Warner Bros. Reveals Full DC Slate of Films!

Wonder Woman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Aquaman, Justice League, and More!

Review: Camp X-ray

Starring Kristen Stewart

Review: Fury

Starring Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, and Logan Lerman

Review: Dear White People

The Sundance hit stars Tessa Thompson and Tyler James Williams

Review: Whiplash

Starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons

10/24/2014

James Franco Enlists Seth Rogen, Megan Fox, Will Ferrell, and More for 'Zeroville'


Keeping tabs on James Franco's many projects is a task unto itself, as he stays busy in front of and behind the camera. At least when he's directing he tends to fill up the cast with his friends and people he's worked with on previous occasions. About three years ago Franco optioned the rights to Steve Erickson's book, Zeroville, and not only is that next on his to-do list, production is already underway with an all-star cast on board.

According to Screen Daily, Franco has brought on Seth Rogen, Mexan Fox, Craig Robinson, Will Ferrell, Horatio Sanz, Dave Franco, Jamie King, Jacki Weaver, and Danny McBride for Zeroville. You can follow the production on Franco's Instagram page, where he's put up some pictures from what looks like a wild production. Perfect for a film with a far-out concept that has Franco starring as Jerome, a movie centering on a "film-obsessed architecture student with images of Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift (as they appear in A Place in the Sun) tattooed on his shaved head arrives on Hollywood Boulevard in 1969 where he’s mistaken for a perpetrator in the Charles Manson murders." There he encounters many fixtures of the era (including directors like George Lucas and Steven Spielberg) while traversing the sex, drugs, and rock & roll scene.

Rogen, who has worked with Franco numerous times in the past, will play Viking Man, described as an ‘eccentric, cigar-chomping, surf-hippy’; Fox will play a femme fatale named Soledad; McBride plays a sinister financier; while Weaver is a mentor and friend to Franco's character. Sounds pretty awesome, and yet another challenging project for Franco to undertake. For all his ambition there aren't a lot of positive things to say about the films he's previously directed, but maybe this will be where it all comes together.

We May See Jesse Eisenberg's Lex Luthor in 'Suicide Squad'


If Marvel can do it, so can Warner Bros., and we've seen the latter aiming high in building their DC Comics universe. With ten movies coming over the next few years that means plenty of opportunity for crossovers, and it looks like we're going to see one involving David Ayer's Suicide Squad.

According to Deadline, talks are underway for Jesse Eisenberg to reprise his role as Lex Luthor in Suicide Squad, after appearing in (and apparently surviving) Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. The search is underway for an A-list cast to star in the film, with Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Tom Hardy, and Ryan Gosling sought to play the team of government-sanctioned villains. So what does Lex Luthor have to do with them? Not much, but they crossed paths during the Doomsday Protocol storyline which took place when he was briefly President of the United States. Yes, Luthor was the POTUS for awhile.

There's just one problem, and it's Eisenberg's schedule. He's set to star in Arms & the Dudes, the crime film from The Hangover's Todd Phillips. He may have to choose one or the other, and something tells me WB is going to have the edge on this one. Suicide Squad opens August 5th 2016 with production to begin in the spring.

Rumor: 'Wonder Woman' Director Shortlist Includes Kathryn Bigelow, Catherine Hardwicke and More


So that didn't take long. Shortly after reports began to circulate that Warner Bros. was looking to bring a female director on to helm their upcoming Wonder Woman movie, which will star Gal Gadot and arrive in 2017 as part of a huge DC Comics lineup, Forbes has already gotten on the ball and revealed the list of apparent candidates. Mostly it's names that one would expect to find, but there are a couple of surprises.

The list of possibilities includes Kathryn Bigelow Catherine Hardwicke, Julie Taymor, Mimi Leder, Karyn Kusama, Michelle MacLaren, and Tricia Brock. Obviously, Bigelow would be the big score here, but the Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker director is probably the least likely to want to do something like this. Hardwicke has franchise experience with Twilight, and many of her movies (Thirteen, Red Riding Hood) have been from the female perspective. She may be the most logical choice. Kusama has had a rough go of it since breaking through with Girlfight in 2000, a film that introduced the world to Michelle Rodriguez. She hasn't directed a feature since Jennifer's Body in 2009, and she also helmed the big-budget stinker, Aeon Flux. Leder also hasn't directed a major film in awhile, but the Deep Impact filmmaker certainly knows the terrain. Taymor may not seem like an obvious pick but the gorgeous visuals she was able to bring to Across the Universe and The Tempest may be what got WB's attention. MacLaren has directed episodes of The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones, both shows serving as solid launching pads for others; and Brock is best known for her work on Person of Interest.

My gut tells me WB will go with an established name, which could mean Hardwicke will be the choice. Or perhaps there are others out there we still don't know about? Wonder Woman opens June 23rd 2017.

Review: 'A Thousand Times Good Night' starring Juliette Binoche and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau


Every filmmaker strives for a sense of authenticity, to present a personal connection whether real or imagined. Norwegian director Erik Poppe's wartime drama A Thousand Times Good Night draws inspiration from his career as a war photographer, but is given new dimensions by the decision to alter the lead role into that of a female, and casting the great Juliette Binoche. As a woman driven by her career, the desire to affect global change, and the thrill of the moment while family life beckons, the complexity of her performance rises above a story that is somewhat listless.

The opening moments are intense and immediately gripping, setting the stage for a different kind of film than what we ultimately get. Binoche lays Rebecca Thomas, regarded as one of the five best war photographers on the planet; and we're introduced to her fearlessness right from the beginning. Embedded deep within a sect of Muslim women in Afghanistan, one of whom is preparing to commit a suicide bombing, and right away we can see that Rebecca is both terrified and electrified by her proximity to the story. In fact, it's her attempt to score one final photo that triggers the bomber's early detonation, with Rebecca injured and barely escaping death.

It's then that we expect Poppe to explore the nature of crisis photography itself and how being a neutral observer to horrific acts can change a person. And what, if any, is the responsibility of that person when something terrible is happening right in front of them? Does the job always come first? Like soldiers who find it impossible to go back to civilian life, do those who operate in similar situations face the same kinds of problems acclimating in society? Poppe introduces a number of intriguing ideas but then pushes them aside to cover a fairly bland story of Rebecca's home life. Her husband (Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and two daughters have grown accustomed to Rebecca being away, but this latest brush with death has him spooked. He wants her to stay home from now on where it's safe; maybe take a job closer to home. She agrees and tries to make a go of it, but it isn't long before the pull of the latest hot zone (not to mention persistent editors) has her reevaluating the decision. While one would expect Poppe to bring a sense of nuance to such a personal issue, he instead opts for increasingly overbearing and contrived interactions that blunt the story's impact. Rebecca's daughter conveniently gets a school project on Africa just as a supposedly-safe assignment there pops up. Of course it doesn't turn out to be so safe, but it gives the daughter a chance to see her mother's dangerous fearlessness up close and personal. The children keep scrapbooks full of belated birthday cards and distant letters. We get it; mom hasn't been around much. These scenes wouldn't be so bad if they felt like they were coming from a place of honesty, but they are a little too pointed for that.

The biggest issue is that Poppe simply doesn't take advantage of a wealth of potential avenues to be covered. In particular, he's trying to say something about the way gender influences how we perceive careers such as this. For a guy, he's expected to trot out there in the middle of danger and it's just part of the job. But for a woman, a mother no less, she's seen as abandoning her family. So many ideas are left unfulfilled that little momentum can be mustered up except when Rebecca is off on assignment. It's to be expected that Poppe would pay extra attention to detail during these scenes, and the cinematography is gorgeous; thoughtful even. Despite a screenplay that lets her down for the most part, Binoche is wonderful as Rebecca, a woman divided by her passion for the job and maternal instincts. She's an adrenaline addict but it's more than that; she wants her photographs to affect real change. She's obsessed with the idea of it. And perhaps the point Poppe is trying to make is that people like Rebecca should be left to do their altruistic work and not be distracted by familial responsibilities. It's an intriguing thought, one that would have made for a more challenging, thought-provoking film if given the proper attention. 

 Rating: 3 out of 5

Warner Bros. wants a Female Director for 'Wonder Woman'



Marvel's superhero films may have a stranglehold on audiences right now, but Warner Bros. made a bold move a few days ago when they released a huge slate of DC Comics films through 2020. It was a big deal for a lot of reasons, but in the reveal of Wonder Woman and Cyborg movies they showed a willingness to provide a more diverse lineup than Marvel. In the case of Wonder Woman, which we know will star Gal Gadot as the Amazonian demigod, it's the first major female-led superhero film since Elektra more than a decade ago.

It looks like WB is going to try their best to do right by the character in every facet, as THR reports they are seeking a female director to take the helm on Wonder Woman. That's pretty much all the information we have on it, but even that is news worth celebrating. Opportunities for women directors are shamefully few, except on the indie scene. Kathryn Bigelow is without a doubt the top director working today having won an Oscar for The Hurt Locker, but Angelina Jolie is following closely behind her.

Who else could be on their list? I personally like Lexi Alexander, who has previous comic book experience as director of Punisher War Zone. Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight) seems like a possible candidate, and what about Julie Taymor (The Tempest), Mimi Leder (The Peacemaker), Gina Prince-Blythewood (Beyond the Lights), or Persepolis' Marjane Satrapi? Wonder Woman doesn't hit theaters until June 23rd 2017, but I wouldn't expect WB to sit around and wait before making a decision.

Win a DVD of 'Plastic' starring Will Poulter and Alfie Allen!



We're happy to offer our readers a chance to win a copy of the high-octane heist flick, Plastic! Starring Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones), Will Poulter (We're the Millers), Ed Speleers (Downtown Abbey), and Emma Rigby (Once Upon a Time in Wonderland), the film takes you through the high-stakes world of white collar crime. SYNOPSIS: Sam and Fordy run a credit card fraud scheme, but when they steal from the wrong man, they find themselves threatened by a sadistic gangster. They need to raise $20 million and pull off a daring diamond heist to clear their debt.

To enter, simply follow the instructions in the Punchtab widget below. The contest ends on Monday, October 27th when two winners will be contacted by email. Good luck!

Review: 'Ouija' starring Olivia Cooke and Douglas Smith


What is it about toys and board games that make such great antagonists in horror films? Is it that these inanimate objects are designed for fun and enjoyment, but really have deep connections to the foulest of evils? Whatever the reasons are, Hasbro hasn't found them in Ouija, a painfully dull attempt to turn their supposedly-supernatural party game into a low budget scarer. On the surface it seems like a sound idea; a lot of people have had some frighteningly good fun with Ouija boards over the years, and they're probably better off inviting friends over to play it than sitting through a film this tired and rote.

By comparison, Ouija makes Hasbro's last attempt to adapt a board game look like pure genius. That would be last year's noisy and stupid Battleship, which you could never snooze through no matter how sleepy Brooklyn Decker's line delivery got. Drifting off into slumberland is pretty easy during Ouija, though, which conjures up zero scares and never deviates from a bland playbook. The film begins with best friends Debbie and Laine happily playing with their Ouija board as kids, only to be interrupted in their fun by the arrival of one's sister. But it was enough for the girls to make a connection with something terrible, and years later as the girls are grown up, its presence has only gotten stronger. They may think it's "only a game", but clearly something disagrees.

When teenaged Debbie (Shelley Hennig) dies under mysterious circumstances, and is revealed to have been something of a Ouija addict, her best friend Laine (Olivia Cooke) gathers a few friends to communicate with Debbie...through the board, of course. Along with her ill-tempered sister Sarah (Ana Coto), Debbie's boyfriend Pete (Douglas Smith), Laine's boyfriend Trevor (Daren Kagasoff) and close friend Isabel (Bianca Santos), they reach out to Debbie but end up contacting something far worse. Predictably, people start dying and it's up to them to figure out why.

There's a pretty good chance for Ouija to offer up some Final Destination-style dark comedy, the path a film like this absolutely should have taken, but instead what we get is a deadly serious and frightfully dull bore. You won't be surprised by anything screenwriting and directing duo Stiles White and Juliet Snowden come up with as they basically rip off every horror you saw a decade ago. Spooky dead kids, a scorned mother, and deep family secrets literally buried in the attic are what's in store. Nothing to see here, folks. Although the film is shot well enough it never stops looking like something that should be airing on the CW, not on the big screen. There's never a sense of terror; never a sense that anybody is in real danger, and nothing the filmmakers tries to do changes that. Part of the problem is the wooden performances by much of the cast, with only Cooke capable of holding our attention for more than a few minutes. She's genuinely great on the hit Psycho spinoff, Bates Motel, and maybe her familiarity with the genre is why she stands out from her co-stars.

Most importantly, it's hard to figure out what Hasbro gets out of a movie like this. Unlike Transformers,  GI Joe, or Battleship which were clearly designed to sell toys, who's going to run to their local Wal-Mart and pick up a Ouija board? Certainly they won't based on this utterly forgettable movie.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5

10/23/2014

Chiwetel Ejiofor and Sebastian Stan Join 'The Martian'; Nathalie Emmanuel Boards 'The Scorch Trials'


Wow. Ridley Scott may be putting the finishing touches on his epic Exodus: Gods and Kings, but he's sure finding time to give his next film an impressive cast. Oscar-nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor and Captain America: The Winter Soldier's Sebastian have joined the cast of The Martian, with Mackenzie Davis (What If) confirmed after being rumored some weeks back. They join a terrific ensemble that includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels, and Sean Bean in telling the story of an astronaut stranded on Mars who must stay alive long enough to be rescued. [EW]

Game of Thrones' Nathalie Emmanuel, who plays Daenerys' handmaiden Missandei on the HBO series,  is the latest to come aboard The Maze Runner sequel, The Scorch Trials. She'll play Harriet, the leader of a group of girls who escaped from another maze. Wes Ball returns to direct with Dylan O'Brien, Will Poulter, and Kaya Scodelario coming back to star. Emmanuel will also be seen in next year's Fast & Furious 7. [THR]

The Full Trailer for the 'Dredd' Animated Spinoff, 'Superfiend'



Judge Dredd is back, albeit in a different way than fans of Dredd were hoping for. This week we've seen images and a teaser for Adi Shankar's unofficial follow-up, Superfiend, an animated web series based on the "Dark Judges" storyline. Like Shankar's Punisher and Venom short films, Superfiend isn't connected to the prior film and is basically just a labor of love from Shankar, who makes that clear in a brief introduction to the newly-released trailer.You won't hear Karl Urban's voice, and the violent tone has been stripped down for the kids which is a little weird since the Dark Judges storyline is bleak even by Judge Dredd standards.

Look for the first episode of Superfiend to debut on October 27th.

Greta Gerwig to Play Dawn Wiener in Todd Solondz' 'Wiener-Dog'; Julie Delpy Eyes Role



Todd Solondz breakout film, 1995's Welcome to the Dollhouse, set the course for the dark, satirical character studies that would define his career. He seems to specialize in exploring taboo subject matter, as he would go on to do with Happiness, Storytelling, Palindromes, and Life During Wartime. And the characters he's created remain memorable, even as other actors have gone on to portray them. Without a doubt the one that stands out most is Dawn Wiener , who was mercilessly teased for being ugly in 'Dollhouse', played by a young Heather Matarrazzo in an Indie Spirit Award-winning performance. While that character supposedly committed suicide in Palindromes, Solondz has found a way to bring her back in his next film.

THR reports that Greta Gerwig will play the adult-aged Dawn Wiener in Wiener-Dog, which Solondz has quietly been developing for years. Julie Delpy is also in talks to join the ensemble which is tied together thematically by a dachshund hound inspiring and changing the lives of those it encounters. One of the stories being told will follow a grown-up Dawn Wiener, although that's all the detail we have on it. No word on who else could be involved but Matarrazzo will not be coming back. She hasn't had a major feature film role since 2007's Hostel II.

But really, Greta Gerwig as Dawn Wiener? That's an odd choice unless Solondz plans to completely ignore her fate in Palindromes when it was revealed she got pregnant, went to college, and killed herself. Plus, isn't Gerwig a little too pretty for the part, or is her transformation from ugly ducking to beauty what Solondz plans to cover? I'm very interested in seeing where this goes.