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Anghus Houvouras on the casting speculation for big budget comic book movies…
“Popular actor sought for big budget comic book movie.”
It reads like a headline from The Onion. A satirical oversimplification of a news trend that has been plaguing entertainment websites of late. Since Marvel Studios has become a dominant pop culture staple, casting speculation has infected the entertainment media in the same way that fantasy football turned an already fun sport into a narcissistic nightmare of entitlement.
Casting speculation has always been a staple of online film sites. When the rumor mill begins to churn around a major project like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the excitement is understandable. Readers seem to have an insatiable appetite for even the most random possibilities being bandied about by websites with absolutely zero credibility (cough… Latino Review… cough).
The concept of casting speculation has taken a ridiculous turn. It’s »
- Anghus Houvouras
Before he spiraled into a critical nose-dive from which he’s yet to recover, M. Night Shyamalan was heralded as the next great American filmmaker. (No, seriously.) Before his gimmickry become obvious–all the twist endings, the important details withheld, trickery in lieu of genuine cleverness–Shyamalan crafted a genuine masterpiece that remains as potent as ever, regardless of the spoiling of its sneaky surprises. Bruce Willis has never approached the grace and subtlety of his performance here; his empathetic, sorrowful turn as a child psychologist searching for redemption deserved an Oscar nod. Maybe he woulda gotten one had this movie not come out in the insanely good movie year of our lord 1999. Willis is matched every step of the way by Haley Joel Osment, giving one of the great childhood performances, and lending credence to lines that could have »
- Greg Cwik
It will be no surprise if M. Night Shyamalan’s new executive-produced Fox series Wayward Pines invites comparisons to David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. It follows Matt Dillon’s federal agent character as he seeks his missing colleagues in an idyllic small town where nothing is as it seems – and yes, there is pie. “When I read the pilot, my head space was in a very Lynchian kind of mood with the dark sensibility and dark humor. It was exactly what I needed at the time and was interested in shepherding,” the director told The Hollywood Reporter at Mipcom. Before Wayward
- Rhonda Richford
1999 will always be one of my favorite years for movies. This is partially because there were a lot of great movies released that year, but mainly because in 1999 I was in high school, and as we all know, the world was more important and less terrible when we were in high school. Last week, I took a look at which movies from 1999 had aged well, and asked which had aged poorly. The response was overwhelming, insofar as it's overwhelming that anyone likes American Beauty. However, one reader email in particular struck me as a launchpad for an important conversation. Here »
- Darren Franich
It's been 15 years since 1999, because that's how time works. 1999 is generally considered a great year for movies. Transformative, even: A diverse array of films, directed by a fleet of up-and-coming filmmakers, all arriving at the multiplex back when cable was lame enough and the internet was slow enough to make the multiplex a place that mattered. If you happened to be young in 1999—or young-ish—it was possible to feel like you were seeing the entire cinematic art form evolve in front of you. Fifteen years ago this month was Three Kings and Fight Club and Being John Malkovich, instant-cult »
- Darren Franich
Ever wonder what happened to Haley Joel Osment? If so, you might well welcome the trailer for the new sex-comedy Sex Ed, which has the former child star playing a hapless sex-ed teacher who lives the cliché, "those who can't do, teach." See, Ed (Osment's character) is a virgin. And hilarity ensues! In the late 1990s/early 2000s, Haley Joel Osment was an adorable child actor who won the world's notice with his gripping role opposite Bruce Willis in M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense. Playing the haunted young Cole Sear earned the 12-year-old an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The following year he co-starred with two Academy Award-winners (Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt) in the earnest drama Pay It Forward. Then in 2001, Steven Spielberg called on this kid to shoulder his translation of the long-dead A.I. - Artificial Intelligence, conceived by the late Stanley Kubrick. Haley »
Commenting on the Critics with Simon Columb….
Robert Kojder wrote for Flickering Myth yesterday about the tease of Twin Peaks and it’s timing:
“For those that haven’t seen the show, there is a critical plot point alluding to the narrative continuing 25 years after its initial ending. Twin Peaks left the air 23 years ago, so the timing is beginning to come together. It remains to be seen if these tweets mean anything, but it is exciting to see more teasing of the series possibly making a return.”
It’s funny how stories intertwine and interlock over the course of time. While Richard Linklater creates Boyhood over the course of twelve years, programmes that allude to a moment 25 years in the future, get their comeback at the perfect time.
In fact, with the release of the DVD’s, and the recent BluRay ‘Entire Mystery’ of Twin Peaks, more viewers have »
- Simon Columb
In the spirit of October, this list will look at scary scenes, but not from the horror classics directed by Craven or Carpenter or even Hitchcock (I’m excluding him, though I argue most of his work isn’t exactly horror). These are from the films that aren’t really meant to scare you. At least, not at the visceral level that horror films do. These are the fifty definitive moments from non-horror films that still made an impact on the “frightening front.” From shocking to creepy to unsettlingly hair raising, these are moments that will stick in your mind long after watching the films, even if they are part of a very different narrative.
50. Toy Story 3 (2010)
Scene: Monkey Security
The third installment of the one of the greatest movie trilogies of all time is also one of the darkest children’s films ever made. »
- Joshua Gaul
Haley Joel Osment’s biggest role to date as the ghost whisperer Cole Sear in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense will likely precede him his entire professional life. His performance was undoubtedly mindblowing for such a young actor. But to shake the shackles of the cute kid persona, he’s making leaps towards establishing a long-term career. Most recently he took a supporting role in Kevin Smith’s horror-comedy, Tusk, and next month he’ll be heading up his own comedy in Sex Ed.
The story revolves around the life of Osment’s teacher, Ed Cole. After he bags his first job at a middle school, it soon dawns on him that the youngsters he’s assigned to teach have no idea about sexual education. Despite suffering a bit of dry spell in the shag department, Cole takes on the responsibility and sets about schooling his tribe on the human body, »
- Gem Seddon
The ever-evolving tale of William Shatner.s possible return for the third film in the rebooted Star Trek series has taken another strange turn . with Shatner now confirming that he has been in contact with the production. Trek Movie has the latest twist in the tale worthy of being an M. Night Shyamalan production, with video footage of Shatner himself addressing the topic at the Nashville Comic Con. The actor broached the subject of Star Trek 3 when asked if he had any interest in playing Kirk again. In his response, the actor told a funny story about how Abrams approached him for the first Star Trek reboot, showing him a dummy script that Shatner says "stunk." As we all know, Shatner.s appearance in the first film didn.t pan out, but then the actor then revealed that Abrams recently called again, and said: "I.m calling, Bill, because the »
The last few weeks in the horror world have been dominated by Fantastic Fest, Beyond Fest, and arguing about whether or not Kevin Smith’s Tusk deserves attention. After being released in a little over 600 screens, Tusk made $846,838 in a week; which many Box Office sites are calling a flop. These low numbers have been sparking a lot of conversations about what this means for fans’ desire for original horror, and plenty about the merits of Kevin Smith as an individual. I’ve seen more than one article talk about how we as horror fans (whether we liked the film or not) should be taking to social media or going to the theater and supporting Tusk because we as horror fans should be supporting original horror, and I just can’t get behind that mentality. I can understand the thought behind supporting original horror films, because if we back our »
- BJ Colangelo
Exclusive: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kate Bosworth, Dave Bautista, and Gina Carano are joining the Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films production of Bus 657, the ensemble heist pic that Robert De Niro already has boarded. This is the latest pic that is part of E/F/O’s overall deal with Grindhouse/Lionsgate, which will distribute the $15M-budgeted Bus 657 along with Hannibal Classics. Stephen Sepher and Max Adams wrote the action thriller that Scott Mann (The Tournament) will direct. Principal photography is set to begin October 13 in Mobile, Al.
The pic, formerly titled Bus 757, centers on a father (Morgan) without the means to pay for his daughter’s medical treatment. As a last resort, he partners with a greedy co-worker (Bautista) to rob a casino and the two hijack a bus full of hostages and things go awry. De Niro will play Frank “The Pope”, owner of the casino, and Bosworth plays his estranged daughter. »
- Mike Fleming Jr
"Marvel's Agents of Shield" is back for a new season, and I have a review of the premiere coming up just as soon as I find your head trauma joke in poor taste... My hope at the end of "Shield" season 1 was that the show could sustain the improvement of the post-"Winter Soldier" episodes, which had finally given many of the characters defined roles (Ward as a heel, Skye as a wounded true believer, etc.) and the series itself an actual direction beyond perpetuating the Marvel brand. My fear was that Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen and company would look at that frustrating but ultimately rewarding first season and assume that they could afford to start slow again, and that we'd be back to tedious missions of the week staged by bland heroes. Fortunately, season 2 gets off to a promising start with "Shadows." There's a lot of exposition about what's »
- Alan Sepinwall
The student has become the teacher.
Once best known for his role as the "I see dead people" child in M. Night Shyamalan's 1999 film The Sixth Sense, Haley Joel Osment is returning to the big screen ...awkwardly. In Sex Ed, the 26-year-old plays a guy named Eddie who lands his first teaching gig at an inner-city middle school. He soon finds that his highly pubescent pupils are receiving no form of sexual education, and, though he isn't really equipped to teach them, he's takes on the challenge.
Photos: Biggest On-Screen Transformations
Osment isn't the only familiar face you'll spot in this indie comedy. Matt Walsh (Veep), Retta (Parks and Recreation), Abby Elliott (Saturday Night Live), Lorenza Izzo (The Green Inferno, Hemlock Grove ), Glen Powell (Expendables 3) and Lamorne Morris (The New Girl) also star in Sex Ed, hitting theaters Nov. 7, 2014.
Expect to see more of Osment on the big screen. In addition »
In a development that feels more inevitable than surprising, Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass are in talks to get back into the Bourne business. The two had sent mixed messages over the years, ever since Jason Bourne disappeared in the murky East River at the end of The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, with the major roadblock being Damon’s insistence that a reluctant Greenglass direct, while Universal handed the franchise over to writer-turned-director Tony Gilroy. But with Gilroy’s Bourne Legacy, starring Jeremy Renner, failing to live up to the original three Bourne films at the box office, and Damon’s recent non-Bourne projects, »
- Jeff Labrecque
Traveling back from the Toronto Film Festival meant spending a fair amount of time in airports, and in each of those airports, the same revolving barrage of news went by, including discussions of new drone missions over Syria. It made it very unsettling as I had "Good Kill" still bouncing about inside me, one of the last movies I saw at the fest this year, and as timely a film as I could imagine seeing. Written and directed by Andrew Niccol, the film is a close-up character portrait of Tommy Egan, a former fighter jet pilot who has been relocated to a Las Vegas suburban neighborhood. Every day, he reports to a local base where he and his crew file into a small trailer and then spend their shift watching and occasionally killing people on the other side of the world. At the end of their shifts, they get to »
- Drew McWeeny
'No Good Deed' movie going unpunished to top weekend box office? (photo: Idris Elba in 'No Good Deed') Apologies for the bad wordplay above, but if Friday estimates are a reliable indicator, No Good Deed should indeed go unpunished to the top of the domestic box office this weekend, September 12-14, 2014. But why "unpunished"? Well, so far the Sam Miller-directed thriller starring four-time Emmy nominee Idris Elba (Luther) and Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee Taraji P. Henson (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) has a downright putrid 10% score and 2.6/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes' top critics. Sony Pictures, whose subsidiary ScreenGems is distributing No Good Deed, reportedly opted to skip late Thursday screenings to ensure that the film's plot twist would be kept under wraps. More likely, however, it was the critics' derisive remarks that Sony wanted under wraps. For instance: "The final plot twist »
- Zac Gille
Summer movie season is a magic time of year when Hollywood traditionally rolls out its most appealing merchandise. It’s true that some summer movie seasons are better than others. This is our ranking of all the summer movie seasons since 1980 from worst to best.
On January 20th, 1975, Steven Spielberg and Universal Studios released Jaws. The movie landscape would be forever changed from that date. Jaws is widely credited as being the first blockbuster film because it was the first movie to make over $100 million (non-adjusted). The fact that the film had a meager $8 million budget meant that it was a huge cash cow for the studio and rocketed Spielberg to the the forefront of a new generation of filmmakers for a new era of movie mass-consumption. George Lucas and Spielberg followed up in 1977 with Star Wars, which became a sensational and very profitable hit. It helped to convince production »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
Devil in Distress: The Dowdle Bros. Spelunk Their Way to Hell
Known as acolytes of fallen angel M. Night Shyamalan, the output of the Dowdle brothers could be a lot worse. First arriving back in 2008 with the American remake of Rec, known as Quarantine, they followed that up with the painfully terrible Devil, whereby said entity terrorized stereotypes in a stopped elevator (based on Shyamalan’s script). So really, their latest venture, As Above So Below, from producing brother Drew and directing brother John Erick, feels like the first time we’re experiencing their own sensibilities. It’s their best film to date, yet a penchant for overreaching tactics and underbaked explanations forces the potential of their madness into a muddle of silliness. Yet, the film isn’t without an enjoyable amount of tension and fans of the genre may find its intentions, at least, to be in the right place. »
- Nicholas Bell
There is a story about the Paris catacombs that I love dearly. In August of 2004, several police officers were exploring a section of the infamous maze of tunnels near the Eiffel Tower when they came across a particular doorway covered in plastic with a sign that said, "No entry." Inside, the police were momentarily terrified by the sound of attacking guard dogs, but they realized it was a recording. Pushing further into the tunnel, they found a full working cinema, complete with lights, a projector, a bar, a dining area, and seats carved directly into the rocks. When they went topside to report their find to their superior officers, they were pleased with what they'd found. By the time they got back, though, everything was gone, and all that was left was a note that said, "Do not look for us. Signed, The Society Of The Perforated Mexicans." Since then, »
- Drew McWeeny
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