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Review: Poltergeist

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Seven Kingdoms Scoop

Check Out the Latest Recap of HBO's Game of Thrones!

5/29/2015

Game Over: Disney Pulls the Plug on 'Tron 3'


While some are acting as if this news is shocking, it really isn't a surprise to learn that Disney has decided against a sequel to Tron: Legacy. The third film in the Tron franchise was to reunite director Joseph Kosinski plus stars Garrett Hedlund and Olivia Wilde, and enough prep had been put into that the title Tron: Ascension was already being floated, and a start date set for this fall. Apparently Jared Leto was also being pursued for a role. But all of that was for naught, it seems.

The reasons for Disney's decision are unclear, and THR doesn't offer any additional info. Still, it's pretty easy to figure out why. Tron: Legacy cost a pretty penny to produce, close to $200M, and while it earned $400M worldwide, it didn't inspire a lot of excitement from anybody. Talk of a third film went on for years with little movement, and the sudden to decision to move forward came out of the blue.

It's possible Disney got cold feet after another futuristic film, Tomorrowland, tanked at the box office. Whatever the reason, Tron has had the plug pulled on it once and for all.

Watch the Amazing, Brain-Melting Kung Fu Short 'Kung Fury' Now!


And you thought nothing could ever be more insane than Mad Max: Fury Road!! Well wait until you get a load of Kung Fury, a 30-minute spine-ripping brain-exploding homage to the action movies of the '80s. The film was written and directed by David Sandberg, and basically it was a legend before it was ever finished. About a year ago he dropped this really eye-popping trailer and launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds, amassing more than $600K in short order. A debut at Cannes (!!!) followed, and now we have the final product, a film that is like every mind-boggling idea Sandberg ever cooked up thrown in one place. We're talking kung fu fighters, walking arcade consoles, cops with dinosaur heads, ninjas, gods, Nazis...EVERYTHING!! None of it makes any sense and that's exactly why it's so awesome. Oh, and look out for appearances by David Hasselhoff and Lonely Island's Jorma Taccone as Hitler.

Can we please get a feature-length version of this? Like right now!? Warner Bros. is probably blowing up Sandberg's phone.

Two More 'Independence Day' Sequels Coming as William Fichtner Joins Cast


William Fichtner makes every film he's in better. Don't believe me? Think how lousy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Drive Angry, Black Hawk Down, and Armageddon would have been without him. So it's no wonder he's been sought out more often lately for blockbuster franchises, and now he's signing up for Roland Emmerich's Independence Day 2, and he may be sticking around for awhile.

According to Deadline, Fichtner will play a top general in the follow-up to Emmerich's hit 1996 film, and his role may get even bigger in the sequels to follow. Emmerich had originally planned it as a two-part sequel, titled ID Forever parts 1 & 2, but those plans were scrapped. Perhaps it's a sign of confidence by 20th Century Fox that plans are now underway for two more films, creating an entirely new trilogy.

Fichtner joins Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum Vivica A. Fox, Judd Hirsch, Brent Spiner, Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Usher, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Travis Tope, Joey King, Maika Monroe and Sela Ward. Independence Day 2 opens June 24th 2016.

We Could be Getting a Bumblebee 'Transformers' Spinoff...But Let's Hope Not


Paramount and Hasbro have come up with a huge plan to sell more toys expand their Transformers cinematic universe, pulling together a brain trust of Hollywood's top writers in the field of pop culture. So they've got Akiva Goldsman leading it, joined by others such as Robert Kirkman (The Walking Dead), Zak Penn (The Avengers), a pair of Iron Man writers, and more. While most recently we've heard of a possible origin story set on Cybertron, we could also be looking at a solo Transformers film featuring the most likely of Autobots.

According to TFW2005, Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner suggested we could be getting a movie centered on Bumblebee. Yes, Bumblebee. Not Optimus Prime or Hot Rod or Wheeljack or somebody cool, but Bumblebee, who can't even talk in the live-action movies. Ugh.

“As we go forward, we would imagine several more Transformers Movies,” Goldner said. “Not just in the current lineage but also spinoffs and focusing on certain key characters that are beloved by the world over. Many of you know Bumblebee; the yellow Camaro… formally known as a yellow VW Bug. He is a beloved character by kids all over the world. We could see stories told around Bumblebee and other characters. We are in a process of building the brand equity around the comic book business, our TV Business, our digital gaming business and adding to that our new movie business of Transformers.”

Now, this doesn't sound like a definite plan or anything but that he singled out Bumbleee does suggest something is in the works. This sounds like a terrible idea to me, mostly because Bumblebee only speaks through old TV and movie clips, right? How sick of that crap would you be after five minutes? Which Transformer would you want to see get their own movie?

The next Transformers film, likely directed by Michael Bay once again, is expected to arrive in 2017.

Review: Leah Meyerhoff's 'I Believe in Unicorns' Starring Natalia Dyer


Highly expressive, sensitive, surreal, yet startlingly honest, I Believe in Unicorns marks an impressive directorial debut by Leah Meyerhoff. Based in part on her autobiography, there's no questioning the deeply personal nature of the material, it all shines through in the tremendous lead female performance. Even when escaping into a glistening imaginary world of unicorns and dragons, one step remains firmly planted in an all-too-familiar yet strikingly real story of first love.

Wide-eyed Natalia Dyer gives a dazzling breakout turn as Davina, a quiet and imaginative 16-year-old girl who longs for a life outside of the cramped walls of her home. There she's largely responsible for the care of her wheelchair-bound mother (Meyerhoff's actual mom), a daily process we sense has become a cage for adventurous spirit. A chance to broaden her horizons geographically, emotionally, and sexually, arises when she encounters Sterling (Peter Vack), a cigarette-smoking, long-haired, leather-jacketed punk rocker with bad news written all over him. It doesn't take much for him to sweep Davina off her feet with lofty promises to break free from their stagnant lives, traveling the world together in a state of perpetual bliss. She doesn't care where they go, "anywhere but here" she says, and so they embark on a road trip, a whimsical Bonnie & Clyde journey of self-discovery and sexual awakening.

All of this may sound like just another indie romance about fleeting teen love, Meyerhoff treads fresh ground with the depiction of Davina's wondrous inner-life. It's there that we see the swirl contradictory emotions captured in storybook-style fantasy. Using stop-motion animation of handmade unicorns, fearsome dragons, all set in a Game of Thrones-esque world that can be brutal or tender, depending on Davina's mood. At one moment she may be floating high in the air like a princess, in the next she's firing a volley of arrows that kills everything in sight. That it all comes across as chaotic and confusing makes sense because such raw emotions can't easily be understood and are often terrifying.

While our travels through Davina's dreamscape are often intoxicating, reality proves just as compelling, at least for a while. Their aimless journey includes a stop at a roller rink, a literal roll in the hay, lots of arguing, plenty of kissing and making up, but not much in the way of dialogue. When they do converse, Davina says things like "I will spread my wings and smother you with a million tiny feathers." It may sound unbearably twee but Davina is such a wonderfully complex character; strong and vulnerable, sunny and stormy, and willing to explore these new feelings that come with womanhood. Meyerhoff fails to keep the new discoveries coming, though, and even with a brief runtime there's a noticeable drag. The biggest problem may be the film's conclusion, which takes what had been a complicated emotional roller coaster and wraps it up in a neat little bow.

With Hollywood seemingly reluctant to provide women's stories told from a strong female perspective, I Believe in Unicorns is a welcome presence, and Meyerhoff a director to watch.

Rating: 3 out of 5



Henry Cavill Exits 'Stratton' Days Before Filming Begins


Even Superman can have a quick change of mind, it seems. A few months ago Henry Cavill signed up to produce and star in action-thriller Stratton, based on Duncan Falconer's popular series of novels centering on the titular British Special Forces agent. With Simon West directing and financing fully secured, the film was set to begin shooting in just a few days, but now suddenly Cavill has pulled out of the project over creative differences. Here's the statement by GFM Films, who are now in search of a new star to replace Cavill....

“It is with great regret that we announce that Henry Cavill has pulled out of ‘Stratton’ due to creative differences on the script of the movie. With production due to commence next week, we wish to keep the production team together and Simon West as director so are working now to replace Henry. Production will be delayed whilst we do this. Further announcements will be made in due course.”

This kind of thing happens all of the time, but rarely on a project of this size or this close to production. Hopefully this doesn't turn into a Jane Got a Gun situation with talent fleeing faster than passengers on a sinking ship. Cavill will be seen next in this summer's The Man from UNCLE, and then he'll suit up for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. [ScreenDaily]

Trailer for Rashida Jones-Produced Amateur Porn Documentary 'Hot Girls Wanted'


Rashida Jones has been on TV a lot over the last few days, but it's not for a Parks & Recreation reunion or anything like that. The actress has been promoting Hot Girls Wanted, a documentary she produced, that explores the booming amateur porn industry.

Directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, the film debuted at Sundance earlier this year and was picked up by Netflix soon after. It tells a familiar but unfortunately common story about the young women who are seduced by the promise of fame and wealth in the porn industry, only to find that it isn't glamorous and may actually be dangerous. 

Hot Girls Wanted is streaming on Netflix now. Check out the trailer below. 


Hot Girls Wanted : le documentaire sur les jeunes et le porno [Bande annonce] by FILMSACTU

Will Forte Joins Key & Peele's 'Keanu'; Justin Timberlake and Josh Gad Eyed for Comedy 'Bad in Bed'


Key & Peele are gathering a strong cast for their feature debut, Keanu, with Will Forte (Nebraska, The Last Man on Earth) joining a group that already includes Method Man and Gabrielle Union. The film sees the comedy duo as mild-mannered friends who pose as gangsters in an effort to rescue a kidnapped kitten, only to attract the attention of an actual gangster. Forte will play “a low-level pot dealer obsessed with black culture although Peele’s character is the only black person he knows.” Keanu will be directed by Peter Atencio. [THR]

According to The Tracking Board, we may see Justin Timberlake and Josh Gad team-up for Bad in Bed, a sex comedy from The Wedding Ringer writers Pamela Falk and Mike Ellis. The story centers on a womanizing fitness instructor whose world is rocked when he learns he's a terrible sex partner, so he turns to a sensitive, less-attractive sex consultant to get in touch with his emotional side. This would be interesting if the roles were reversed and Gad was the fitness freak, but oh well. No deals have been signed and these are just the actors at the top of Paramount's wish list.

John's Take: 'San Andreas' starring Dwayne Johnson and Alexandra Daddarrio



America’s Sweetheart, a term that’s always brought to mind a 6’5” 260 lbs half-Samoan man…oh, that’s not what you were thinking? Well, then, like most other things Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (who will always just be The Rock to me) broke the mold. NOTE: We’re going to some real man crush territory here so strap in. I feel confident in saying that Johnson has the most raw charisma of anyone in Hollywood history, it’s the only explanation for the fact that regardless of his film or what he does in that film we love him. Those who disagree are either severe contrarians or just downright cold. Whether it’s one of his wholly inspirational social media accounts, the million dollar smile that let’s you know everything’s going to be more than alright, or his best (and perhaps most rare) trait…that extreme confidence, something he carries unlike anyone on the planet. See, confidence is one of those things that generally makes people hate you. Especially when you are all of the things that Dwayne Johnson is, yet somehow that part of him actually makes him feel more approachable, like he could be one of the guys. So why the love letter to The Rock? It’s really quite simple, San Andreas, is the ultimate test of his ability to make anything like-able. Knowing that you can now see why the preamble was necessary.

Here’s a quick history lesson kids. In a time before comic book movies, from about 1994 to 2004, the disaster film was the hallmark of the summer movie season with films like Armageddon, Dante’s Peak, Twister, The Day After Tomorrow, and, of course, Independence Day if you didn’t destroy a city in some way you didn’t have a blockbuster. While we still get a disaster flick every now and then, think 2012’s…well 2012, to say they’ve taken a back seat would be a severe understatement. In comes San Andreas, a text book disaster movie. That’s an important thing to know, the textbook part I mean, before I even get into it I’ll make clear some things that may answer whether you should see the flick or not. It’s absolutely formulaic, about as scientific as a Harry Potter movie, and is cheesier than a fondue party in Wisconsin. If that’s a big deal for you I’ll save you some time, it’s not for you. For those of you still with me Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson plays Ray Gaines a para-rescue helicopter pilot and war vet with a daughter named Blake (Alexandra Daddario) who’s headed to college and a soon to be ex-wife Emma (Carla Gugino) who’s moving on with her life in the form of architect billionaire Daniel (Ioan Gruffudd). Elsewhere the part of our scientist to whom no one listens is Lawrence (played by the impossible not to love Paul Giamatti). Lawrence is a top-tier seismologist who, as our film begins, is close to finding a way to predict earthquakes with his partner Kim (Will Yun Lee). When their seismometers (I may have made that term up) begin going off near the Hoover damn they head out to test their theory. They were right, very very right. They find that there is an unknown fault basically making a triangle from either end of the San Andreas Fault to the Las Vegas area, and it’s ready to give our heroes the historic earthquake that we’re about 100 years overdue for.

I usually have a paragraph listing a film’s fault but since A. it would take far more than a paragraph and B. they should all be something you’re expecting, I’ll just sum it up in a few sentences. First and foremost is Lawrence, Paul Giamatti is reduced to issuing trivial warnings to Californians via a hacked TV channel and yelling “Here it comes, get under the table!”. Logic, Physics, general understanding of how things work, probabilities, common sense, all of these things are completely non-existent in the world of San Andreas, so know that going in. They don’t even attempt to have most of the movie make sense, from the intro which establishes the tightness of Ray’s team only to have them completely disappear never to be seen again to Ray’s daughter making a cell phone call immediately after a 9.6 earthquake. It’s the definition of mindless entertainment...but how does it fair on the entertainment front?

Pretty damn good actually. As long as you prepare yourself before hand to ignore all logic and reason San Andreas delivers some of the most intense, well paced, morbidly beautiful destruction you have ever seen. The earthquake sequences, which smartly start VERY early on in the film, are simply awe-inspiring. I give them extra points for the long shots showing the entire city (either L.A. or San Fran, take your pick) not just shaking but moving in what can only be described as a wave. The destruction is total, short of a nuclear blast I’ve never seen such destruction in cinema. Last year’s Godzilla, which also took place partly in San Francisco (that poor city is ALWAYS getting destroyed) amounts to a mild hail storm when compared to the aftermath of the quakes in this flick. It happens again and again but surprisingly you never become numb to it, the filmmakers get points from me for their effort to show the destruction on different levels each time, be it a skyscraper completely tipping over or the ground splitting and rising so you can see a subway train shoot out onto the street.

Alexandra Daddario and Carla Gugino are both fine in their respective roles (and absolutely gorgeous, though that’s not something I’m supposed to rate them on apparently) but without Dwayne Johnson this movie is intolerable. I’m serious, even with the destruction being delicious eye candy this film goes down as one of the worst of all time without ole’ Rocky. Whatever “it” is, he’s got more of it than any other star in history…if star power can be counted in midichlorians he’s Anakin Skywalker. There isn’t a scene he’s in where he doesn’t have a situation or line that if done or said by ANYONE else working today or any day simply falls as flat as something can fall. I could go on and on but you get the point and there’s no point in elaborating, he’s the Rock, being the Rock, in the midst of the worst on-screen destruction ever committed to film and there’s really nothing more to say past that.


There are so many ways to rip this film apart and as you read reviews for it I’m sure you’ll see what I mean but at the end of the day you have to ask yourself two questions. 1. Am I a fan of The Rock? 2. Am I able to completely suspend disbelief and just allow myself to be enveloped by ludicrous yet awe-inspiring destruction the kind of which the term “Popcorn Movie” was made for? If the answer is yes then San Andreas is for you. If you answered no to one of the questions, proceed at your own risk, and if the answer to both was no, then I heard Aloha is coming out this weekend too. 

3 out of 5 Guttenbergs

Jessica Chastain May Star with Amy Schumer in Dating Comedy 'Plus One'


Jessica Chastain is arguably today's top actress, with a string of stellar dramatic performances longer than her flowing red hair. But one area she hasn't indulged in too often is comedy, and for her first major comedic role she's getting some high-profile help. According to The Tracking Board she has agreed to star in Plus One, a film that will be produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, and may see the red-hot Amy Schumer as her co-star.

Written by April Prosser, this two-hander comedy centers on Rachel, who is just coming out of a long-term relationship and looking to get back into the dating scene. But with all of her closest friends married, she must turn to her wild and crude acquaintance Summer to be her wing-woman.

Obviously the Summer role sounds perfect for Schumer, and if a deal can be struck it would be amazing to see her paired up with Chastain. A director won't be sought until Chastain's co-star has been locked down, but this sounds like a perfect vehicle for someone like Paul Feig or Schumer's Trainwreck director, Judd Apatow.