TOP 5: OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Set Visit, Duncan Jones Directing WORLD OF WARCRAFT, JACK THE GIANT SLAYER Set Visit, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST, Sundance 2013 Wrap-Up

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Prior to last Sunday, Zero Dark Thirty was my favorite pic of 2012 by a considerable margin. However, after my matinee viewing of Silver Linings Playbook, that margin has been replaced with a draw. Whereas Zero provided me with a tension that left me on the verge of breathless at moments, Playbook‘s spectacular performances and head-on portrayal of mental illness and our ability to help each other cope/prevail proved not only hugely entertaining but also quite cathartic.

My 2012 movie scorecard aside, this week’s Top 5 includes our set visit coverage of Oz the Great and Powerful, Duncan Jones being tapped to helm the World of Warcraft movie, more visit coverage from the set of Jack the Giant Slayer, a slew of news from X-Men: Days of Future Past, and a Sundance 2013 wrap-up. A brief recap and link to each of the above is promised after the jump.

1. OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL Set Visit

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Save for Spider-Man 3, when I see a Sam Raimi-directed picture I tend to come out the other side a happy guy. While I would be perfectly fine with the iconic director churning out one Drag Me to Hell spinoff after another, I understand the need to stretch the artistic muscles every once in a while and expect great things from the likely gore-less Oz the Great and Powerful all the same. Regardless of your own motivation in learning more about the film, a great starting point is Steve’s set visit coverage: visit recap with video blog and on-set interviews with Sam Raimi, Michelle Williams, James Franco, Zach Braff, and Joey King.

2. Duncan Jones to Direct WORLD OF WARCRAFT Movie

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Like many of you, I have friends and family who have logged insane amounts of time with the worldwide phenomenon that is World of Warcraft. So much time, in fact, that it makes the weeks I put into Halo and/or Modern Warfare seem reasonable by comparison (or at least that’s what I tell myself). That in mind, even though I’ve never played WOW myself, I’ve long been curious what a film adaptation would look like. While that question remains unanswered, this week’s news that Moon and Source Code director Duncan Jones is taking over the helm of the adaptation was encouraging to say the least.

3. JACK THE GIANT SLAYER Set Visit

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I’ll be honest, the interest that I have in Jack the Giant Slayer comes completely from the inclusion of director Bryan Singer. If not for the man behind the camera’s resume including the first two X-Men films and The Usual Suspects, I may never give Jack a second glance. As it stands, though, I’ll be following the film closely in spite of my general disinterest in the fantasy/adventure genres. Whether you’re drawn to the pic for reasons similar to my own or because fantasy and adventure is right in your wheelhouse, I recommend checking out Steve’s plethora of set visit coverage: visit recap and interviews with Bryan Singer, Ewan McGregor, Nicholas Hoult, and Eleanor Tomlinson.

4. A Week Full of X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST News

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Upon first viewing X-Men: First Class instantly became my favorite installment in the franchise. Even though director Matthew Vaughn declined to return, I continue to ride high on the positive vibes from First Class in anticipation of its follow-up, X-Men: Days of Future Past. As a result, this week’s onslaught of Future Past news was met with open arms by this guy: Anna Paquin, Ellen Page, and Shawn Ashmore all set to return, director Bryan Singer sheds details on the pic, the sequel is set 11 years after First Class, and Sentinels may be getting some screen time. Sentinels!

5. Sundance 2013 Wrap-Up

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While I still harbor unhealthy feelings of envy toward my colleagues for attending Sundance 2013, I think it’s only right to use this week’s final spot to credit Steve, Matt, and Adam for a job well done. Scores of interviews, reviews, etc., spurred out of their work from Park City, Utah, all of which you can check out by simply clicking here. Before you dive into that black hole of Sundance coverage, though, I recommend checking out Adam’s look back at his first Sundance experience.




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