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Welcome to today's edition of Nerd Alert, where we have all the off-beat, nerdy news for you in one convenient spot. What do we have in store for you on this top-notch Tuesday? The Terminator goes toe-to-toe with RoboCop in an epic rap battle, a Star Wars infographic charts the evolution of the Stormtrooper costume and a mechanically-inclined fan builds an "Interceptor" inspired by the Mad Max franchise. We also have a 5 minute video that uncovers secret Marvel Easter eggs! So, sit back, relax, and check out all that today's Nerd Alert has to offer.
Terminator vs. RoboCop Epic Rap Battle
Last month, we showed you the epic rap battle between famed explorers Lewis & Clark and fictional time-travelling explorers Bill & Ted. Today Erb has put two iconic cinematic cyborgs against each other, with Terminator battling RoboCop. The result is, as usual, hilarious, with numerous digs at each franchise that makes for an entertaining three-minute video. »
Continuing in the grand tradition of Pixar masterpieces, Inside Out is an ingenious animated romp about life, the universe, and everything. By transforming nebulous emotions into relatable characters, directors Pete Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen have created nothing short of a roadmap into the pre-pubescent mind. It’s not always a happy place, which is entirely the point. Often surreal and always delightful, Inside Out is a rousing tribute to pure imagination.
For a child, life is pretty simple; maintain joy at all costs. Inside the mind of a young girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), the competing emotions of Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (a brilliant Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), and Anger (Lewis Black) try to find the delicate balance needed to ensure psychological bliss. At first, it’s easy, »
- J.R. Kinnard
Chicago – John Cusack has never rested on his laurels, which are many in his film career, nor stood still as an artist or an actor. His latest film is the magnificent “Love & Mercy,” in which he portrays music legend Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys as a middle aged man, trying to break free of the circumstances in his life.
Written by Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner, and directed by Bill Pohlad, “Love & Mercy” – derived from a Brian Wilson song title – is the story of two crucial phases in the songwriter’s life. The younger phase, portrayed by Paul Dano, checks in with Wilson as he puts together The Beach Boys’ album masterpiece, “Pet Sounds.” At this point, the dissolution of Brian Wilson as Rock Star is beginning, and as a result the older phase of his life comes into view.
And it is John Cusack who takes over »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Following up on yesterday’s article on Love & Mercy, which features one of the best John Cusack performances to date, I wanted to look at his whole career and list his all time best work. As such, a new top ten list is here for your reading pleasure. This one obviously looks at Cusack’s best so far, which sadly has yet to garner him an Academy Award nomination. Hopefully he’ll score with Oscar one day, but regardless, he remains an underrated actor in Hollywood. Take a look below, and be sure to check him out in Love & Mercy this weekend, which again is one of his top notch turns. Enjoy! Here now is a look at Cusack’s ten best performances so far: 10. The Raven – Not many people give Cusack credit for this one, but he does a much better job than you’d expect, considering the silly premise. »
- Joey Magidson
In the wake of the resurgence of indie genre films, Focus Features has announced that the company has revived the Gramercy Pictures label "as branding for boldly imagined action, horror, and sci-fi genre movies," according to their press release. Read More: Is "It Follows" Paving the Way to a New Era for Indie Genre Films? This is a seismic shift from Gramercy's original inception, which released critical and box office hits such as "Fargo," "Four Weddings and a Funeral," "The Big Lebowski," "Being John Malkovich" and "Dazed and Confused." The new Gramercy appears to target the same market that made "It Follows," "What We Do in the Shadows" and "Ex Machina" recent genre hits. "This renewed label reinforces Focus Features’ commitment to bringing a broad spectrum of entertainment to audiences that encompasses both commercial and specialty fare," the press release »
- Paula Bernstein
Voltage Pictures's Colossal, currently seeking buyers at Cannes, has become embroiled in a legal showdown with Godzilla, The Hollywood Reporter writes. Toho, the rights holders of the original monster franchise, is suing Voltage because it claims Colossal is so similar to Godzilla that this new movie's essentially an unauthorized rip-off that infringes on Godzilla's copyright, trademark, and content. Described as "Godzilla meets Being John Malkovich," the flick reportedly stars Anne Hathaway "as a woman who realizes her mind is strangely connected to a giant lizard destroying Tokyo." Toho, according to THR, wants to recoup unspecified damages, as well as for Voltage to put the kibosh on producing the project.The complaint was filed Tuesday in California federal court. "The Director's Notes also make clear that Defendants have not only taken the Godzilla Character as their own, but that they also intend to use the Godzilla Character in precisely the »
- Sean Fitz-Gerald
If you can.t wait to see Anne Hathaway go up against a monster that closely resembles Godzilla in Colossal, then prepare yourself for some bad news, because the production company behind the real Godzilla has started a legal battle with the intriguing flick. Toho believes that the new project is too similar to their most famous monster, and their rivals don.t have the rights to capitalize on their character. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that Toho, the Japanese company that owns the rights to Godzilla, has started a legal dispute with Voltage Pictures over Colossal, which has been described as Godzilla meets Being John Malkovich. Intrigued by that description? Of course you are. Anne Hathaway is due to star in the lead as a woman whose mind is connected to a giant lizard that.s destroying Tokyo. I'm sold. Unfortunately for Voltage Pictures and Hathaway, Toho is a »
Shared universes are big business right now, and here are seven franchises that could, and should be expanded...
It's likely that by the time you finish reading this sentence a new cinematic universe will have been born. In fact, it may be one of the cinematic universes I propose later in this article. If that's the case, I apologise for my obsolescence. Furthermore, if you're reading this in the future and any of my proposed cinematic universes have come to pass and turned out awful, I also apologise.
Just know that I'm sorry, and I've a feeling that many of us are going to be sorry and that the film industry could be in a sorry and confusing mess in five years time thanks to 'Cinematic Universe Fever' (a real affliction, and currently a very common complaint on the casebooks of doctors and private physicians in Hollywood). Right now, really »
This week’s biggest upcoming project was one so weird that we needed a few days to process it. It has been called Godzilla meets Being John Malkovich and Adaptation (possibly even Lost in Translation for good measure), and if it seems like those two titles don’t add up in anyway whatsoever, you’re not far off.
The movie is Colossal, and THR reports is set to star Anne Hathaway. Hathaway plays a woman returning to her hometown from New York after losing her job. Upon returning home, she discovers that a giant lizard is attacking Tokyo, and she feels strangely connected to the incident via her mind.
Colossal isn’t even some tongue-in-cheek Spike Jonze project but coming from Nacho Vigalondo (Timecrimes), and aiming to be sold at this year’s Cannes Film Festival market. “Colossal is my most ambitious script so far, and probably also the most personal one. »
- Brian Welk
The Warner Bros film centres on Jules (Hathaway), the founder of a growing fashion website, who takes on an ageing intern named Ben (De Niro).
As pressure at work grows, she finds herself relying on Ben more and more, both personally and professionally.
Meanwhile, it was recently reported that one of Hathaway's forthcoming projects, Colossal, is a cross between Godzilla and Being John Malkovich.
The Intern will be released in the Us on September 25 and in the UK on October 2. »
Colossal will follow a woman named Gloria (Hathaway), who comes to realise that her existence has a significant impact on the fate of the world.
Shortly after moving back to her hometown from New York, news breaks of a giant lizard destroying the city of Tokyo, with Gloria realising that she is strangely connected to events happening on the other side of the planet.
"Colossal is my most ambitious script so far, and probably also the most personal one. Having Anne and this terrific team around goes beyond my craziest expectations," Vigalondo said.
"He has written »
A monster movie that mixes Transformers, Being John Malkovich, Godzilla and Transformers? Meet Colossal...
Now this sounds interesting. Described as a film that mixes together elements of Transformers, Adaptation, Godzilla and Being John Malkovich, Colossal already appears far more than a standard monster movie.
That's perhaps unsurprising, given that it's being put together by writer/director Nacho Vigalondo, who was behind the excellent Timecrimes. This one centres on a woman who loses her job in New York, and thus decides to go back to her home town. When she learns that a giant lizard - stay with this - is destroying Tokyo, she believes that her mind has a connection to the events. And so she needs to work out why.
Admit it: this could be great.
The first piece of casting for Colossal is in place too, as The Hollywood Reporter says that Anne Hathaway has signed up to »
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century? Check here for a complete list of our essays. The end of the 1990s was the end of an era on the big screen. The independent filmmaking movement that started the decade had taken full bloom and infiltrated the business. Major studios had begun to jump headlong into the "dependent" game, amping up prestige product and utilizing the awards season as a marketing tool. The blockbuster landscape at the summer multiplex had been interesting, full of original concepts (good and bad), but something else was on the way — a new overlord in the business of film, and one that would more or less make the age of the movie star (at least as we had come to know it) a thing of the past. For those reasons and a slew of others, »
- Kristopher Tapley
What would you do if life stood still? Now I’m not talking about the world continually frozen, like a projector stuck on one frame of film (maybe a better modern analogy would be a DVD unable to move past an image, perhaps with that annoying “buffer circle” spinning). I mean what if you, yourself, never changed and remained your current age forever. No wrinkles, no grey hairs, and no internal breakdowns (the plumbing works fine, muscles and joints in great shape). That’s been one of the major benefits of vampirism (like the eternal ten-year old Kirsten Dunst in Interview With The Vampire), a theme of fairy tales (Sleeping Beauty), and science fiction (The Man Who Cheated Death, the Cocoon flicks). Now comes a film that plays with that notion in a more modern, realistic fashion. Call it a modern romantic fable, or the ultimate May-December love story. Or »
- Jim Batts
Alex Garland, screenwriter of “28 Days Later,” “Sunshine” and “Never Let Me Go,” makes an impressive directorial debut with cerebral sci-fi thriller “Ex Machina” (in theaters today), but Garland waves off the achievement of leaping to directing as “just next in a continuum.” “The truth was that there was no epiphany moment about directing, because I just don’t dignify the directing role the way we’re supposed to,” the British filmmaker told The Dissolve. “There are a few people — like Woody Allen, he’s an auteur, and I’m cool with that. But for me, directing is about collaboration.” Whether directing is a logical next step or a hard-sought achievement for screenwriters, it’s often done by telling studios, “Hey, here’s my next screenplay. You can have it as long as I get to direct.” Preston Sturges — at the time the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood — is noted for »
- Emily Rome
Director David Cronenberg (Eastern Promises, A History of Violence) returns with a provocative satire about the Hollywood film industry and the demons of celebrity obsession in the Focus World release Maps To The Stars, now available on Digital HD and debuting on Blu-ray with Digital HD and DVD on April 14, 2015 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
Academy Award winner Julianne Moore (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) stars with Mia Wasikowska (The Kids Are All Right), Olivia Williams (Hyde Park on Hudson), John Cusack (Being John Malkovich), and Robert Pattinson (The Twilight Saga) in this unforgettable darkly comic thriller written by Bruce Wagner (I’m Losing You). Hollywood actress Havana Segrand (Moore) is unraveling as her career flounders. Her self-help psychotherapist (Cusack) and his wife (Williams) are busy managing the career of their child-star son. But when a mysterious young woman named Agatha (Wasikowska) befriends a limo driver and aspiring actor (Pattinson) all their lives get together, »
- Michelle McCue
Are you curious about how director Spike Jonze frames his films? How his moments can become both filled with reality and fantasy? It seems like the director has a knack for keeping the audience balanced between both realms.
In a new video essay, Jacob Swinney shows what makes Jonze’s four feature films (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation., Where the Wild Things Are, and Her) so special and how they create the belief of fantasy within a very real world. The essay focuses on Jonze’s use of lens flares, floating camera movement, centered framing, and wide-angle close-ups, and how they help the create this atmosphere that make his film seem both real and fantastical.
It also takes the time to look at some of the shots that made each of these films unique and how he has started to shift his atmosphere from the more realistic aesthetic of Being John Malkovich »
- Zach Dennis
He’s been a Hollywood star since his teens, when he starred in Class, Sixteen Candles and The Sure Thing, but thankfully John Cusack was never like the characters in David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars. A brutal satire about the players, wannabes and has-beens of Hollywood, Cusack plays Stafford Weiss, a self-help guru who peddles his therapies to the weak-minded. Father to the foul Benjie (Evan Bird), a rehab-hopping teen star of the ‘Bad Babysitter’ franchise, Stafford is just one of the soulless ghouls that haunts the Hollywood Hills in what is the Canadian Cronenberg’s first real foray into Tinseltown terrain.
For Cusack, it represents yet another impressive notch in a career that’s seen him work with Stephen Frears (The Grifters, High Fidelity), Woody Allen (Shadows and Fog, Bullets Over Broadway), Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich), Terence Malick (The Thin Red Line) and Clint Eastwood (Midnight In The Garden of Good and Evil »
- Phil Wheat
It’s such a good time to celebrate the talents of Kevin Spacey. This month marks the 20th anniversary of the festival premiere of The Usual Suspects, which earned the actor his first Oscar. We recently furthered its accolades by naming it the best movie ever to screen at Sundance. Spacey also just won his first Golden Globe on his eighth try, for his leading role on the series House of Cards. The third season of that show is about to drop on Netflix in a month, too, so that’s exciting. The guy should be on top of the world, getting more prestige gigs like his role as Richard Nixon in the much-anticipated Elvis & Nixon. But instead, today, we’ve received the news, via The Wrap, that he’s going to play a guy who becomes trapped in the body of a cat. Of course this movie will be huge, especially »
- Christopher Campbell
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