TOP 5: Ben Affleck Is Batman, The Best Weekend This Summer, Iconic Directors Talk the Future of Movies in 1990, THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS, STAR WARS

     August 24, 2013

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It should come as a surprise to no one that this week’s Top 5 is headlined by the news that Ben Affleck will inherit the cowl as the next Batman in Summer 2015’s Man of Steel sequel. And with good reason. Unless something goes drastically wrong, the movie is going to be an international blockbuster that millions will line up to see/pay for (yours truly included). That said, and like I mentioned last week, this weekend is one that I’ve been looking forward to for some time and one that I hope movie lovers will embrace; which is why Matt’s editorial on this being the best weekend of the summer earns the second spot in this week’s installment. If you need a break from the common blockbuster, sequel, reboot, remake, etc., this weekend is for you. If you believe original movies have a place at your local cineplex, here’s your chance to dig into your wallet and prove it. You might be paying to see your favorite movie of the summer or you might end up seeing something that doesn’t suit your tastes at all. Either way, you’ll come out of it a better movie fan than you went in.

All begging and pleading aside, on tap this week is the aforementioned Ben Affleck/Batman news, Matt’s editorial on this being the best weekend of the summer (which will start the begging and pleading all over again), a neat flashback video of George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Martin Scorsese discussing the future of movies in 1990 with Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel, interviews for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, and a couple of noteworthy Star Wars: Episode VII tidbits. As is customary, a brief recap and link to each of the above can be found after the jump.

1. Ben Affleck Is the Next Batman

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I didn’t see this one coming. Watching from a distance, I knew that Warner Bros. was looking for its next Batman to be in his late 30s – early 40s. That said, the idea of 41 year-old Ben Affleck taking on the role never crossed my mind which is probably one of the numerous reasons why studio execs. and casting directors never seek my opinion on anything. In any count, color me excited to see what Affleck does with the role and kudos to my colleague, Adam Chitwood, for daring to request the impossible: that the Internet react to the news of Affleck’s casting with excitement and/or civility.

2. Editorial: The Best Weekend This Summer Belongs to Original Movies and You

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By now, I’ve beaten you up enough about the importance of this weekend and getting out to the theater to watch the slew of original movies that may be playing in your area. That said, if you require more detailed, eloquent convincing then I recommend checking out Matt’s editorial on how “The Best Weekend This Summer Belongs to Original Movies and You”. You’re Next, The World’s End, Blue Jasmine, Short Term 12, Drinking Buddies (from fellow Saluki alum, Joe Swanberg…Go Dawgs!) are out there for your viewing pleasure. Select one or five that you think might interest you and buy a ticket!

3. Watch Iconic Filmmakers Discuss the Future of Movies in 1990

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Come for the nostalgia, insight, and ability to compare prediction to reality. Stay for Steven Spielberg’s interesting hairstyle. In all seriousness, if you have any interest in the films of George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, and Steven Spielberg; the work of Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel; and/or how some of the greatest American filmmakers predicted movies would look today, back in 1990, then you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more entertaining watch than this 48-minute special on the future of movies.

4. THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES Interviews

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I feel and probably sound like your old, grumpy neighbor when I say this but, on the whole, I’m woefully/happily out of the loop when it comes to film adaptations of YA novels. I almost never read the source material, I have little to no interest in seeing the adaptation, and distinguishing one from the other in terms of theme, characters, plot, is virtually an impossible task for me. Now that I’ve completely erased any trace of credibility I may have on the subject, I welcome anyone who feels differently to check out Matt’s review of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones as well as our video interviews with Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, & Kevin Zegers, Jared Harris, and director Harald Zwart. We also have text interviews with Jamie Campbell Bower, screenwriter Jessica Postigo Paquette, and Lily Collins if you’re so inclined. Now stay off of my lawn!

5. STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Names Cinematographer; Possible Release Date

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While rumors, possible scoops, and general “news” regarding Disney’s Star Wars: Episode VII are a dime a dozen, this past week brought on a couple of tidbits from the pic that seemed substantial enough to warrant covering here (you know, considering my incredibly high standards): director J.J. Abrams will shoot the movie on 35mm film (unlike Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith which were shot digital), will collaborate once again with Star Trek cinematographer Dan Mindel, and it looks as if Disney is eyeing a December 2015 release date which, if true, would make Episode VII the first Star Wars film to not be released in the month of May.

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