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Welcome to Screen Rant’s “Geek Picks,” where we collect the finest movie-related geekery from around the Web. Today you’ll find James Gunn surprising fans at Dragon Con; everything wrong with Taken 2 in 14 minutes or less; a badass zombie apocalypse short film; and the top 10 shows of the 1990s. All that and more on this edition of Sr’s Geek Picks!
If you have any Geek Picks of your own, please send them to srgeekpicks(at)gmail(dot)com and you could be featured in a future post!
Guardians of the Galaxy Director Surprises Fans!
James Gunn (director of Guardians of the Galaxy) and his brother Sean (who played a couple roles in the film) surprised Marvel cosplayers at Dragon Con in Atlanta. Avengers comic book artist George Perez also showed up to hang with fans.
- Justin Vactor
A new t.v. spot for A Walk Among The Tombstones has come online, proving Liam Neeson has his current action star persona down to a tee. His current crop of movies, Taken 2 aside, have proved enjoyable, but I have a feeling this will give his acting muscles a work out, as well as his trigger finger. Released: 18th September Synopsis: Matt Scudder is an ex-nypd cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator operating just outside the law. When Scudder reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker hunt down the men who kidnapped and then brutally murdered his wife, the Pi learns that this is not the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime…nor will it be the last. Blurring the lines between right and wrong, Scudder races to track the deviants through the backstreets of New York City before they kill again. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
Based on Lawrence Block’s bestselling series of mystery novels, the films stars Neeson as Matt Scudder, an ex-nypd cop who now works as an unlicensed private investigator operating just outside the law.
When Scudder reluctantly agrees to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) hunt down the men who kidnapped and brutally murdered his wife, the Pi learns that this is not the first time these men have committed this sort of twisted crime. Scudder races to track them through the backstreets of New York City before they kill again.
The thriller »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
It’s fair to say that the prolific French filmmaker Luc Besson has made too many underwhelming pictures of late – and that’s being kind. His once valued writing credentials have recently spawned the likes of The Family, Taken 2 and Brick Mansions, and the less said about all three of those the better, as they strive to compel and entertain and yet any such efforts feel so contrived. However his latest, Lucy, is stylistic and engaging, and a real return to form for the director, mastering a genre he was partly responsible for pioneering.
Scarlett Johansson takes on the eponymous lead role, who is forced into delivering a briefcase to the elusive Mr. Jang (Choi Min-sik), when a romantic fling (Pilou Asbæk) backs out of the deal. However this seemingly straightforward transaction turns into a nightmare, when she is ushered into a hotel room where dead bodies lie still, »
- Stefan Pape
Malek Akkad has spent decades involved with the Halloween franchise (his father, Moustapha helped bring audiences the original and their sequels until his untimely passing in 2005) and while he still has a hand in that series, Malek is set to bring horror fans his directorial debut with Free Fall, a film that aims to make people scared of elevators (its press release mentioned wanting to do to elevators what Psycho did to showers). Dealing with a woman finding out some corporate secrets and having to escape a killer assigned to kill her, Free Fall is set to be released this fall, when Anchor Bay releases the film to Bluray/DVD on October 28th, just in time for well,…Halloween. Free Fall stars Sarah Butler (I Spit On Your Grave remake, The Demented), D.B. Sweeney (Taken 2, A Fire In The Sky), Ian Gomez (TV’s “Cougar Town“) and Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, »
- Jerry Smith
We have got a packed episode that not only includes reviews of The Expendables 3 and The Trip to Italy, but a lot of news stories are covered from the Edge of Tomorrow title to the Hateful Eight trailer, we answer a lot of your questions, get to two listener voice mails, play some games and even call up a listener... do they answerc Listen to find out. Finally, it's time once again to vote for our next audio commentary. On this episode we mention only five, but I thought of one more after we finished and have added it to the mix, so there are six to choose from. Vote below: poll id="359" If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, »
- Brad Brevet
Our non-interactive letters page returns, and we're chatting action, oil, fighting and cinema tickets...
Regular readers may have spotted that this is now the fourth appearance of our letters page, which we all appear to be lumbered with now. It's part of our quest to be the most old-fashioned, non-interactive website on the planet. Basically, you send us a letter, by email or post, and we answer it, and leave it at that. Bonus points for writing in with Grange Hill questions, which nobody has yet.
But you've written in with the following. So here's our latest mailbag...
Name That Film!
I am usually pretty good at investigating and finding obscure films and TV shows from my childhood. But this one eludes me. I can find no reference to it anywhere. I don’t know the title but I have vivid images of this possible film/teleplay in mind.
The arrival of The Expendables 3 leads James to the conclusion that, when it comes to being an action hero, age is just a number...
"All I have produced before the age of 70 is not worth taking into account. At 73 I have learned a little... a little about the real structure of nature, of animals, plants, trees, birds, fishes and insects. In consequence when I am 80, I shall have made still more progress. At 90 I shall penetrate the mystery of things; at 100 I shall certainly have reached a marvellous stage; and when I am 110, everything I do, be it a dot or a line, will be alive." - Hokusai, the Japanese artist who painted the famous 'Great Wave off Kanagawa' and kept on creating astounding art until his death at the age of 88.
"I'm too old for this shit." - Roger Murtaugh, the Lapd homicide detective played by Danny Glover »
Luc Besson’s Lucy, which lifted Scarlett Johansson into the realm of female action star, has passed $100M at the domestic box office for Universal. Adding in grosses from overseas, whhere the film is being handled by Universal and Summit, Lucy has made more than $130M worldwide — and it has 44 more territories yet to release, including Germany. On a budget of what Universal claimed to be $40M, this picture will turn a profit for all involved. It opened three weeks ago.
Related: Box Office Final: ‘Lucy’ In The Sky At $43.9M
What really is noteworthy for Besson and his EuropaCorp. which is handling the picture in his home country of France, is that Lucy had the best opening day ever for the the director in that market. Not surprising, over the weekend, Besson also had the best opening of his career with Lucy in Turkey, Hungary, the Philippines, French-Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates, »
- Anita Busch
Locarno – For decades now, Luc Besson, a director who gave French cinema a huge shot of mainstream action-traction and grandfathered – though not old himself – a new generation of Gallic action directors, has been dubbed, and sometimes dismissed in his native France, as “American.”
That, from Besson’s point-of-view, would appear to be an over-simplification.
Fresh off an $81.9 million first ten-day U.S. bow for the Universal-distribbed “Lucy,” the Luc Besson who spoke at the press conference at Locarno Fest, which “Lucy” opened on Wednesday, was a full-on supporter of the world’s new multi-culturalism in an Internet age.
Like Lionsgate-Summit “Now You See Me,” from Besson alum Louis Leterrier, or indeed “Taken” and “Taken 2,” both produced by Besson’s EuropaCorp, “Lucy” globe-trots with a modern-day ease, in location, characters, thesps and filmic influences.
- John Hopewell and Elsa Keslassy
The Expendables 3 has merits, argues Duncan, but the PG-13/12A cuts have done it no favours...
It’s a strange world indeed when a film you were expecting to be an action movie highlight of the year works best as a comedy, which is especially ironic since The Expendables 3 is by far the biggest and most action packed in the series to date, both in terms of its cast and set pieces.
I’d argue that there remain few people out there who remain as invested in The Expendables franchise as this particular writer, with the heady mix of nostalgia and ultra-violence providing some sublimely over the top entertainment. What's more, it taps directly into the 80s action movie fantasy line up, that many of us dreamt of seeing back in the day. However, when Stallone shrewdly pioneered the unique concept behind The Expendables, one of the core »
EuropaCorp’s Transporter trilogy truly marked the arrival of Jason Statham as a bona fide action star, and now the franchise is getting a reboot – albeit without Statham. However, The Transporter Legacy, as the fourth film in the series has recently been titled, may launch a new actor to action stardom.
Ed Skrein, known for playing Daario Naharis on HBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones, will be taking on the role of Frank Martin, who is called The Transporter because he’s the best driver and mercenary money can buy. In The Transporter Legacy, Frank meets Anna (Loan Chabanol), the leader of a group of criminals. The pair team up and attempt to take down a group of ruthless Russian human traffickers who have also kidnapped Frank’s father (to be played by “a prominent thesp”).
- Isaac Feldberg
The BBFC has released a video explaining how the 12A system works. But does it make sense, and how effective is it?
In mid-July, it emerged that the Tom Cruise action movie Jack Reacher had received a number of complaints for the intensity of its violence. Jack Reacher, you may recall, was released in a slightly cut form with a 12A certificate last year, and remained an intense and quite violent adaptation of Lee Child’s source thriller novel.
Complaints about the film emerged in the BBFC’s annual report, which stated that a total of 26 people had picked fault with the Board’s rating. “Despite a number of reductions made to scenes of violence to achieve a 12A certificate,” the BBFC said, “those who contacted us considered the film too violent, dark and sadistic for 12-year-olds, and inappropriately presented the hero as a vigilante figure.”
Criticisms over Jack Reacher »
Scarlett Johansson easily out-muscled Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson on the final weekend of a very weak month at the box office.In another big win for Universal Pictures, Lucy took first place with over $43.9 million. Meanwhile, Hercules had to settle for runner-up with a lukewarm $29.8 million debut.Overall, the Top 12 earned $136.8 million this weekend; that's down 13 percent from the same frame last year.Lucy's opening weekend didn't quite match similar movies like Wanted ($50.9 million) or Taken 2 ($49.5 million). The fact that it even came close, though, is a fairly remarkable feat for this moderately-budgeted original action movie. Among other similar titles, it crushed The Bourne Legacy ($38.1 million) and Salt ($36 million).It's also the fourth Universal Pictures release to open north of $35 million this year; the other three are Lone Survivor, Ride Along and Neighbors. This is even more impressive considering all four titles are "original" (i.e. not sequels, »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Lucy blows away the rest! Scarlett Johansson gunned down the competition this weekend as Lucy opened at #1 with a bullet, grabbing an estimated $44 million! That's the best opening yet for director Luc Besson (and among his movies as writer/producer, only Taken 2's $49.5 million opening is higher). In fact, aside from The Fifth Element's $63.8 million domestic total, Lucy's first weekend was actually bigger than the final domestic totals for any of »
- Dave Davis
Based on Friday results, at least, the Summer box office slump seems to be drawing to an end this weekend.Sci-fi action movie Lucy opened in first place with an exceptional $17.1 million haul. Meanwhile, Hercules outperformed modest expectations, though it will probably still fall short of $30 million this weekend.Lucy's $17.1 million debut is significantly higher than Angelina Jolie's Salt, which took in $12.5 million on opening day in July 2010. More impressive is the fact that Lucy opened nearly on par with action sequels Taken 2 and The Bourne Supremacy (both around $18.4 million).The Scarlett Johannson flick did receive a poor "C+" CinemaScore, which suggests word-of-mouth will be mixed. Still, it's guaranteed to earn at least $43 million this weekend, and could wind up near $47 million.Playing at 3,595 theaters, Hercules opened to an estimated $11.05 million on Friday. That's roughly equal to the $10.6 million that last month's Edge of Tomorrow earned on opening day. »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
How can a film exist somewhere between being an ambitious Hollywood oddity and a wacky hot mess of a film? Days after seeing Luc Besson’s new film Lucy I’m still trying to figure this out. Going into a Besson film you have to expect a strong female-centered action-fest. The French director has made a career of this going back to La Femme Nikita, to The Fifth Element, all the way to his more recent Indiana Jones and Allan Quatermain inspired period piece The Extraordinary Adventure Of Adele Blanc-sec (which exists relatively unnoticed and is worth checking out if you’re a fan of pulp adventure stories). However Lucy kind of exists in a different conversation than these previously mentioned films for a lot of reasons. First of all, despite her stunning features, Johansson’s Lucy is nowhere near as memorable as some of the leads in these other films. »
- Michael Haffner
Over the course of his dozen-plus films as a writer-director, Parisian auteur Luc Besson has become known for his stylish inversions of schlock genre fare and a certain, shall we call it, Vive la femme attitude toward women.
Time and again, his movies place emotionally fragile female characters in physically perilous situations: a conflicted hit-woman struggling with the perils of her job in 1990’s La Femme Nikita, 12-year old Natalie Portman on the run as an assassin-in-training in The Professional, and Milla Jovovich’s universe-saving alien Leeloo in The Fifth Element (1997) among them. Besson’s latest multiplex offering appears set to follow that template. »
- Chris Lee
Focus Features has released a short teaser from the forthcoming first full trailer for their adaptation of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, which you can view below. It may only be a quick 15-second snippet, but it will no doubt get fans of the film and book excited for the first trailer, which will be released online this Thursday, July 24th.
Fifty Shades of Grey has become a global phenomenon and the trilogy has been translated in over 50 languages worldwide since its initial release. To date, the book trilogy it has sold over 70million copies worldwide to become one of the fasting-selling book series of all time.
Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, and written by Mark Bomback (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and Kelly Marcel (Saving Mr. Banks), the film stars Jamie Dornan (The Fall), Dakota Johnson (Need For Speed), Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty), Luke Grimes (Taken 2 »
- Scott Davis
Johansson's titular character, a super intelligent assassin, taps into a web of mobile communications before causing havoc by driving at high speed.
The film's release date was recently pushed up.
The Besson-directed action movie was originally slated to debut on August 8, but Universal announced that the movie's new release date will be July 25.
Johansson is also in talks to star in the Coen brothers' next movie Hail, Caesar!. »
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