Review: Dead Snow: Red vs Dead

Does it live up to it's neo-classic horror-comedy predeccesor?

What's Up with The Walking Dead

Rocky breaks down 'Four Walls and a Roof'

Review: John Wick

Starring Keanu Reeves

Review: Birdman

The awards buzz is there but does the film live up to it?

10/30/2014

Emile Hirsch and Zoe Kravitz Join "Bonnie & Clyde" Style Love Story 'Vincent-N-Roxxy'



There have been some changes at the top of Vincent-N-Roxxy, a violent love story inspired by the likes of Bonnie & Clyde. Originally set to star the more interesting but less marketable duo of Megalyn Echikunwoke (Damsels in Distress) and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek), they've since been replaced by Zoe Kravitz and Emile Hirsch. Eh.

Written and directed by Gary Michael Schultz, the story follows "two down-on-their-luck rebels who fall in love and fall apart when their violent pasts catch up with them." Hirsch recently starred in Peter Berg's Lone Survivor, while Kravitz was seen in Divergent and will reprise her role in the sequel, Insurgent.

Filming on Vincent-N-Roxxy was to have begun in July but will now pick up in December. [Deadline]

Isla Fisher is 'Keeping Up with the Joneses'; Hailee Steinfeld Finds 'Love at First Sight'



The upcoming comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses already sounded promising with the oddball duo of buds Zach Galifianakis and Jon Hamm as its stars, but now the film has gotten even better with the addition of Isla Fisher. Directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad), the film centers on a normal suburban couple who discover that their neighbors are undercover spies. Fisher and Galifianakis will be husband and wife, while Hamm is a spy. Fisher was last seen in the crime caper, Life of Crime, and is currently filming Grimsby alongside her husband, Sacha Baron Cohen.

Milk and J. Edgar screenwriter Dustin Lance Black is putting together his first directorial effort since 2010's Virginia. He's lined up Hailee Steinfeld to star in The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight, adapted from the Jennifer E. Smith YA book that takes place over 24 hours. Steinfeld plays Hadley, who is stuck at JFK and late for he father's wedding in London. While in the waiting room she meets the perfect boy in Oliver, and their story "about family connections, second chances and first loves" "will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it". Yeah, okay. [THR]

Prepae to 'Hail, Caesar!' with the Coen Brothers in February 2016


The Coen Brothers' next film Hail, Caesar! has been in the works for a few years, originally intended as part of their "Numbskull Trilogy" of George Clooney-led comedies. Now that it's finally gotten underway, Universal Pictures has given it an official release date, but you're going to have to wait awhile for it.  Hail, Caesar! will hit theaters on February 5th 2016, which should instantly mark it as the crown jewel of the typically weak early season. 

Starring Clooney, Josh Brolin, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, and Ralph Fiennes, the film is set in the 1950s and follows a Hollywood fixer. But why explain all of that when we've got a brand new synopsis that does a much better job?

About HAIL, CAESAR!
Four-time Oscar®-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, True Grit,Fargo) write and direct HAIL, CAESAR!, an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood's Golden Age. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Scarlett Johansson and Jonah Hill, HAIL, CAESAR! follows a single day in the life of a studio fixer who is presented with plenty of problems to fix. The comedy is produced by the Coen brothers under their Mike Zoss Productions banner, with Working Title Films and Eric Fellner and Tim Bevan.

Review: 'Nightcrawler' starring Jake Gyllenhaal


To have a goal, to really reach for something, is what most Hollywood movies celebrate. We praise the overachievers, those who are willing to sacrifice anything and everything to achieve greatness. But what happens when the need to become the best gets twisted? What happens when it lays within someone whose heart is cold as ice? Someone with such a singular focus that regard for others is a completely foreign concept? Look at our news today, where murders lead the local broadcasts and cable outlets cut in for hours of "Breaking News" at the first sign of tragedy, and all for the sake of ratings. "If it bleeds, it leads", is the mantra for Dan Gilroy's pulse-pounding, evocative thriller Nightcrawler, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal in the boldest performance of his career.

In a lot of ways, Nightcrawler is the culmination of everything Gyllenhaal has been building to since setting off on a different path, one that took him away from mainstream flicks like Prince of Persia, or feeble rom-coms like Love and Other Drugs. As he's taken on darker roles in films like Prisoners, Enemy, and End of Watch, Gyllenhaal has literally transformed into a completely different actor, and it's fascinating to watch. In Nightcrawler he plays Louis Bloom, an awkward, somewhat manic low-life criminal looking for work in nocturnal Los Angeles but finding none. Gaunt, sickly, yet energized, Bloom is like Norman Bates given the dangerous energy of a cornered animal. Tired of pawning off stolen goods (for which he's willing to hurt people to get), he happens upon a burning wreck on the freeway and, rather than offering a hand of help, Louis comes up with a completely self-serving idea. Noticing the throng of freelance journalists at the scene, nightcrawlers, Louis decides this is the career for him.

And of course, he's right. Nightcrawling rewards those who find and capture the most gruesome, violent footage in order to sell it off to the news stations for easy money. "If it bleeds, it leads". It's a profession tailored to the unscrupulous, the psychotic, and it's pretty clear that Louis fits the bill and probably has for a long time. But he's also a voracious learner, leeching off the other freelancers like seasoned videographer Joe Loder (Bill Paxton), who doesn't know quite what to make of this strange but tenacious newcomer. Hiring an equally desperate but innocent homeless man (Riz Ahmed), Louis begins to carve out his niche. It's a dog-eat-dog gig, and soon Louis is earning top dollar by selling his graphic footage to Nina (Rene Russo), an unscrupulous TV news producer desperate for higher ratings. Her enthusiasm for the death and violence he brings borders on the orgasmic. Why bother asking where he got it from? Part of the thrill of Nightcrawler is watching the power struggle between the two; their relationship going from professional to slightly erotic to totally creepy.

What starts out like a darkly comic look at one man's climb up the greasy ladder of trash journalism slowly unfolds into something more. It takes a little while for writer/director Dan Gilroy to get his footing, but once things are set into motion Nightcrawler is simply enthralling. As a twisted look at the corrosive state of modern journalism, the film stands on par with Network and Broadcast News, while offering Gyllenhaal the kind of iconic role people will be talking about for years. Gilroy's understanding of the newsroom atmosphere is a little suspect, and let's face it 90% of the stuff Louis gets on air would never make it through the door. But it works in the context of the thriller Gilroy is crafting, one that forces us to take at face value some rather extraordinary circumstances. And yet we're so engrossed by the ever-increasing stakes that we're willing to along for the ride, which turns out to be completely worth it.

It can't be understated just how good Gyllenhaal is here, clearly delivering the best work of his career. But it's not just him deserving of praise. Russo gets the kind of juicy role women of her age don't get often enough anymore, and even if it's only because her husband is the director she doesn't waste the opportunity. Watching the charismatic Ahmed tone it down to play Louis' indecisive and sappy partner takes a little getting used to, and every scene that features Paxton is a treat. Their performances are bolstered by the gorgeous cinematography by Robert Elswit, whose seedy Los Angeles we've seen previously in the works of Paul Thomas Anderson. Gilroy plunges us into a slimy, sleazy morass where someone like Louis Bloom can take root, and it's a place that should look eerily, scarily familiar. Much like its demented protagonist, Nightcrawler isn't afraid to cross the line to keep us in its grip.

Rating: 4 out of 5

10/29/2014

Michael Bay will Take on the Benghazi Attack with '13 Hours'



Go ahead and bring up Benghazi at during Thanksgiving dinner next month. See how that goes. Chances are the dinner conversation will suddenly get very heated and polarized, just as it is when the political talking heads kick the subject around on TV. While some have tried to turn it into some all-encompassing conspiracy, the truth of the matter is that some good people lost their lives during the tragic attack, and their story deserves to be told with subtlety and care. Enter: Michael Bay. Huh??

The ultra-patriotic Bay is in talks to direct 13 Hours, which will focus on the security team who fought to defend the U.S. Diplomatic mission in Benghazi and protect American lives on September 11th 2012. The $30-$40M political drama, which is pretty small by Bay standards, is based on the book by Mitchell Zuckoff, with The Town's Chuck Hogan writing the script.

This sounds like the kind of flag waving exercise Bay loves, but a story like this is going to require more nuance than the director has ever shown before. No word on when filming begins but keep an eye on this one. [THR]

Cinema Royale Marvel Movies Special!



Gah! Did you see what Marvel did yesterday!?!? Black Panther! Captain Marvel! Captain America: Civil War! Avengers: Infinity War! Inhumans! And that's not even the half of what they revealed, and we're going to talk about all of it! What does all of this mean for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe? We'll be joined by Jeff Lyles of Lyles' Movie Files to try and wrap our brains around all of it, and you're encouraged to call-in and join us! How are we going to fit all of this into an hour??

Listen to the show below, and "Like" Cinema Royale here!!

New U.S. Trailer for 'Serena' starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper



Poor reviews and a couple of years gathering dust aside, there's still a few reasons to be excited for the Depression-era melodrama, Serena: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Susanne Bier. Chances are when the film actually arrives, that's all people will need to know when deciding to plunk down their money to see it. Set in North Carolina, the story centers on George and Serena Pemberton, powerful timber magnates fighting to protect their empire from competitors. As their business grows, problems arise in their marriage due to his infidelity and her inability to get pregnant, leading to a breakdown that threatens to destroy everything.

Serena is playing now in the U.K., but will land stateside on VOD February 26th 2015 before hitting theaters a month later. Check out the new U.S. trailer below.

It's Hell on Wheels in the First Images from 'Terminator: Genisys'



Has the totally relaunched, all-new Terminator: Genisys been flying under the radar a little bit? Absolutely it has. Despite the franchise's 30-year history and status as a sci-fi classic, there simply hasn't been much excitement for what next year's film will bring. But maybe that will change now that EW has provided our first looks at the cast, along with dropping some brain-twisting plot details that we hadn't heard until today.

The magazine's twin covers offer a look at Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor and Jai Courtney as Kyle Reese, both sporting a Harley Davidson like the classic Terminator was so fond of; the other features Jason Clarke as Sarah's son and future hero John Connor, and former Doctor Who star Matt Smith. No sign of Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 just yet, but based on the newly-revealed plot he and the other characters won't be as we remember them.

The beginning of Terminator: Genisys, the first of three planned films that Paramount hopes will relaunch the beloved sci-fi franchise, is set in 2029, when the Future War is raging and a group of human rebels has the evil artificial-intelligence system Skynet on the ropes. John Connor (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ Jason Clarke) is the leader of the resistance, and Kyle Reese (Divergent‘s Jai Courtney) is his loyal soldier, raised in the ruins of post apocalyptic California. As in the original film, Connor sends Reese back to 1984 to save Connor’s mother, Sarah (Game of Thrones‘ Emilia Clarke), from a Terminator programmed to kill her so that she won’t ever give birth to John. But what Reese finds on the other side is nothing like he expected.

Okay, that sounds familiar, but that's about where the similarities end...

 Sarah Connor isn’t the innocent she was when Linda Hamilton first sported feathered hair and acid-washed jeans in the role. Nor is she Hamilton’s steely zero body-fat warrior in 1991’s T2. Rather, the mother of humanity’s messiah was orphaned by a Terminator at age 9. Since then, she’s been raised by (brace yourself) Schwarzenegger’s Terminator—an older T-800 she calls “Pops”—who is programmed to guard rather than to kill. As a result, Sarah is a highly trained antisocial recluse who’s great with a sniper rifle but not so skilled at the nuances of human emotion.

Crazy, and a good way to give these Terminator films a voice all their own.  Hopefully a trailer is right around the corner. Directed by Alan Taylor, Terminator: Genisys opens July 1st 2015. 

Katniss Prepares for War in Final Trailer for 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1'


"If we burn, you burn with us", Katniss roars at President Snow in the new, jam-packed 60 second trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1. Following on the events of Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen is now the face of a revolution, leading the people of District 13 against the Capitol. Meanwhile she must also rescue Peeta, who has been captured and brainwashed, while also protecting her family from Snow's inevitable retaliation.

Supposedly the "final" trailer before the film's arrival on November 21st, it promises massive scope and a ton of action, with Jennifer Lawrence looking as strong as ever as Katniss. With a cast that includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, Woody Harrelson, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Jena Malone, Jeffrey Wright and more, let's hope they remember to keep a focus on the characters and not just on big special effects. They've done a pretty good job of it so far, and with the finale split into two chapters there should be even more time to get it right.

Mockingjay Part 1 will be followed by Part 2 on November 20th 2015.


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Final Trailer – “Burn” by Trailersstv

First Look at Simon Pegg in Terry Jones' 'Absolutely Anything'


There's going to be a Monty Python reunion next summer, although probably not in the way their rabid fans would want. Terry Jones  is directing the sci-fi comedy, Absolutely Anything, which has him and his Python colleagues John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, and Michael Palin voicing a bunch of space aliens. The film stars Simon Pegg and Kate Beckinsale, and Empire have just revealed the first images of Pegg, who plays a regular guy with limitless power.

The story centers on Neil Clarke (Pegg), a secondary schoolteacher who can do literally do anything. Here's how Jones describes it: “He can make anything happen [but] he doesn’t realize it until his colleague says, ‘What would you do if you could do anything?’ and Neil responds with, ‘I’d make an alien spaceship hit class 4C and vaporize them.’ Then there’s an explosion in the school, and they run to 4C’s classroom, open the door and there’s a vast hole in the ground.”

Sounds weird and twisted and potentially hilarious, especially with Pegg in the lead role. The film includes the final performance by Robin Williams, who voices Neil's dog. Absolutely Anything opens in 2015.