TOP 5: MALEFICENT, ANT-MAN Director Search, New SNOWPIERCER Trailer, A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST, LEFT BEHIND Trailer Starring Nicolas Cage

     May 31, 2014

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I’m a week late to the game on this one but I’m going to share my thoughts on X-Men: Days of Future Past today nevertheless. While not on par with the excellent X-Men: First Class, I found DOFP to be a worthy follow-up that does an admirable job of bringing continuity to the movie tapestry while mercifully retconning X-Men: The Last Stand out of the discussion almost entirely. Also, for all of the cynicism I threw the film’s way over Quicksilver’s costume design, Evan Peters steals the show during his all too brief screen time. Without giving away too much to those who still haven’t caught the movie, his primary scene is the best that DOFP has to offer and tops Nightcrawler’s attack on the White House in X2 which is not praise that I heap lightly. While not without its flaws (the scenes set in the future are far less compelling than the story playing out in the past), DOFP is still a solid entry in the series that has me looking forward to X-Men: Apocalypse.

All DOFP reflections aside, this week’s Top 5 features our Maleficent interviews and review, Marvel’s ongoing search to find someone/anyone to direct Ant-Man following Edgar Wright‘s departure, the new trailer for Snowpiercer, Matt’s review of A Million Ways to Die in the West and an interview with Seth Macfarlane and Charlize Theron, and Nicolas Cage starring in the first trailer for the new Left Behind film because he can. Keep reading for brief recaps and links for all of the above.

1. MALEFICENT Interviews and Review

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I was much more excited for Disney’s Maleficent before its lukewarm reviews started piling up (including this one from Matt). As much as I hate to admit it, said critical reception has likely moved the pic down to rental status for me as I’m interested in seeing Angelina Jolie’s take on the iconic villain but not interested enough to dish out box office dollars if the surrounding elements aren’t up to par. Now that I’ve done a stellar job of selling the movie, I’m sure you’ll be quick to jump to our interview coverage which features interviews with Angelina Jolie, director Robert Stromberg, Elle Fanning, and Sam Riley.

2. Marvel Searches for a New ANT-MAN Director

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I wrote about my displeasure with Edgar Wright leaving Marvel’s Ant-Man last week and I can’t say all that much has changed since then. Story aside, I couldn’t wait to see what Wright was going to bring to the film visually. No disrespect to any of the directors that now seem to be in the running, but nothing they’ve done in the past tells me that they’re going to bring an ounce of the originality and visual talent that Wright possesses. Now with Adam McKay exiting the film on the same day he was set to sign on to replace Wright as director, I can’t say I’m exactly inspired with confidence about the direction of the pic.

3. New SNOWPIERCER Trailer

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The new Snowpiercer trailer landed online this week and it further affirms that I can’t wait to see the movie at the end of June. Director Bong Joon-ho looks to have crafted a thrilling story of class warfare set in a post-apocalyptic world. He also seems to understand the importance of wielding an axe when attempting to move from the back to the front of a perpetually moving train that houses the earth’s final 1,000 survivors. Indeed, you can never have access to too many axes when embarking on such a mission.

4. A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST Interview and Review

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I’ve never been much of a Seth Macfarlane fan, but I’ll admit that I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed his feature debut, 2012’s Ted. Along those same lines, I was actually encouraged by the trailers for A Million Ways to Die in the West for the most part as I tend to agree with Macfarlane’s general thesis that the Old West was a scary, scary time/place to live in. In his review, Matt admits to laughing consistently throughout the film in spite of its “glaring flaws”. The prospect of consistent laughter is probably enough for me to buy a ticket should the opportunity present itself and more than enough for me to recommend checking out our interview with Macfarlane and Charlize Theron in the meantime.

5. The Rapture Doesn’t Want Nicolas Cage in LEFT BEHIND Trailer

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File this one under “Movies Nicolas Cage Stars in Because of Course He Does”. The Oscar winner is leading the most recent adaptation of the first Left Behind book and plays a pilot who’s trying to figure out what the hell is going on when the Rapture, you guessed it, leaves him behind. Here’s the first teaser trailer from the film which also features an early contender for worst movie poster of 2014.

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