Review: Pixels

Starring Adam Sandler, Josh Gad, and Peter Dinklage

Review: Southpaw

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Forest Whitaker, and Rachel McAdams

Review: Five Star

Starring James "Primo" Grant and John Diaz

Review: Paper Towns

Starring Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne

Review: Unexpected

Starring Cobie Smulders

7/30/2015

Get high with Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg in the 'American Ultra' Trailer


Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart have indulged in a number of really serious projects for much of their careers, but they seem to set all of that aside and just have fun when together. That was clearly the case for Adventureland a few years ago, and the upcoming stoner action-comedy American Ultra has the pair once again on a high.

Directed byNima Nourizadeh (Project X) and penned by Max Landis (Chronicle), the film centers on a stoner couple forced to go on the run when he is revealed to be a government sleeper agent. The latest trailer keeps up the energy seen in prior footage, which is a little like if Pineapple Express was crossed with a Bourne movie.

American Ultra hits theaters on August 21st. For more of Stewart and Eisenberg goofing off, check out their stoner interview for MTV, as well. 



Jena Malone's Role in 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' Possibly Revealed


When Jena Malone signed on for a role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and then turned up in photos with *gasp* red hair, the immediate fanboy freak-out was that she was playing Robin. Well, no. That was never going to happen and the recent trailers make it clear that's not going to happen, but then if she's not playing Robin, then who is she? Possible spoilers ahead so beware!

According to the latest scuttlebutt from Heroic Hollywood, Malone is playing another notable Batman sidekick, Barbara Gordon. Gordon eventually becomes Batgirl in the comics, but after the Joker paralyzes her in the classic graphic novel, The Killing Joke, she becomes the information wiz known as Oracle. With DC's The New 52 continuity Gordon has recovered from the paralysis and is back on the streets as Batgirl.

Meanwhile, Callan Mulvey's role has also been kept in the dark for a long time, but the general idea is that he'll be playing a bad guy of some kind. Heroic Hollywood once again posits that he'll be Anatoli Knyazev aka the KGBeast, a character that has long been expected to appear. This won't be the enhanced assassin version seen in the comics, either, rather he'll be employed by Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) to spy on metahumans.

Neither of these are confirmed by Warner Bros. yet, and with eight months until the film arrives there will probably be a lot more speculation to come. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens March 25th 2016.

Young Love gets tested in the Trailer for '6 Years' starring Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfeld


Two years ago filmmaker Hannah Fidell made a splash at Sundance with A Teacher, her acclaimed indie drama that centered on an illicit relationship between a teacher and student. Now she's back and exploring a more healthy relationship with 6 Years, one built on love between two young adults played by Taissa Farmiga and Boardwalk Empire's Ben Rosenfield.

In the first trailer for 6 Years we see Farmiga and Rosenfield as young couple in their 20s and how their long-term relationship is tested by career pursuits and temptation. As their loving bond begins to unravel, the two are driven down a dangerous, violent path. Here's the official synopsis:

A young couple in their early 20s, Dan and Melanie, have known each other since childhood. Now their 6-year romantic relationship is put to the test when Dan receives an attractive job offer from the record label with whom he interns, and he must choose between a move forward and a future with Mel. Growth and temptation happen – but will their relationship remain part of their future? Writer/director Hannah Fidell explores the struggles of young love as it begins to face the next steps into adulthood. Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfield give warm, genuine performances as Mel and Dan, alongside Lindsay Burdge as a colleague of Dan’s who entices him in more ways than one.

This is a great, emotional trailer with a similar energy to the indie romances by Drake Doremus. Fidell apparently had the stars improvise much of the dialogue rather than writing out a full script, which may explain why it feels very authentic.

6 Years hits VOD and ITunes on August 18th.

Review: 'A LEGO Brickumentary', Narrated by Jason Bateman


The beloved Danish company, known to everyone simply as Lego, has long been the go-to toy for building and imagination. I personally don't know anyone who has never picked up on of the many colored bricks and used it to put something together. And so, just like putting together a Lego house or plane, A LEGO Brickumentary  uses charm, humor, and its most vital asset, its customers, to bring to life a fun and enlightening docu--sorry, brickumentary.
A LEGO Brickumentary isn't like any other documentary you'll see this year. Sure, does it give us a brief history of the company (the original factory in Denmark burned down a whopping three times), some information about its founder Ole Kirk Christiansen, and then a coming back to life story about the time when Lego hit a bump in the road and was on the verge of going belly up? Yes to all three. But its value as a film doesn't come from giving us a stale, play-by-play about the company itself. The film's strengths come from Lego turning its focus toward its creative aspects, the impact it's had on its consumers, and its global influence.
With humble boast, A LEGO Brickumentary follows the stories of different people, all active participants in the world of Lego. Much like various comic cons highlighting artists, writers, and talent, Lego hosts its own Brickworld Con for people to get together and show off their talents, their designs and to share their Lego enthusiasm with fellow fans--be it an AFOL (adult fan of Lego) or a KFOL (kid fan of Lego).
The film is more of an homage to the fans and isn't afraid to admit that the company used some of their consumer's ideas and feedback when they needed to keep the company going. From an AFOL making a movie using stop motion with Legos to another fan winning the coveted people's choice award at Brickworld Con for her Lego model of Rivendell, the fictional city from The Lord of the Rings, Lego fills the film with the bricks' effects on everyone and how Lego is not just a toy.
To sum it all up, A LEGO Brickumentary is a well-made documentary. Narrated by Jason Bateman in Lego form and directed by Kief Davidson and Daniel Junge, the film evokes a bit of nostalgia for the kid inside you (and perhaps the adult too), but keeps to its premise and central focus, which are its customers. Imagination will overflow as soon as you see it and you'll be surprised to find that it is an eccentric look at the Lego company that informs, is as layered as its bricks, and entertaining without ever becoming boring.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

'Ghostbusters' Film with Channing Tatum and Chris Pratt may still Happen


Let's see if MTV's headline about that Chris Pratt/Channing Tatum Ghostbusters project matches up with the substance of their story. Here's the headline: "That Other ‘Ghostbusters’ Is Totes Happening, And Guess Who They’re Gonna Call".

And here's what writer Drew Pearce had to actually say about the film: “That’s definitely the cast we’ve been thinking about as we approach the project. Whether that happens or not is very much above my pay grade. It’s just my job to give them something exciting that maybe they’ll do.”

Uh, something here doesn't compute. Here's where things stand: Pearce confirmed to MTV that he had finished writing something that would be part of Sony's planned Ghostbusters universe that includes Paul Feig's upcoming film and could comprise four movies in total.

“I’ve finished my work on that in the last couple weeks. Obviously it’s top secret, but there’s a gigantic bold idea that I came up with, and the Russo brothers — who did Captain America: The Winter Soldier and are doing Civil War at the moment — and Ivan Reitman, who did the original movie, are going to take that and run with it. Obviously I cannot tell you what it is, but hopefully in one year’s time you’ll know!”

Pearce then hit Twitter to clarify his statements, saying that what he wrote isn't exactly a script, but basically a "bible" for the project if it were to ever reach the scripting stage.


He also adds that the film, which has been referred to as an "all-dude" Ghostbusters as some kind of counter to Feig's female-led comedy, is actually something quite different.


So MTV is going a little overboard when they so enthusiastically state that the Ghostbusters spinoff is "totes happening", as it sounds as if a lot still needs to be worked out. For one thing, Pratt has completely denied any knowledge of it, while Tatum recently suggested the film was dead because too many Ghostbusters projects were going on at once. And that may be the biggest problem of all, finding a way to make multiple films telling essentially the same type of story fit into the same universe. There doesn't appear to be much communication between Feig, Akroyd, Reitman, Tatum, the Russos, and whoever else about what this budding franchise should be.

Pearce co-wrote Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation which opens this weekend. Feig's Ghostbusters hits theaters July 22nd 2016.

Constance Zimmer joins the Third Season of 'Marvel's Agents of SHIELD'


Lately it seems Constance Zimmer can be found everywhere on the big and small screen. If you don't know her name, you probably know her as Dana Gordon in HBO's Entourage, in which she frequently went tooth-and-nail with Jeremy Piven's Ari Gold. Not only did she appear in the show's recent film adaptation, but she also co-starred opposite Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders in Results; she also had a role in the pilot episode of USA Network series Complications; and she's earning acclaim right now for the Lifetime series UnREAL, which just got picked up for a second season. So now what's she to do? How about joining Smulders as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

Zimmer has joined the third season of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, playing the head of a mysterious group that will be racing against Agent Coulson's team to locate new Inhumans.

Exec-producer Jeph Loeb said of the casting...

“When casting this role, we needed someone that could go toe-to-toe with Coulson. Constance brings a level of wit and spark to the role we could have only dreamed of, and we’re beyond excited to add her to our already stellar cast going into the new season.”

It's unclear if Zimmer is playing an established Marvel character or someone brand new, or if she'll be involved with the Secret Warriors who are expected to be part of the next season.

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD returns to ABC on September 29th.

Johnny Depp rules Boston in the new 'Black Mass' Trailer


Sometimes you need to be good to be bad, and some of Johnny Depp's most iconic performances have had him playing people with questionable morals: Jack Sparrow, Sweeney Todd (for which he was nominated for an Oscar), John Dillinger, and now he can add Whitey Bulger to that list.

A new trailer for Black Mass has been released by Warner Bros. as the film gears up for bows at Venice and TIFF. Directed by Scott Cooper with an extensive cast that includes Joel Edgerton, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jesse Plemons, Kevin Bacon, David Harbour, Dakota Johnson, Julianne Nicholson, Adam Scott, Corey Stoll, and Juno Temple, the film centers on the infamous Boston mobster who went into hiding and ended up on the FBI's Most Wanted Fugitives list. Here's the synopsis:

In 1970s South Boston, FBI Agent John Connolly (Edgerton) persuades Irish mobster Jimmy Bulger (Depp) to collaborate with the FBI in order to eliminate their common enemy: the Italian mob. The drama tells the story of this unholy alliance, which spiraled out of control, allowing Whitey to evade law enforcement while consolidating his power and becoming one of the most ruthless and dangerous gangsters in Boston history.

Black Mass opens on Sept. 18th.


BLACK MASS Trailer #3 - Johnny Depp, Benedict Cumberbatch by 80PoundMedia

Review: 'Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation' starring Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Simon Pegg, and More


"One day you're going to take it too far", tech geek and IMG agent Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) warns unstoppable operative Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) in Mission: Impossible-Rogue Nation. He may as well be sending a stiff warning to the long-lived franchise as a whole, which has grown well beyond its roots as simply a remake of the hit TV series. While the first film had the team deep in a fairly complex operation involving a number of moving parts, subsequent chapters have centered around Hunt pulling off increasingly insane stunts. And with Cruise pushing his 53-year-old body to the limit for every death-defying spectacle, Mission: Impossible has grown into a true thrill-a-minute event, and fans certainly won't leave this one disappointed.

Basically, Mission: Impossible is a bunch of insane stunts with an extremely loose plot holding them together, and 'Rogue Nation' may be the weakest narrative of the bunch. However, the action is out of this world, and they don't waste any time getting to the first major set piece with Hunt holding on to a soaring jet plane for dear life. And that's before the plot properly kicks in when the IMF is disavowed by the government (again!) and a shadowy terrorist unit known as The Syndicate steps in to fill the void with acts of wanton destruction. Hunt, who has been taken down by the Syndicate's top baddies (Sean Harris), escapes torture with the aid of a gorgeous double-triple-quadruple agent Isla Faust (Rebecca Ferguson), who proves to be more than his equal from a physical and mental aspect. If Hunt is always one step ahead of everyone else in the game of espionage chess, Faust is looking forward a few moves, as well.


So what's the Syndicate's big master plan? It doesn't really matter; but it requires Hunt to survive some kind of giant whirlpool Sarlaac Pit thing, prevent the assassination of a high-ranking government official, and tear through the city on a motorcycle, literally shredding until he's parallel to the street. McQuarrie has written some really good films, from The Usual Suspects to Edge of Tomorrow, but as a director he's never been known for being flashy. 'Rogue Nation' changes that in a big way with slick editing and truly brilliant stunt choreography, aided by beautiful cinematography by Robert Elswit. While the plane and underwater sequences are the kind designed to melt your eyeballs with sheer awesome spectacle it's in the subtler notes of the opera house fight scene that the film really shines. 

It's been interesting to watch the bond that has formed between Cruise and McQuarrie over the years, but it has been a benefit to both and isn't likely to end anytime soon. While the screenplay McQuarrie co-wrote gets a little too serious and the final showdown is totally arbitrary, for much of the film he hits the hyper-stylized mark. Mission: Impossible- Rogue Nation should be a little bit silly and ridiculous; these are people with unimaginable gadgets and weapons and can seemingly do anything under the sun. Pegg, the returning Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames, and new addition Alec Baldwin, are basically along for comedic support and most of it works.

Naturally, Cruise is the glue that keeps all of this together. Let's be honest, no American actor puts their body on the line to entertain his fans more than Cruise does. Period. Remember a couple of years ago when it seemed that Cruise was about to be replaced by Renner? Those rumors went away the moment audiences gawked at Cruise scaling the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Mission: Impossible-Ghost Protocol. There is no Mission: Impossible without Cruise, and he's really taken this franchise and made it his own. Also making an unforgettable impact in her first major film role is Rebecca Ferguson. She more than holds her own opposite Cruise, showing an acrobatic prowess that is only matched by the striking visual impression she leaves. Female characters don't typically last long in the Mission: Impossible universe, it's basically a testosterone party, but Ferguson has carved out a niche for herself unlike any actress the franchise has ever seen.

At this point it's probably a good idea to start wondering what Cruise will do to top himself in the next Mission: Impossible film, which he says is already in the planning stages. Maybe he'll skydive from another planet back down to Earth? Swallow a live grenade only to walk away with indigestion? Oh wait, that was in Looney Tunes. Whatever Cruise comes up with it's bound to be amazing, and like 'Rogue Nation' it will have us on the edge of our seats.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Bryan Singer defends Oscar Isaac's Costume in 'X-Men: Apocalypse'; New Images Revealed


Since the first images from Bryan Singer's X-Men: Apocalypse emerged, fans have been complaining about the look of Oscar Isaac as the titular villain. He's too purple...he looks like a Power Rangers foe...and some have even gone so far as to claim that Cosplayers could have done a better job designing his costume. Some of opinions may change when the footage seen at Comic-Con is finally unveiled as these things always look better in action(I certainly thought it looked fine), and Singer thinks people ought to chill. Defending the costume to Empire, he says...

“He'll be very similar to images in the comic. There's obviously something very futuristic and yet ancient to the design of both his costume and his physicality.”

For now 20th Century Fox is content to offer up another still image of Apocalypse, along with other members of the cast. The '80s gear is in full effect with the X-Men sporting a retro look fitting for the time period. Set in 1983, the film finds the team facing off against En Sabah Nur aka Apocalypse, an Immortal mutant who believes in "survival of the fittest". To achieve his goals he's assembled his Four Horsemen, which includes Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Angel (Ben Hardy), and Magneto (Michael Fassbender), who had been attempting to live a normal life. So much for that idea.

These photos also reveal the-returning Rose Byrne as Moira MacTaggert, Nicholas Hoult as Beast, Lucas Till as Havok, Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique, plus Sophie Turner and Tye Sheridan as mutant super couple Jean Grey and Cyclops. Not seen anywhere is Evan Peters as the fan-favorite speedster, Quicksilver, but Singer promises he'll have an even larger role this time...

 "You can't have him run around a kitchen in the Pentagon again. But I can incorporate him into the movie in a much more appropriate and integral way."

X-Men: Apocalypse opens May 27th 2016.








Idris Elba commands Child Soldiers in First Trailer for Cary Fukunaga's 'Beasts of No Nation'


As the summer begins to wind to a close and the fall awards season approaches, one film that has emerged as one of the most clear favorites to walk away with some gold is Cary Fukunaga's Beasts of No Nation. Fukunaga is the auteur behind Sin Nombre, a stunning adaptation of Jane Eyre, and of course the first season of HBO's True Detective, but 'Beasts' sat on the shelf for awhile as many of these projects took priority. And now as the film is set to debut in Venice before being rolled out by Netflix, the powerful first trailer has arrived.

Based on the book by Nigerian author  Uzodinma Iweala, the film centers on a young African boy named Agu (Abraham Attah) whose parents are killed in a raid, leaving him vulnerable to a brutal army commander (Idris Elba) who recruits him as a child soldier in the rebel army. Idris Elba stars as that rebel leader, and in this footage we see the terrible demands he places on those soldiers.

Fukunaga adapted the screenplay and hired composer Dan Romer (Beasts of the Southern Wild) to craft the film's score. After Venice, Beasts of No Nation will screen at TIFF and possibly Telluride. Then Netflix will stream the film beginning November 6th, while also offering a simultaneous theatrical release.