In this day and age, movies that once would have gone direct-to-DVD are getting slightly more respect thanks to the wonders of VOD. That’s good news for Samuel L. Jackson, who seems to be starring in his fair share of these lately. His latest VOD film, Reasonable Doubt looks like a decent enough thriller, it’s just that there’s nothing that really stands out about it either.
Helmed by first-time director Peter P. Croudins, the movie stars Dominic Cooper as a district attorney who commits a fatal hit and run. In an attempt to cover it up, he tries to pin the crime on a suspected killer (Samuel L. Jackson). It all leads to a cat and mouse game that feels familiar but may or may not have a few twists to offer. Reasonable Doubt hits select theatres and VOD on Jan. 17th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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After the relatively lukewarm reviews for Monsters University, it was looking like 2013 could be another year where someone else swoops in to steal the Oscar for Best Animated Film from Pixar. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like any other studios have really stepped up as potential contenders, with the exception of Disney’s own animation studio for Frozen, which many are now calling the frontrunner. Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises is also a possibility but there is some concern that Academy voters will view the subject matter as too controversial.
Either way, the 41st annual Annie Award nominations have been unveiled this week, and while they don’t always serve as a good predictor for the Oscars, they at least get the discussion started. Both Monsters University and Frozen lead this year’s nominees with 10 apiece, while The Croods and Despicable Me 2 aren’t far behind with 9 each. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the appearance of two GKIDS productions in the Best Animated Feature category: A Letter to Momo and Ernest & Celestine. Could either of these films have a shot at Oscar recognition? Check out the full list of nominees after the jump and see what you think.
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It’s the calm before the storm this weekend as there is just one major release hitting theatres before the flood of December blockbusters and Oscar hopefuls is unleashed. That major release is Scott Cooper’s Out of the Furnace, which seems to be getting mixed reviews despite some decent performances from Christian Bale and Casey Affleck (among others). Elsewhere, The Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis is also opening this weekend but don’t get too excited… it’s only playing on 4 screens at the moment. Other movies in limited release include the sci-fi thriller The Last Days on Mars starring Liev Schreiber, crime drama Swerve starring Jason Clarke and the Latino Christmas movie A Miracle in Spanish Harlem. What will you be watching this weekend?
It’s no secret that Fox has been planning to ramp up their X-Men movie franchise over the next few years, following Marvel’s lead just like everyone else and attempting to build a connected universe of sorts. Bringing together multiple X-Men casts in X-Men: Days of Future Past has been a big part of that plan, but back in July they also announced that an X-Force movie is currently in development. They have also hinted at the possibility of a Fantastic Four and X-Men crossover and it looks like another Wolverine solo movie is going to happen too. Now this week they have revealed that they are already thinking ahead to the next X-Men movie. It seems that the follow-up to X-Men: Days of Future Past already has a title and a potential release date: X-Men: Apocalypse will hit theatres sometime in 2016.
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Just when you thought that gimmicky movies with “3D” in the title had all but disappeared, along comes director Douglas Aarniokoski (The Day) to remind us that cheap gimmicks will never die in Hollywood. Nurse 3D caused a bit of a stir last year with a handful of provocative teaser posters, and now the first trailer has arrived to confirm that it will be sold almost entirely on sex (in 3D, of course). The movie looks to be an erotic thriller of sorts, bringing to mind movies like Fatal Attraction and Single White Female, but it also features Paz de la Huerta (Boardwalk Empire) and Katrina Bowden (30 Rock) in their underwear, which is probably all you really need to know. Nurse 3D hits select theatres and VOD on Feb. 7th; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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If the first trailer for Paul W.S. Anderson’s Pompeii relied mostly on Gladiator and Game of Thrones comparisons, the new full-length theatrical trailer for the movie actually looks like something that Roland Emmerich could have directed. Set during the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, it’s another movie that indulges in large scale destruction… but hey, at least it has some historical context! Clearly they’ve had time to finish a lot more of the special effects over the past few months and there is some impressive stuff here, particularly for a lowly February release. The mixing of sword and sandals and disaster genres is a novel combination, so even if the story is complete drivel, there may still be some enjoyment to be had. Pompeii hits theatres on Feb. 21st, 2014; check out the new trailer after the jump and see what you think.
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Now that we’ve had a few days to allow the tragic death of Paul Walker to sink in, much of the attention is shifting toward the production of Fast & Furious 7 and how they will deal with the loss of a major star. Although the movie was more than half finished, there were several key scenes featuring Walker that had yet to be shot. Production has been officially shut down as the studio and director James Wan evaluate their options, a few of which include using special effects to put Walker’s face on another actor’s body or simply scrapping the entire film and starting over again without his character. In the meantime, Universal Pictures has released the following statement:
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After the relatively chilly reception that Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man received from critics and fans, a lot of people were wondering what Sony could do to get people excited in the rebooted franchise without simply rehashing what had come before. They responded by filling the sequel with a ton of villains we haven’t seen on screen before, most notably Jamie Foxx as Electro and Paul Giamatti as The Rhino. And yet, surprisingly, based on the first official trailer, Green Goblin also clearly plays a major role with Dane DeHaan starring as Harry Osborn and Chris Cooper as Norman Osborn. That’s a lot of villains to deal with.
The movie also picks up on the continuing plot thread where Peter Parker is finding out about the disappearance of his parents and the truth about his father’s research. It’s hard not to have flashbacks to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 as there seems to be far too many things going on in this movie (it makes sense now why they decided to cut Mary Jane from the movie). That being said, my biggest complaint based on this trailer is that almost all of the action sequences look 100% CG. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hits theatres on May 2, 2014; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.
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The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Written by: Simon Beaufoy (screenplay), Michael Arndt (screenplay) and Suzanne Collins (novel)
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is an above average sequel, a rare case where the sequel outshines the original. It’s a faithful adaptation of the second book in The Hunger Games trilogy. Everything is bigger and better than the first film. It looks better, the special effects are more spectacular and the ensemble cast gives a more streamlined performance. The production budget has been augmented, and it shows.
Fire starts off where Hunger Games ended. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) commence on a victory tour of the districts of Panem, feigning allegiance to the Capital. At the conclusion of their tour it is announced that there will be an all-star version of The Hunger Games, gleaning past tributes to participate in a more deadly version of their seasons. Katniss and Peeta are forced to represent their district 12, and in a desperate attempt to avoid the melee, Peeta announces that Katniss is pregnant, to no avail. The opportunity to parlay sympathy into a hall pass fails, and so the two embark on their second tour of hell on earth. But the real reason Katniss has been forced to participate in the all-star games is because she has become a threat to the Capital and a symbol of hope to the oppressed and impoverished district inhabitants.
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December has arrived, and while many of the Oscar campaigns are in full swing, we haven’t heard a whole lot about Spike Jonze’s Her as of yet. Warner Brothers have seemingly been letting the movie build buzz based on its own merits instead of shoving it down our throats, and their approach seems to be paying off as just today the National Board of Review has chosen it as the Best Film of the Year and Spike Jonze as Best Director. A new trailer for the movie has also been released online this week, continuing to market it as an unconventional love story for the modern age. Whether or not you think it has awards potential, it still looks like must-see material. Her hits select theatres on Dec. 20th before opening wide on Jan. 10th; check out the new trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.
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Although there weren’t a ton of votes cast in last week’s poll, it’s pretty clear that Jean-Claude Van Damme’s filmography has a definite top 5… and not whole lot beyond that. Coming in at #1 with almost 30% of the votes was the movie that launched Van Damme’s career, the 1988 MMA tournament flick Bloodsport. This was followed by John Woo’s Hard Target and Van Damme’s biggest box office hit, Timecop. A tie between JCVD and Universal Soldier rounded out the top 5. I suppose the rest of the results were mostly to be expected, although I did think Universal Soldier: Regeneration might pose a bigger threat to some of the older movies. Of course, we all know this poll would have been completely different if Breakin’ had been listed as an option. Do you agree with these results?
1. Bloodsport — 28%
2. Hard Target — 15%
3. Timecop — 12%
4. JCVD — 12%
4. Universal Solider — 12%
6. Kickboxer — 6%
7. Sudden Death — 3%
7. The Expendables 2 — 3%
9. Cyborg — 3%
10. The Quest — 2%
11. Universal Soldier: Regeneration — 1%
12. Lionheart — 1%
12. Double Impact — 2%
14. Death Warrant — 0%
14. Nowhere to Run — 0%
Surprise, surprise… the rumours are true. Wonder Woman will indeed be making an appearance in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel alongside Batman, setting the stage for the formation of the Justice League. This week Warner Brothers announced that Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious) will be playing the Amazon Princess in the movie, apparently beating out Elodie Yung (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) and Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace) for the role. At the moment, it’s unclear how extensive her involvement will be, but obviously she will be a key part of DC’s cinematic universe moving forward. Zack Snyder had this to say about the announcement:
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