With awards-season upon us, I’ve been doing my best to catch up with any potential contenders that I may have missed up to this point. Without a doubt, the standout of late has been writer/director Tate Taylor‘s The Help. I had heard from several friends that the pic was solid but nothing special. After finally getting a chance to sit down with it myself, I have to say that I disagree. I think it’s better than that. Not only is it filled with great performances, but it also finds a way to be more than a story of how a caring white person can help those otherwise hopeless black people. If only 2009’s The Blind Side could go back in time and take note.
But enough of my own cinematic experiences, in this week’s “Top 5” you’ll find a recap of our visit to the Romanian set of Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance, Benedict Cumberbatch talking about his villainous role in J.J. Abrams‘ Star Trek sequel, our interview with Mondo creative director Justin Ishmael, the possibility of a Bridesmaids world without Kristen Wiig, and video interviews with War Horse‘s Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, Tom Hiddleston and more. Hit the jump for a brief recap and link to each.
1. GHOST RIDER SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE Set Visit Coverage
Not just as a novice comic book nerd, but as a moviegoer in general, I
want need Neveldine/Taylor’s Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance to be better than its 2007 iteration. Based on everything I’ve seen from the film thus far, all signs point to it being more over-the-top and mildly insane. Whether it’s a product of its own virtues or a product of its predecessor’s lameness, I count “over-the-top and mildly insane” as improvements. If you have similar sentiments or if you’re still in need of convincing, I encourage you to check out our plethora of coverage from the set of Ghost Rider Spirit of Vengeance: Visit Recap/Video Blog, Nicolas Cage Interview, Idris Elba Interview, director Brian Taylor Interview, Ciaran Hinds Interview, Violante Placido Interview, and our Fergus Riordan Interview.
2. Benedict Cumberbatch Talks STAR TREK 2 and SHERLOCK Season 3
In a case of good timing, our own Christina Radish was in attendance at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour in Pasadena this week when Benedict Cumberbatch made an appearance via satellite and discussed his brand new role in the Star Trek sequel. Whether you’re a Trek fan or a Sherlock fan, you’ll probably do good to click here and check out what the rising actor had to say about his latest part.
3. Interview with Mondo Creative Director Justin Ishmael
As a sucker for movie posters, the original work that the Alamo Drafthouse’s offshoot, Mondo, cranks out often leaves me in awe (and reaching for my wallet). Recently, Mr. Scott Wampler had the opportunity to not only discuss Mondo’s spectacular posters, but also what the future holds for the brand with its creative director Justin Ishmael. Whether you love Mondo’s work or if you’re just looking to gain a little insight into its creative vision, this interview is a great place to start.
4. Universal May Do BRIDESMAIDS Sequel Without Kristen Wiig
I really enjoyed Bridesmaids. I paid to see it in theaters. I’ve watched it several times outside of theaters. That said, I feel like I may need to apologize to future me for past me’s financial support of the pic. After becoming Universal’s highest-grossing rom-com ever (around $288 million at box offices worldwide), it looks to be a foregone conclusion that moviegoers are going to get a Bridesmaids sequel. But one without Kristen Wiig? Sigh…I’m sorry, future me. Very, very sorry.
5. WAR HORSE Video Interviews with Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, Tom Hiddleston and More
Steven Spielberg’s War Horse has me in a bit of a predicament. On one hand, I really enjoy a lot of the legendary director’s work and so I’m compelled to check it out. On the other, I swore to myself, shortly after watching Black Beauty as a child, that I would never again put myself through a film whose main protagonist is a horse. While I prepare myself for hate mail from horse enthusiasts around the world, I suggest checking out Steve 100% equine-free video interviews with stars Jeremy Irvine and Emily Watson and Tom Hiddleston, Patrick Kennedy, and Toby Kebbell.