TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Review

by     Posted 24 days ago

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I loved Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was a kid.  When I was six years old, I watched the animated TV series every day, and had to own every action figure and play set, including the Technodrome.  I had a favorite turtle (Raph), but I liked them all because they had distinct personalities, a sense of humor, a well-defined world, and in retrospect, the gleeful insanity we’ve come to expect from kids’ TV shows of the era.  Shredder’s boss, Krang, was an alien from another dimension who looked like talking brain inside of a robot’s tummy.  Kids went with it.

By comparison, Jonathan Liebesman‘s new live-action adaptation is nothing but apologies and excuses.  Loaded down with worthless exposition, coincidences, clichés, ham-fisted product placement, and lame jokes, the movie rarely uses its heroes for anything more than set pieces.  The 90s TV series and the new movie are both targeted at kids, but at least the Ninja Turtles of my childhood wasn’t ashamed of its existence. [Note: If you're someone who freaks out because of spoilers, don't read this review because I don't want you whining in the comments section]

25 High-Resolution TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Images Featuring Megan Fox, Splinter, Shredder, and More

by     Posted 26 days ago

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In anticipation of the film’s release this weekend, Paramount Pictures has unveiled a batch of high-resolution Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles images from director Jonathan Liebesman’s upcoming adaptation.  The film has ellicited skepticism from a fair amount of Turtles fans, and from the trailers the pic looks to be caught between a younger-skewing, humorous tone and the more “gritty”, Transformers-esque action.  If Liebesman keeps the titular Turtles light and funny, I think the pic could end up being a solid adventure film for young teens.  Until its release, these new images provide us with a better look at the CG rendering of said Turtles, as well as the villainous Shredder, mentor Splinter, and the film’s human characters.

Hit the jump to take a look at the high-resolution Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles images, and if you missed any of Perri’s set visit coverage, be sure to check out her full set visit report and on-set interview with Megan Fox and Will Arnett.  The film also stars William Fichtner and the voices of Johnny Knoxville and Tony ShalhoubTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens in theaters on August 8th.

First Trailer and Images for Tommy Lee Jones’ THE HOMESMAN Starring Jones, Hilary Swank, Hailee Steinfeld, and Meryl Streep

by     Posted 139 days ago

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The first trailer and images have gone online for Tommy Lee Jones‘ western drama, The Homesman.  The story centers on a claim-jumping rascal (Jones) and a frontierswoman (Hilary Swank) as they escort three insane women from Nebraska to Iowa and battle the harsh elemental conditions of the prairie.  I loved Jones’ 2005 film The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, which played like a modern-day western.  The Homesman looks more like a straight entry into the genre, but also an interesting one.  There appears to be a tricky balance between Jones’ slightly off-kilter character and the serious dangers he and his traveling companions must face.  Nevertheless, it has an outstanding cast, and I assume we’ll be seeing it later this year since it will be released next month in France.  It’s also a safe assumption that it will make its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, so I’m eager to hear the buzz on the picture.

Hit the jump to check out The Homesman trailer and images.  The film also stars Hailee Steinfeld, Meryl Streep, Tim Blake Nelson, James Spader, William Fichtner, and Jesse PlemonsThe Homesman is currently awaiting U.S. distribution.

15 Images from the TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Trailer Provide a Close up on the Heroes in a Half-Shell

by     Posted 157 days ago

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If the first teaser trailer for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got you jazzed for the movie (looking around at some of the responses in my Twitter feed, some people love it, and others are lukewarm at best), then we’ve pull out 15 images for your viewing pleasure.  They provide more close-ups on the Turtles, and they’re likely the only ones we’ll get for a while as the special effects team toils away to get the picture ready for its summer release.

Hit the jump to check out the images, and be sure to see what screenwriter André Nemec had to say about the film.  The film stars Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, Pete Ploszek, Jeremy Howard, Noel Fisher, Danny Woodburn, and William FichtnerTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens on August 8th.

First Teaser Trailer for TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES Starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett

by     Posted 157 days ago

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Paramount Pictures has released the first teaser trailer for director Jonathan Liebesman’s (Battle: LA) reboot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  There’s not a lot of footage here, so it’s tough to make a judgment call beyond being unsure who this movie is for.  It looks like they’re trying to make it in the vein of Transformers, but robots are easy compared to something organic.  Is this meant to appeal to the nostalgia of older viewers?  Are the turtles too creepy for kids?  I don’t know what Liebesman is going for, and overall this feels like an announcement trailer.  Most people don’t know a new Ninja Turtles movie is coming.  Now it’s a matter of evaluating the response.  What’s yours?  Sound off in the comments.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer, click here for 15 screengrabs, check out what screenwriter André Nemec had to say about the film, and if you missed Steve’s CinemaCon coverage, check out his video blog recap of the footage and interview with Will Arnett.  The film also stars Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, Pete Ploszek, Jeremy Howard, Noel Fisher, Danny Woodburn, and William FichtnerTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens on August 8th.

THE LONE RANGER Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 228 days ago

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The abject failure of The Lone Ranger produced its share of schadenfreude, particularly among people weary of star Johnny Depp and the kind of summer movie hubris that the western reboot seemed to embody in every frame. It was too bloated, too unwieldy, too full of itself and its own overblown event status to merit forgiveness. Audiences stayed away in droves, and not without good reason. There’s a lot here that just doesn’t work. And yet in a season dominated by grim, downbeat, unyieldingly bleak blockbusters, it brought an undeniable sense of fun that most critics completely overlooked. I’m not prepared to go all Tarantino on it, but I will say it shows signs of life that definitely merit a second look. Hit the jump for my full review of The Lone Ranger on Blu-ray.

William Fichtner Talks TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES; Says “It’s Not Like Any TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES You’ve Seen Before”

by     Posted 312 days ago

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans should probably start preparing for the upcoming live-action movie to be radically different from the property they know and love.  That doesn’t mean the movie will be bad, but it will likely be controversial among fans.  In a recent interview with the great William Fichtner, who will play the Turtles’ arch-nemesis Shredder, he says “It’s not like any Mutant Ninja Turtles thing you’ve ever seen before,” and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what to expect when the film comes out next year.

Hit the jump for more about what Fichtner had to say, but be warned that some of his comments could be considered spoilers.  The film also stars Megan Fox, Danny Woodburn, Alan Ritchson, Pete Ploszek, Jeremy Howard, Noel Fisher, and Will ArnettTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens August 8, 2014.

ELYSIUM Review

by     Posted 1 year, 23 days ago

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It may be a stretch to say that the protagonist of Elysium “becomes more machine than man,” but it’s a fitting description for his story.  Writer and director Neill Blomkamp delivered an exhilarating sci-fi action film mixed with thoughtful social commentary in his debut feature, District 9.  His follow-up feature, Elysium, promises more of the same, and fully delivers on that promise for the first 35-40 minutes.  But then everything that was special about the picture and unique in Blomkamp’s voice is drowned out in loud, clashing action scenes that are occasionally entertaining but beset with eye-rolling plot shortcuts, the loss of character development, and Jodie Foster‘s inability to pick an accent and run with it.  Elysium‘s message about economic inequality is couched in a finely-drawn sci-fi world, but the power of that message becomes diminished when we cease to care about the messenger.

TOP 5: THE LONE RANGER, 15 Movies You May Have Missed in 2013 So Far, Christian Bale Not Involved with JUSTICE LEAGUE, THE WAY, WAY BACK, Our Most Anticipated Movies: July to September

by     Posted 1 year, 56 days ago

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With a production budget in the neighborhood of $150 million and a worldwide pull of just under $50 million entering its second weekend, it’s probably fair to say that White House Down will ultimately be seen by the powers that be as a bust. Blame its proximity to the similarly themed Olympus Has Fallen (which, on the whole, received similar critical reaction but comparatively more box office success) if you will, but having watched and enjoyed the heck out of the film last night I believe at least some of the blame lies at the feet of Sony’s marketing. Whereas Fallen was packaged, and ultimately delivered, as a dead serious action/thriller, I don’t think White House Down marketing did enough to prep its potential audience members for the over-the-top, often times ridiculous, self-aware genre piece they would encounter. The best examples I can give to support this theory are the multiple scenes that left me laughing out loud while the majority of my fellow moviegoers sat quietly, unsure whether the movie was actually asking them to laugh with it or was just that silly and contrived. It’s possible that I’m going Roland Emmerich and co. too much credit, but I went with the former every single time and ended up having a great time with the film as a result.

All White House drama aside, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of interviews from The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and more, a list of 15 movies from the first half of 2013 that you may have missed but definitely deserve a look, Christian Bale insisting that he is not involved with the Justice League movie in any way, The Way, Way Back interviews with Steve Carell and more, and a look at our most anticipated movies from July to September.

William Fichtner Talks THE LONE RANGER, What He Collects, ELYSIUM, and TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

by     Posted 1 year, 58 days ago

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With director Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger opening this Wednesday, Disney held a big press junket Santa Fe, New Mexico.  While I’ve done a lot of interviews, it was incredibly cool to talk to the cast and filmmakers with the beautiful New Mexico desert behind us.  If you’ve missed the trailers, the story focuses on John Reid (Armie Hammer) surviving an attack, being saved by Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp), and the two teaming up to fight injustice.  As you can see in this featurette, the production went to enormous lengths to film the majority of The Lone Ranger practically, and they shot at some amazing locations all around the country.  The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, and Helena Bonham Carter.

During my interview with Fichtner, he talked about what he likes to collect, filming on location, his costume, his upcoming films Elysium and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE LONE RANGER Review

by     Posted 1 year, 60 days ago

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I love epic westerns.  The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is one of my all-time favorite films.  I also adore Once Upon a Time in the West and obviously The Searchers is an undisputed classic.  They’re epic not only because of their length and how they take in the awe-inspiring scenery, but also in the grand motives of the characters, the sweep of their journey, and the conflict along the way.  The Lone Ranger isn’t epic; it’s just really damn long.  The flabby screenplay moves at half-speed while undeveloped characters slog through predictable motions and forced quirkiness, all of which is trapped in an erratic tone that swerves from kookiness to uncomfortably somber.  Even the few redeeming aspects like Armie Hammer‘s endearing performance and director Gore Verbinski‘s skill at putting together set pieces can’t stop the film from feeling like being dragged through the desert rather than a rousing ride through canyons and vistas.

William Fichtner Confirms He’ll Play Shredder in TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

by     Posted 1 year, 68 days ago

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Now I have at least a little reason to care about Jonathan Liebesman‘s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.  We previously reported that Fichtner had joined the film, and was playing a character “with iconic stature in the Turtles’ mythology.”  The assumption was that he would be playing Shredder, and now Fichtner has confirmed that he has taken on the part of the Turtles’ longtime nemesis.  Speaking to Huffpost TV Canada [via JoBlo], Fichtner said, “I play Shredder.  It is cool. It’s one of those things that came along where I thought, ‘Really? Let me think about this for a minute.’ [Laughs] Then I was like, ‘Yeah, OK, this sounds like a journey.’ I’m very glad that it worked out, I’m really glad that I’m doing it.”  Fichtner may not be a household name, but he’s a great addition to any movie, and I’m interested to see what he’ll do with the role.

Produced by Michael Bay, the film also stars Megan Fox and Will ArnettTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens June 6, 2014.

26 New Images from THE LONE RANGER Starring Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, and Helena Bonham Carter

by     Posted 1 year, 78 days ago

Disney has released a slew of new images from director Gore Verbinski’s new film The Lone Ranger.  The story focuses on John Reid (Armie Hammer) surviving an attack, being saved by Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp), and the two teaming up to fight injustice.  As a big fan of Verbinski’s work on the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films, I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s put together for Lone Ranger.  These new images tease the film’s large cast of characters as well as the principal partnership between the titular Ranger and Tonto, and it should be fun to see how the duo’s relationship develops over the course of the film.

Hit the jump to check out the images.  The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, and Helena Bonham Carter.  The Lone Ranger opens July 3rd.

New Trailer for THE LONE RANGER Goes Heavy on the Action

by     Posted 1 year, 102 days ago

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With a little over a month away until the release of Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger, Disney has a released a new trailer.  The story focuses on John Reid (Armie Hammer) surviving an attack, being saved by Native American warrior Tonto (Johnny Depp), and the two teaming up to fight injustice.  The new trailer speeds through the premise to get to the set pieces, and while I want to be excited for this movie, I just keep seeing Wild Wild West.  There’s hardly any of the humor that made Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean movies so enjoyable, or the strangeness that brought Rango to life.  Then again, if Disney wants to leave the best stuff out of the trailer, that’s fine by me.  I’d like to be surprised.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, Ruth Wilson, and Helena Bonham CarterThe Lone Ranger opens July 3rd.

Vince Vaughn to Star Opposite Will Ferrell in DADDY’S HOME; William Fichtner Joins TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES

by     Posted 1 year, 114 days ago

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We’ve got some new casting news:

  • Vince Vaughn has joined the comedy Daddy’s Home, the feature directorial debut of Etan Cohen (Men in Black 3).  Vaughn will star opposite the big cat himself, Will Ferrell.  The film is about a radio exec (Ferrell) who lives a mild-mannered life until his wife’s ex-husband (Vaughn) returns to the picture and begins competing for his step-children’s love.
  • Director Jonathan Liebesman (Wrath of the Titans) cast William Fichtner (The Dark Knight) in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remake.  Turtles will be produced by Michael Bay, and the cast includes Megan Fox, Alan Ritchson, and Will ArnettTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens June 6, 2014.

Hit the jump for more information on the casting.

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