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 Arnett. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens August 8, 2014.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Arnett. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens June 6, 2014.
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.
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 Carter. The Lone Ranger opens July 3rd.
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 Arnett. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles opens June 6, 2014.
Hit the jump for more information on the casting.
In case you didn’t get your fill of Disney’s The Lone Ranger yesterday from the new trailer debut and Steve’s interviews with producer Jerry Bruckheimer and star Armie Hammer, a new international trailer has now made its way online that offers up even more new footage. This trailer focuses more on the fiim’s humor and, unsurprisingly, Johnny Depp (he’s a big draw overseas, you know). Director Gore Verbinski has a real knack for crafting exciting and coherent action sequences, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what he’s put together for this mega-budget Western.
Hit the jump to watch the international trailer. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, and Helena Bonham Carter. The Lone Ranger opens on July 3rd.
Disney has released a new trailer for director Gore Verbinski‘s upcoming film The Lone Ranger. This lengthy theatrical trailer begins by focusing on the origin of Armie Hammer‘s titular ranger and how his partnership with Johnny Depp‘s Tonto was forged, and from there we get quite a few looks at the many characters and set pieces that make up the action/adventure pic. There are more than a few similarities to be found between this and Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy, as this trailer showcases a massive scale, a kooky Depp performance, plenty of dirty, nefarious characters, and a possible supernatural element. The visuals here look gorgeous, and while I’m not sold on Depp’s performance or even necessarily the story, I’m still eager to see what Verbinski has cooked up on a very big screen when this thing hits theaters.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, Ruth Wilson, William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, and Helena Bonham Carter. The Lone Ranger opens on July 3rd.
A few days ago, Disney released The Lone Ranger character posters for lead actors Armie Hammer, who plays the eponymous ranger, and Johnny Depp, who plays his sidekick, Tonto. They’ve also released a poster for Helena Bonham Carter‘s character, Red. Today, Disney has released posters for Ruth Wilson (Luther) as Rebecca Reid and William Fichtner (The Dark Knight) as Butch Cavendish. Reid is described as “made for finer things, yet possesses the grit and independence of a frontierswoman. Her spirit is caught between two men: her husband Dan, and his younger brother, John.” As for Cavendish, he’s “a ruthless outlaw whose terribly scarred face is a perfect reflection of the bottomless pit that passes for his soul.” Life is so much easier when people who are ugly on the outside are also ugly on the inside. You can judge that book by its cover.
Hit the jump to check out the posters. The film also stars Tom Wilkinson, James Badge Dale, and Barry Pepper. The Lone Ranger opens July 3rd.
The first trailer for District 9 director Neill Blomkamp’s highly anticipated sci-fi film Elysium has been released. The story takes place in 2159 where two classes of people are roughly divided: the wealthy live on a man-made space station called Elysium, while the rest of the humans inhabit an overpopulated and ruined Earth. The trailer begins by showing us the luxurious world of Elysium before revealing the grungy, desert-like Earth. Blomkamp looks to have crafted an incredibly detailed and vast sci-fi world here, and the visuals are absolutely stunning. The action sequences look excellent as well and Damon appears to be kicking all kinds of ass, but most importantly Blomkamp has crafted yet another timely, socially-conscious story that speaks volumes to the current issues facing our world. A wholly original sci-fi property that asks audiences to think while also providing entertainment value in spades? Count me wholeheartedly in.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer, and click here for Steve’s video blog recap after seeing 10 minutes of footage and interviewing Blomkamp. The film stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, William Fichtner and Diego Luna. Elysium opens on August 9th.
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Wrong opens today in limited release.]
In 2010, Quentin Dupieux‘s Rubber hit the screen to critical acclaim. The acclaim was mostly along the lines of “The best killer tire movie you’ll ever see.” Despite its odd-ball premise and protagonist, Rubber did seem to have cohesive subtext about criticizing the audience and purposely messing with their expectations. By contrast, Dupieux’s new movie, Wrong, is all killer tire and hardly anything to say. That’s doesn’t make it a bad flick. Strangeness along the lines of a killer tire can still be pretty funny, and Wrong‘s off-kilter reality offers plenty of laughs. It’s just too silly and devoted to strangeness to make any exploration of a convoluted subtext worth considering.
A third new trailer for Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer, is now online. The international trailer comes with Japanese narration, but the action transcends any language barriers. Focusing on stunt sequences, explosive pyrotechnics and even some hidden-weapon gadgetry from star Helena Bonham Carter, the new trailer is short on dialogue, but certainly delivers on the excitement.
Also starring Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, James Badge Dale, William Fichtner and Ruth Wilson, The Lone Ranger rides into stateside theaters July 3rd. Hit the jump to watch the new trailer.