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Shortly before filming wrapped on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, director James Gunn confirmed that he would bring his cast to Comic-Con. Most fans assumed that the first trailer would be shown during Marvel's Hall H presentation, and they were right. But no one expected the first footage to reveal one of the sequel's biggest secrets. It had long been rumored that Kurt Russell was playing Star-Lord's (Chris Pratt) father. That turned out to be true, with the footage showing Kurt Russell playing the character Ego the Living Planet. Now, James Gunn has provided the backstory for this unique alien being who has taken human form. He explains this.
"[Ego is] an ancient cosmic being who has been on the edges of the universe for aeons by himself."
The Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1984 is coming your way on Wednesday August 31st with Dame Peggy Ashcroft defending her Oscar from the other side. Will the panel co-sign that Oscar win or throw their votes to Christine Lahti, Lindsay Crouse, or legendary Oscar regulars in the form or either Glenn Close or Geraldine Page. Please remember that readers are the collective sixth panelist so I expect your answers to these questions in the comments (as well as your ballots - details on what to send me here).
Meet The Panelists
Please give a hearty welcome to two first time Smackdowners
Noah Tsika is the Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Queens College, Cuny. He has also written two books on cinema: Nollywood Stars: Media and Migration in West Africa and the Diaspora and Pink 2.0: Encoding Queer Cinema on the Internet.
Follow Noah on Twitter
- NATHANIEL R
Earlier this week James Gunn unveiled some concept art from Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 featuring the team going up against a giant space monster. However, as it turns out, it’s not a space monster at all, but rather a “multi-dimensional being”.
“That’s an Abilisk, a multi-dimensional being, and the Guardians have been hired to fight him,” revealed Gunn during a Facebook Q&A. He didn’t go into any further detail, but seeing as the concept art features the original Guardians from the first movie (and not new additions Yondu, Nebula and Mantis), it’s probably safe to assume this takes place early in the movie – perhaps even as a reintroduction to the Guardians?”
Gunn also recapped all of the information about the sequel that we know so far, and warned fans to steer clear of his Facebook page – and the marketing material – if they want »
- Gary Collinson
Anxieties of thirtysomethings are a tale as old as time. A few weeks ago the melancholic Joshy reminded us of the challenges young men face growing up today, and it was only about three decades ago that Glenn Close and William Hurt gave us The Big Chill. So another movie about close friends dealing with life and each other is not necessarily an innovative concept. But a new indie flick from Sundance, The Intervention, delivers a worthwhile and funny twist on the concept with its gut wrenchingly honest dialogue and a subtly brilliant performance by Melanie Lynskey from Two and a Half Men.
Lynskey’s character, Annie, has summoned her lifelong friends to a weekend getaway at their pal Jesse’s estate outside Savannah. Jesse is played by Clea DuVall, who also directed the film. But it’s not fun and games Annie has in mind. She’s coopted the others, »
- J Don Birnam
During his seven-year tenure at Snd, Cassanet successfully handled sales on high-profile French movies, including Jalil Lespert’s period biopic “Yves Saint Laurent,” comedy hit “La Famille Bélier” and the upcoming Omar-Sy starrer “Two is a Family.” Cassanet also spearheaded sales on a flurry of English-language films, notably Jessica Biel-starrer “The Tall Man,” as well as “The Love Punch” with Pierce Brosnan and Emma Thompson and, more recently, Tommy Wirkola’s sci-fi action thriller “What Happened to Monday” with Noomi Rapace and Glenn Close.
“I’m thrilled about joining such a prestigious company which has represented so »
- Elsa Keslassy
Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has revealed a new piece of concept art for his upcoming sequel to the 2014 Marvel blockbuster, which sees Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax and Rocket Raccoon battling a giant space creature, while Baby Groot has a little fun…
Given that the concept art is missing the new members of the team – Nebula, Yondu and Mantis – it would seem a safe bet that this action sequence takes place early in the film… assuming it makes the final cut, of course.
Set to the backdrop of ‘Awesome Mixtape #2,’ Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 continues the team’s adventures as they traverse the outer reaches of the cosmos. The Guardians must fight to keep their newfound family together as they unravel the mysteries of Peter Quill’s true parentage. »
- Gary Collinson
The Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1984 is just 8 days away! All of the titles are available to stream online, albeit mostly with rental fees.
The Nominees were...
Readers are our final panelist for the Smackdown so if you'd like to vote send Nathaniel an email with 1984 in the header line and your votes by Friday August 26th. Each performance you've seen should be rated on a scale of 1 to 5 hearts (1 being terrible 5 being stupendous) -- Remember to only vote for performances that you've seen! The votes are weighted to reflect numbers of voters per movies so no actress has an unfair advantage. »
- NATHANIEL R
Totally relaxed in his Ritz-Carleton suite on Central Park South, his arms spread wide on a rather tasteful couch, Stephen Frears held court not at all like the monarch in his biggest success, The Queen, (2006). His press conference for his latest effort, Florence Foster Jenkins, will take place one hour later with about 40 journalists in attendance. His stars -- Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, and The Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg -- would then be asked 95% of the questions. Not surprising. Directors, for the most, part do not drive traffic to web sites, sadly, even ones as near legendary as Frears.
Besides helming six of his past female leads to Academy-Award-nominated performances (Michelle Pfeiffer and Glenn Close in Dangerous Liaisons, Anjelica Huston and Annette Bening in The Grifters, plus Judi Dench in both Philomena and Mrs. Henderson Presents) and one Oscar win (Helen Mirren as the aforementioned queen), Frears has »
- Brandon Judell
Filmmakers often make multiple endings to their movie. Sometimes this is because they change their minds; sometimes the other ending is used as a ‘red herring’; Sometimes preview audiences don’t like the original ending; And sometimes it’s due to studio interference. Occasionally, the unused ending is actually better than the ending which is ultimately used. Here are five films where the alternate ending was the one that should have been used, instead of what we got.
I Am Legend (2007)
The Theatrical Ending: Colonel Robert Neville tries to administer a cure for the mutation virus to an infected woman in his lab, but a group of mutants attack the house. Neville, and his friends Anna and Ethan seal themselves in with the infected female. Realizing that the last treatment was successful, Neville draws a vial of the mutant's blood and gives it to Anna, before shutting her and Ethan »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
Top 5 baseball movies to celebrate Baseball Fan Day!Top 5 baseball movies to celebrate Baseball Fan Day!Amanda Wood8/12/2016 10:00:00 Am
If there’s one sport that’s synonymous with summer, it’s baseball. Few things scream summer more than cheering on your home team in the stands with a hotdog and popcorn.
Today is Baseball Fans Day, which celebrates the millions of baseball fans around the world. Our collective love for the sport has naturally spilled over into Hollywood, where scores of movies have been made over the years celebrating the boys (and girls) of summer and the excitement of the game.
In honour of Baseball fans day, we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite baseball movies. Check out the list below to see if your fave made the cut, and then head outside to play it yourself!
Field of Dreams (1989)
We obviously had to include this Kevin Costner classic. »
- Amanda Wood
Streep & StephenThe "Posterized" series has fallen into a 'totally inconsistent director' zone. Last week we looked at Woody Allen's filmography, full of impossible peaks and embarrassing valleys and everything inbetween. The 75 year old British director Stephen Frears hasn't had peaks that are quite as dizzy from the genius altitude but his valleys aren't as cringeworthy as Allen's, either. He's a safe middle distance director that critics and audiences and Oscar can all love, albeit not stay married to. He's made 22 features over the course of his long career which began with 1971's Gumshoe after which he disappeared into epidodic British TV for a decade or so until his movie career really started to sizzle; My Beautiful Laundrette put him on the global map. But did he ever really top that breakthrough?
For all the ups and downs that followed, the consistency is his love for actresses: he famously directed Helen Mirren to her Oscar, »
- NATHANIEL R
Hello there, and what a week we're having. First, there's the news that Ghostbusters has probably been busted due to being a loss. Then, Ocean's 8 gets it's star-studded cast announced. While it's totally fine for a movie to be remade with a female cast, the cast for Ocean's 8 sounds like six degrees of Kevin Bacon. Since Hollywood doesn't seem to have new movie ideas for a female led movie, I've come up with a list of movies due for a remake.
Whoopi Goldberg and Jennifer Lawrence star tackle this classic thriller. Detective Wilma Somerset (Goldberg) tackles a final case with the aid of newly transferred Daisy Mills (Lawrence), they discover a number of elaborate and grisly murders. They soon realize they are dealing with a serial killer (Helena Bonham Carter) who is targeting people she thinks represent one of the seven deadly sins. Somerset also befriends Mills' husband, »
- Tyler Richardson
One month out from festival season getting underway in North America, organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival have detailed the offerings to be featured in both the Midnight Madness and documentary programs.
Kicking things off on September 8 is Antoine Fuqua’s modern redo of The Magnificent Seven, flanked by such Oscar favorites as Nate Parker’s Sundance hit The Birth of a Nation and Manchester By the Sea.
From there, Deadline has confirmed that the Midnight Madness section will play host to Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire, welcoming the filmmaker back to Tiff following successful turns with High-Rise and A Field in England. There’s also room for Colm McCarthy’s apocalyptic drama The Girl With All The Gifts, Paul Schrader’s mob thriller Dog Eat Dog (see today’s all-new trailer), the stealth release of Adam Wingard’s Blair Witch sequel, along with the world premiere of André Øvredal »
- Michael Briers
Attendees of September’s Toronto International Film Festival can look forward to revisiting the Burkittsville woods, watching a showdown between the villains of the Ringu and Ju-On franchises, and much more in this year’s Midnight Madness lineup, which includes screenings of Adam Wingard’s new Blair Witch movie (ahead of its September 16th release), Sadako vs. Kayako, and Greg McLean’s The Belko Experiment (written by James Gunn), to name a few:
Press Release: Toronto — Run for cover and grab your loved ones, Midnight Madness just unleashed its terrorific lineup for the 41st Toronto International Film Festival®. From high-octane crime films, gruesome visceral horrors, to a creepy, hair-raising documentary, and nerve-wrenching thrillers, this year’s slate will whet all appetites and leave audiences shocked, thrilled and checking under their beds before turning out the lights. Midnight Madness is generously sponsored by Cineplex Entertainment.
This year’s Midnight Madness welcomes »
- Derek Anderson
• Variety TCA Awards announced with top honors going to The People vs Oj Simpson, Black-ish, The Americans, Mr Robot all of which enjoyed big Emmy nominations and Crazy Ex Girlfriend which did not. Grrrr
• Broadway.com Glenn Close might be reviving Sunset Boulevard on Broadway
• i09 Deadpool 2 will take aim at superhero sequels in its jokey fourth wall breaking
• Nerds of Color Why is the Kubo and the Two Strings cast, set entirely in Japan, »
- NATHANIEL R
The 69th edition of the Locarno Film Festival is off and running through August 13, having opened with Colm McCarthy’s The Girl with All the Gifts. Screen's Andreas Wiseman introduces his interview with the director: "Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and newcomer Sennia Nanua lead the cast of the high-end zombie feature in which a scientist and a teacher living in a dystopian future embark on a journey of survival with a special young girl named Melanie who takes control of the group when their base is overrun." Reviews are mixed, but we're looking forward to the real highlights as we track the festival in this entry. » - David Hudson »
The scariest aspect of most zombies movies is the way they transform the familiar human visage into a grotesque, unthinking, carnivorous beast. “The Girl With All the Gifts,” director Colm McCarthy’s smart and elegant adaptation of M.R. Carey’s novel, inverts that formula by turning one zombie into the star of the show and giving her the innocent face of a child. As Melanie, the infected adolescent at the center of this minimalist thriller, newcomer Sennia Nanua delivers a startling performance by bringing a gentle quality to horrific circumstances.
The term “zombie” is pliable, and Carey’s original premise bends it especially well: While much of the world has been transformed into thoughtless flesh-eaters, the young children under imprisonment at a research facility continue to behave like normal people. But the adults in charge, headed by the stern Dr. Caldwell (Glenn Close, in an underwritten but effective turn »
- Eric Kohn
Long past the days of the booming Hammer Horror industry, the contemporary British genre cinema, while still able to churn out the occasional 28 Days Later or Attack the Block-esque international breakthrough, seems to more often revel in the niche (a.k.a. openly juvenile), if not particularly original, ’80s throwbacks of, say, a Neil Marshall. In other words: it doesn’t often look to the future as much as it seems stuck in the past.
With the pedigree of a starry cast and acclaimed literary source material, it’s not unfair to read into The Girl with All the Gifts as the hope for the nation’s next great intellectual (read: allegorical) horror film. Yet without the narrative or formal conviction to pull off the clichés rampant throughout, it sadly seems stuck between two worlds.
Beginning in the depressingly familiar sight of an underground military bunker, expectations rise with »
- Ethan Vestby
Why is it that good actors in career stasis so often wind up in zombie films? No one reading the outline for “The Girl With All the Gifts” could really have come away thinking, “This will break the mold,” though given the long list of executive producers, the script must have passed through plenty of hands. Colorlessly directed by Colm McCarthy in his feature debut, this overlong contribution to the genre is set in the not-too-distant future, when a fungus has turned most everyone into brain-dead “Hungries” feasting on flesh and blood. The film’s catch is that all attention is on a little girl Hungry whose brain somehow seems perfectly fine. Maybe it seemed marginally original at one time, but few outside teen audiences will think M.R. Carey’s adaptation of his own novel is anything more than another tired attempt to board the zombie bandwagon.
Don’t expect subtext or metaphor, »
- Jay Weissberg
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Marvel actually turned up at San Diego Comic Con this year, and they had a load of footage to show of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (a brief clip and a whole trailer), despite only wrapping production the previous month.
Oli and Luke discuss the footage and trailer descriptions, as well talking about the big news coming out of the screening: Kurt Russell is playing Star Lord’s (Chris Pratt) father, Ego The Living Planet.
This is an extract from the Flickering Myth Podcast #33 (27th July, 2016). Subscribe on iTunes.
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- Oli Davis
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