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A handsome movie in many ways, but it feels like an unpolished first draft, one that can’t quite decide how fantastical it wants to be. I’m “biast” (pro): like Keanu Reeves more than most
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
This umpteenth iteration of the Japanese legend of the 47 ronin, or masterless samurai warriors, has its fair share of problems, but not as many as you’ve heard, and not as many as the presence of poor Keanu Reeves — who has unfairly become a cinematic punchline — may have led you to believe. Stolid, stoic Reeves (The Day the Earth Stood Still, Street Kings) is well-cast as the half-Japanese, half-British Kai, whose status as an outcast in xenophobic 18th-century Japan means he has to keep his eyes down and his mouth shut, and the actor maintains a modest presence throughout, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The "star" of Sports Illustrated's 2010 swimsuit-issue cover has done the occasional screen role in movies ("Battleship," "Just Go With It") and television ("New Girl," "Royal Pains"), but she commits fully as an ensemble-cast member of the CBS sitcom "Friends With Better Lives," premiering Monday (March 31).
There's little question Decker understands her new character well, since the newly engaged Jules is an ex-model and aspiring actress. "When we were shooting the pilot, it was probably the most nervous I've ever been going into a job," the engagingly friendly performer tells Zap2it. 'I was shaking and sweating, and my teeth were chattering.
"The theater I had done, it was in North Carolina doing 'Winnie the Pooh.' It wasn't anything on such a massive scale as filming a multi-camera »
The cause of Rihanna's money woes from earlier in her career are still being sorted out and her ex-accountant is firing back on the singer's charges, he is seeking to have her lawsuit against him dismissed. Peter Gounis has filed a response to the 'The Monster' hitmaker's lawsuit, in which she claims he left her virtually bankrupt and $9 million in debt in 2009, insisting he was only hired to record and manage her accounts and not to give her advice about her spending. In new court documents, obtained by gossip website TMZ.com, he claims the 26-year-old star blew millions of her own money on shopping sprees and throwing extravagant parties for herself. He also said she dropped out of an expensive tour to shoot her movie 'Battleship' that turned out to be a massive failure. In her claim, Rihanna - whose real name is Robyn Fenty - »
The gloves are off in the fight between Rihanna and her ex-accountant -- the money man is now firing back in their legal battle over $9 million the singer claims she lost on his watch ... calling her a financially impaired moron.Accountant Peter Gounis filed the response to Rihanna's lawsuit, insisting he was hired to record and manage her financial accounts -- Not give her rudimentary spending advice.Gounis claims Rihanna blew through millions of »
- TMZ Staff
As we creep towards the time when J.J. Abrams will reluctantly have to reveal exactly who is appearing in Star Wars: Episode VII, the casting rumours and apparently leaked studio wish lists are continuing to taunt(aun) us. With Adam Driver in talks to be the villain, Variety reports that John Boyega, Ed Speleers, Matthew James Thomas, Ray Fisher and the previously talked up Jesse Plemons are high on the list to play one of the heroes.Naturally, neither Disney nor Abrams have gone on the record about the potential casting choices, so for now we urge you to keep the Star Wars Rumour Alert klaxon close to hand for now. Boyega, of course, is no stranger to aliens after Attack The Block, while Speleers has most recently been in Downton Abbey. Thomas has worked in TV and on the stage, and had a role in Billy Elliot. Fisher is more of an unknown. »
Pushing back against “Save the Cat,” The Bitter Script Reader recently looked to the burrito theft scene in Peter Berg’s Battleship as the inverse proposition. A story scenario that, instead of endearing the audience to the hero, leaves them uninspired by him. The quick and dirty version is this: Taylor Kitsch breaks into a convenience store, unprompted, in order to steal a burrito for Brooklyn Decker and win her heart with cold-in-the-middle fast food. It all goes very un-James Bond, the police are called, and he gets hilariously tased. Bitter sees it as a misfire. His money quote: Also – just because I accept a guy’s libido would make him stupid enough to do this, it doesn’t mean I’d respect any woman who was actually wooed by this behavior. By extension, I question any audience member who looks at this and says, “I’m So pulling for this guy.” No »
- Scott Beggs
Director: Mikael Hafstrom
Running Time: 115 minutes
Synopsis: Escape artist Ray Breslin (Stallone) makes a living out of testing the security of prisons by going in and getting out. But when he finds himself betrayed and left for dead in an impossibly complex facility, he must team up with the mysterious Rottmayer (Schwarzenegger) to form… An Escape Plan.
“You look like a man who finds things interesting,” says Arnie to Sly. I honestly don’t know if that’s a really good line or a really bad line. This is indicative of the whole film which finds itself falling between two big, meaty stools, if you can imagine such a thing. On one hand it is forgettable, incredibly cliched, predictable, forgettable, poorly acted and not very memorable. On the other hand it is an »
- John Sharp
The trailer also features a wheelchair-bound Julia Roberts issue a harsh warning, as emotions run high during the onset of the HIV-aids crisis in the early 1980s.
While panic and controversy ensues against the backdrop of New York City, Ruffalo and Bomer's characters look to expose the truth about the epidemic.
The Normal Heart will debut on Sunday, May 25 at 9/8c on HBO. »
Matthew McConaughey’s journey from rom-com stud muffin to Oscar-winning actor is officially complete. Six years ago, he starred in Fool’s Gold and Surfer, Dude. At Sunday night’s Oscars, he took home the Best Actor prize for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club, the culmination of a string of career-rehabilitating roles that included Magic Mike and Mud. McConaughey was always a popular star, and his frivolous, formulaic romantic comedies likely served as golden handcuffs for several years of his career that left him in a creative rut. Give him credit for recognizing that and then actually doing something about it. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Exclusive: CAA has signed actor Taylor Kitsch. Here’s the guy who – after playing one of the great recent TV characters in fullback Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights and then a small but showy role as Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine – seemed like he was going to be the next big leading man. That was before he suffered a hellacious summer when the two big movies he starred in, John Carter and Battleship, both flopped. But Kitsch has put himself back on the track with a good showing in the Oliver Stone-directed Savages and most recently playing the Medal of Honor-winning Long Island-bred Navy Seal Michael Murphy in the Peter Berg-directed Lone Survivor. Kitsch was last repped by Wme but has been agent-less this year until now. He continues to be managed by Untitled Entertainment, and he next stars in the ensemble of HBO’s adaptation »
- MIKE FLEMING JR
Fans really shouldn’t have been surprised when Screen Gems snagged the American remake rights to director Gareth Evans’ breakthrough action film The Raid: Redemption. After all, the film received praise from both critics (read our own Kofi Outlaw’s review) and fans alike, and with positive buzz already brewing for The Raid 2: Berandal, it’s set to become a hit franchise in its own right.
The anticipated release of the sequel film has inevitably sparked development in the English-language remake. Battleship writers Jon and Erich Hoeber were initially reported to be working on the script, but more recent reports have credited Brad Ingelsby (Out of the Furnace) as the film’s writer, with director ...
Click to continue reading ‘Expendables 3′ Director Confirmed to Helm ‘The Raid: Redemption’ Remake
The post ‘Expendables 3′ Director Confirmed to Helm ‘The Raid: Redemption’ Remake appeared first on Screen Rant.
- Robert Yaniz Jr.
With all the hoopla about the big Sunday night movie award show, many of you might not have gotten the list of the big winners from Saturday night’s big movie awards show. I’m talking about the 34th Annual Razzie Awards. They were started in 1980 by John Wilson to celebrate the movie year’s worst achievements. The hour-long ceremony was held this past Saturday evening down the street from the site of Sunday’s big show. Without further ado, here’s the nominees and winners for the 2013 film year:
Worst Remake, Rip-off, Or Sequel:
- Jim Batts
Liam Neeson may not have become a full-fledged action star until he was in his mid-50s, but the man is proving downright unstoppable at the box office. Neeson’s latest action outing, Non-Stop, bested the competition this Oscar weekend with a stronger-than-expected $30 million opening, knocking The Lego Movie out of the No. 1 spot it had held for three straight weeks and topping the weekend’s other major debut, Son of God, which took second place with $26.5 million.
- Josh Rottenberg
Since 2009's surprise hit "Taken," Liam Neeson, an actor formerly known for his serious performances in things like "Schindler's List" and "Michael Collins," has taken up residence as a go-to action icon. In the last few years he's been "Taken" twice (with a third installment on the way), battled a nasty nest of aquatic aliens in "Battleship," and been mercilessly hunted by a pack of wild wolves in the admirably grim "The Grey." With his massive frame and his gravelly voice that sounds like he's continually just finished off several dozen cigarettes, he's the rare action star who actually seems like he could handle the preposterous situations he's dealt. And in his latest thriller, "Non-Stop," that situation is pretty preposterous indeed: this time the star is cast as an alcoholic air marshal accused of hijacking a transatlantic flight. Thankfully, no wolves are on the plane. When "Non-Stop" starts, Neeson's Bill Marks »
- Drew Taylor
Liam Neeson has battled terrorists on land (Taken), he’s fought aliens at sea (Battleship) and now, the actor can say that he’s part of the action genre Mile High Club thanks to his latest film, Non-Stop. Directed by frequent Joel Silver collaborator, Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan/Unknown), we once again watch Liam become entangled in some thrilling bit of drama involving an airplane, a drinking problem, and a hidden bomb – presenting plenty of ass-kicking opportunities along the way. Simple set up, similar action, and more serious faces from Liam Neeson (Exhibit A above), but at least the single-setting situation presented by an airplane in flight creates a fresh bit of fun for audiences to wrap their minds around. Where a film like Taken 2 felt stale and rehashed, Non-Stop challenges typical genre norms by confining fight scenes to tiny bathroom stalls and crowded aisles – a saving grace that creates »
- Matt Donato
One of the most consistently bankable stars in Hollywood, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has dabbled in everything from high-octane action (the Fast & Furious franchise) to family fare (Journey 2: The Mysterious Island) to reality television (TNT’s The Hero). Now, premium cable channel HBO is getting in on the action by ordering a half-hour comedy called Ballers, which Johnson will both star in and executive-produce.
Ballers will follow the lives of a diverse assortment of current and former football players. Johnson stars as Spencer Strasmore, a retired athlete. The show will also star Omar Benson Miller as “affable” former athlete Charles; John David Washington as “highly competitive and highly spiritual” pro athlete Ricky; Rob Corddry as financial advisor Joe; Troy Garity as a top-of-the-line sports agent named Jason, Donovan Carter as Vernon, a pro athlete struggling to keep the focus on his family; Jazmyn Simon as Julie, the wife of »
- Isaac Feldberg
Friday Night Lights was a series highly praised by critics, but seen and talked about by few outside of its loyal fanbase. Series creator/executive producer Peter Berg (Battleship) brought something truly unique to NBC, as the show turned out to be about so much more than High School Football.
Sure, from week to week, one could witness an exciting touchdown pass to win the big game, but the show’s the deeply layered ensemble cast, which rivaled other critical behemoths of its time, like Mad Men and Breaking Bad.
With the series’ departure in 2011, many wondered if Dillon, Texas football would live again. Talks of a new film filled the rumor mills, but Parenthood and former Friday ...
Click to continue reading ‘Friday Night Lights’ & ‘Parenthood’ Crossover Series in Development
The post ‘Friday Night Lights’ & ‘Parenthood’ Crossover Series in Development appeared first on Screen Rant.
- David Griffin
To jaded adult moviegoers, "The Lego Movie" may not have seemed to have the blueprint for success. A hyperactive cartoon based on a set of toy bricks? Indeed, predictions for the movie's debut this weekend were all over the place, from $43 million to $68 million.
As it turned out, however, the movie surpassed even the most optimistic expectations, premiering with an estimated $69.1 million, nearly $50 million ahead of its nearest competitor. That makes it the biggest opening of the year to date, and the second biggest February opening ever, behind only "The Passion of the Christ" (which debuted with $83.9 million in 2004). That's also higher than the $65.4 million earned by 2012's "Battleship," the last big toy-to-movie adaptation, during its entire North American theatrical run.
What were the building blocks of "The Lego Movie"'s blockbuster success? Here are some of them.
- Gary Susman
Metropolis Movie Music
One of the more surprising developments this winter has been the financial success of Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor, a half true-to-life action thriller about 2005′s failed Operation Red Wings. Against the Oscar fare that typically hits multiplexes this time of year, it’s grossed an estimated $108 million as of February 7. It’s also fueled debate over the authenticity of the film’s events as adapted from Patrick Robinson’s gussied-up memoir. In addition to multiplying the number of Taliban forces Petty Officer Marcus Luttrell and his team fought, Lone Survivor makes little effort to complicate U.S. involvement in the Middle East beyond black-and-white terms. While some of the blame falls squarely on Berg’s (and Robinson’s) shoulders, Lone Survivor’s score deserves some heat, too.
Enlisting the services of Texas post-rockers Explosions in the Sky »
- David Klein
Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller adapt the classic building block toys for hilarious "The Lego Movie." Forget Transformers and purge director Peter Berg’s Battleship completely from memory. The title of top toy movie franchise belongs to the heroes and villains made of popular Lego building blocks. Oh, and throw unlikely, multiplex good time atop the title mix. Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller of Cloudy With a Chance Meatballs and 21 Jump Street co-direct The Lego Movie and outdo each other with clever gags, outrageous puns and a loving spoof of the classic building block toys. »
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