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?

10/31/2014

Civil War gets Teased in 'Avengers:Age of Ultron' Clip


Leaked footage is something every studio faces, but when it happens to Marvel everybody takes notice. It happens after Comic-Con every year, but lately it's been happening with alarming frequency. The trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron was leaked early, spoiling Marvel's plans for Agents of SHIELD. And now, we're getting a look at the exclusive clip shown during Marvel's big press event, and it's quite the tease.

This scene begins to show the cracks in the friendship between Captain America and Iron Man, which will form the basis of Captain America: Civil War. In the comics, they're on opposing sides of an argument over the registration of superheroes with the government. There will be some changes for the movie version, but the point is clear that these guys are going to come to blows at some point.

Avengers: Age of Ultron opens May 1st 2015.

Sony's Spider-Man Spinoff Rumored to be All-Female Team-Up



Sony must have felt proud of themselves for awhile. They were the first to announce a female-led superhero movie with a spinoff of their languishing Spider-Man franchise, and it was an idea that had fans genuinely excited. Then Warner Bros. and Marvel followed up with their own plans to have a lady superhero star, and everyone forgot about Sony's plans. But they haven't forgotten, and now a new rumor has surfaced about it that if true would set their film apart from the others.

Badass Digest says Sony wants their spinoff to be an all-female team up film with all of the female Spidey characters. So who would that entail exactly? Well, the site doesn't have that information but throws out a few likely suspects: Spider-Girl, Spider-Woman, Black Cat, Silk, and Silver Sable.  They also suggest that the mutant Firestar, who was originally created for the Spider-Man and his Amazing Friends cartoon, could be a part of it.

While it's not mentioned in the story, I couldn't help but wonder if Sony would run into some rights issues with some of these characters. Spider-Woman is more closely aligned with the Avengers than she is Spider-Man, and has been for more than a decade. Firestar has been an Avenger and now is a member of the X-men and has always had a much stronger connection with them than with Spidey.

Apparently this is just one idea Sony is considering as they try and rebound from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which did so poorly that people have begun to believe rumors they could give the character back to Marvel. The hope is to have this film ready by 2017.

Review: Before I Go To Sleep by Rowan Joffé and starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong


Now when I first saw the trailer for Before I Go To Sleep not too long ago while seeing Gone Girl I felt like, "Hmm this seems a lot like Memento with creepy dudes in it." So when this the film started with its extreme close up on Nicole Kidman’s eye and then zooms out to see her in full, awakening from sleep it’s jarring, much like it is for Kidman’s character Christine who doesn't know what's going on.  Seeing this picture taped on the wall with notes all over them feels like we are thrown right in the middle of this story but also gives you that Memento feeling. To tell the truth much of the first half of this film feels like an alternate take on that type of story, only much less manic and less focused on confusing you with an ingenious storytelling method. Once the film gets started by flashing back a few weeks it’s almost like watching someone play a video game and constantly having to start over like Majora’s Mask. See Nicole Kidman’s character Christine had something happen to her some years ago; her husband says an accident but a doctor says an attack has caused her mind to forget everything she experienced each night and wake up the next day with no memory but of herself in her mid to late 20s.

Christine is constantly in a state of confusion and really at the will of two male characters; her husband Ben played by Colin Firth and Dr. Nasch played by Mark Strong. For a good portion of the film you can’t tell the intentions of either character since she can’t remember anything the next day. She was given a camera by Nasch to record what she learned that day on video so that she can continue the next day. The main thing that really adds to the atmosphere of the film was the color palette more than anything. The Chroma of the film is a constant cool grayish blue, while the setting isn’t stated you can assume its England. The cool colour and look of constant dampness adds to a malaise throughout Christine’s journey with even the lighting a more neutral warm that at times looks blurry or foggy.

About halfway the film really changes tone; it goes from interesting mystery thriller to straight up old school lead female character in danger thriller. At that point it’s nothing like Memento and starts to feel like a Lifetime Movie with way better pieces. Like a gourmet cheeseburger, while it has fancy ingredients it’s still a cheeseburger. A few things that really stood out to me in this part, the female lead didn’t need to be saved and that it ramped up to the end tightly. The film started out slow but ended in way that didn’t feel drawn out or rushed and that’s pretty surprising for a film that’s about hour and a half in runtime. Before I Go To Sleep is a pretty good option to see this Halloween weekend, a great alternative to a movie like Ouija.

 Rating: 3 out of 5

Win a Chance to See 'Dumb and Dumber To' Early!



The twenty year wait is nearly over! Those who have been eagerly awaiting the return of Harry and Lloyd will have their chance to see the moronic duo again in Dumb and Dumber To, bringing back Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels with directors the Farrelly Brothers. We want to give our readers a chance to check out their moronic road trip comedy early by attending a free advance screening held on Wednesday November 12th at 7:30pm at AMC Mazza Gallerie.

Entering is easy; simply follow the instructions in the below widget. The contest runs until Friday, November 7th when winners will be contacted by email with an Admit-Two pass for the screening. Dumb and Dumber To opens in theaters on November 14th.

Middleburg Review: 'The Last Five Years' starring Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan



You better LOVE musicals before even thinking of sitting through The Last Five Years. A straight-arrow adaptation of Jason Robert Brown's play, the film is 100% singing with only a smidge of extra dialogue thrown in. At its heart, the film is a pure and true love story, with all of the ups and downs we've come to expect from the genre, but what makes it remotely enjoyable despite some serious flaws is the talented duo at its heart: Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan.

For those who have been following Kendrick since she burst on the scene in Todd Graff's musical, Camp (If you've never seen her "Ladies Who Lunch" rendition check it out now!), her unique combination of acting and singing ability have been obvious from the start. She's obviously shown it since in Pitch Perfect and will again in the sequel, but she's never had to pour out the emotion quite as she does in The Last Five Years. The story is pretty simple, which is an issue in and of itself but we'll get to that later. The only two characters of consequence are Cathy and Jamie, who begin blissfully in love but soon are dealing with the dissolution of their marriage. The title tells you everything as their tale begins at the tearful end, and we are taken through the last five years to see how things reached such a sad fate.

Cathy and Jamie both start off in the same place, young New Yorkers struggling in their chosen field. He's a writer looking for his big break, she's an actress wanting the same thing. When Random House calls and offers him a fat deal to publish his book, fame and fortune soon follow. But for poor Cathy, it's one failed audition after another and soon she's venturing as far off-Broadway as possible, doing summer theatre in Ohio. It's his newfound success that drives the initial, and really the only wedge between them as jealousy begins to rear its ugly head.  While he's doing the whole book tour thing, she's either tagging along feeling like a third wheel or at home stewing in loneliness and self-pity. At the same time, he's dealing with issues of fidelity as women suddenly want to get to know him better. In one of the film’s most quippy songs, he laments that he wishes every woman but Cathy would just fly away and disappear.

Obviously, that's not going to happen but the bigger problem is that we don't necessarily feel anything for Jamie's plight. He comes off like an arrogant jerk for most of the film, except for one beautiful and catchy song titled "Schmuel" where he sings a story designed to bolster Cathy's confidence. It's one of the few times where we see him express a genuine care for her well-being. At the same time, she comes off as equally selfish for the most part, wallowing in misery and acting like deadweight on his career. The resentment they begin to feel for one another is the resentment we start to feel towards them, but then Kendrick and Jordan are so likable that you simply can't. While most of the songs sound the same and are mostly forgettable, both actors pour every bit of their heart into them. Kendrick brings the spunk and charisma we've come to love her for, while Jordan's sheer energy and enthusiasm are a constant presence. They've got a difficult burden to carry because writer/director Richard LaGravanese doesn't change much from the original material, which was clearly designed for the stage not the cinematic experience. A movie requires an escalation of emotional beats that simply aren't there because the focus is on the music rather than feelings, and after about 45 minutes of hearing what sounds like the same song it can get exhausting. On the other hand, LaGravanese pulls out the stops to keep the scenery fresh. Switching up color palettes to reflect the shifting mood is a nice touch, and he even pulls out an extensive one-shot take during one of the more downbeat latter songs.

The Last Five Years is quite the ambitious effort for such a modest production, and all involved give everything to make it a success. But ultimately this is a film for musical aficionados only. The rest need not apply.  
 Rating: 2.5 out of 5

Jon Bernthal and Catalina Moreno Join 'The Godmother'; Nicole Kidman is a 'Lion'



Already seen starring in Fury alongside Brad Pitt, Jon Bernthal is now boarding The Godmother, which stars Catherine Zeta-Jones as Colombian drug lord Griselda Blanco aka "the Godmother of Cocaine". Yes, she was really called that. Also coming aboard the film is Catalina Sandino Moreno (Magic Magic) in an unspecified role. Eva Sørhaug is directing from a script by Frank Baldwin with filming to begin next spring.

Nicole Kidman and The Newsroom's Dev Patel are set to star in Lion, an adaptation of Saroo Brierley's book A Long Way Home, which tells of how he was separated from his family as a boy and how he was reunited with them 25 years later. During the time he was missing Saroo was adopted by an Australian couple. Gareth Davis (Top of the Lake) is directing.

10/30/2014

Gal Gadot Passes on 'Ben-Hur'; 'Wonder Woman' May be Set in the 1920s


With a Wonder Woman solo film and a couple of Justice League movies on the way, it was always going to be tough for Gal Gadot to fit in any other major projects. And so she's been forced to exit Timur Bekmambetov's remake of Ben-Hur, which she became attached to a couple of weeks ago. That's not really much of a surprise, but what may be is the extent Warner Bros. is rumored to be going in building their Wonder Woman franchise.

Although there was only a single Wonder Woman movie on the recently revealed schedule, Bleeding Cool says WB is planning an entire trilogy of films, and only one of them would be in a contemporary setting. The first film arriving in 2017 would take place in the 1920s on Paradise Island as warring Amazonian factions are fighting for control. Everything changes with the arrival of the first man to the island, who asks for their help. She would arrive in our world during that time when women are only just beginning to gain the same rights as men, such as the right to vote.  A sequel would then take place during WWII, with the third film bringing her into the modern age and joining the Justice League. 

Keep in mind this is just a rumor, but it's an intriguing one. Could it work? Absolutely. But it's probably worth noting that the first Captain America film, which was set during WWII, was one of Marvel's weaker efforts. Wonder Woman opens June 23rd 2017. [THR]

Check Out the Butt-Kicking Bennet Sisters in First 'Pride & Prejudice & Zombies' Image


The long and messy history of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies is well-known at this point. The struggle to find a lead actress took years, with some pretty big names turning a role in the horror mash-up down. But the search ended when Lily James signed on to play Jane Austen's hero, Elizabeth Bennet, and now the first image from the film is here.

If these don't look quite like Bennet sisters you've imagined from the Austen-era classic, it's because they're all highly trained ninja. The film is like the original tale in just about every way otherwise...except for that whole zombie invasion thing going on.  Bella Heathcote, Ellie Bamber, Millie Brady, and Suki Waterhouse play her sisters, with Sam Riley, Matt Smith, and Jack Huston co-starring as the handsome gents in their lives.

Directed by Burr Steers with a script co-written by David O. Russell, Pride & Prejudice & Zombies opens next year.

Seth Rogen to Play Steve Wozniak in Steve Jobs Biopic; Jessica Chastain Sought for Role



While Steve Jobs is the first person who comes to mind when thinking of Apple, there were others who had a hand in the tech giant's formation. With Christian Bale set to play Jobs in Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin's upcoming biopic, Seth Rogen is now on board to play his friend and Apple co-founder, Steve Wozniak.

Variety reports Rogen has signed on to play Wozniak, who has become something of a geek hero over the years. Josh Gad portrayed him in the Jobs film that released last year.  Also being eyed for an unspecified role is Jessica Chastain, although there are no details on how far into the process negotiations with her are.

No word on when filming begins but Bale, Rogen, possibly Chastain with a Sorkin script? Wow.

Demian Bichir, Lily Collins, and Eva Longoria Join Untitled Lowrider Film



Oscar-nominee Demian Bichir (A Better Life), Golden Globe nominee Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives), and...really sweet gal Lily Collins (Mirror Mirror) are set to star in an untitled lowrider film which has been in the works for about four years.

Directed by Brazilian filmmaker Ricardo de Montreuil (Mancora) with the most recent script by Josh Bierne-Gordon and Justin Tipping , the story is set in East L.A. and centers on a man who takes part in an annual lowrider event. He has two sons, both on opposing sides of the law, who are about to compete in the event as well. Bichir is currently working on his directorial debut which also features Longoria, while Collins just finished up on Warren Beatty's Howard Hughes film.

Sounds interesting, but does anybody want to see a movie about lowrider cars?