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Far too often, people tend to associate “big movie” with “bad movie.” If I was to wrangle up half a billion dollars for a film about cats that can ice dance, there’s no doubt you’d question my motives in doing so. It doesn’t matter if teaching cats to arabesque really is a hundred-million-dollar expenditure or if doing so would guarantee Two Meows on the Rink as the herald of a new golden age in cinema – with the term “blockbuster” comes phantom thoughts of brainless toy commercial cash-ins. It certainly doesn’t help that this year’ biggest movie, Transformers: Age of Extinction, was indeed a brainless toy commercial cash-in. But in 2014, Transformers was the exception, not the rule. This was a year when we went to the movies not just to see things explode, but for movies that would challenge us, intellectually… with explosions. And I’m just talking about December, when »
- Adam Bellotto
By their very nature, comic book movies are a little bit silly. They involve masked, costumed vigilantes – often with superpowers – going around fighting ninjas, monsters, gods and aliens. The more you think about it, the sillier it actually sounds, but the fact is some absolutely fantastic cinematic works have been produced using such material.
Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2, X-Men, X-Men 2, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians Of The Galaxy are just a few examples of comic book movies that have not only proven to be huge financial successes at the box office, but also big hits with critics – something that you’d never believe if the only comic book movies you’d seen were offerings like Superman IV: The Quest For Peace, Howard The Duck, Batman And Robin, Daredevil, Ghost Rider, Jonah Hex and Green Lantern.
With all that having been said, »
- K.J. Stewart
Director: Larry Shaw
Synopsis: The Flash goes up against Farooq aka Blackout, a metahuman who can harness electricity.
After six weeks of super-powered action on the small screen, episode seven of The Flash‘s first season actually gives audiences something a little bit different from what they were perhaps expecting. ‘Power Outage’ utilises some very familiar plot lines and narrative devices, that will no doubt seem slightly overused to casual viewers of past superhero exploits on the big screen. The episode focuseson the cliched idea of our central protagonist (in this case Barry), losing his powers for a short period of time before learning something new and regaining his abilities. This Smallville-esque story may feel like a re-tread of one that viewers have »
- Ben Read
Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' has now earned $622 million worldwide: http://t.co/4CVue15QAK pic.twitter.com/PTHza3CcGe — Box Office Mojo (@boxofficemojo) December 14, 2014 Christopher Nolan's divisive Interstellar continues to perform for Legendary, Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures at the global box office. To date, the film has earned $621.8M with a split of $166.8M domestic and $455M-international. Top 10 Films Of 2014 (Worldwide) 1. Transformers: Age of Extinction----$1.09B 2: Guardians of the Galaxy---$771.9M 3. Maleficent---$757.8M 4. X-Men: Days of Future Past---$746M 5.Captain America: The Winter Soldier----$714.1M 6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2---$709M 7. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes---$708.3 8. Interstellar-----$621.8M 9. How to Train Your Dragon 2----$618.9M 10. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1--- $611.4M Interstellar chronicles the adventures of a group of explorers who make use of a newly discovered wormhole to surpass the limitations on human »
Welcome To Issue 75!
If This Is Your First Time Here: Welcome! This is my weekly column where I talk about superhero movie news, rumors and speculation.
Big news, Marvel and Spider-Man fans.
I’m going to try and form a narrative, here.
The scene is April.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier provides Marvel a hit early in 2014 and manages to successfully ripple out, connecting Marvel’s TV and film properties. At around this time, internal screenings of Guardians of the Galaxy would have started to show that Marvel didn’t have a flop on their hands and the movie could at least be competitive in August.
At about this time, I posit that Kevin Feige set his sights on doing Civil War »
This article contains a big spoiler for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
It's pretty well known now that Sony's Spider-Man movie franchise is in a state of flux. Had all gone to plan, then a month or two after the release of last summer's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, then the studio would have outlined its full plans for a Spider-Man movie universe. As it stands, over half a year later, not a single new Spider-Man movie has been announced.
The problem is that The Amazing Spider-Man 2, whilst hardly a flop, did a good $100-150m less at the box office than had been expected. Furthermore, takings were down on The Amazing Spider-Man, in spite of the sequel generally being regarded as an improvement.
The Visual effects Oscar finalists have been announced after that branches bake-off ritual wherein they screen visual effects reels from various films. Ten films remains standing but only five can become Oscar nominees so it's superheroes vs. mutated monsters vs aliens vs. hobbits vs giant fucking robits vs. maimed fairies for that coveted honor.
Other than Maleficent the female led fx hits all missed the cut from Lucy to Mockingjay Part 1 through longshots like Divergent. Critically panned mainstream movies like Into the Storm and Amazing Spider-Man 2 also didn't make it. Perhaps more surprisingly Oscar-hopefuls like Noah, Birdman and Into the Woods were also discarded. »
- NATHANIEL R
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Visual Effects branch executive committee has reduced the number of Visual Effects Oscar contenders to a shortlist of ten. All members of the Visual Effects Branch will now be able to view 10-minute excerpts from each of the shortlisted films at the annual VFX bakeoff on Saturday, January 10, 2015 and will then vote to nominate the final five. Notably missing from the shortlist are Ridley Scott's "Exodus: God and Kings," Sony sequel "Amazing Spider-Man 2," Luc Besson's "Lucy," and Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner "Edge of Tomorrow." The films are listed below in alphabetical order: “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” “Godzilla” “Guardians of the Galaxy” “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” “Interstellar” “Maleficent” “Night at »
- Anne Thompson
Sony Pictures Entertainment has not had a good 2014, by any means. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Sony’s only franchise hope) backfired horribly in the face of it’s predecessor, and the vast majority of their slate for this year has been an exercise in mediocre film-making – as usual. But things really went south last week.
It all began fairly bluntly, with the mysterious leaking of five of their hottest new film properties to the internet by a group calling themselves ‘The Guardians Of Peace’, and while this was a horrifying prospect for a studio who can’t really afford to take a hit this big – things have taken a more personal turn in the past 24 hours: 25 pages of internal communications, emails and texts from high ranking officials within the production company were leaked, alongside the credit card information of several members of staff, the personal contact information of a number »
- Sam Driver
Max Landis – screenwriter of Chronicle – has four, yes four movies dropping in 2015. Me Him Her starring Haley Joel Osment and Geena Davis, Victor Frankenstein starring Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy, American Ultra starring Kristen Stewart and Topher Grace and Mr Right starring Anna Kendrick, Anson Mount and Sam Rockwell.
But it seems Landis isn’t satisfied with just four movies being released next year. In fact there is a fifth in development called Wrestling Isn’t Wrestling. It’s a short film and is being dubbed a kind of sequel to his early short parody film The Death and Return of Superman, which he wrote and directed in 2011 and cameoed the likes of Elijah Wood and Mandy Moore.
Landis made the announcement via a video and spoke exclusively to /Film about what to expect:
“It’s a Death/Return style retelling of 20 years of wrestling storyline. It’s fully actually crazy… »
- Gavin Logan
Tim here, with the second wave of the day's "the year is ending! give out all awards right away!" news. Asifa-Hollywood announced the nominees for the 42nd Annie Awards, honoring achievments in theatrical, telvision, and now video game animation. With 36 categories, we don't have space to look at nearly all of them, but here are three that matter for future awards prognostication:
Best Animated Feature
How To To Train Your Dragon 2
Nomination leader The Boxtrolls
Best Animated Short Subject
Coda (on the Oscar shortlist)
The Dam Keeper (on the Oscar shortlist)
Duet (on the Oscar shortlist)
Feast (on the Oscar shortlist)
Inside Homer - The Simpsons Couch Gag, Episode #549
Me And My Moulton (on the Oscar shortlist)
Animated Effects in a Live-Action Production
- Tim Brayton
On the whole, Marvel’s movies have been great. There has been the occasional mishap, with the likes of Daredevil, Elektra, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man 3 and Ang Lee’s Hulk not quite being up to standard when compared to the likes of Iron Man, Spider-Man 2, X-Men, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy but, in general, they’re top notch pieces of entertainment.
It’s usually a case of “what you see is what you get” when it comes to movies based on Marvel superheroes – they’re action-packed, adrenalin-fuelled, special effects-heavy, no-nonsense, easy to follow movies that are great for watching with a big box of popcorn and a giant soft drink and expecting anything else will usually leave you disappointed – but, every now and again, they fail to deliver what was seemingly promised by them.
Whether it’s something in the trailers, the »
- K.J. Stewart
"Matador" is no more. Robert Rodriguez's cable channel El Rey Network has made its first major cancellation, after declining to pick up the spy series "Matador" for a second season. After premiering in in July, the 13-episode first season aired its final episode in October, according to Deadline. "Matador" starred Gabriel Luna as a DEA agent who goes undercover as a pro soccer player. The series was created by the former writing team of Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman (the "Transformers" films, "Amazing Spider-Man 2," "Star Trek Into Darkness"). Rodriguez directed the premiere episode. "Matador" also starred Nicky Whelan, Neil Hopkins, Alfred Molina and Tanc Sade. "Ultimately it was a business decision but to be clear, we were very proud of the series on every level-creatively it hit the mark and we are gratified that it celebrated diversity in front of the cameras and behind the scenes," reads a press release from El Rey. »
- Dave Lewis
With Guardians of the Galaxy taking the U.S. box office crown, The Lego Movie outgrossing its rivals here in the UK, and Transformers: Age of Extinction pulling in the most cash around the world, The Guardian has decided to explore which of this year’s films have proven a hit in various markets around the world, posting the box office top ten from eleven different countries. So, if you want to know how much more popular Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was in Russia and Colombia compared to… well, pretty much everywhere else in the world, then read on…
The Lego Movie – $56,890,654 The Inbetweeners 2 – $55,652,783 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – $55,198,182 Guardians of the Galaxy – $47,385,948 X-Men: Days of Future Past – $45,595,814 How to Train Your Dragon 2 – $41,547,592 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – $40,468,688 The Wolf of Wall Street – $37,413,041 Gone Girl – $34,523,355 Transformers: Age of Extinction – $33,175,952
- Gary Collinson
You won’t need us to tell you that this Thursday, November 27th is Thanksgiving across the States, which means one thing: an abundance of food and celebration. Well, it also means another scenario — that’s right, Black Friday. And so, to commemorate the occasion, Microsoft has unveiled the extensive line-up of games that are due to receive a discount as part of the company’s Deals with Gold promotion.
As is always the case, Xbox players will need to have an Xbox Live subscription in order to gain access to the offers, which will run through until December 1st. Discounting an array of software across both Xbox One and Xbox 360, Microsoft has pulled no punches this year, with some games being available for a full 80% cheaper than their standard price.
We’ve included the comprehensive list for each platform below for you to check out. But before you dive in, »
- Michael Briers
Every year Amazon puts the extended Blu-ray edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy on sale during Black Friday Deals Week and this year is no different in that respect, though it is a little different in that they are bundling it with even more J.R.R. Tolkien goodies for fans of Middle Earth. Along with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which includes the extended Blu-ray editions of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, you can buy bundles that also include all four books, including "The Hobbit" as well as either the PS4 or Xbox One edition of the Shadow of Mordor video game. I've included the links below along with a selection of other deals on more Blu-rays, Blu-ray players, televisions, soundbars and more! The »
- Brad Brevet
Amazon has started offering several Blu-ray titles at deep discounts as part of their Black Friday Deals Week and I've gone through and selected some choice titles such as David Fincher's Fight Club, Seven and Zodiac are available for cheap, several Sylvester Stallone titles including all his Rambo films and first two The Expendables features, both of James Cameron's Terminator movies are on sale, Rain Man for only $3.99, personal favorites such as A Time to Kill, Primal Fear and many others. I've listed several below and you can find even more right here if this isn't enough. Note: Sign up for Amazon Prime and get free two-day shipping. Blu-rays for $3.99-$7.99 300 ($7.99) (500) Days of Summer ($6.99) A Good Day to Die Hard ($3.99) A Time to Kill ($6.99) Bad Teacher ($7.00) Beetlejuice ($6.99) Bernie ($4.99) Cosmopolis ($5.78) Dances with Wolves ($3.99) Dazed and Confused ($6.96) Fight Club ($3.99) Hard to Kill ($4.88) Hugo ($6.99) Inside Man ($3.99) No Country for Old Men »
- Brad Brevet
A couple of weeks ago it was revealed that Lucasfilm has been quietly working on a new animated musical Strange Magic, based upon a story by George Lucas himself, and now we have our first look at the film with Disney debuting a trailer and stills ahead of its release in January.
“Strange Magic is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.”
Strange Magic is directed by Gary Rydstrom (Toy Story Toons: Hawaiian Vacation) and features a voice cast that includes Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), Evan Rachel Wood (The Wrestler), Kristin Chenoweth (Rio 2), Maya Rudolph (Big Hero 6), Sam Palladio (Nashville), Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2), Elijah Kelley (Hairspray), Bob Einstein »
- Gary Collinson
Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
Riggan Thomas (Michael Keaton) attempts to distance himself from his famous role as the superhero, Birdman by staging a Broadway play adaptation of Raymond Carver’s ‘What We Talk About When We Talk About Love‘. In the days leading to the premier, Riggan must overcome his ego and family troubles to ensure he can once again hit the big time.
There’s a scene in Birdman where Michael Keaton’s character, Riggan Thomas, confronts the theatre critic who threatens to shut down his play with a single review, without even seeing it. It’s one of the films best scenes – in a film where it’s difficult to choose just one – as Keaton describes her writing as full of labels and adjectives, with nothing about technique, structure or execution, reducing his »
- Gary Collinson
Is 20 years too long to wait between sequels? Not according to Jim Carrey, who returns to his roots as a rubber-faced, gross-out idiot to join Jeff Daniels in a new follow-up to the Farrelly brothers' 1994 smash Dumb and Dumber. We'll ignore Dumb and Dumberer -- a project that was surely dumb enough but just not funny enough. Dumb and Dumber To is the real deal, original formula Harry and Lloyd, using their combined powers to get laughs out of things that no respectable adults should laugh at. Previously on Stripped: Big Hero 6, Interstellar, Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Edge of Tomorrow, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy, Teenage Mutant Ninja...
- John Gholson
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