20 items from 2016
Everything looks great on paper here: Damon’s brawny presence; the smartly staged action, etc. And it’s not unfun. But it feels less black ops than old hat. I’m “biast” (pro): big fan of the Bourne series
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
It’s been nine years since we last saw Matt Damon racing around the world and beating people up as brainwashed assassin Jason Bourne… and the weight of those interim years rests heavily upon this fourth installment. Oh, it’s not that Damon (The Martian, Interstellar), now 46 years old, isn’t up to the physical demands of the role. In fact, his Bourne is significantly beefier here: bigger, more intimidating, just plain more dangerous in an all-muscle kind of way. (Bourne appears to have been scraping out a meager living since we last saw him »
- MaryAnn Johanson
With Comic-Con now officially underway, Hasbro and Machinima have rolled out the first trailer for Transformers: Combiner Wars, along with an official synopsis and details of the voice cast. Check them out here ahead of the series’ debut on August 2nd…
Taking place 40 years after the great war on Earth, the eight episode digital series introduces new lore and all-new characters that, combined with the characters fans have known for decades, will bring the Transformers storytelling in a new direction.
The Autobots and Decepticons have disbanded and returned to Cybertron. With the days of Optimus Prime and Megatron over, Cybertron is now ruled by a triumvirate. However, an ancient technology has enabled a new threat, the power for multiple Transformers to combine into one massive, dangerous form: Combiners. Who will stand-up to this threat to ensure that the fragile peace that was 4 million years in the making remains?
Check out four prelude episodes here… »
- Gary Collinson
It’s always exciting to see a big-budget original sci-fi idea take flight, even when its director is someone as hit-and-miss as Luc Besson, who has delivered some straight-up classics to the genre (The Fifth Element, among others) but also his fair share of duds (Lucy and Lockout, anyone? Anyone? I didn’t think so).
His latest, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, is well into shooting, and there are some major reasons to be excited about it, as is highlighted in a set of new photos on Besson’s Facebook. The cast, led by Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevingne, is tremendously stacked, and the aesthetic Besson is gunning for here seems to fall somewhere between Speed Racer and Ex Machina in a way that could be really fun if executed correctly.
Moreover, the plot, based on a series of comics, is at least ambitious. DeHaan and Delevingne »
- Isaac Feldberg
If there is a reliable truism that can coexist alongside the American film industry’s dance of death with economically insane budgets that now routinely soar north of $200 million, it is that (most) critics and potential ticket-buyers can be counted on to review bad buzz and publicized woes of dollars and production instead of the actual movie once it finally finds its way to a screen. And it may in fact be true that the drama behind the scenes often outstrips the quality of the wide-screen finished product, though certainly this is not always the case. The reception of big-budget box-office flops like John Carter, The Lone Ranger, Jupiter Ascending and Oliver Stone’s Alexander are but some late examples of our number-crunching obsession with pop culture minutiae and the fascination of a behemoth’s preordained fall. Most who trudged out to see any of these films during their theatrical »
- Dennis Cozzalio
For the first time in 20 years, filmmakers Lilly and Lana Wachowski won't be working together. According to Buzzfeed News, Lilly, who co-created "Sense8" with her sister, will take a break as showrunner for the upcoming second season. "Lilly needed to take some time off," said actress Jamie Clayton, who plays Nomi. Lilly is using this time "to focus on her well-being, but she could return should Netflix order a third season," according to the report. A Netflix rep said that she will stay active as a co-creator on the show. Read More: Must Watch: Lana Wachowski Speaks About What It Means to Be Transgendered In March of this year, Lilly came out as transgender after a reporter threatened to out her. Her sister, Lana, came out as transgender in 2012. Together they have been a creative unit directing, writing and producing films such as "The Matrix," "Speed Racer" and "Jupiter Ascending, »
- Liz Calvario
With just under six months until Marvel's second Phase 3 movie, Doctor Strange, hits theaters, the studio has brought in its composer, Oscar winner Michael Giacchino. The movie will mark his first foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he is no stranger to superhero tales, having composed the scores for Pixar's The Incredibles and Disney's Sky High. While this is his first Marvel movie, the composer has a long history with Disney.
Michael Giacchino won his first Oscar for composing the original score for Disney Pixar's Up, and he was nominated two years earlier for his work on another Pixar classic, Ratatouille. He got his start composing music for video games, such as the game tie-in for The Lost World and another Jurassic Park game, Warpath. He eventually moved on to features with The Incredibles, Sky High, The Family Stone, Mission: Impossible III, Speed Racer, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, »
I don’t know if The Huntsman: Winter’s War, the big, loud (except when its twin villainesses get all whispery with evil portent) prequel/sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman that nobody was clamoring for, will end up being the year’s worst movie. But in my book this by-the-numbers CGI-encrusted wreck certainly stands a good chance of being the year’s most interminably, heart-hardeningly, brain-softeningly boring movie, and maybe its most cynical one too.
(I know I hope I don’t actually have to see a worse movie in 2016-- Odie Henderson makes an excellent case that Nina might be the one, but I will force myself to take his word for it and avoid that picture like a plague of brown pancake makeup.)
The problem here isn’t just that we’ve seen this sort of paper-thin good-vs.-evil, love triumphing over hate template thousands of times by now. »
- Dennis Cozzalio
As a digital artifact, Jon Favreau's new adaptation of The Jungle Book plays it nearly straight. Much more so, anyway, than something like the Wachowski Sisters' Speed Racer - another film that made maximum use of digital environments around flesh-and-blood people, but which turned that opportunity into a chance to show how fluid and unreal those digital worlds could actually be, as a tool in their own right for storytelling and stylization. Speed Racer wasn't just edited; it was mixed. The Jungle Book almost never goes this far, except in Scarlett Johansson's single scene as Kaa, the predatory snake who temporarily ensnares young Mowgli (Neel Sethi) in her coils. As an avowed ophidiophobe, the specter of a man-eating python which might, at a guess, be...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
This was supposed to be a lighter column for me. I had seen Iggy Pop play over at The Capital Theatre in Port Chester last Thursday. I was going to write about how it was an absolutely incredible show, talk a bit about Iggy Pop’s career and how he was a major influence on the comic book series The Crow. Then I read this. And this. I saw friends of my get incredibly upset over this. Hell, I’m upset too. So without putting up much of a fight with myself, I decided this week I’d tackle the growing embarrassment that is the Ghost In The Shell live action adaptation.
- Joe Corallo
In an early MipTV announcement, Spain’s Imira Entertainment is teaming with Italy’s Dami Just For Kids Factory to co-produce sitcom “Dummysaurs.” Imira is distributing “Dummysaurs” worldwide.
Made up of 104 two-minute segs, the dialogue-free slapstick comedy has its first 13 episodes in production; the first two are to be shown at MipTV. In one, a gleeful dinosaur takes a bath at a prehistoric icy spa. It drops the soap, for a small dinosaur to step on it and take of into an inadvertent artistic skating routine. Imira is one of Spain’s biggest TV animation production and worldwide distribution companies. 90% of Imira’s turnover comes from outside Spain. Bought up by India’s Toonz Media Group, Imira continues to operate as an independent entity.
“We have big expectations for ‘Dummysaurs’: It’s a project which especially targets digital consumption via its short format, the kind of product that’s »
- Emilio Mayorga
Welcome to the DC Weekly, where every week we cover the land of DC comics, TV, and movies. Be it random bits of news, TV show reactions, or miscellaneous reviews, editorials, or speculation, you can be sure to get your DC fix here!
This Week I discuss the impending hours to the release of Batman v Superman, the negative response it's received so far, and how that shouldn't sway your seeing the film, nor affect your overall impressions of the film.
Don't Let The Tomatometer Invalidate Your Opinions
Like many other hardcore film fans, I sat back at my computer in the waning hours of the critical embargo of Batman v Superman. For days, we'd gotten all kinds of impressions from fans who had seen an advanced screening, as well as others who had attended the premiere. Overall, there seemed to be a consensus that Batman was awesome, the action was strong, »
- Joseph Medina
King Hu’s A Touch of Zen is such a good movie that you kind of wonder if maybe they should have stopped making movies altogether after it. Sure it was completed in 1969, and we would have missed out on hundreds of greats, but really, be honest now, in the face ofA Touch of Zen – how good were they really?A Touch of Zen almost gets to what Hou Hsiao-Hsien used the wuxia genre for in The Assassin, but about fifty years ahead of it. Its first hour contains zero action scenes. I wondered for a good portion of the film if it had merely been incorrectly billed. When the fighting does start up, it’s thrilling and all, but is more naturally an extension of the languid pace it had previously established. Every element of the film flows through to the next and back again. The protagonist for »
- Scott Nye
Ahead of the world premiere screening of Outcast’s first episode, Daily Dead had the chance to catch up with creator Robert Kirkman, executive producer Chris Black, pilot episode director Adam Wingard, and series star Patrick Fugit to discuss what fans can expect from the new show that is based on Kirkman’s popular comic and debuts on Cinemax this June.
Here are the highlights from our roundtable interview during the 2016 SXSW Film Festival, and look for more on Outcast—including our impressions from the first episode—closer to the show’s debut this summer.
When Outcast was being created as a comic book series, how did you make the leap from working on it as a comic to deciding you wanted to adapt it into a show?
- Heather Wixson
After threats to be outed by other media outlets, Lilly Wachowski, younger sibling to Lana and one-half of the filmmaking duo that brough us The Matrix Trilogy, Speed Racer, and Cloud Atlas, has come out as transgender. Penning a must-read statement to the Windy City Times, Lilly explained the circumstances leading up to her announcement, the numerous times the news almost broke and how that all played a... Read More »
- Billy Donnelly
The duo formerly known as the Wachowski brothers, the creators and directors of The Matrix trilogy and the sorely underrated Speed Racer, previously became known as the Wachowski siblings when Lana Wachowski came out as a transgender woman in 2012. Now they will be known as the Wachowski sisters, as Lilly Wachowski, formerly called Andy Wachowski, […]
- Ethan Anderton
Several years ago, one-half of the Wachowski Starhip directing team came out as transgender, and revealed she was transitioning from Larry to Lana Wachowski. Now, her former brother has done the same, announcing this week that she is also transgender. Formerly known as Andy Wachowski, Lilly Wachowski feared she was about to be outed by a tabloid. So she decided to pen an emotional, heartfelt letter to Windy City Times.
The co-director of the blockbuster hit The Matrix and it's sequels speaks quite frankly about her decision to transition. She also discusses the challenges faced by transgender people. She kicks things off with a little bit of humor Then dives into her personal story, explaining exactly what spurred her decision to come out.
"Sex Change Shocker-wachowski Brothers Now Sisters!!!" There's the headline I've been waiting for this past year. Up until now with dread and/or eye rolling exasperation. The »
This isn't really the way Lilly Wachowski (formerly Andy Wachowski) wanted to come out, but after being threatened with outing by news outlets, the co-director of "The Matrix" shared a powerful, personal statement to Windy City Times.
The essay reveals that Lilly, 48, is transgender and has transitioned, following in the footsteps of her sister Lana, 50, (formerly Larry) who publicly confirmed her transition in 2012.
Congratulations Lilly Wachowski on coming out as a transgender woman! #WachowskiSisters https://t.co/AePsce4BJ9 pic.twitter.com/b9grl574dc
— Tiff (@TIFF_NET) March 9, 2016
Here's a small piece of Lilly's statement, following the revelation that she was just visited by a tabloid journalist who threatened to out her :
"...I am one of the lucky ones. Having the support of my family and the means to afford doctors and therapists has given me the chance to actually survive this process. Transgender people without support, means »
- Gina Carbone
The 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary attracted more absurd hopefuls than coffee shops in Los Angeles. The collection of oddballs meant that the Jamaican bobsledders of Cool Runnings weren’t the least plausible competitors to be led by a disgraced American pro that year: there was also a stubborn, tubby amateur skier named Eddie Edwards.
Eddie the Eagle’s charming true story, facts futzed to create a more Disneyfied tale (no living in a mental institution due to poverty, etc) and dismissed by Edwards himself as about 10% accurate, tracks the unlikely Edwards (a wonderfully engaging Taron Egerton) from amateur to England’s record-holding Olympian.
Like Napoleon Dynamite on skis, Edwards’ awkwardness lost an Olympic bid in his chosen event (downhill speed skiing), while the the snobbish British selection committee’s classism stamped out any dreams of re-qualification. A thoroughly British sports movie, the strata between the posh and lower class takes »
- TFS Staff
Just when I thought the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics couldn’t get any better than Jamaican bobsledders, Eddie The Eagle comes along and spreads the legend of Britain’s ski-jumping wunderkind, Michael “Eddie” Edwards. “But Matt, how can movies about the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics get any better than Cool Runnings?” I hear you ask. Great question, person way too into bobsledding – but I promise it does.
Dexter Fletcher (you know, Pinky from Doom?) patriotically waves his British flag while bringing the story of Eddie Edwards to life, capturing the reckless determination that made a young boy’s dreams come true. This wide-eyed young jumper taught a nation what it meant to be alive, and redefined how we view success – lessons learned through bumps, bruises, and healthy mouthfuls of snow.
- Matt Donato
It’s been eight long years since the Statue of Liberty’s head barreled down one of New York’s steel canyons in Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield. And in those eight years there have been whispers, rumors, and innuendo about a sequel.
While it looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer for a legit Part 2, J.J. Abrams has at least gifted us with a teaser trailer for something called 10 Cloverfield Drive, which the Star Wars: The Force Awakens director calls a “blood relative” to the hit found-footage Sci-Fi thriller. Being cagey as usual, Abrams told Collider.com, “The idea came up a long time ago during production. We wanted to make it a blood relative of Cloverfield. The idea was developed over time. We wanted to hold back the title for as long as possible.”
Now, what “blood relative” means is up for debate, but what we do »
- Harker Jones
20 items from 2016
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