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Over the past half-decade or so, Matthew Vaughn and 20th Century Fox have enjoyed a fruitful working relationship, teeing up box office smashes (X-Men: First Class), breakout hits (Kingsman: The Secret Service) and rip-roaring crowd-pleasers in the vein of Eddie the Eagle.
In celebration of the latter hitting home video, We Got This Covered has one Sony Blu-ray player (Sony – Bdp-S3700) and a bundle of Vaughn’s films including Eddie the Eagle, X-Men: First Class and Kingsman: The Secret Service to give away to a lucky reader. To be in with a chance of winning, simply subscribe to our brand new push notification system here (please note, this is only available in Google Chrome/Firefox and on Desktop/Android devices at the moment).
In doing so, you’ll receive real-time updates from We Got This Covered as news breaks. Once you’ve subscribed, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org »
- Michael Briers
The silly season is underway with aliens invading, superheroes saving and orcs doing whatever they’re doing in Warcraft. But can you match the zoomed in movie poster to the summer blockbuster of years past?
Batman & Robin
Die Hard with a Vengeance
Lilo & Stitch
7 and above.
You're a cinematic universe!
4 and above.
You're the sequel no one wanted
0 and above.
You're not getting a sequel
Continue reading »
- Benjamin Lee
We check out the John Travolta films that have been bypassing cinemas over the past few years...
In the days leading up to writing this article, which will cover a recent period in which he’s made a bunch of films that have quickly drifted to DVD or VOD, I had to stop and ask myself a genuine question: how do I actually feel about John Travolta?
The answer that rose from the depths of my coal-black, hell-bound soul was weirdly surprising. Brushing aside his personal life – which is not worth getting into here – I found I had nothing but good feelings surrounding his work as an actor.
I grew up with Carrie, Grease, Look Who’s Talking and perhaps his best film, Brian De Palma’s Blow Out. I also grew up with some of his clunkers, like the Look Who’s Talking sequels and 80s concept comedy The Experts. He’s been acting since before I was born, so he’s always been in the background of my pop culture landscape – working solidly for more than 40 years.
Over those decades, his catalogue has defied explanation. He seems to unapologetically pick whatever he feels moved to be a part of regardless of criticism and, goddamn it, there’s something inherently admirable about that. Unlike, say, Bruce Willis, he doesn’t seem happy with doing just a couple of days work on a shoot in a smaller part; more often he will choose to be the star, or at least have equal-ish screen time – even if the project isn’t boasting a huge budget or a big name director. When Pulp Fiction thrust him back into the mainstream, he was still picking up stuff like Phenomenon and Michael in the following years.
I can confidently say that I’ve never seen the man actively 'phone in' a performance and even when he’s overcooked it, there’s usually a decent reason. I mean, if you find yourself on the set of Face/Off going up against The Cage, you’re gonna need to fight fire with fire. Even in Battlefield Earth, he was at least trying.
But in the last half decade we’ve found ourselves in a deeper Travolta trough than we’ve ever been in before. His films aren’t quite cutting the mustard in the industry like they used to and, after a run of flops that have seen him drift back into television with an impressive turn as Robert Shapiro in The People V. O.J. Simpson, I find myself wondering 'will Travolta ever be big business again?'
So, I took a look at four of the films that Travolta’s worked on in the last few years - each of which has effectively gone straight to DVD (save for a few days in a cinema) - to see if anything’s slipped under our radar that needs a boost…
The Forger (2014)
Rotten Tomatoes Score – 7% IMDb Rating – 5.7/10
In The Forger, John Travolta is a man serving a prison sentence who makes a call to get out of it early so he can spend more time with his dying son. In exchange for help with bribing the judge to release him early, John’s expected to help forge a Monet for his erstwhile crime boss, played by Hell On Wheels’ Anson Mount.
As the film casually flits between the forge/heist story and the bonding relationship between John and his son, it’s a testament to director Philip Martin - who comes from a TV background where he’s learnt his trade by helping to bring Prime Suspect and Wallander crime stories to life – that it isn’t a complete disaster. In someone else’s hands, it very well could have been.
Instead, The Forger has a delicate touch and a lot of the shots are interesting and unexpected without being jarring. It flows very smoothly and there’s an undercurrent of genuine love stemming from Travolta’s performance. After losing his own son, making a film about losing a son might have been cathartic and definitely quite close to the bone. I don’t want to read too much into Travolta’s choices, because that way madness lies, but it does really come across as though he cared about this one.
The Forger’s family scenes - with Travolta’s son Tye Sheridan and father Christopher Plummer - play really well, and while the tone of these scenes doesn’t gel with the heist elements of the plot, there’s good stuff here.
Overall, there’s not quite enough substance to sail the whole thing smoothly down the river, but it’s not bad by any stretch and the reviews have been a little harsh on what is actually a perfectly average film. No, you won’t watch it again, but neither will you probably regret watching it in the first place.
Criminal Activities (2015)
Rotten Tomatoes Score – 47% IMDb Rating – 5.8/10
Hoo boy, that title. That’s the worst title. I can’t imagine anyone involved could have wanted it. It’s maybe the most generic title I’ve ever seen. It’s so bad that even when I picked up the DVD, looked at the cover and saw that Michael Pitt (Hannibal, Boardwalk Empire) and Dan Stevens (The Guest, The Guest, The Guest) were Travolta’s co-stars in this, I still felt like I was drowning in the beigeness of it.
The film itself - Jackie Earle Haley's directorial debut - is an unfortunate mess. The plot, such as it is, involves Michael, Dan and the rest of the lads from their childhood gang borrowing money from a mob boss (Travolta) to invest in some sure-fire stocks that immediately collapse, leaving them out of pocket and in John’s. To pay off the debt, he wants them to kidnap a guy, because that guy’s friend kidnapped someone else. It’s convoluted and makes little sense, due to the fact that there’s a big twist coming at the end which will clarify most, if not all of it.
The actors are doing wayyy too much in the film - directed by an actor who clearly wants the actors to have room to act - and therein lies the fundamental problem. Apart from a great turn by Edi Gathegi (Gone Baby Gone, X-Men: First Class, Crank) it’s impossible to point a finger at anyone else in the cast and say 'yep, you, good job' because there’s just too much going on.
The twist is actually decent, but everything leading up to it is a headache. Working on a low budget, most of the scenes are dialogue-heavy, arduous and reliant on excessive coverage – so what you end up with is a film where a load of dudes sit in a room together and shout and swear at each other a lot. I wanted to take that final twist aside, buy it a drink, hug it, and reassure it that it deserved better.
I’m afraid to say there’s not much here to recommend, which is ironic given that it’s had the most positive reviews of the bunch.
I Am Wrath (2016)
Rotten Tomatoes Score – 13% IMDb Rating – 5.2/10
I Am Wrath is the worst film of these four by a long chalk.
Here, John stars as a man who decides payback is needed when his wife (Rebecca de Mornay) is killed before his eyes. That’s really all there is, plot-wise. See, it turns out he’s a man with a very particular set of skills and yada yada yada off he goes.
The script - written by Paul 'nope, nothing you’ve heard of' Sloan - is so very, very bad. I am going to tell you how bad it is, so you don’t think I’m just whistlin’ Dixie here:
During his wife’s funeral, John tells the priest that he’s an atheist after the priest gives him a bible in his time of need. Later, Travolta flings this bible across the room angrily. He then stops, pulls a full Joey Tribbiani 'smell-the-fart', slowly approaches the discarded bible, picks it up and reads a line about wrath with the dumbest revelatory expression on his face as the music builds. He sees this as a sign that he should become wrath, despite his earlier insistence that he thinks religion is total garbage.
Later, when asked who he is, Travolta looks determinedly into a mirror and says “I am wrath” – he said the name of the movie you guys! Holy shit. Honestly, I could not believe how hackneyed the whole thing was, not to mention bizarre - the film regularly abandons its serious 'violence begets violence' tone whenever John’s Bff Christopher Meloni turns up, suddenly becoming a jokey buddy comedy.
This was hard to get through. Please avoid it at all costs, for there is nothing here to keep you warm at night.
Killing Season (2013)
Rotten Tomatoes Score – 11% IMDb Rating – 5.4/10
De Niro and Travolta – together at last?
Well, the opening sequence gives us a bit of background on the reason we’re all here. Something bad happened during the Bosnian War that will bring our two main dudes together for some serious vengeance. The sequence is sepia, because past, and ohhhhh god, here comes the present…
It’s at this point that we discover that John is going to attempt an Eastern European accent. It is Not Good. It is not John Malkovich in Rounders, but it is Not Good and we are stuck with it for the duration.
His facial hair during this first scene is also completely ridiculous. I can’t adequately describe how bonkers it is, but try to imagine a werewolf that can only grow stubble carefully shaving a circle into its face. It’s a relief to find that they decided to tone this down for the rest of the film - he looks more like he’s wearing a black chinstrap from then on.
Despite the accent and the questionable chin beard, it’s a lot easier to buy Travolta as a man on a mission of vengeance during Killing Season than it was during I Am Wrath. He’s obviously jazzed to be working with De Niro and he’s knuckled down to bounce off him, keeping it low-key and making an effort not to overdo it.
As a result of this equilibrium, we also get a glimpse of a pre-Meet The Parents De Niro - which is very much welcomed, sweet lord - and the two men head into the second act ready to take each other on, hunt each other down and resolve those Bosnian sins of the past in the most violent way possible.
The script - by proposed Tomb Raider reboot scribe Evan Daugherty - occasionally stumbles, but is solid enough. The direction is fine. It’s fine. It’s probably Mark Steven Johnson’s best film (but when his other major films are Daredevil and Ghost Rider, that’s not exactly a gush) and as the two leads hunt and trap each other, a lot of Predator love oozes out of the frame. Unfortunately, this is not Predator, but you could do worse on an evening than to sit through this instead (if you don’t own Predator).
…Oh my god you guys. We should totally watch Predator right now.
Until next time, and until the next rebirth of Mr Travolta, I bid you adieu.
Next time: the straight to DVD movies of John Cusack
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See related Bruce Willis: examining his recent straight-to-dvd movies DVD & Bluray Feature Movies Kirsten Howard John Travolta 14 Jun 2016 - 05:16 The Forger I Am Wrath Criminal Activities Killing Season »
Earlier this week, a video debuted that broke down all of the Easter Eggs and comic book references in 20th Century Fox's X-Men: Apocalypse, just days after it hit theaters. As this superhero adventure heads into its second weekend in theaters, yet another video has surfaced, showing fans what could have been. This video breaks down some of the deleted scenes and alternate concepts that were ultimately discarded before the movie hit theaters. Of course, there will be Spoilers below, so read on at your own risk.
This new video comes from the Mr. Sunday Movies YouTube channel, which reveals a few scenes that may seem familiar, for those who have been following the movie all the way through production. Some of the first set photos released when production got under way in Montreal revealed a group of young mutants coming out of a screening of the 1983 classic Return of the Jedi. »
A pair of sequels in X-Men: Apocalypse and Alice Through the Looking Glass led a soft Memorial Day weekend last week and things aren't looking much better this weekend. Paramount is delivering its own sequel this weekend in the form of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows while Warner Bros. targets the romantics among us with Me Before You and Universal's Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, which is merely hoping to keep its head above water. Over the past five years, the weekend following Memorial Day has seen an average drop of 18.7% for the top twelve. At this time, projections are looking at a drop just a bit higher, right around 20%, a percentage that could easily improve should Turtles 2 or last weekend's newcomers outperform expectations. Opening in 4,071 theaters, Paramount is estimating a $35-40 million opening weekend for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2. It's an estimate that seems just »
- Brad Brevet <email@example.com>
If you’re anything like me, every time you look at a monster truck you think to yourself, "That needs more real monsters." Don't lie, you know you've thought that as well. It’s been quite some time since we’ve been able to report upon a good old-fashioned family film, and now it looks like Hollywood has caught on to that notion. A new trailer for the upcoming film Monster Trucks has just hit the web, and it looks completely fun for the whole family. Check it out below. As you can see from the above trailer, Monster Trucks stars X-Men: First Class’ Lucas Till as a young man who comes encounters an odd, yet adorable, squid-like monster. Naming the creature Creat, the two develop a quick bond when the young man realizes that the monster can actually serve »
Fresh from its international premiere at the Marché du Film in Cannes, One Under the Sun is preparing for its U.S. debut at San Diego's Comic-Con in July. We've got the poster, photos, and the trailer to whet your appetite. Bollywood actress Pooja Batra (Virasat, ABCD2) plays an astronaut named Kathryn Voss, who is the sole survivor of a disastrous space shuttle mission. All she wants to do is reunite with her terminally ill daughter (Ava Cantrell, from upcoming Hollywood horror film Lights Out), yet instead she becomes a fugitive after it's revealed that she has "an extraordinary gift," per the official synopsis. Gene Farber (X-Men: First Class, Captain America: Civil War) also stars. See more visuals about the movie in the gallery below....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
With probably themes self explanatory movie title in recent memory, Monster Trucks sees Ice Age, Robots, and Epic director Chris Wedge make the jump to live-action with a family comedy that sees Lucas Till (X-Men: First Class) as a high school senior who finds the most unique engine for his hand built truck in the form of a subterranean monster with a taste and a talent for speed. As you can see from the trailer below, this is silly fun clearly aimed at kids, and no doubt they’ll get a real kick out of it. Released: January 13th 2017 »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
With the release of X-Men: Apocalypse, director Bryan Singer has taken his tally of X-Men movies up to four (or five, if you include his producing duties on X-Men: First Class), and it seems he’s now ready for a break from the mutant superhero franchise.
“I recently met Danny Boyle — he and I have known of each other for many years but never met,” Singer tells the La Times. “He was prepping Steve Jobs at the time and I was doing this and he said, ‘Are you going to be doing X-Men movies forever?’ And I didn’t actually say no. The reality is, even though I’m very desperate to jump to something completely different, I’ve spent so many years in this universe and I love this cast and the characters so much, I just don’t see myself abandoning them forever. Perhaps as a consultant, as a producer, »
- Gary Collinson
In 1813, renowned writer Jane Austen published a book called Pride and Prejudice, which tells the story of the Bennet sisters, who are gussied up and married off to wealthy suitors, one by one. The only sister who seems to question this system is Elizabeth, the rebellious member of the family, who feels strong disdain for the system that treats her more like property than a proper citizen. In 2009, author Seth Grahame-Smith put a new twist on the old tale by creating a parody novel called Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which loosely follows the same basic outline, but adds an entirely different obstacle to the tale: the living dead.
In Grahame-Smith’s story, the girls are not only fighting for the right to be married into regal families, but also battling for their lives on a daily basis. An outbreak has occurred within these humble streets, and now flesh-eating zombies »
- Kalyn Corrigan
Over the long holiday weekend, the final X-Men prequel X-Men: Apocalypse hit theaters, which featured the eighth franchise appearance of Hugh Jackman's Wolverine. The actor is currently filming his final movie as Logan, Wolverine 3, which is set to hit theaters next March. Before you go see X-Men: Apocalypse in theaters again, a new video has surfaced which breaks down all of Wolverine's kills throughout this beloved franchise, and the number may be higher than you think.
This kill count video comes courtesy of Mr. Sunday Movies, which covers all of Wolverine's "direct and indirect murders" from X2: X-Men United, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days Of Future Past. We're not sure why the original X-Men or 2013's The Wolverine was left out of this video, but this kill count even includes the bears that Logan has killed throughout his 16-year run as Wolverine. »
Director Bryan Singer has now made four X-men films, dating back to the year 2000. With X-men: Apocalypse he told his biggest, most large-scale story featuring Marvel's iconic mutants yet. By all accounts, though, Apocalypse may be Singer's last ride with Xavier and company- at least for now. In a chat with the La Times, Singer opened up a bit about the comic book genre, how social media has affected his filmmaking process, and his X-men future.
"For me, this is not only the finale of the trilogy that started with "X-Men: First Class," it’s the finale of six movies. But I also call it an 'in-betwee-quel' -- not a sequel or a prequel -- because it »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
Filmmaker Bryan Singer has crafted ten directorial efforts over the past twenty-three years, four of which have been films in the "X-Men" franchise including his last two. As a result, it's unsurprising that he's in need of a break with his next film and during a recent interview with The Los Angeles Times he suggested as much when asked about his future with the X-Men series:
"I recently met Danny Boyle - he and I have known of each other for many years but never met. He was prepping 'Steve Jobs' at the time and I was doing this and he said, 'Are you going to be doing 'X-Men' movies forever?' And I didn't actually say no.
The reality is, even though I'm very desperate to jump to something completely different, I've spent so many years in this universe and I love this cast and the characters so much, »
- Garth Franklin
20th Century Fox unveiled their final installment of the X-Men prequel trilogy this weekend with X-Men: Apocalypse hitting theaters. This superhero adventure is set in the year 1983, 10 years after the events of 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past and 20 years after the 2011 adventure X-Men: First Class. As one would expect, there are a slew of Easter Eggs and references to the X-Men comics, cameo appearances such as Wolverine and much more. Before you head to your local theater again, a new video has surfaced which breaks down all of these references. Of course, if you haven't seen X-Men: Apocalypse yet, there will be plenty of Spoilers below, so read on at your own risk.
Mr. Sunday Movies has put together a seven and a half minute video that explains all of the nods to previous X-Men movies, the Marvel comics, and much more. Some of these references and cameos we already knew about, »
Anghus Houvouras with his 10 best comic book movie scenes…
As I watched X-Men: Apocalypse this week, I marveled at a particular thought that was swimming around my cerebellum: Bryan Singer has directed four of the best comic book scenes ever staged. This seems somewhat surprising since the finished films end up being a mish-mash of success and failure. More like ‘the X-Mess’. Am I right? And yet, within some of those X-Men films are sequences that are so perfect you begin to wonder how Singer’s brilliance doesn’t extend to the rest of the movie. Like Paul Maclean in A River Runs Through It, a character who achieves perfection while fly fishing but is never able to find that kind of grace in the rest of his life. It kind of makes Singer’s X-Men films kind of tragic. Flashes of brilliance ultimately smothered in mediocrity. Like an ice »
- Anghus Houvouras
Two new releases hit theaters this weekend, both vying for the box office crown over the Memorial Day holiday. 20th Century Fox's X-Men: Apocalypse and Disney's Alice Through the Looking Glass both squared off in hopes of taking the holiday weekend box office crown, but it was X-Men: Apocalypse that came away as the winner, taking in $65 million. Unfortunately, this opening weekend is the lowest in this new prequel trilogy.
Box Office Mojo reports that X-Men: Apocalypse's opening is the lowest debut since 2011's X-Men: First Class, which debuted with $55.1 million back in 2011. This debut also comes in far lower than 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past, which took in $90.8 million, and significantly lower than the studio's X-Men spinoff Deadpool, which took in $132.4 million, en route to becoming the franchise's top-grossing movie with $362.7 million domestic and $763.1 million worldwide.
Three-day Memorial Day weekend results are in and while the numbers at the top are soft compared to franchise predecessors, the weekend was an overall improvement compared to 2015 when Memorial Day took place one week earlier. X-Men: Apocalypse led the weekend charge, matching the studio's expectations, followed by Disney's Alice Through the Looking Glass, which fell well short of what the studio was hoping for. That said, Disney's coffers aren't exactly barren as the studio is expected to pass $4 billion at the global box office by the end of the day as three of its films currently rank as the highest grossing worldwide releases of 2016. Beginning with the weekend #1, X-Men: Apocalypse brought in an estimated $65 million three-day and is looking at anything from $77-80 million for the four-day holiday. The result is pretty much what the studio was anticipating heading into the weekend, but still has to be looked at as something of a disappointment. »
- Brad Brevet <email@example.com>
With a 3-day holiday weekend in its corner, X-Men: Apocalypse will only earn $65 million domestically [$78 million across 4-days]. That's a disappointing figure when compared to Batman v Superman's $166 million and Captain America: Civil War's $179.1 million. This figure is also way down from Days of Future Past's $110.6 million opening weekend gross. But all is not lost. The last two X-flicks attributed the bulk of its worldwide box office total to foreign territories. X-Men: First Class amassed a "41% domestic/59% international" split on its $353.6 million worldwide total. It's follow up, and Bryan Singer's return to the franchise, Days of Future Past had an even larger divide with a "31% domestic/69% international" division of its $747.8 million worldwide haul. If Apocalypse is headed for another "30% domestic/ 70% international" split of its revenue and analysts are predicting a $170 million finish for its domestic run, the worldwide box office haul for Apocalypse would come in at roughly $567 million. »
Currently, X-Men: Apocalypse has a score of 47% on Rotten Tomatoes, and while that site's usefulness is questionable at best, it's clear that reviews for the Bryan Singer helmed release have been mixed. Despite that, the conclusion to the trilogy which began in 2011 with X-Men: First Class looks set to be a box office hit, though perhaps not quite as big as Fox were hoping for ($1 billion isn't going to happen). Third instalments in superhero movie franchises have often struggled (look at Spider-Man 3 and X-Men: The Last Stand), but does it manage to avoid the threequel curse, a la Captain America: Civil War? We've reviewed X-Men: Apocalypse, taken a look at the things which did and didn't work, and even counted down the best Easter Eggs, but now it's time for You to weigh in on the movie. Did you think this was one of the best instalments in the »
'X-Men: Apocalypse' with Oscar Isaac in the supervillainous title role. 'X-Men: Apocalypse' review: Step back for series, but latest 'X-Men' movie 'works well enough' There's a three-way brawl going on in the Marvel universe, but it doesn't involve Spider-Man, Captain America, or Deadpool. Instead, the combatants are the three major movie studios who've divvied up the film rights to Marvel characters in licensing deals, some of which go back decades. In this corner we have Sony, makers of a Spider-Man series that has sunk so low since 2004's Spider-Man 2 that they punted the character back to our second combatant, Marvel Studios. In 2004, after years of seeing the majors compromise their intellectual property by making horrible film adaptations, they decided to finance and produce their own damn movies, in what would develop into an unprecedented winning streak. To this day, just when you think they're finally out of gas, Marvel »
- Mark Keizer
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