Disney and Lucasfilms is already looking ahead to map out the future of the Star Wars franchise and they announced some very exciting news today. Rian Johnson, director of Looper, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and this December's Star Wars: The Last Jedi, has been chose to helm a new trilogy for the galaxy far, far away. The focus will be to "introduce new characters from a corner of the galaxy that Star Wars lore has never before explored" and will most likely arrive after episode 9. This also makes sense seeing as J.J. Abrams is returning to the franchise to direct the final film of the trilogy. While it will hard to say goodbye to Luke and company, Star Wars has a vast array of canonical stories and characters they can use for their future films. Honestly, this news is nothing short of exciting and absolutely the best direction for Star Wars to head.
Universal's budding "Dark Universe" may never come to fruition and that shouldn't surprise anyone. Tom Cruise's Mummy film starring Sofia Boutela as the iconic villain was panned by critics upon release. While the movie ultimately surpassed budget, it was largely underwhelming in the long run and has put the future of their expanding universe in jeopardy. The film series would create feature films for famous monsters like Dracula, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Frankenstein and a handful of others. It is also telling that both Alex Kurtzman and Chris Morgan left the Dark Universe to focus on Star Trek Discovery and the Fast and Furious spin-off starring the Rock respectively. The proposed rumor of hiring Jason Blum who has become a major name for the horror genre for his low budget and highly successful titles like the Insidious franchise, Purge, and Janurary's hit Get Out. While they could try and salvage the project and move forward, Universal would be better off listening to the fans and scrapping the universe all together. There is no reason to do a bunch of block buster style monster movie films in an attempt to create a marvel-esque horror franchise. Instead, focus on true horror, take these iconic villains and breathe new life into them with less of the glitz and glam. Time will tell where Universal will end up but if no one steps in to lead the projects soon it looks like it will be the end for the Dark Universe.
Rarely have I seen a movie that I wanted to walk out of twenty minutes after the first began but this was certainly the one I wish I had but, before we talk about the fantastic failure that was Fox's Fantastic Four, let's talk about everything surrounding this massive wreck of a film. It all seemed to fall apart when director Josh Trank tweeted this tweet out, stating that we'll probably never see the "fantastic version," the director had originally created, which was supported by a lot of rumors over recent months of extensive re-shoots, a lot of which could be felt throughout the film. (Note: Kate Mara's wig) Aside from this and behind the scenes clashing between the studio and Trank himself, there's a surprising number of scenes from the original trailer released that never made the finished film. (seriously, take a look) As for the movie itself, as of no fault of any one of the actors, this movie was a complete and utter foul ball who's only redeeming quality came in the first fifteen minutes featuring child versions of Dr. Reed and Ben Grimm. So little actually happens in the film itself that it's almost hard to write about. It's, in its most complex form, several of your favorite super heroes, working along side a villain, get drunk and transport themselves to a planet (and someone, in a room full of people, Sue's computer is the only one notified about this happening), leave the villain, get mutated, Dr Reed runs away to some remote jungle location, is found by Benn a.k.a. the thing, and then is forced to go back to this other mutation causing dimension, to fight the villain who's become some strange, psychic robot who fused with his super suit. The rest of the movies pacing is literally so off beat that none of the relationships, aside from those two characters, feel anything near legitimate. Victor hates Sue but we don't really understand why, Victor hate's Reed towards the end for being smarter than him, Johnny doesn't get anywhere near the charismatic comic book character or even Chris Evan's version from the original two film franchise, Ben hates Reed in the middle but forgives him during the most boring villains boss fight I've ever seen in a comic book more (yes, even more boring than Thor vs. The Destroyer from Marvel's Thor film, and Sue get's a budding romance that's oddly never acknowledged again. (which may or may not have been a good thing) The movie felt recycled and with little effort, featuring a senselessly dark murder scene with Dr. Doom, hardly any actual applications of anyone's powers and lots of strange moments like the government immediately sending civilians to this planet knowing what it's done to Dr. Reed and gang or even Dr Doom's black hole implosion, which occurred in another dimension, which I'm not really sure where that leaves him? On top of the abysmal film that was released, the movie itself was a total box office bomb, bringing in only 26.2 million dollars, which is unheard of for a comic book movie in recent years and with the reviews and a 9% of rottentomatoes, (Which might be the most impressive thing about this film) it doesn't seem like this movies going to recover anytime soon. Looks like it might be time to hand over all of these film rights to their parent company, Marvel, where they might get the film they deserve.
Southpaw is punching it's way into that box office weekend but does it pack a punch or miss completely? Antoine Fuqua's latest drama film, starring Jake Gyllenhaal but also originally eyed rap star Eminem, follows the story of boxer Billy Hope who's life quickly unravels after the untimely death of his wife and his road to redemption. The bad part about this film is that it doesn't accomplish much of, well, anything. The opening sequence starts off with our main character getting pummeled and covered in blood and might honestly be the best action scene in the entire film. After the death of Hope's wife, Rachel McAdam's character, Maureen, the Hope life seemingly falls apart over night. Losing everything from his former boss and promoter played by 50 Cent, to the custody of his daughter following his reckless actions after the death of his wife. Unfortunately, that's about as down and out as he really gets. Everything that seems to happen comes together pretty well for our former number 1 champ. Throughout the middle section and almost until the end, the movie is filled with cliché after cliché tear-jerking moment that echo's her death throughout. Hope's motivation, again, feels a bit off. He's a little too single focused and even after the betrayal of his former boss, he's offered the opportunity to expedite his process and get back into the ring after a mere two months time. It's a little hard to believe that a man who's explosive debut, that could have gone in so many directions, headed down the trail of the average sports film. The cinematography can be a mess at times, going from oddly intense shots to sloppy editing. (especially when it came to throwing punches) Fortunately, for movie goers, Gyllenhaal's chameleon like acting style as of late has earned him a lot of praise and I wouldn't be shocked if we saw a nomination come award season. This movie really accomplishes nothing you haven't seen already, not a great or inspiring story line nor does it want to make me go out and learn how to box. Aside from a left handed boxer, this movie falls pretty flat for a pretty great director. This is one you might wait to catch on TV during the day.
The Good Dinosaur has over come a lot of hurdles since it was initially announced back in 2011. The film, that was at the time untitled, was scheduled to be released November 27th, 2013 but after letting go of the former director and producer, Pixar laying off 67 employees, the movie was basically re-built from the ground up to become the gorgeous trailer we now have. This will also be Pixar's second film release within the same year, ever, and if it's anywhere near as successful as Inside Out then they'll have another big hit on their hands. Take a look at The Good Dinosaur, due out in theaters November 25th, 2015.
Entertainment magazine has given us our best look yet at the upcoming X-Men film, X Men:Apocalypse and it raises quite a few questions! In the picture above, we have Oscar Isaac as the villain himself, Apocalypse, standing along side (what could be two of the new age "Four Horsemen) Alexandra Shipp's Storm, dawning the silver mohawk and Olivia Munn as Psylocke. We also see Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique back with the good guys as well as a set production photo featuring the director Bryan Singer, take a look at the other photos below and get excited for this film to hit theaters May 27th, 2016!
It's been a big weekend for a lot of reasons but one of them has been the sequel to Family Guy's creator, Seth Macfarlanes, raunchy comedy Ted, hitting theaters but how was it compared to it's wild predecessor? Ted 2 picks up several years after the original movie, having seen Mark Whalberg's character, John, divorced from the missing Mila Kunis as well as Ted marrying Tammie-Lynn, fast forward a year and you see the couple's relationship on the rocks when the idea to have a child comes to mind. While the first movie felt largely like a big, very offensive, party, Ted 2's issues with continuity really create one boring over all story as we see the Teddy Bear eventually fail to adopt a child and later challenging his rights of person hood in a court of law. The over all civil rights narrative created a much heavier tone for a movie that, at first, hurled joke after joke at the audience before ultimately getting bogged down in it's dense plot. Ted 2 did has it's funny moments, featuring what could possibly be the best Liam Neeson moment in film as well as returning star, Donny, played by Giovanni Ribisi. Some stars from the original returned for more humorous moments like Flash Gordon himself, Sam J. Jones, and Morgan Freeman and Patrick Stewart as narrator were hilarious. Sadly, Ted 2's plot and flow being a bit off through the second half of the movie really weighted down what could have been a potentially hilarious sequel but if you are a fan of McFarlanes level of humor, I'm sure you'll enjoy this summer comedy.
Pixar's new animated film, Inside Out, has been released and the reviews have been incredible. So incredible, in fact, that the movie currently sits at a 99% on rotten tomatoes, a well deserved score for an incredibly witty and fun film. Inside Out follows the story of a young girl Riley and how her five emotions, Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust, all interact with one another. The movie offers some extremely interesting views on emotions and how they intertwine, where your memories end up and how your subconscious acts like a sort of jail for bad thoughts and fears. The movies most defining aspect is it's commentary on how we process sadness. Inside out is all about understand and not giving in, showing that a bit of everything is necessary at times to understand our selves and what we're go through. A strong emotional message for kids and adults, Inside Out is easily one of the best animated films of 2015 and a must see summer blockbuster.
Netflix has made another game changing move today by announcing a picture deal with one of Hollywood's most recognizable faces. It was announced that the upcoming film, War Machine, starring Academy Award winner Brad Pitt, was purchased by Netflix for a whopping 30 million dollars. This, of course, isn't the first move into big screen releases for the home streaming giant, as they also have a current four picture deal with Adam Sandler and will be releasing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 2 on their service the same day it will be released in theaters. It's going to be interesting to see just what other films Netflix might bring to their service. Who knows, in a few years, we might all be making less trips to the theater.
Well, this is a bit of a surprise. Disney has apparently decided to not move forward with it's planned Tron sequel that was rumored to be title, Tron: Ascension. Director Joseph Kosinski, along side returning actors Olivia Wilde and Garrett Hedlund, were also rumored to return for the sequel. After 2010's lack luster performance of the second film in the series, it finally began to seem that the sequel was actually moving forward. One has to wonder if this is a reaction to Disney's less than stellar box office performance from Tomorrowland over Memorial Day Weekend. You can never say never when it comes to Hollywood but for the time being, it looks like we won't be seeing Tron 3 anytime soon.