MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN Review

by     Posted 44 days ago

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DreamWorks Animation has established a brand, and it’s a mediocre one.  Their goal is to turn out as much product as possible, and turn the hits into franchises.  With the exception of How to Train Your Dragon, their movies feature lukewarm emotions, serviceable animation, a dearth of style, and humor that’s clearly delineated between jokes for kids and jokes for adults.  Kids tend to eat these movies up, and they’re tolerable enough for parents.  The studio’s latest, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, is yet another movie adults will have to tolerate as a smattering of weird, fun, and inspired moments occasionally break into a rote, forgettable family film.

67 Images from the TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION Trailer, Featuring Mark Wahlberg, Jack Reynor, Nicola Peltz, Stanley Tucci & Kelsey Grammer

by     Posted 46 days ago

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Hopefully you’ve been enjoying the bounty of media goodies from Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, because we’ve got more for you!  I’m sure by now you checked out the recently released trailer, but if the action flew by too fast for you, we’ve gone ahead and remedied that with a collection of screencaps.  This is possibly the most American movie that Bay’s ever made, and if you doubt me, take a look at the images and drink every time you see the American flag* (and then immediately call the doctor because you’re going to be near death).  This movie couldn’t be more American if it ended with the Washington Monument transforming into a giant robotic Uncle Sam who skewers the Decepticons before baking our heroes a mean apple pie.

The film stars Mark Wahlberg, Nicola PeltzJack ReynorKelsey GrammerStanley TucciT.J. MillerTitus WelliverHan GengSophia Myles, and Li Bingbing.  Transformers: Age of Extinction opens June 27th.  Hit the jump to check out all our screencaps.

New Trailer for TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION Starring Mark Wahlberg

by     Posted 46 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released a new full-length trailer for director Michael Bay‘s action sequel Transformers: Age of Extinction.  The film takes place some time after the events of the third Transformers pic, Dark of the Moon, and follows an entirely different set of characters.  Mark Wahlberg leads the cast as a mechanic and family man who starts working on what he believes to be a junked truck, only to discover that it’s actually a battle-wounded Transformer.  The main takeaway from this trailer is that Age of Extinction is, for all intents and purposes, a reboot of the Transformers franchise.  Gone are the quips and jokes from a young know-it-all from the first three films, and in their stead, Bay considers a post-war world in which Transformers are no longer needed; the title actually appears to be referring to the main Transformers themselves, not exclusively the Dinobots.  This is still a Michael Bay tentpole, though, so there’s plenty of the director’s signature action on display, but the expanded international scope of the pic is particularly promising and I’m hoping the director has found a tone that sets Age of Extinction apart.

Hit the jump to watch a preview of the new trailer.  The film also stars Nicola PeltzJack ReynorKelsey GrammerStanley TucciT.J. MillerTitus WelliverHan GengSophia Myles, and Li Bingbing.  Transformers: Age of Extinction opens June 27th. 

English-Language Voice Cast for Hayao Miyazaki’s THE WIND RISES Includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, and Mandy Patinkin

by     Posted 123 days ago

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Walt Disney Studios will be distributing director Hayao Miyazaki’s final film The Wind Rises to domestic audiences early next year, and today the studio has unveiled the voice talent that will be dubbing the English-language version of the Studio Ghibli film.  Joseph Gordon-Levitt will lend his voice to the lead role of Jiro Horikoshi, while the rest of the cast will be filled out by John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, Werner Herzog, William H. Macy, Mae Whitman, Jennifer Grey, Darren Criss, Ronan Farrow, and Elijah Wood.  The film tells the story of the man who designed the Zero Fighter used by Japanese pilots in World War II, and examines the Japan’s turbulent first half of the 20th century as the country struggled through an earthquake and economic fallout.

Hit the jump to read the full cast list, which denotes the characters that the actors will be voicing. Click here to read Matt’s review of the film.  The Wind Rises will open in select North American theaters on February 21, 2014 before expanding wide on February 28, 2014.

Alice Eve and Stanley Tucci Talk SOME VELVET MORNING, Making a Movie in One Space with Two Actors, 1:30 TRAIN, CATCHING FIRE and More

by     Posted 128 days ago

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WARNING: The only way to experience the full effect of Some Velvet Morning, is to walk into the film knowing nothing at all. You have been warned.

After putting colossal productions like Star Trek Into Darkness and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire on their resumes, Alice Eve and Stanley Tucci opted to do a complete 180 with Neil LaBute’s Some Velvet Morning.  Eve and Tucci are the only two actors in the film, the entire narrative plays out in a single location and in real time, over the course of 83 minutes.  Hit the jump for more.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Review

by     Posted 149 days ago

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Early in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, the villainous President Snow (Donald Sutherland) reminds Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) that the Hunger Games were just a game.  Her real fear should be a war that will rain down hell on all of the districts if she continues to be a symbol to the downtrodden.  To both its credit and its detriment, Francis Lawrence‘s sequel shares those values.  The fear and excitement has left the arena and spread to the streets, and returning to a different arena almost feels safe by comparison.  The adaptation is a slight improvement on the book (mostly by avoiding author Suzanne Collins‘ poor prose and stilted dialogue), but also has the same structural weakness of taking the characters to familiar confines albeit with different players and hazards.  Nevertheless, the central core of the story remains strong and skillfully eschews the traditional heroine in favor of a scared puppet who can only summon her strength in certain situations.  It’s a confined character that can’t take full advantage of its actress’ immense talent, but as the movie reminds us, sometimes sacrifice is necessary for the greater good.

First Trailer for SOME VELVET MORNING Starring Stanley Tucci and Alice Eve

by     Posted 157 days ago

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The first official trailer, poster and synopsis for writer-director Neil LaBute’s Some Velvet Morning are now available.  The filmmaker behind 1997′s In the Company of Men brings this new drama about a complicated love affair between Fred (Stanley Tucci) and Velvet (Alice Eve) to the screen.  Fred arrives on his mistress Velvet’s doorstep after being apart for four years and claims to have finally left his wife, but his affection for Velvet quickly turns into obsession and the dark history of their past is laid bare.

Some Velvet Morning will be available on cable VOD and digital platforms on December 10, with a limited theatrical release starting December 13th.  Hit the jump for the film’s trailer, poster and synopsis.

Final Trailer for THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

by     Posted 174 days ago

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Lionsgate has released the final trailer for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.  I’m sure the TV spots will probably have a little new footage, but this trailer gives us good pieces of the new arena, but also doesn’t forget to sell the major conflict, which is between Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and President Snow (Donald Sutherland).  It’s almost entirely summed up in the shot where points an arrow at the sky and lets it fly.  Ultimately, this does what every good trailer should do: shows off some good stuff, but doesn’t give away anything major.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam HemsworthSam ClaflinJena MaloneElizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson, Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda PlummerThe Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens November 22nd.

First Trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN

by     Posted 176 days ago

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DreamWorks Animation has released the first trailer for director Rob Minkoff‘s (The Lion King) new film Mr. Peabody & Sherman have been released online.  Based on the titular characters from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, the film features the voices of Ty Burrell as the genius dog Mr. Peabody and Max Charles as his adopted son Sherman. Sadly, this trailer did absolutely nothing for me other than one kind of funny joke at the end.  It’s different footage than the Spanish-language version we posted yesterday, but even in English this feels incredibly forgettable.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also features the voices of Stephen Colbert, Ariel Winter, Leslie Mann, Stanley Tucci, Allison Janney, Patrick Warburton, and Mel BrooksMr. Peabody & Sherman opens on March 7, 2014.

New Images from THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE Showcase the Entire Cast

by     Posted 212 days ago

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A batch of new images from director Francis Lawrence’s sequel The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has landed online, giving us a closer look at the film’s large ensemble cast.  The story finds President Snow (Donald Sutherland) trying to crush a budding rebellion that was ignited by Katniss’ (Jennifer Lawrence) actions in the previous film, as the 75th Hunger Games (aka Quarter Quell) finds past victors competing against each other.  I’m eager to see what Lawrence brings to the table as the new overseer of the franchise (he’s also directing Mockingjay Parts 1 & 2), and the previous trailers have been promising.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam HemsworthSam ClaflinJena MaloneElizabeth BanksWoody Harrelson Philip Seymour HoffmanStanley TucciJeffrey Wright, and Amanda Plummer.  The Hunger Games: Catching Fire opens November 22nd.

TIFF 2013: THE FIFTH ESTATE Review

by     Posted 226 days ago

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Our modes of storytelling change with technology.  As we see in the opening credits of Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate, we’ve gone from cave paintings to hieroglyphics to the written word to the printing press to the typewriter and currently to the computer.  But as The Fifth Estate shows, some stories stay the same, and in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the story is “power corrupts”.  Through the structure of a fast-paced, high-stakes thriller, Condon paints a compelling portrait both of Assange and the brave new world created by his controversial brand of journalism.  The film is occasionally beset with bursts of editorializing, both on the character of Assange and how WikiLeaks changed the world.  But Condon also raises fascinating questions regarding privacy and transparency, power and responsibility, and seeking “truth” in the digital age.

THE FIFTH ESTATE Featurette Explains the Film’s Title, Comments on the Information Age and Distances Itself from WikiLeaks Scandal Documentaries

by     Posted 226 days ago

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Now playing at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival, Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate has released a new featurette to appease those of us not lucky enough to be at the screening.  This behind-the-scenes look explains the meaning behind the title and features Condon along with stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl and more discussing the hazards of the information age.  There’s also an attempt to praise documentaries on the WikiLeaks scandal while distancing this film from them, claiming a balanced approach to telling the complicated story.

The film also stars Laura LinneyStanley TucciAnthony MackieDavid ThewlisPeter CapaldiDan StevensAlicia Vikander, and Carice van Houten.  The Fifth Estate opens in theaters on October 18th.  Hit the jump to watch the featurette.

First Poster and New Images from THE FIFTH ESTATE Featuring Benedict Cumberbatch, Laura Linney, and Peter Capaldi

by     Posted 243 days ago

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DreamWorks has released the first poster and a few new images from director Bill Condon’s (Kinsey) upcoming WikiLeaks film The Fifth Estate.  The pic centers on the relationship between Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Brühl) and Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch), as the story follows the early days of WikiLeaks, culminating in the release of a series of controversial and history changing information leaks.  Assange/WikiLeaks is certainly timely subject matter and Condon has assembled an impeccable cast, so The Fifth Estate enters the fall fold as a potential awards contender.  Moreover, the pic will be opening the Toronto International Film Festival, where it will hold its world premiere.

Hit the jump to check out the new poster and images, and click here to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Laura Linney, Stanley TucciAnthony MackieDavid ThewlisPeter CapaldiDan StevensAlicia Vikander, and Carice van Houten.  The Fifth Estate opens in theaters on October 11th.

New Featurette for PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS Brings the Myths to Our World

by     Posted 277 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released a new featurette for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.  The follow-up finds Percy (Logan Lerman) and his friends venturing to a mythical land known as the Sea of Monsters to retrieve a golden fleece that is essential to the survival of his home and other demigods.  This is the first bit of marketing that has me interested in the film since it shows how this time around the mythological aspects carry over into our world rather than mythological creatures simply coming to Percy like in the first movie.  There’s still plenty of emphasis on those creatures, but I like that the sequel looks like it’s willing to have more fun with the myths such as Hermes (Nathan Fillion) running UPS-like delivery service.

Hit the jump to check out the featurette.  The film also stars Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Stanley Tucci, Douglas Smith, Anthony Head, Leven Rambin, Missi PyleYvette Nicole Brown, and Mary BirdsongPercy Jackson: Sea of Monsters opens in 3D on August 7th.

JACK THE GIANT SLAYER Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 283 days ago

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Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer was doomed to failure.  The film was delayed from summer of 2012 until March of 2013, and the advertising could never find the right tone to sell the film.  And so its eventual release was met with yawns.  But it’s actually a moderately entertaining little adventure film.  Nicholas Hoult stars as the titular Jack, who comes across some magic beans that change his life.  The film also stars Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Bill Nighy, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Ian McShane, and my review of the Blu-ray follows after the jump.

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