The Lego Movie folks have had a very busy week dropping neat character posters and a pretty nifty final poster.
The abundant use of comic book superheroes who come together and need to be saved by a common ordinary extremely optimistic nobody make this the Justice League movie our guilty pleasure seeking hearts want to see first. Appearing are Wonder Woman (Cobey Smulders, apparently on loan from the Marvel universe), Superman (Chaning Tatum), Green Lantern (Jonah Hill), and Batman (Will Arnett).
Phil Lord and Chris Miller direct all the interconnecting blocks into endless flights of Lego-mation and fits of funny stuff. No actual Lego blocks were used or harmed in any way during the making of the film. The Lego world has never been rendered in such minute detail, spectacle and awesome bravery.
10X the funny, 2x the action at -10X the cost = well, you tell me. Either way I am seeing it. The Lego movie assembles nationwide 7 days before Valentine’s Day and 7 days after the end of January 2014.
The newest Divergent posters highlight the body art of the Dauntless faction, a group know for their fearlessness and teamwork. They are intense, bold risk takers and believe that conquering your fears is essential to the Dauntless way of life. The tattoos are a representation of how each member has overcome adversity.
Divergent author Veronica Roth notes “Most Dauntless get tattoos as a reminder of the past, a mark of progress. There’s also the relationship to pain (a true Dauntless doesn’t mind the pain!), but mostly tattoos are a sign of overcoming obstacles, for them, a way of marking struggle and progress on the body”.
Miles Teller’s cinema history with Shailene Woodley started with The Magnificent Now, a nice coming of age romance that managed to successfully break the rules.
Teller has this to say about playing the brutal Peter ““I’ve always played very likeable characters, so for me, it’s tough to make a guy who stabs somebody in the eye likeable. So that was the challenge with it,” he said. “I grew up with two older sisters who used to pick on me all the time and I feel like that’s kind of the relationship I have with Tris a little bit and that I pick on her – I bully on her.”
Jai Courtney play Eric, the leader of the Dauntless faction. Roth notes that “Eric is a brutal force with a damaged moral compass. His cruel training methods and ruthless leadership make him a quick adversary to Tris, the Abnegation transfer and protagonist of the story.”
Eric’s tattoos echo the chain link around the city of Chicago, the maze inside with hints of the Dauntless own fiery faction symbol.
Zoe Kravitz plays Christina. Roth notes “Christina transferred to Dauntless from Candor, and was Tris Prior’s first and best friend during her initiation into Dauntless. She was first introduced when she helped Tris onto the Train after the Choosing Ceremony. Christina befriends Tris and becomes a vital part in the beginning of Tris’ new life in Dauntless.”
Maggie Q as Tori emits a bad ass vibe with her Girl With a Dragon Tattoo inspired body art. Tori, a member of the Dauntless faction who administers Tris’ (Shailene Woodley) aptitude test and first discovers that Tris is Divergent. As she continues to provide Tris with advice, the two establish a bond that helps Tris throughout her journey.
Tori in the novel notes this about her tattoo, “In some parts of the ancient world, the hawk symbolized the sun. Back when I got this, I figured if I always had the sun on me, I wouldn’t be afraid of the dark. . . . Now it reminds me of the fear I’ve overcome.”
Mekhi Phifer plays Max another one of the leaders of the Dauntless faction. Phifer in a comic-con interview notes “I’m looking forward to seeing what they do with him in ‘Insurgent,’ because after talking to my director Neil [Burger], he’s telling me, ‘We have got some great stuff that Max does as the leader.’ I’m looking forward to that. I mean, I do some cool stuff, but not at the magnitude of what Theo [James] and obviously Shailene [Woodley] had to do.”
“Without spoiling too much, there’s a little bit of a fight scene that we have, guns and things like that. I got to make some cool speeches and do some fun stuff, but like I said I think we’re going to hold off on Max a little bit until two,” he says, adding of “Divergent’s” exciting elements, “The dynamic of the cast, what Neil’s vision was, all of the great CGI stuff and the wonderful production values of the sets and just the magnitude of the film. I think that people are going to be really receptive.”
The first poster for Noah, the Darren Aronofsky retelling of the Biblical story lets loose the Flood waters. If there is a quibble about the backside view presented, it’s that Russell Crowe looks to Gladiatorial and not wizened and saintly enough.
Russell Crowe might be a tad to young for the Biblical purist since Noah was 600 years, 2 months and 17 days old (Genesis 7:6) when The Flood occurred. But if you take into account Crowe’s timeless, rugged, manly qualities, then he’s a perfect fit. Besides Noah action hero works right into Millennials, Gen XYZ’s raised on comic books and superhero movies.
Director Aronofsky has gone the CGI route for most of the animal and water imagery involved. Technicians involved with the shoot say that the effects are the most complicated, elaborate and costly ever done.
Appropriately the production hasn’t been all smooth sailing and calm waters. Early test screenings have the suits at Paramount Pictures worried that there might not be enough of public spectacle to counter the Aronofosky vision. The spat has played out in trade related bad press and public and private sparring for a few months now.
The trailers are pretty epic and the use of CGI for the animals and water really does give a sense of witnessing the archetypes for all life. Plus the idea that Noah would have to fight off all mankind as a prelude to saving humanity and all life is a pretty cool idea with a lot of Christian resonance.
Noah also stars Emma Watson, Jennifer Connelly, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Kevin Durand, Martin Csokas, and Mark Margolis. Noah opens March 28, 2014.
The first poster and trailer for Disney’s Maleficent, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the villains point of view has been released.
The poster is a wave of awesome black glamor punctuated by the essential purity colors of the story: white, red and green, respectively flesh, blood and nature; innocence, life and natural being almost totally enveloped in shades of darkness. Add the horns and the evil becomes visible. Remove them and it could be a very nice fashion or perfume ad.
The trailer stars Elle Fanning looking very Alice in Wonderland like, not surprising considering the director Robert Stromberg was also the Production Designer for the Tim Burton directed Alice. And if Maleficent’s world has a touch of Pandora scenery in it, Robert Stromberg did Avatar too.
Angelina Jolie’s full Maleficent reveal at the end coupled with her uttering “Then you’ll be afraid”, is sheer cinema magnificence. The slightly cartoon look of some of the special effects will be cleaned up by release time. If not, don’t be surprised if someone down the line says there an homage to the animated 1959 Disney original.
Alfonso Cuaron’s 1998 modern adaptation of Dickens Great Expectation was the last time the big screen took a chance on the Dickens classic. Except for a famous poster featuring Gwyneth Paltrow nude and in repose it is not fondly remembered and not often viewed. Every decade usually sees a television mini-series treatment. Still, the only version with any juice to it has been the great 1946 David Lean directed one.
Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, Donnie Brasco) has assembled a great cast featuring Jeremy Irvine (War Horse), Helen Bonham-Carter, Ralph Fiennes and Holliday Grainger to take another classic shot at it.
In an interview with Empire Newell explains his approach to the novel:
‘I guess the way you go about making it fresh is that you have some big version of the story that you think hadn’t quite been told before. There have only been two movies of this (maybe you could count three), but I felt that this was very contemporary, because it was a great big passionate and very sexy love story. Not like the John Mills love story at all, which was very ‘British’ and stiff-upper-lipped, and so on. This was about obsession, about a guy who was driven crazy by love and who betrayed everyone about him to get where he needs to be for the girl. But it’s also about money, and how money steers you wrong if you’re not careful.
So Pip begins to think that he IS a gentleman, just because he has money – and, well, he isn’t. He gets to discover that it’s a delusion, and he gets to discover that he screws himself up and everyone around him through that delusion. I think it’s Dickens; it’s Dickens writing about himself. I think that’s what he’s doing. You know, Dickens had fantastic success, audiences with the Queen, and all the time he’s saying: “You’re a fake, you’re a fake”. And he dumps his wife and 12 children, and runs off with a 20 year-old actress.”
Jeremy Irvine plays Pip. The War Horse actor is a work horse when it comes to creating his on-screen characters. In an interview with ETonline he had this to say about his role:
” I’d seen a lot of wide-eyed, innocent versions of Pip and I didn’t like that. This is someone who has been abused physically and mentally every day of his life and I thought that would make for a tough character because he does survive. So when you first meet him, he’s almost a Neanderthal and I wanted to have that transition to a gentleman. Also, this ambition of becoming a gentleman becomes an obsession because he starts to see it as his way out of this life of violence and abuse. But every day that goes by, that obsession becomes more toxic and poisonous to the point where it ends up eating him alive from the inside. It’s a lot darker, and it’s the only way to justify and understand why he’s such a terrible person. I mean, Pip is not a good guy; he’s quick to discard the people that love him if they’re in the way.”
Holliday Grainger who plays Estella, noted in an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, that her character ” ”She’s the emotional version of Frankenstein’s monster”. “Estella is the subject of a kind of experiment by Miss Havisham, the wealthy recluse who adopted her and shaped her from her earliest years, ”and she is very damaged, a victim of emotional abuse – even though I don’t think that was Miss Havisham’s intention”. Estella she notes, ”has a lot of anger and resentment inside her, I think, but she is also passive, and probably has very little confidence in herself, which is why she always reverts to the facade.” In a scene in which she is offered the chance to leave Miss Havisham, ”It’s a lot easier for her to stay. If she left she would have to unlearn all the self-restraint she has spent her whole life developing.”
Ralph Fiennes who plays Magwitch has his own deep involvement with Dickens. Fiennes stars and directs The Invisible Woman about the true story of Charles Dickens and the much younger woman, Nelly Ternan (Felicity Jones) who became his secret lover until his death. It is based on the biography of the affair by Claire Tomalin.
In an interview with The Observer, Fiennes notes “He was 45 … she was only 18. And this man, this force that came at her, happened to be someone called Charles Dickens. And he came with his alpha-male charisma and imagination, and she had to weather it. And that was the story of her heart.” He adds in a quieter tone: “And that made me want to do it.”
Helena Bonham-Carter plays Miss Havisham. It is funny how fate has her voicing a Corpse Bride to playing the original.
In an interview with The Observer, Director Mike Newell says that he was keen to show how Miss Havisham’s own expectations have damaged her life. “Her character is made by the moment at which time stopped,” says Mike Newell. “She is dumped at twenty to nine in the morning as she is dressing for her marriage, as the story boldly states, and time stops and she is living in a time warp from then on.”
“It is then a case of what that warp does to her,” the director adds. “It is how the warp warps her and it is all done because of this huge expectation that she had of life – that she was in love and that she would have a future in front of her but that is all chopped back and what happens to her character is what happens to a person who is chopped down in that brutal fashion but does not die of it.”
Bonham-Carter notes in an Observer interview, “It’s funny,” she adds, “when Mike Newell made the offer, it was quickly followed by him saying, ‘Don’t worry, if you look at the book she’s not actually 78 years old!’ She’s probably only 37 when Pip meets her.”
“She is fascinating, this woman,” the actress says. “Take away the age thing and there’s still a lot going on with her. She’s very, very ill, mentally, for a start.”
“Miss Havisham has been inside for 15 years, so she would have had no vitamin D in her body,” she notes, “and she’d have a had a failing eyesight. She is always asking Pip to come closer. “
“I like all the illness, because when you play characters who are so damaged you really wonder what made them get to this point, what made them such a weirdo. Often if someone is truly damaged or hurt they have a bit of OCD, because they think that if everything is fine and they control their exterior then they’ll never be hurt again.”
“There are so many interesting sides to this character,” Helena Bonham Carter concludes. “She is pathologically grief-struck, but is totally narcissistic. It’s all about her – people do get their hearts broken and most people survive.”
Imagine what movie would have happened if this actual bit of casting had come true- if Tom Hiddleston had gotten the part of Thor and not Chris Hemsworth? Hiddleston got Loki as the consolation prize and the Marvel movie universe is better for it. Now as far as Thor goes, well without Loki to goad him into some righteous edge the God of Thunder would be a total bore. Why did the producers wait until almost the end of principal photography was over to realize that Loki was the whole show- and that more scenes featuring Hiddleston would be worth an extended shooting schedule?
My ideal Thor movie would have Thor and Loki as warring identical twins– and Hiddleston playing both parts! One can dream.
Thor: The Dark World has twice the action and twice the characters and ends up being twice the mess.
Director Alan Taylor handles the Game of Thrones elements fairly well. He should, because he directed a bunch of GOT. The plot elements that require subtitles, malevolent stares and sotto voce dialogue are GOT-ty , gnarly and exude Westeros and Esso flare. The 20 minutes were Thor and Loki bicker, fight and attempt to sort out their complicated sibling rivalry are The Dark World’s highlight. And Taylor leaves Hiddleston alone to play Loki in the only way he can play him. Taylor knows not to mess with something that doesn’t need fixing. The problem: Loki gets only 30 minutes of screen time and is cut out of the action when Thor 2 can use his mischievous evil bounce the most.
Unfortunately it’s the special effects and sci-fi elements that cause Taylor to stumble. The retro-flying boats and the red and golden clouds that swirl, the Aether-zation of Asgard as a whole has a anesthetic effect that just produce golden slumbers because they are so under done. It is like watching a good GOT episode spoiled by inserted highlights from a bad Flash Gordon serial.
The final epic battles were worlds collide or more like inter-collide into portals has a jarring Loony Tunes effect. Just let them fight. Thor and Malekith don’t need portals and laser blasts, just their two fists and some serious earth shattering. And the main villain is seriously undercut in the evil department when he looks like a pissed off Ben Stiller with a dirty face. Promising an army of evil elves and delivering a bare dozen scrunched up garden gnomes in hockey masks doesn’t even scare Jason.
With twice the characters comes considerable role shortening. Sif, she of the hot armor body gets very little screen time as do the Warriors Three. Jane Foster and the other earthlings get too much in moments that are just marking time until the next action scene. Taylor and company blew their opportunity to have Sif and Jane have the cat fight of the ages.
Sure it is nice too see the two main contenders (Jamie Alexander and Kat Dennings) for the next wonder woman in the same movie, but real fan boys want and deserve to see a smack down between the two to settle who really is the worthy Diana.
Thor: The Dark World gets a B- from me.
Ender’s Game tries to cloak the obsession of playing video games into a larger obsession of what role should a military play in a world filled with a very real sense of imminent invasion paranoia. Ender Wiggins (Asa Butterfield of Hugo) is proclaimed by the defense powers that be the savior of the human race from the insect looking Formic horde because of his ability to not only play war simulations but master them with the out of the box strategy of a chess grandmaster.
Director Gavin Hood breaks Orson Scott Card’s novel into a story of synthesizing the violent and peace loving part of humanity into not only an effective fighting weapon but a perfect person that knows when to give war and peace their proper due and moment. The tragedy of the novel and the movie is believing to much in the fear of the warmongers and not enough in the hope, faith and inherent goodness common to all higher intelligent beings whether human or extraterrestrial.
Card and Hood breaks the two parts into four characters.
The war mongering side has his bullying older brother (Jimmy Pinchak) and the commander of the war academy (Harrison Ford). The brother got drummed out because his violent temperament could not see strategies based on knowing his enemy. The commander is a bully because he knows the stakes are high, but he also knows when to show kindness and when to discipline and when to apply them to get the proper results. His heart and soul live in the blinders that encompass combat veterans and allow them to do their necessary and difficult job.
The peace loving side is embodied by his overly compassionate and empathetic sister aptly named Valentine (Abigail Breslin) and the touchy-feel Academy psychologist (Viola Davis) concerned with keeping the last of Ender’s childhood intact and his psyche on an even moral balance. The Academy struggle between warrior and diplomat reflect Ender’s inner struggle between bad brother and good sister. Ender’s struggle and synthesis is both the failure and hope of mankind. It wouldn’t be giving away too much to note that failure is needed to produce the sequels that will seek a diplomatic hope and a loving truth.
Ender’s Game is thankfully free of both the political and moral posturing that has gotten Scott Card in trouble with elements of the left and politically correct– and I am not a big fan of Scott Card’s opinion on gay rights and the current POTUS. Scott Card sold the movie rights to Ender’s Game a long time ago and will not see a penny of profits from it, so a boycott of the movie would not hurt Card financially one bit. The movie is an honest encapsulation of what many forget is an anti-war, anti-military depiction of our future, written long before Card had a change of heart and decided to become the poster boy for the politically incorrect cause of the moment. If you want to hurt Scott Card, stop buying his books.
Ender’s Game to use the smashup language of movie pitches is a Hunger Games set in a Hogswarthian dystopia with a slight Matrix religious allegory embedded in its spine. All were written after Ender’s Game and in some cases may be slightly inspired by it. The movie works because Asa Butterfield as Ender balances off gangly awkwardness with a tough psychological and intellectual interior that slowly leaks out the revelations until his character is the full realization of the story’s theme. Gavin Hood makes Ender’s Game a sneak attack on the heart in between video game level jumps.
Ender’s Game gets a B from me.
Of course it is perfectly apt for Loki to steal some of his brother’s thunder, so Mondo commissioned a Mike Mitchell rendering. Mitchell is an Austin, Texas based designer whose profile based portraits of stars, superheroes, villains and others are popular with Mondo collectors.
The Loki (below) is a 12 x 16 inch giclee in an edition of 250 and costs $50.
They all go on sale at a random time Thursday November 7. Find out when by following @MondoNews.
Nothing speaks The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is near than the onslaught of gazillions of new productions stills and the ever increasing booty of well done Photoshop generated character sheets.
The group cast sheets are some what a mixed blessing, having the cast and characters in awkward poses and displays of bow and blade that come close to Freudian slips. In the latest cast/character sheet poor Bilbo gets a blade bigger than himself, pointing up from an unseen body part, with an expression on his face that would not be out of line in a Lars Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac poster. And with the smoke swirling from Gandalf’s pipe, the whole poster takes on the aura of a particularly unfortunate homo-erotic hash dream.
One of the great real-life ironies of The Hobbit Trilogy is that Martin Freeman gets to do something he would never do in his alternate role of Watson in the BBC’s Sherlock: confront and fight Sherlock Holmes. As everyone knows, Benedict Cumberbatch voices the dragon Smaug whose desolation Freeman’s Bilbo seeks. It’s so wonderfully twisted– as if Watson woke up in Middle Earth and found out that Holmes was really Moriarity and Watson was really Holmes and that battle of Reichenbach Falls hast hither come. The Hobbit’s December 13th opening can’t come fast enough and neither can Sherlock’s season three American premier on PBS January 19th.
And if you thought that Gandalf might make a great older Sherlock Holmes, you would be right. Sir Ian McKellen will get to play a 74-year-old version of the venerable Consulting Detective in Bill Condon’s (The Fifth Estate which also starred Benedict Cumberbatch, these real-life parallels get freakier by the moment) A Slight Trick of the Mind which has Holmes haunted by a 50 year old case all while he is losing his memory and great powers of deduction. No Watson in this one.
Luke Evans who plays Bard the Bowman, the leader of the defense of Laketown from the dragon Smaug, got the part almost a year and a half after his first audition. Evan’s character’s ancestry lines up with his own personal family history. Bard is a descendant of Lord Girion of Dale and Evan, in another weird but true twists of Hobbit cast history, hales from the Welsh town of Dale (population more or less 205 according to Wikipedia) located in Pembrokeshire, West Wales on the northern side of the Dale Peninsula.
Evans gets to speak in his native Welsh accent in the film.
“Because [the Bard is] an ancestor of Dale, I come from Dale, my ancestors are from Dale,” says Evans, in an interview with HitFix.. “And so they made everybody who has ancestry of Dale Welsh. So now there’s people in Lake-town who speak with a Welsh accent and you know that they have great-great-great-grandfathers or grandmothers that were actually from Dale. So all my children are Welsh in the film, I’m Welsh, and so Dale will always be Wales to me, which is a really nice thing.”
Orlando Bloom was delighted to reprise his Legolas role from the LOTR films.
Playing a younger version of his character was easy. “This is going to be interesting to make the transition as an Elf being 10 years older as myself, as an actor, going in to playing a character that would be younger, but as Elves are kind of ageless anyway we’ve managed to bridge the gap,” Bloom noted in an interview. “”It’s crazy, the wig fits. It still fits. It’s the same wig, and it still fits. And the costume, it fit. The same costume fit.”
Evangeline Lilly as Tauriel never was really “Lost” in her role.
I was a bit of a Tolkien purist before Peter Jackson made the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy,” the actress said recently in a Los Angeles Times interview. “I was adamant that I wouldn’t see those films because there was no way that anybody was going to be able to re-create what I had imagined in my mind on the screen. I ended up being dragged to it for a big family Christmas thing and couldn’t believe how accurately he had portrayed everything that I’d ever imagined.”
Director Peter Jackson and writing partner Philippa Bowens created the character just for the movie, wanting to introduce more female energy to the overly male Hobbit storyline. “We’re not trying to create a warrior princess or a character that you might find for example — and in saying this, I’m not denigrating them — in a video game,” Boyens said. “This wasn’t about creating a character that didn’t feel truthful. She’s an elf of the world of Middle-earth,” Boyens noted in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
“She had to be a bit more gritty, a bit more passionate than what you’d seen before,” the actress said in her Los Angeles Times interview. “It was actually great to have that little bit of freedom to play with her and not have my performance from beginning to end be stoic and ethereal.”
Lee Pace who plays the Elvin King Thranduil, in an interview with F** Magazine, noted the similarities between Thranduil and the myth of the Fisher King.
“Milkwood used to be the Greenwood, but it’s a corrupted forest, it’s be come a very dangerous place, and it’s also Thranduil’s realm. The forest is very much a reflection of its king, just as the king is a reflection of his land. Like the Fisher King (a sovereign in Arthurian legend whose lands waste away when he suffers physical injuries).”
“One of the symbols I was very interested in was the Fisher King– and the story of the Fisher King was that he was away in this paradise, this utopia that would vanish, and it’s surrounded by a wasteland. It’s a dangerous place; he’s a dangerous king. ”
Richard Armitage plays Thorin, the leader of the company of dwarves who aim to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug the dragon. In an interview with F** Magazine, delves into the complicated motive that compel Thorin.
“The complex nature of the quest, for him, is it’s personal and it’s also for his people. He’s leading his people back to their kingdom, he’s also walking towards a single throne that he wants to sit on. He’s also walking towards a huge treasure hoard, which pulls him in a way that is confusing and potentially corrupting. He’s also walking towards this huge terror that has terrorized his people– it’s why they were exiled. So, as much as he’s being drawn to the mountain, he’s being repelled by the dragon. It’s such a complicated thing when he opens that door and he breathes the air and he remembers his childhood, he remembers what happened. He can feel the gold inside the mountain, he can feel the potential for greatness. So that’s here he is, really, in Movie Two. ”
“I’ve never really seen him as a hero. I think he has heroicism in him. I think he has the skill and prowess to do it. I think he fights the urge in him to do things for himself. I think he is seeking a kind of altruism, but ultimately keeps getting drawn back into a very selfish path. And the closer he gets to the mountain and the gold, he becomes much more singular, he becomes much more isolated and blinkered. But he’s been fighting that, and I think he’s been fighting it from the beginning. That’s probably why I wouldn’t describe him as a hero, because he could succumb to that.”
The final IMAX poster for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a pop kitschy take-off on the works of Fantastic Realism sculptor Kris Kuksi.
Kuksi is know for his sculptures that meld old, classical forms with new, modern references that art critic Joshua Liner called ““a study in timelessness and intricacies, reminiscent of lost civilizations, deities and ruins – perfectly preserved.”
The piece above melds images of the sacred and profane, warrior and priest, imperfect monsters and perfectly sculpted men to create a mind-blowing phantasmagoria of heaven above, earth in the middle and hell below.
Kuksi reclaims old materials (toys, machine parts, tossed off salvage and every day trash placed on the curbside) and reconstructs them into things totally new and not resembling the original at all.
He fills his pieces with a sense of forms lost and unsettling futures to come– a warning about trusting fundamentalist societies and religions that have a dictatorial and totalitarian bent.
The Hunger Games Imax tribute balances off Capitol symbols (on the right of the poster) with the resistance faction Phoenix symbols (on the left), with Katniss the synthesizing angel spreading her wings (forming the middle). The rest is pretty deep stuff for a movie poster and I leave you dear reader to explore that for yourself.
This week is a big week for people who love Art Movie Posters.
Bad Dad’s a tribute to the films of Wes Anderson is getting its fourth incarnation over at Spoke Art gallery in San Francisco.
Down in LA The Hero Complex Gallery is hosting an exhibition of Jaws inspired art titled Smile, You Son of a Bitch! They are the famous last words uttered to Bruce the Shark by Sheriff Brody before he shoots the oxygen canister that blows that bad boy to slow motion smithereens.
It takes place for three days only, November 1-3, at the Hero Complex Gallery in Los Angeles, CA. Proceeds go to PangeaSeed, an activism group which raises awareness for the preservation and conservation of sharks.
Enjoy the picture show!
Over 100 artists from around the world have once again created brand new art inspired by the growing oeuvre of writer/director Wes Anderson. This year, the show opens with a costume party on November 1 and 2 followed by a triple feature of three Anderson films: Bottle Rocket, The Royal Tenenbaums and his most recent release, Moonrise Kingdom, on November 3.
Bad Dads will be on display at Spoke Art, 816 Sutter Street San Francisco CA from November 1-23. The opening party is from 6-10 p.m. Nov. 1-2 and the screenings will be Nov. 3 at the Castro Theater. Any unsold works will go online at 3 p.m PST November 4 at spoke-art.com.
The Expendables 3 wrapped up principal photography the other day and celebrated by dropping a promo poster.
Never Send a Boy to Do a Man’s has me anticipating that the women are going to make their mark with the newly titled Expendabelles. Cameron Diaz, Milla Jovovich and Meryl Streep are being courted by Ari Lerner for the big mission. If Meryl Streep gets a best actress nomination for her role it will be proof that the Oscars are rigged.
The men’s latest mission has has Sylvester Stallone’s Barney Ross and his Expendables crew squaring off against Ross’ old partner Conrad Stonebanks, played by Mel Gibson. Returning for the sequel are Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews and Arnold Schwarzenegger, with Wesley Snipes, Antonio Banderas, and Harrison Ford joining the all-star cast along with Kellan Lutz, MMA star Ronda Rousey, welterweight boxing champion Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell.
The Expendables 3 will open sometime Summer 2014.
The first poster for Muppets: Most Wanted features the gang, the three starring humans (Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey) and two Kermits. The one on the right hand corner doing the Dr Evil imitation is K’s evil doppelganger Constantine, the criminal mastermind whose plot to steal an enormous diamond sets the international crime caper story in motion. Ricky Gervais co-stars as Constantine’s villainous sidekick, Dominic, while Ty Burrell plays a mustachioed Interpol agent and Tina Fey is on board as a Russian prison guard.
Cameos for the new film are supposed to include , Celine Dion, , , and
James Bobin, who helmed the 2011 ‘Muppets’ film, is returning to direct the follow-up and co-wrote the screenplay with Nicholas Stoller.
“Muppets Most Wanted” “takes the world by farce” on March 21, 2014.
Graphic poster artist Tom Whalen and Dark Hall Mansion have teamed up to bring a special Halloween treat for fans of Universal Monsters.
Tom Whalen has crafted together an amazing set of 10 prints in both a standard series and a “Silver Screen” variant series covered in silver metallic inks. Each set comes with 8 individual 18”x24” prints, each featuring one of your favorite Universal Monsters, and also a special 2 print diptych. All the prints come shipped inside of a beautiful custom folio box. The standard set will run you $350 shipped in the US and $450 for the variants.
Dark Hall Mansion has decided to offer up these awesome folio sets via a lottery system. You have from NOW until next Tuesday afternoon at 5 PM PST to e-mail Dark Hall at email@example.com with the words “WHALEN STANDARD” OR “WHALEN VARIANT” in the subject line for a chance to win your right to purchase either ONE “Universal Classic Monsters” 10-Print Standard Edition Folio or ONE “Universal Classic Monsters” 10-Print Variant Edition Folio.
Dark Hall’s facebook page will continuously be revealing all the different prints up until the sale date.
Bryan Singer couldn’t decide whether he wanted to make a sequel or a prequel to X-Men, so he decided to merge the two and make a pre-sequel.
X-Men Days of Future Past, according to Brian Singer in an interview, has 70% of its plot occur in the past and the rest in the future filled with cryptic conversations mumbled in hush tones about the need for all mutants to come together to fight a common enemy determined to destroy them all. The threat, a dwarf (Peter Dinklage, who else) with giant robot creation on his mind. The threat is so dire that they must time travel Wolverine’s (who else but Hugh Jackman) consciousness back to the 1970′s to make things all groovy with the warring younger versions of Professor X (James McAvoy playing the Patrick Stewart to be) and Magneto (Michael Fassbender before he started looking like Gandalf, just kidding) so they can stop this mutant robot-apocalypse while it is just buggy source code.
The special effects aren’t quite finished yet so the trailer is pretty character heavy. And it is essentially the same one shown at Comic-Con earlier this year.
New X-Men include Bishop (Omar Sy who got his training by pushing wheelchair bound Francoise Cluzet around in The Intouchables), Sunspot (Adan Canto), Warpath (Booboo Stewart who should be getting a lot of his first name marks) and Blink (Bingbing Fan, she with the perfect X name).
The returning players include the purple reincarnation of Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique, yum yum), a former latex Cat Woman (Halle Berry as Storm), a former baby mama and notable mind diver (Ellen Page as Shadowcat) and a zombie and giant slayer (Nicholas Hoult as Beast).
The X-Men: Days of Future Past opens everywhere May 23, 2014.
The Director, Steve McQueen, loves to revel in tableaux vivants. 12 Years a Slave, based on the autobiography of Solomon Northrup a freeman kidnapped into slavery in ante-bellum Louisiana for the years of the title, is McQueen’s masterpiece.
Everything is shackled to a true story told with an unflinching reality about one man’s perseverance and triumph from brutality and slavery. McQueen’s greatest tableaux vivant has Northrup (Chiwetel Ejiofor giving the performance of a lifetime) lynched, his feet barely touching the earth, straining for hours to stay erect and alive, all while normal plantation life continues on in the background unmindful of his situation. The movie screen has never seen anything so raw and honest. 12 Years a Slave is the hard but necessary watch every one must absorb into their psyche to keep the memory of evil from morphing into nostalgic racial revisionism.
Ejiofor is McQueen’s mirror that shows how slavery debases and twists everything it touches. McQueen doesn’t strive to make Ejiofor a martyr, just a survivor, a reflection of the millions brutalized. Ejiofor’s performance displays a fierce intelligence and resolve that McQueen contrasts with Ejiofor’s soft angelic facial features to make him the perfect emotional ground for this story of refinement debased and soul triumphant.
One of the neater details has McQueen foreshadowing the end of plantation slavery by showing the main house in its whitewash shabbiness— the wanton disrepair of its chips, rot and facade in need of new varnish and repainting, unmindful of the encroach of locusts, moths, spiders and nature itself trying to claim it back.
Contrast 12 Years a Slave with last year’s pop revisionist Western, Django Unchained that also pretends to stare in the darkness of the peculiar institution and it is obvious what a fraud that Tarantino movie is. Every scene in Slave pulsates with a sense of terror and a scourging of the heart while Unchained hipster facade revises nothing but genre conventions.
12 Years a Slave gets an A from me.
So now we finally know who wrote Shakespeare’s plays! A time traveling dog from a 1960′s animated series that had a flying squirrel and an upright talking moose as its stars.
Mr Peabody of the 50′s-60′s Peabody’s Improbable History was not only the smartest dog on the planet but the smartest creature that ever lived. Smart Enough to have a pet boy named Sherman who could drive him through historic time zones observing, disturbing and re-correcting history in their Wabac Machine while teaching lessons about science, math, literature and comedy writing to new generations of scientists, mathematicians, writers and comedians. Without Mr. Peabody’s inspiration there would be no trips to the moon, no Gravity’s Rainbow, no double helix discovery, no Golden Age of sit-com and definitely no Woody Allen movies, the closest humanity has come to a Mr Peabody in looks and occasionally in brain power. Think about it. . .but then again don’t.
A Mr Peabody and Sherman film has been brewing in the minds of Dreamworks since 2007. Robert Downey Jr was originally picked to voice Mr Peabody but probably dropped out when his Iron Man obligations came into conflict with his desire for radical historical correction. Saving history from both the onslaught of evil ideas and good intentions gone awry always takes a back seat to saving the world from criminal masterminds. So Ty Burrell the gentle mannered, confused, high-toned Dad from Modern Family steps in to fill the historic voice void. Not quite perfect voice casting but neither is this a perfect world. Playing Sherman is Max Charles, the young Peter Parker in the last Spiderman, creating the historical and comedic possibility that the pet may be smarter than the dog. This is starring to look more like a historical misstep than a defining cinematic moment with every passing second. But then try to explain to me why dog spelled backwards is God?
Rob Minkoff, who directed half of The Lion King, is there behind the scenes, pulling the strings to make sure this historic spectacle gets some sure footing. According to IMDB.com historical characters guaranteed to appear include Leonardo da Vinci (Stanley Tucci) and his Mona Lisa (Lake Bell), Sigmund Freud (Mel Brooks), and King Tut (Zach Gallison).
Mr Peabody opens March 7, 2014.
James Gray’s The Immigrant got a screening at the 51st NY Film Festival. In the film, Marion Cottilard plays a Polish immigrant who is exploited by a pimp played by Joaquin Phoenix.
The Immigrant is Gray’s attempt to honor his grandparents by showing the immigrant experience in all its complexity rather than the patriotic “I Love America” experience so common on screens. Gray’s grandmother came from Poland where she was the victim of pogroms and witnessed the beheading of her mother by Cossacks. Gray’s grandfather has a little founder memories of the “old country”. Both make cameos in The Immigrant reenacting some of their experiences as well.
Marion Cotillard plays her first American lead role in the movie. Cotillard learned Polish as part of her research for the role. She forms the middle part of the love triangle between Phoenix’s pimp and the kindness and security offered by a struggling magician and fellow immigrant played by Jeremy Renner.
The four posters come from The Immigrant French Facebook page.
Captain America awakening from his over 60 year slumber will no doubt miss the irony of his standing on the S.H.I..E.L.D. in the first poster for Captain America: The Winter Soldier. For a man who live and fought in a time when there was a clear black and white, good versus evil, right and wrong it is hard to see the necessity for good to develop a little evil to catch the bad bad guys.
The first trailer is filled with the moral grays of Steve Rogers’ new world which in cinematic terms makes this Captain America a political thriller. A naive idealistic young man navigating his way through this climate is very much 3 Days of the Condor plotting. So it’s no surprise the wizened star of Condor, Robert Redford should show up in the head S.H.I..E.L.D. role as a reassuring mentor with gray motives that get hashed out with Nick Fury(Samuel L Jackson) in plexiglass spaces that show everything but the words really being spoken.
Along for the ride is Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the budding Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) in his pre-Falcon mini-origin story to steer Cap away from the darker grays he’s not ready for- namely his dead bff Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) reanimated and cyborg-ized into the villainous Winter Soldier of the title. Black Widow and the Winter Soldier share some history.
If you feel this movie is a setup for the Avengers: Age of Ultron, you’ll be partially right. “There’s a very strong connection in the narrative between the events of the end of ‘Avengers’ that drive this film — and there’s a very strong hand off to ‘Avengers 2′ at the end of this movie,” co-director Joe Russo (who made the film with his brother, Anthony) told HuffPost Entertainment earlier this year. “And [Marvel head] Kevin Feige’s whole thing is that this is the biggest bridge of all of Phase 2 movies; it really is. It does involve the most amount of Avengers of any of the films in Phase 2, and there’s a very big shift in the universe at the end of this movie.”
The snippets of actions scenes look up there with those of The Avengers and the ones shown in the promos for Thor: Dark World. The Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer will be attached to the Norse God’s cinematic adventure when it opens November 8th. Captain America: The Winter Soldier will be released everywhere April 4, 2014.