology extremists, he unexpectedly becomes a participant in his own transcendence.  Pfister has done excellent work as a cinematographer in recent years with films like The Dark Knight, Inception, and Moneyball, but the big question is can he make the leap to the director’s chair.  So far the marketing materials have promised Transcendence is a smart, sci-fi-tinged thriller, and I’m very curious what audiences are going to think.

Hit the jump to watch the clips and behind-the-scenes footage.  The film also stars Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, and Clifton Collins Jr.

First Trailer and New Images for Luc Besson’s LUCY Starring Scarlett Johansson

by     Posted 117 days ago

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Universal Pictures has released the first Lucy trailer.  Director Luc Besson‘s (The Fifth Element) upcoming action thriller stars Scarlett Johansson as a reluctant drug mule who is transformed into an incredible fighter capable of clairvoyance, telekinesis, and an ability to disregard pain and emotion when one of the designer drugs enters her system.  The flick looks fun and interesting.  I like that she gets her powers from a bag of blue goo leaking into her stomach, and when she those gets powers she starts to lose her emotions.  It’s a neat premise, and the action looks good.  Also, the Morgan Freeman narration reminds me of this scene from South Park.

Hit the jump to watch the Lucy trailer and to check out some new images.  The film also stars Analeigh Tipton.  Lucy opens in theaters August 8th.

Morgan Freeman Talks ISLAND OF LEMURS: MADAGASCAR, His Narration Process, Science, LIFE ITSELF, and More

by     Posted 118 days ago

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From filmmakers David Douglas and Drew Fellman, the IMAX 3D documentary Island of Lemurs: Madagascar tells the incredible true story of the strange and unusual creature known as the lemur.  Millions of years ago, lemurs arrived in Madagascar, where they have since evolved into hundreds of diverse species, some as large as a gorilla and some as small as a mouse, but are now highly endangered.

During a conference at the film’s press day, Academy Award winner Morgan Freeman, who narrates the film, talked about why he wanted to get involved with this project, why lemurs are terrific little creatures, that he usually gets to see some footage so that he knows what he’s talking about during the narration, and the educational value of film and television.  He also talked about his upcoming love story with Diane Keaton, called Life Itself, and how he’d like to make a film with his production company that wins a Best Picture award.  Check out our Morgan Freeman interview after the jump.

Johnny Depp Explores the World of Artificial Intelligence in New Featurette for TRANSCENDENCE

by     Posted 123 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new featurette for director Wally Pfister’s sci-fi film Transcendence.  The pic deals with the issues surrounding the reality of artificial intelligence, as Johnny Depp plays a scientist who becomes the subject of his work when his consciousness is uploaded into a supercomputer.  Instead of offering a look behind the scenes, this featurette mainly focuses on clearly explaining the plot to those that might still be confused regarding the nature of Transcendence.  The film continues to look interesting, but I’m starting to worry that the amount of footage that’s been released has given away the entire main arc of the story.  Regardless, it’s nice to see Depp in a role that doesn’t hide him behind elaborate makeup effects, and there are certainly some big ideas to be explored with the central premise.

Hit the jump to watch the featurette, and click here for 35 high-resolution images.  The film also stars Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, and Clifton Collins Jr.  Transcendence opens in traditional theaters and IMAX on April 18th.

35 New Images from TRANSCENDENCE Featuring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, and Kate Mara

by     Posted 124 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a batch of high-resolution images from Wally Pfister’s upcoming directorial debut Transcendence.  The film revolves around a group of scientists trying to build the first self-aware supercomputer, and when lead researcher Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) becomes the target of anti-technology extremists, he unexpectedly becomes a participant in his own transcendence.  Pfister has done excellent work as a cinematographer in recent years with films like The Dark Knight, Inception, and Moneyball, but I’m eager to see how he fares in the director’s chair.  The marketing materials have promised that Transcendence is a smart, sci-fi-tinged thriller, and so far this looks to be a strong debut feature from Pfister.

Hit the jump to check out the new high-resolution images.  The film also stars Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, Morgan Freeman, Cole Hauser, and Clifton Collins Jr.  Transcendence opens in traditional theaters and IMAX on April 18th.

Watch: THE LEGO MOVIE Blooper Reel

by     Posted 165 days ago

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Outtakes or blooper reels from animated films most often feel a bit contrived given that the “flubs” have to be planned out and created by animators, but that doesn’t make them less entertaining.  In the case of The LEGO Movie, a “blooper reel” has been released online that appears to be a mix of crafted flubs and genuine outtakes from the voice actors that were subsequently animated.  If you’re looking for a little more from Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s excellent and delightful film before you catch a second (or third, or fourth) viewing, this blooper reel should sufficiently tide you over.

Hit the jump to watch the outtake video.  The LEGO Movie is currently playing in awesome theaters everywhere.

New Trailer for TRANSCENDENCE Starring Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, and Rebecca Hall

by     Posted 167 days ago

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Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for Wally Pfister‘s directorial debut Transcendence.  The sci-fi film stars Johnny Depp as Dr. Will Caster, a researcher at the forefront of Artificial Intelligence science who becomes intimately entwined with his research after an attack by the anti-technology terrorist group, R.I.F.T.  Whereas the first trailer was a quick rundown of the film’s premise, this second trailer shows things down a bit to give us a good look at what Pfister has put together.  The pic looks like a tense and trippy science-fiction thriller almost in the vein of Videodrome, and I’m very curious to see to what extent Pfister explores the larger implications of tech-growth in our digital age.  My only qualm with this trailer is that it looks like it might be giving away too much of the story, but hopefully Pfister is keeping further surprises under wraps.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Paul BettanyRebecca HallKate MaraCillian MurphyClifton Collins Jr., and Morgan Freeman.  Transcendence opens in 2D and IMAX on April 17th.

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