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

10/21/2014

Pixar's Peter Sohn Confirmed as 'The Good Dinosaur' Director in New Video



If everything had gone according to plan we'd have already seen Pixar's The Good Dinosaur. But like many of their projects a major overhaul took place midstream when Bob Peterson was removed as director, leading to a bumping of the release date from last May to next year. The odd thing was that Pixar never revealed who Peterson's replacement was, but now we know and it's Pixar veteran, Peter Sohn.

Pixar revealed the news in a video tweet showing Sohn drawing the lead dinosaur, Arlo. The original story was to have taken place on an Earth that didn't see the dinosaurs wiped out by an asteroid, so that they now live in harmony alongside humans. Jon Lithgow, Judy Greer, Lucas Neff, Neil Patrick Harris, and Bill Hader were lending their voices to the project, but it's unclear if that is still the case or if the story has been changed.

As for Sohn, he's been with Pixar more than a decade as an animator, occasional voice actor, and storyboard artist. He had been co-directing the The Good Dinosaur with Peterson at the time of the latter's removal, so it only made sense for him to take over. The Good Dinosaur opens November 25th 2015.

10/20/2014

So Much for that 'Uptown Saturday Night' Remake with Will Smith and Denzel Washington



Lost in Adam McKay's numerous projects, from Anchorman 2 to doing rewrites on Ant-Man, is that he was supposed to have begun work on a remake of the 1974 Sidney Poitier/Bill Cosby crime comedy, Uptown Saturday Night. It even had a powerhouse duo guaranteed to earn some serious $$$ at the box office, with Denzel Washington and Will Smith (!!!!) set to star with a screenplay from Neighbors writer, Nicholas Stoller. But nothing has come of it, and McKay recently revealed to Collider that the promising film has been canned by Warner Bros.

McKay: “In the case of Uptown Saturday Night, that actually isn’t happening. I did a script with Nicholas Stoller and they didn’t quite respond to it. I mean who knows, if they come back with a great script from other writers I could reattach, but for now that doesn’t look like that’s going. So I was happy that I found these other projects because that was one I thought I was doing and it just didn’t quite get there.”

I'm of two minds on this because Uptown Saturday Night, which follows two friends' crazed attempts to retrieve a stolen winning lotto ticket, is a personal favorite that doesn't need to be messed with. But the thought of seeing Denzel and Smith together is something that may never came around again. McKay's next project will instead be his economic crisis drama, The Big Short

Review: 'The Best of Me', Starring Michelle Monaghan and James Marsden


Without fail, it's guaranteed that we get a new Nicholas Sparks film every year. It's like he cranks these suckers out in his sleep. The last few of the films based on his books have been abysmal to say the least. (Safe Haven and The Lucky Ones come immediately to mind). They're usually the same kinds of characters. Throw in a small river town, some sexual tension, angst, and voila, a bona fide Sparks work has emerged. The Best of Me is not the best of his book-to-film adaptations, but it is most certainly better than its several predecessors, if only because it's at least better acted. 

In present day, Dawson Cole (James Marsden) is an oil rig worker when an accident lands him back on solid ground. "A miracle" is what the doctor calls his life, seeing as how he survived an explosion and a 100-foot fall into the ocean. Dawson, who's not a man willing to
believe in destiny, begins to believe that he survived for a reason. He's drawn back to his hometown after the loss of Tuck (Gerald McRaney), a father-figure and guardian to Dawson from his past. He has to face his regrets, his past guilt over a past accident, and his violent father (Sean Bridgers). 

Amanda (Michelle Monaghan) has been married for 18 years, her son's about to begin college, and her marriage is far from being anywhere near the definition of happy (whatever that definition might be). She's given up a lot of dreams, but is also drawn back to her hometown after the death of Tuck. This is where she ends up facing her old high school boyfriend (surprise, surprise) after 21 years apart. Their unexpected reunion brings sadness, hope, and a reevaluation of their lives and are reminded of what they'd lost and of how they bring out the best in each other. 


If you go into this movie with even a hint of high expectations, you will be utterly and completely disappointed. But if you're very aware of the kind of film this is in advance and you've set very low expectations, then you might find it decently enjoyable. It won't blow you away. There are some plot points that are either irrelevant or contrived, but given the fact that the trailers made it out to seem like it was The Notebook part 2, you might be a little relieved that it isn't. 

While Sparks always follows formula when it comes to his writing, The Best of Me is at least semi-entertaining, especially if you're a sucker for the romance genre. There isn't anything breathtaking about it (except for maybe the garden scenes with that gorgeous tree in the background) and a lot of it feels like we're following the same beaten path, but James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan seem to make the best of their cheesy lines and talk about destiny. Their chemistry is palpable and while the film is melodramatic, at least it knows it is and generally tends to stay within its own boundaries. 

If you sit there and think about this movie's plot for too long (regardless of how simple it is), you will start to find holes in it, so don't bother trying. Any attempt will give you a headache and make you question Sparks's fictional world of too-in-love people and the medical system. One of the film's major flaws, however, comes in the fact that the actors who play the younger versions of Dawson and Amanda (Luke Bracey and Liana Liberaton,
respectively) don't look a thing like their older counterparts. Sometimes, it almost feels like the film is telling two completely different character stories. At first, the transition is a little jarring and the rest of the scenes which come after take a little getting used, but the younger actors do a good enough job.

All in all, and in comparison to Nicholas Sparks's other film adaptations, The Best of Me isn't all bad. If you're really into these kinds of films, you'll want to check it out because you'll probably find it entertaining, cheese and all. It does have themes of regret and talk of life's lost ambitions, which is nice. There's also a lot of talk about destiny, which gets annoying, but the romance is definitely there and it's still sweet and doesn't feel contrived in comparison to its predecessors. You'll see the ending coming a mile away, but as far as romances go, this one isn't terrible (if we are to only rate it based on the world of Sparks, whose films seem to have their own genre). This movie will only make you roll your eyes a couple of times for its cheesy moments, but at least you won't give yourself a headache doing it the entire film. 






What’s Up with “The Walking Dead”: Recap of episode “Strangers”


So … anyone else have trouble eating after last night’s The Walking Dead episode, “Strangers”? I must admit that it kept me from my usual late-night snack, even though the storyline pretty accurately mirrors what happens in the comics—so that’s great! Anyone who reads this weekly recap, or the one I also do for Game of Thrones, knows what a fanatic I can be when it comes to sticking with the source material. As in, the comics were popular because they were good, and that’s how you got a TV show, and maybe your writers should be better when adapting that original text. Just. Saying.

But so far, this fifth season has been pretty good, cannibalism and all! Let’s talk about the best things that happened in last night’s “Strangers,” and what they could mean for the season moving forward.

+ “Didn't start that way, eating people. It evolved into that. We evolved. We had to. And now, we’ve devolved into hunters. I told you, I said it—can’t go back, Bob. I just hope you understand that nothing happening to you now is personal. … We would have done this to anybody. We will. But at the end of the day, no matter how much we hate all this ugly business, a man’s gotta eat. … If it makes you feel any better, you taste much better than we thought you would.”

So, Gareth chewing on that hunk of meat—Bob’s flesh—RIGHT IN FRONT OF BOB is probably the best, grossest, most jarring thing The Walking Dead has ever done, and it’s clear that season five is finally getting into the fucked-up nitty-gritty of this apocalypse. The Governor being a rapist—the comics went there, the TV show didn’t. Terrible body-horror things happening to some of our favorite protagonists—the comics went there, the TV show didn’t. But now the show is building out the Hunters storyline from the comic books by adding in the location Terminus; swapping out the leader of the Hunters, Chris, for the leader of Terminus, Gareth; and swapping out Dale (who is already dead on the show), who was kidnapped by the Hunters and had his leg chopped off for food, with Bob, who was enjoying a nice little romance with Tyreese’s sister Sasha before he gets grabbed in the middle of the night.

Who is to blame for this? Well, clearly Gareth and Co., like the Governor, weren’t going to let Rick’s disruption of their idyllic society go. Sure, the Governor ruled with an iron fist and Gareth and his family were eating people, but everyone has their own version of paradise, right? And well, Rick’s group did pass on going back and killing Gareth, even though Rick wanted to. And Tyreese didn’t have the gumption to kill Gareth ally Martin, even though Carol wanted him to. And so every act of theoretical mercy that the group does comes back on them here, with the Hunters circling around them in search of meat.

Although, quick question: Bob clearly got bitten during that raid on the food bank, right? And so, Gareth and Co. are eating slowly-zombifying flesh, right? Because that is kind of great. TAKE THAT, CANNIBALS, YOU DICKS.

+ “Not so fast.” Lots of romantic stuff on display this week, as Maggie makes sure to grab some kisses with Glenn and make gooey eyes at him after he discovers three silencers during a supply run (a nice reminder that in the comics and in the early seasons of of this show, Glenn was depicted as the best procurer of resources), and Bob plays cutesy little games with Sasha as they walk around the forest and happily share some pecks.

But all that optimism from Bob—“This is a nightmare, and nightmares end”—clearly highlighted that shit was about to get real bad for him, and so by the end of the episode he’s possibly bitten by a zombie and definitely eaten by Gareth et al. Dammit, Bob! Maybe if you had been less happy, you wouldn’t be dinner for assholes!

+ “I don’t want to talk about it. I just need to forget.” What exactly is eating Carol? Daryl desperately wants to know, asking her about her weirdness and solitary mood numerous times during “Strangers.” She won’t open up, even when Rick asks to join her and acknowledges everything she’s done for them, and it even seems like she’s going to bail on the group by jumping into a car she and Daryl fixed up and leaving in the middle of the night.

But Daryl isn’t going to let his bestie/mother figure/crush/WHAT ARE THEY disappear like that (not when “Someone’s watching,” as he noted earlier, even though none of them knew it was Gareth’s people, hunting them). So when he sees a car zip by with a cross on the back—just like the one that took Beth—he encourages Carol to go with him to find her instead of bailing on the group. So off they race into the night, which will probably be the beginning of many weird fan-fictions for Carol and Daryl.

Will Carol eventually tell Daryl about the sisters who died on her and Tyreese’s watch? Maybe. It seems like Tyreese doesn’t want to—I mean, he literally says, “We don’t need to tell them about the girls; I don’t want to”—and is instead focusing on spending time with Judith as a way to make up for those two little girls. But at some point, even if the truth comes out, will it even matter? Those people died, and Rick and his people lived. It’s just that black and white.

+ “I keep to myself. Nowadays, people are just as dangerous as the dead, don't you think?” Welcome to The Walking Dead, Seth Gilliam! Now the third alumnus of The Wire to join this cast (Chad Coleman, who was Dennis “Cutty” Wise on The Wire, is Tyreese here, and Lawrence Gilliard Jr., who was D’Angelo Barksdale on The Wire, is Bob here), the onetime Sgt. Carver steps into the role of Father Gabriel Stokes, a man of the cloth with a weird sense of humor and a profound inability to protect himself.

After being saved by Rick and Carol and promptly failing Rick’s test for entry into the group, Father Gabriel lets them know about a nearby food bank, where slimy, rotting, water-logged zombies attack the group as they gather up canned food. It’s a nice tip—but do Father Gabriel’s claims of holing up in the church for the past year, alone, really hold up? Rick notices a bunch of empty, and hidden, canned food; Carol notices pages and pages of journal entries, obsessively repeating THOU SHALT NOT KILL; and on the outside of the church, Carl notices deep gauge marks, possibly from people trying to get in, and the words “YOU’LL BURN FOR THIS” carved into the side of the church.

You can figure out what Father Gabriel did, right, what he won’t tell Rick and Co. about? It’s pretty cowardly but it’s also pretty obvious, and all that talk about Father Gabriel only confessing his sins to God—well, he has a lot of confessing to do.

+ “We’re strong enough that we can still help people. … We’re strong enough that we don’t have to be afraid. And we don’t have to hide.” A nice little speech to Carl to his father Rick, but how long will that good-heartedness and open-handedness last once they find out what Gareth and his group did to Bob, and what they plan to do to everyone else in Rick’s group? Being carved up for someone else’s dinner would probably put an end to Carl’s willingness to help others, I would think. There’s no real bouncing back from that.

+ “Survivors … is that all you want to be?” Abraham continues advocating for Eugene somehow being a super-awesome scientist with a super-awesome way to save them all that is in super-awesome Washington, D.C., and while everyone is in a canned-food coma after their food-bank-supplied feast, he makes his stump speech for the Mullet. Full of salty, probably stale calories for the first time in what seems like weeks, everyone agrees that their goal will be the District.

But the suspicious behavior from Abraham and Rosita, possibly the least developed character on this show since T-Dog (guys, remember T-Dog?!), makes me think there is more to this Eugene-is-our-savior storyline from their group. I don’t know; I just feel like characters who are best identified by their mustache, hairstyle, and midriff probably shouldn’t be trusted.

And some other final thoughts:

+ I really enjoyed how badly Father Gabriel failed Rick’s test, so here it is, excerpted in its entire glory:

Father Gabriel: “The word of God is the only protection I need. I called for help; help came.”
Rick: “How many walkers have you killed?”
Father Gabriel: “Not any, actually.”
Rick: “How many people have you killed?”
Father Gabriel: “None.”
Rick: “Why?”
Father Gabriel: “Because the Lord abhors violence.”
Rick: “What have you done? We’ve all done something.”
Father Gabriel: I am a sinner. I sin almost every day. But those sins—I confess them to God, not strangers.”

+ Does Michonne miss her katana? Not so much. But she does miss Andrea and Herschel, which, no thanks, I’ll pass on those feelings.

+ Anyone figure out the deal with the signs carved into the trees? Morgan, after coming upon the NO SANCTUARY sign for Terminus, sees the other signs in the bark and goes deeper into the forest. But when Gareth’s group hits Bob on the head and drags him away from Father Gabriel’s church, that happened in front of a tree with another sign carved into it, like a flipped horizontal and upside down capital letter L. I’m not sure what they mean, but I’m also very bad at any kind of picture-related puzzle. (Oh, and Morgan is totally going to save Bob, right?) 

Rob Riggle will Try to Survive a Zombie Outbreak in 'Dead Rising: Watchtower'


Rob Riggle is a funny guy, which is why he makes so many appearances in movies that tend to do really well. He's appeared in 21 Jump Street and 22 Jump Street, The Other Guys, The Internship, and more, but he also spent a number of years as a correspondent on The Daily Show. What he's not had the opportunity to do is lead his own film, but he's going to get a shot now in Legendary Pictures' adaptation of the hit video game, Dead Rising.

Legendary Pictures and Crackle have revealed the principle cast for the zombie film, titled Dead Rising: Watchtower. Riggle will be joined by YouTube personality Harley Morenstein (Epic Meal Time), Keegan Connor Tracy (Final Destination 2), and Aleks Paunovic (This Means War), with Virginia Madsen (Sideways), Jesse Metcalfe, Dennis Haysbert (Dear White People), and Meghan Ory previously cast. Riggle will take on the role of photographer Frank West, the protagonist of the first game, who tries to survive a large-scale zombie outbreak. The plan is for the film to be released on Sony's Crackle website rather than in theaters.

Tim Carter (Mortal Kombat: Annihilation) will write the script for Zack Lipovsky (Leprechaun: Origins) to direct.

First Look at the Unofficial 'Dredd' Spinoff Series, 'Superfiend'


Ever since Dredd opened a couple of years ago fans of the brutal lawman have been begging for a sequel. While Karl Urban has expressed some hope it may happen at some point, it was producer Adi Shankar who revealed a couple of weeks ago that he was developing an "unofficial" sequel miniseries for the web.  He's dropped other such projects in the past for The Punisher and one for Venom, but chances are nobody was expecting what his Dredd follow-up has turned out to be.

EW has released the first photos and poster for what is being called Superfiend, and as you can see it's going to be an animated web series, not live-action. One look at the poster also tells you that Urban isn't involved at all, which has to be a disappointment to fans hoping he'd be a part of everything Dredd. The story is based on the "Dark Judges", a group of undead law enforcers from another dimension. It isn't technically a sequel, either, but a part of Shankar's little stable of bootleg flicks.

Basically this looks like something Cartoon Network would have cast aside, and certainly doesn't resemble dark spinoffs we're used to seeing from Shankar. But then again the Dark Judges are pretty cool and it's a great storyline, so maybe it will turn out better than these images suggest. Superfiend should arrive later this month.





Five Clips from Alejando Gonzalez Inarritu's 'Birdman' with Michael Keaton


This far into awards season we're still staring to get a lay of the land, so to speak. While some films are emerging as obvious contenders and others maybe not living up to the hype (lookin' at you, St. Vincent), one that has been universally praised and seems like a lock for a Best Picture and Best Actor nomination is Birdman, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's meta comedy starring Michael Keaton.

Here are five clips from the film which has Keaton in a familiar role, that of a down 'n out actor most famous for playing a superhero early in his career and is now trying to mount a comeback. For the former Batman it's the kind of role he was obviously perfectly suited for, and Inarritu knew it almost immediately. He told the New York Times recently....

“When I finished the script, I knew that Michael was not the choice or option, he was the guy. He’s one of the few guys in the world who has worn that cape. The authority and the relatability that he gave, all those were essential.”

It isn't just Keaton who is showered by praise, though, as the technical wizardry of Gravity cinematographer Emmanuelle Lubezki is also turning heads. Using a variety of techniques he's managed to make Birdman look like one continuous shot from start to finish. Wow.  Looking forward to this one big time, and fortunately our screening is tonight so I won't have to wait long.

Starring Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, and Edward Norton, Birdman is in theaters now in some cities but opens in DC on Oct. 24th. 


Michael Keaton, Edward Norton in BIRDMAN Clip ('Fight Club') by The Seven Sees


Michael Keaton, Emma Stone in BIRDMAN Clip ('Hammer') by The Seven Sees


Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis in BIRDMAN Clip ('Bring The Curtain Down') by The Seven Sees



Win Passes to an Advance Screening of 'Nightcrawler' starring Jake Gyllenhaal



Enter the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles freelance journalism in the new thriller, Nightcrawler, starring Jake Gyllenhaal! We're offering our DC readers a chance to check out the film early by attending a free advance screening held on Tuesday, October 28th at 7pm at Regal Gallery Place.

To enter, simply follow the instructions in the Punchtab widget below. Winners will be contacted by email on Friday, October 24th. Good luck! Nightcrawler opens on October 31st!

Jennifer Lawrence Shows How it's Done in New Clip from 'Serena'


So after a couple of years on the shelf, Susanne Bier's dramatic period piece Serena finally played in front of audiences at BFI London Film Festival and...well, it didn't turn out so good. After reports surfaced that multiple studios had turned down the film because of how terrible it was, early reviews seem to back that up. The star power of Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence may yet carry it to some level of box office success, though, and in small pieces the film doesn't look that bad.

The latest clip follows Lawrence as the titular character, the wife of a wealthy timber magnate as she teaches the workers how to do the job right. You get a sense of how strong and capable she is, but we know her mental state will be tested when her husband's secrets come to light.

Serena opens in theaters here on March 27th 2015, preceded by a VOD run on February 26th.

A 'My Little Pony' Movie Heads to Theaters in 2017


Blame the Bronies for this one. Somehow, someway, My Little Pony has endured for the last 30 years, and like its Habro bretheren G.I. Joe, the Transformers, and even Jem and the Holograms, it's experiencing a popularity resurgence. My Little Pony has a hit animated series, video games, comic books, and of course toys, and now it's going to have a big screen feature to go along with it.

According to Variety, Hasbro Studios is moving ahead on a My Little Pony film, which they hope to see released on "the broadest possible number of screens".  Like Jem and the Holograms it will be produced under Hasbro's new Allspark Pictures label, with Blumhouse Productions co-financing. Joe Ballerini (Ice Age: Continental Drift) has been hired to write the screenplay, which better pass the Brony test otherwise there could be a riot. For those who don't know, "Bronies" are grown men who have, for whatever reason, become passionate fans obsessed of My Little Pony and the animated show, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. A documentary was even made about them, and it's more disturbing than anything you're likely to see.

There aren't any plot details, nor any information on if the film will share continuity with the TV series. It's just the latest step in Hasbro's attempts to cash in on their most popular franchises. Transformers and G.I. Joe have performed well over the years, while last year's Battleship turned out to be a big-budget dud. Hasbro's next film is Jem and the Holograms, which opens in 2015.