Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Justice League, Wonder Woman, Flash/Green Lantern Movies May Be on the Horizon

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

If journalist Nikki Finke is to be believed, Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment are aiming to match Marvel at the movies by 2016.

While nothing outside of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has been officially announced, NikkiFinke.com reports this week that Warner Bros. is hoping to release the following films…

May 2016: Batman v Superman
July 2016 – A Shazam movie
December 2016 – A Neil Gaiman-inspired Sandman movie
May 2017 – The long-rumored Justice League movie
July 2017 – A Wonder Woman movie
Christmas 2017 – A team up film featuring Green Lantern and The Flash
May 2018 – A sequel to Man of Steel

This news was supposedly to have been broken by Warner Bros. this July at Comic-Con International.

Finke also reports that films based on the Suicide Squad and the Metal Men were in the works, but fell off schedule. The Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman will reportedly also have cameos in the Justice League film. In addition, Finke notes the Green Lantern in the aforementioned films will not be played by Ryan Reynolds.

Image from dccomics.com.

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Channing Tatum Hopes to “Change the Superhero Movie” with Gambit

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

While nothing is official at this juncture, signs continue to point to Channing Tatum portraying Gambit in upcoming X-Men films.

Different reports have pointed toward Tatum’s Gambit either showing up in X-Men: Apocalypse, or debuting in his own stand-alone picture. But in any event, Tatum seems to want the opportunity to shake up the superhero film genre with Gambit.

“We’ve talked about it being a standalone, first, and actually trying to change the ‘hero, superhero movie,’” Tatum said in a recent MTV interiew. “Because Gambit is not your typical hero. He’s a thief. He walks on the gray. I’m hoping we can change it a little bit, and then ultimately feather into the other ones.”

However, in the words of Tatum himself, his Gambit aspirations are only conversations and dreams right now, really.”

Source: MTV News

Image from nacionvirtual.com.

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Josh Trank Will Direct Star Wars Stand-Alone Film

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Coming off the recent announcement that Godzilla director Gareth Edwards will direct a Star Wars stand-alone film, a director has been announced for another stand-alone: Josh Trank.

Trank has previously directed Chronicle, and will direct the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot for 20th Century Fox.

“The magic of the Star Wars Universe defined my entire childhood,” Trank said via press release. “The opportunity to expand on that experience for future generations is the most incredible dream of all time.”

Source: StarWars.com

Image from liveforfilms.com.

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Game of Thrones, 12 Years A Slave Stars Cast in Star Wars: Episode VII

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

StarWars.com announced this week that Lupita Nyong’o and Gwendoline Christie have been added to the cast of Star Wars: Episode VII.

Nyong’0 won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress earlier this year for her performance in 12 Years A Slave.

Christie is best known as Brienne of Tarth on Game of Thrones. She will also be featured in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2.

“I could not be more excited about Lupita and Gwendoline joining the cast of Episode VII,” said Kathleen Kennedy, president of LucasFilm. “It’s thrilling to see this extraordinarily talented ensemble taking shape.”

Directed by J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: Episode VII comes out December 18, 2015.

Image from telegraph.co.uk. 

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X-Men: Apocalypse to Feature Original Cast Members

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

While 2016′s X-Men: Apocalypse will focus primarily on the characters we originally met in X-Men First Class (James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier, Michael Fassbender’s Magneto, etc), it seems there will also be room for characters from the original X-Men films.

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Simon Kinberg specifically noted that Apocalypse “…will certainly have some of the original cast involved, too.”

There has been much speculation about Hugh Jackman appearing in the film as Wolverine. In April, Patrick Stewart also told MTV News that he would be open to returning as the older version of Charles Xavier.

In addition to McAvoy and Fassbender, Apocalypse will see Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult, and Evan Peters return as Mystique, Beast, and Quicksilver. In addition, it’s been widely speculated that Channing Tatum may appear as Gambit.

X-Men: Apocalypse comes out May 27, 2016.

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An X-Men: Days of Future Past Review – The Sequel, Prequel, Reboot, and Fixer Upper

TITLE: X-Men: Days of Future Past
STARRING: Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Patrick Stewart
DIRECTOR: Bryan Singer
STUDIOS: 20th Century Fox, Marvel, Bad Hat Harry, The Donners’ Company
RATING: PG-13
RUN TIME: 131 min
RELEASED: May 23, 2014

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Days of Future Past wears a lot of different hats. To an extent, it’s the film industry’s first sequel/prequel/reboot/fixer upper. It’s a superhero movie set in a dystopian world, which weaves in historical fiction and time travel intrigue. That’s a hell of a lot for a movie to have on its plate. But Days of Future Past pulls it all off very well, and is a heck of an accomplishment.

Set in 2023, sentient robots called Sentinels have all but conquered the planet, and have left the mutant race mostly extinct. In hiding, Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) and Magneto (Ian McKellen) make a bold move. They use the phasing powers of Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) 50 years into the past to prevent the US government from putting the Sentinel program into action. To do so, he teams with a younger Xavier and Magneto (James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender), and pursues Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence), who will unknowingly set off a chain reaction that leads unparalleled death and destruction.

Days of Future Past isn’t necessarily noob-friendly. If you want the full experience, you really need to have seen X-MenX2: X-Men UnitedX-Men: The Last Stand, and X-Men: First Class, with The Wolverine possibly thrown in for good measure. That way, you know about all the minor players (Storm, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, etc.) the movie doesn’t have time to tell you much about. For instance, Halle Berry doesn’t get much screen time as Storm, so you’ve got to know who she is to appreciate the fact that she’s there.

But if you know what you’re getting into, Days of Future Past is a friggin’ X-Men all star game, both on screen and off screen. Brian Synger, director of X-Men and X2, is back at the helm, with First Class director/writer Matthew Vaughn contributing to the story. Simon Kinberg, who wrote The Last Stand and produced First Class also helped with the story and wrote the screenplay. What’s more, almost every notable actor/character that’s appeared in the X-Men movies pops up in this film somewhere. It’s almost as if a reunion was called to officially resurrect the franchise.

Days of Future Past also has the best assembly of actors seen in a comic book movie since The Dark Knight. As always, the heart of the movie is Jackman’s Wolverine. Anyone asking why the movie’s storyline deviated from the comic book and put Wolverine in the main role should likely have their head examined. James McAvoy also carries much of the dramatic weight, playing an Xavier who’s trying to hide from his own powers, and in effect, his destiny. Michael Fassbender is actually a better Magneto than Ian McKellen, in my humble opinion. He has a quiet, menacing effect about him that McKellen never brought to the role. You’re afraid for the heroes when Fassbender is on screen.

We’ve also got a few new faces this time around. Peter Dinklage plays Boliver Trask to satisfaction. But one of the real crowd pleasers is Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters. He doesn’t play a major role, per se. But he provides some nice comic relief during the first half of the movie, which doesn’t feel forced or overly contrived. He’ll be a welcome sight when we get to X-Men: Apocalypse.

And then there’s Mystique/Jennifer Lawrence. From a story perspective, she’s the centerpiece to the whole movie. That might be a little contrived, judging by who Mystique was in Singer’s original X-Men movies. Sure, Mystique was a bad ass chick who could shape shift, but the tipping point for the future of the planet? That might be a bit of a stretch. But of course, it’s Jennifer Lawrence. And at this point, you can’t have her not be a major part of the film. And I suppose those who argue “Why Mystique?” could be met with an equal number who say “Why not Mystique?” Lawrence doesn’t give us a Silver Linings Playbook quality performance here, but she gets the job done. I also liked how the romance between Mystique and Beast (played by Lawrence’s real life boyfriend, Nicholas Hoult) is addressed with neither actor actually speaking to the other. It’s all done with looks and facial expressions. That’s a credit to all parties involved.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is, for the most part, exactly what fans hoped it would be. Granted, there are a decent amount of unanswered questions left at the end of the film. But I suspect that’s what X-Men: Apocalypse will be for. If the goal of Days was to get the X-Men franchise back in the people’s good graces, then it did what it was designed to do, and then some.

RATING: 8.5/10

Front page image from Empire Magazine. Image 1 from newempressmagazine.com. Image 2 from digitalspy.com. Image 3 from rottentomatoes.com.

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Godzilla Director Coming to the Star Wars Universe

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Gareth Edwards, director of this month’s Godzilla reboot, will have no shortage of work on his plate in the coming years. He’ll not only continue to be involved with the “King of the Monsters,” but he’ll be taking a trip to a galaxy far, far away.

LucasFilm announced this week that Edwards will direct the first of “multiple stand-alone movies that will offer new stories beyond the core Saga.” While no word has been released on who or what the saga will focus on, the movie will come out on December 16, 2016.

“Ever since I saw Star Wars I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the rest of my life – join the Rebel Alliance! I could not be more excited & honored to go on this mission with Lucasfilm, said Edwards.

Edwards will direct a screeplay written by Gary Whitta, whose screenwriting credits include 2010′s The Book of Eli, starring Denzel Washingston.

Following the Star Wars announcement, Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull noted that Edwards is indeed scheduled to direct a Godzilla follow up.

“The plan has always been for Gareth to direct a different film before we started on another Godzilla, but who knew it would be a Star Wars installment?” Tull said. “We have a great plan in store for Godzilla fans and I am looking forward to seeing Gareth’s imprint on the Star Wars universe.”

Sources: StarWars.com, ComingSoon.net

Image from imdb.com.

Front page image/image 4 and image 2 from comicsalliance.com. Image 1 from giantbomb.com. Image 3 from batman-news.com.

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Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Coming in 2016

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Zack Snyder’s Batman/Superman film, set for release on May 16, 2016, now has an official title: Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

For some time, he title has been rumored to be Batman vs. Superman. The “v.” as opposed to “vs.” or “versus” formalizes the title a bit, making it akin to a boxing match.

The title obviously serves as a prequel to a future Justice League movie.

Source: The Verge

Image from newsarama.com.

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A Godzilla Review – “Whaddaya Mean I’m Too Fat?!?”

TITLE: Godzilla
STARRING: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Ken Watanabe, David Strathairn
DIRECTOR: Gareth Edwards
STUDIOS: Warner Bros. Pictures, Legendary Pictures, Toho
RATED: PG-13
RUN TIME:
123 min
RELEASED: May 16, 2014

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

Japanese Godzilla fans are apparently calling foul on this new movie for making the title character too fat. To that I say, pshaw. This is an American Godzilla, folks. He eats McDonalds hamburgers, drinks Starbucks coffee, and loves him some Real Housewives of New York. DEAL.

But while the big guy may be looking, well, bigger than some fans are used to, this latest film manages to be a breath of fresh air, especially for American fans who last saw him in the 1998 Roland Emmerich adaptation. While it certainly has its share of flaws to atone for, by and large it should give audiences what they want to see.

Long story short, the world has come under attack by a pair of giant parasitic monsters who feed off of radiation. Thus Godzilla, who in this film is cast as Earth’s defender rather than its destructor, rises from dormancy to fight them. Amidst the chaos, the recently discharged Lieutenant Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) is separated from his wife (Elizabeth Olsen) and young son. Thus, Brody must reunite with his family, but also help the armed forces defend America from annihilation.

Godzilla is an easy movie to criticize, for a variety of reasons. So let’s start out on a positive note: Both Godzilla and his monstrous opponents look great, and the movie makes you believe in them. One of the elements that’s helpful in this respect is that the movie is somewhat conservative with their camera time. You still see them quite a bit, obviously. But the movie attempts to rely more on storytelling, as opposed to the spectacle of seeing giant monsters fighting. This is helpful not just in terms of making the film appeal to a wider audience, but keeping the movie magic alive. We don’t actually see a big, epic battle between Godzilla and the bad guys until the film’s climax. That the build up leaves the audience craving the big collision, and that allows us to keep our disbelief suspended. The wait was a risky move, but it’s one that pays off in the end.

Bryan Cranston is in roughly the first 40 minutes of this movie. You’d think nothing bad could come of that, but Cranston and his character, Brody’s father, actually set the bar too high for everyone else. Fifteen years earlier, the Joe Brody character worked in a nuclear reactor in Japan with his wife. An incident involving one of the parasite monsters causes the destruction of the reactor, and his wife’s death. He then devotes his life finding out exactly what caused the tragedy, thus alienating his son Ford. Joe Brody has more depth, and is also performed better, than any of the characters he interacts with. Thus, when he leaves the movie, there’s a huge drop in quality, and it almost becomes just another monster flick.

From a performance standpoint, Elizabeth Olsen might have stood on level with Cranston, but she essentially plays a stock damsel in distress character. The same can be said for Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who plays a very generic hero soldier type. (Oddly enough, these two will play siblings in Avengers: Age of Ultron.) You’ll root for him, though to his credit, that’s more Taylor-Johnson than anything present in the writing. Ford’s motivation in this film isn’t an uncommon one for disaster flicks. He’s separated from his loved ones and is desperately trying to find them. But oddly enough, he doesn’t get to have a big moment at the end of the movie where he saves/finds his wife. That’s not a statement on whether she survives or not. It’s a critique on the notion of our hero not getting to accomplish his main goal in the end. Instead, the matter is taken out of his control. Granted, he does a hell of other heroic stuff along the way. But not allowing Ford to accomplish his main goal definitely takes some of the edge off the end of the movie.

Aaaaaand then we have the various plotholes and conflicts of logic/reason that you’re bound to find in a lot of disaster/monster movies. Godzilla has no shortage of them, but I’ll stick to the major ones…

Questions from Godzilla:

- Why is this guy from the Navy (David Strathairn) giving all the orders? I understand we need some kind of military authority figure for the monster expert (Ken Watanabe) to talk with and spout exposition to. But why the U.S. Navy? The whole thing started in Japan, right? And at one point a Russian nuclear sub is destroyed, isn’t it? And these monsters are easily capable of stomping their way across the globe, aren’t they? So where’s the U.N. in all of this? Why is this whole thing being coordinated by the Navy? Is it because Godzilla rose up from the ocean? It just doesn’t make sense…

- At one point, the military plans to kill all three monsters with an extremely powerful nuclear weapon, which they bring into San Francisco. The idea is that the radiation would lure the monsters to into the trap, and the impact of the blast itself would kill them. This plan itself is incredibly flimsy, as no one seems to even be sure the blast will actually kill these things. What’s more, if the blast didn’t kill them, it’d likely make them stronger than ever. Talk about an all or nothing scenario. This was the best plan they could come up with?

- Near the end of the movie, the big bomb goes off in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California. Not that far off the coast, actually. And at the time, the two parasite monsters aren’t around to absorb the radiation. And yet, in the aftermath we see downtown San Francisco is not a nuclear wasteland. That’s curiously convenient, isn’t it?

- How is it that giant radioactive monsters can sneak around? The Nostalgia Critic had a similar complaint during his review of the 1998 Godzilla film. Near the middle of the film, the military “loses sight” of one of the parasite monsters. A short time later, the other monster is able to break out of a nuclear waste facility in Nevada (and I mean literally break out of the structure), apparently without anyone noticing until they actually check the appropriate locked cell. How? Can these things somehow go into stealth mode?

In the end, Godzilla should satisfy those looking for a giant monster smackdown in the middle of a major city. The end pay off is largely worth it, despite the attempts at character-driven storytelling falling mostly flat, and the wait for the big fight being frustrating at times. It don’t see it being one of the highlights of this summer movie season. But if you’ve got some spare cash to burn, you could definitely do worse.

RATING: 6/10

Front page image from latimes.com. Image 3 from denofgeek.com. All other image from rottentomatoes.com. 

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Zack Snyder Tweets First Look at Batman and the Batmobile

By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder

After teasing a Batmobile reveal on Twitter yesterday, Zack Snyder has kept his word and not only revealed Batman’s ride, but Batman himself.

The accompanying caption reads: “I shot this with my @Leica_Camera M Monochrom. #Batman #Batmobile #Gotham”

The as yet untitled Superman/Batman movie, directed by Snyder and starring Ben Affleck as Batman, comes out May 6, 2016.

Source: @ZackSnyder

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