One of the biggest surprises and more enormous cinematic joys of 2014 (yes, it landed on our top 15 of 2014) has arrived on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download for the world to sing its praises. Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Beyond the Lights is out now on home video and features a star-making performance by both Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Nate Parker as star-crossed lovers who find a way to make the most extraordinary of romances truly sparkle.
Mbatha-Raw is Noni, a woman who has been singing like an angel since she was a little girl. Her mother (Minnie Driver) has guided her career to a place that has found her as an international pop music superstar. Yet, she is not happy. Staring a future in the face that she does not want, she makes a fateful decision and it is in that moment that she meets LAPD officer Kaz. He saves her, and it will prove to be in more ways than one.
Beyond the Lights is a delight on so many levels. It is wildly romantic. It features one of the more catchy and powerful soundtracks of the year (the track Grateful was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song). The film also shows how love can find a way, even when two people who could not be more different seem to have every hill to climb to make it work.
Raw and Parker are absolutely electric, as our theatrical Beyond the Lights review reported. For more on the movie itself, be sure to check out our take on the film that we think should be a must-see for people of all ages, backgrounds and places in life!
Given the vision of Prince-Bythewood, we can’t recommend enough the insight provided by the director’s commentary as one of the best bonus features. And before you even press play on that feature, might we recommend the director’s cut of Beyond the Lights. It is an even more sweeping version of something that is already perfection in our opinion.
One of the more moving parts of the film is the scene of Parker and Mbatha-Raw in Mexico. Imagine our delight when one of the featurettes was called Escape to Mexico 2.0. It is truly a treasure and explores even more of the combustible chemistry between the two leads in the part of the movie where the entire thing truly turns.
Changing the Conversation is also a fantastic bonus to the entire Beyond the Lights Blu-Ray package. We don’t want to give away too much from this piece that is essentially a documentary short. But it does literally Change the Conversation in a way that is so welcome in today’s movie landscape.
With the soundtrack being such a gift, the inclusion of the music video for Masterpiece is simply the icing on a sonic-cinematic cake that truly sings in the highest degrees of awesomeness.
The latest Get Hard trailer is by far the most “restricted” teaser we’ve seen in some time. But one thing it does do well is tease the impeccable comic chemistry between its leads that we had hoped would be there.
Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart join forces for the first time in the upcoming comedy.
Ferrell stars as a Wall Street type who gets convicted of bilking his investors out of hundreds of millions of dollars and is sentenced to 10 years of hard time in a maximum security prison. What’s a guy to do who feels he will be eaten alive in the prison yard by the hardest of hard criminals? Get hard!
Lucky for him, his car wash guy (Hart) promises to school him in that art to prepare him for his 10-year stint behind bars.
Of course, much of the humor comes from the fact that Hart’s character has never been to prison, knows nothing about prison and clearly has kept that from Ferrell because the money he’s throwing his way to tutor… well, that is just too good to turn down.
Craig T. Nelson, Alison Brie and Ewina Findley also star.
We expect some seriously hilarious quotes from this one as both know how to deliver some serious cinematic quotable comedy. With Ferrell delivering those Anchorman quotes and Hart giving us the Ride Along quotes, look for a whole new slate of memorable lines when Get Hard lands March 27.
Ethan Hawke is reuniting with his Training Day director and his co-star from that Oscar-winning movie. When Antoine Fuqua talked The Magnificent Seven exclusively to us last year, he talked about his joy at re-teaming with Denzel Washington in The Equalizer and then in that Western remake.
Now he has two reasons to be happy about heading out West for the cinematic revival of a classic.
Hawke got an Oscar nod for his work on Training Day and just came off another nomination for his role in Boyhood.
Also in the cast (so far) are Chris Pratt and Haley Bennett (from The Equalizer, showing that Fuqua is keeping the cast filled mostly with people he’s worked with before).
The 1960 The Magnificent Seven was a remake of the classic 1954 Akira Kurosawa Seven Samurai. This version will surely push the envelope in terms of scope, action and character development.
Look for Fuqua’s The Magnificent Seven to follow a mining town that is taken over by a less than savory gold baron. Who will play whom is yet to be determined.
Scarface showed us that Al Pacino can do anything -- even play a Cuban immigrant who takes the American Dream by any means necessary. Brian De Palma crafted a powerful and haunting picture that made us forget all about the 1932 genre-defining flick while we were watching it.
The Rat Pack enthralled audiences in 1960, but there was something about Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Matt Damon and their crew that took it to a whole new level of awesome. We suspect that has everything to do with director Steven Soderbergh.
That Mini car chase... that's all we have to say! Michael Caine and his 1969 The Italian Job met their match in this hard to believe improvement of the original due to the smallest of cars and so much more.
John Carpenter crafted a film icon all its own with 1982's The Thing. Kurt Russell was our guide to a horror story we will never forget. Sure, the 1951 Howard Hawks film is great, but Carpenter chilled us to our bones.
There was always something compelling about the H.G. Wells story War of the Worlds. What Orson Welles teased on the radio and the 1953 movie promised, Tom Cruise and Steven Spielberg triumphed with a mind-blowing epic.
When the original The Manchurian Candidate arrived in 1962, it was a thriller of its time. The Denzel Washington remake also fit its time... and if you're going to swap anyone for Angela Lansbury in the original, you can't do better than Meryl Streep.
Jess: Oh my god! It's my husband. Nicky: Whoa! Jared: Give me one reason why I shouldn't do it. Nicky: I'm drawing a blank. Jared: What? Jess: He's onto us. Nicky: First of all, you've gotta wait until she gets my pants off and then you gotta give me a chance to run. That's how you get the money. Never drop the con. Die with the lie. Jess: Then why'd you come up here? Nicky: Professional curiosity and I like boobs. I figured it was a win-win.
When you get right down to it, there's a reason Will Smith's Nicky is good at his job.
Jess: I know you're doing something big. I want in. Can we skip the part where I lead you to believe there is some earth-shattering hump in the works? Nicky: There's no earth-shattering hump in the works?! Jess: No Nicky: I don't even get thinly veiled allure? Jess: No Nicky: That's some of my favorite s***. Jess: I'm sorry.
But, could Nicky sell an air conditioner to an Eskimo?
Farhad: Who's the girl? Nicky: Her name is Jess. She's our intern. Farhad: You hitting that? Jess: Hi, I'm right here! Nicky: No, Farhad, I'm not hitting that. Farhad: You should hit that. Nicky: Again, I’m right here!
Don't mind talking about someone when she's right there, huh, guys?!
Nicky: I cannot believe you lied to me. Jess: You can't believe I lied? Nicky: I can't believe it. Jess: Oh, that's so rich from you. Nicky: That's what you want to say to me? Jess: Yeah, cause you're always lying, Nicky, and now we're dead.
Hot off the release earlier of those Jurassic World dinosaur photos that introduced us to all the species entertaining millions at the park, we’ve got a video look at how those extinct creatures were even made.
As part of the continuing (and stellar) viral effort to promote Jurassic World, Universal has released this video that chronicles how they even make those dinosaurs in the first place. And yes, we see some T-Rex eggs and a slew of others!
Watch Jurassic Park online and refresh your memory because this lab is a functioning part of the park now. And it’s a highly successful park that has quickly become one of the world’s biggest tourist destinations.
So, something probably goes a little wrong or we wouldn’t have a movie starring Chris Pratt, Vincent D’Onofrio, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jake Johnson and Ty Simpkins!
Jurassic World lands in theaters June 12 and even brings back B.D. Wong as the scientist from the first film. Although he’s not in the above viral video, we know he’s working his dino DNA magic!
The takeaway from the arrival of the Avengers: Age of Ultron teaser trailer today is that a new footage full trailer is coming for The Avengers sequel this Thursday and that alone is enough to get you excited this morning.
But, there’s a moment in the teaser trailer that has us dropping our jaw. Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow share a romantic/passionate glance at each other. Wait, what?
Now that we have your attention, guess you’ll be eagerly anticipating the arrival of the latest Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer on Thursday during American Crime on ABC at 10 p.m.
In all those Batman movies, we never really (thankfully) got a peek behind the bat cave to see what the superhero was into sexually.
Yet, if there were any superheroes out there that could be a kindred spirit to Christian Grey in Fifty Shades of Grey, one might think it would be Bruce Wayne and his alter ego.
Such is the idea behind a YouTube user named Josh Meeter who has given us a fantastic treat this morning, a trailer for Fifty Shades of Batman. And this isn’t the Val Kilmer Batman or Michael Keaton, for that would not quite fit.
With his gravely voice and tormented demeanor, his seducer of Dakota Johnson’s Anastasia Steele is Christian Bale’s Batman from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. Yup, he’s Crazy in Love alright… or maybe it’s just lust.
Look at it this way: Wayne leads a double life. So does Christian Grey. Wayne is a billionaire, so too is Grey. Wayne enjoys dressing up in leather and using assorted weapons on a daily basis. Honestly, also does Grey.
It’s actually a match made in heaven.
Now to get this out of your mind and return Batman to his rightful heroic (non-sexual) place, watch Batman Begins online and check out our favorite Batman quotes in the slideshow below!
If there was a filmmaker that was custom fit to bring the story of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to the big screen, it is Oliver Stone (JFK). And if there was an actor born to play the man, it has to be Joseph Gordon Levitt.
Good thing both are on board for the currently shooting Snowden. Between Open Road Films and Gordon’s social media pages, we have our first photos from the film that just started shooting and was only green-lit this past November!
The first two photos from the studio feature Snowden in the military (who knew?) and shows off a Gordon Levitt ready for action. The third photo is a light-hearted moment from the set, thanks to Gordon Levitt, and features him and Stone showcasing why each clearly appreciates working with the other.
Snowden made headlines for releasing tons and tons of NSA secrets from his time at the agency in protest to how the United States was conducting its foreign policy. He promptly became the target of an international manhunt. Snowden would pop up in a Russian airport, seeking asylum and that is where he still finds himself.
CITIZENFOUR recently won the Oscar for Best Documentary about this very subject, and it quickly became one of the best moments from the Oscars when host Neil Patrick Harris made the most perfect of jokes!
Snowden is based on several books that Stone turned into his script. They are Time of the Octopus and The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man.
Look for Snowden in theaters December 25 and it also stars Shailene Woodley, Tom Wilkinson, Timothy Olyphant, Nicolas Cage, Melissa Leo and Zachary Quinto -- yeah, quite a cast.
We know one thing about this next flick, the guy getting the poster spotlight today will finish the Joss Whedon written and directed movie with a not so great relationship with Tony Stark/Iron Man. We think it has everything to do with the fact that it was Stark that truthfully gave us Ultron and this will clearly lead to Captain America: Civil War. Which side will you be on?
The film’s premise is intriguing to say the least.
Isaac is Nathan Bateman, a reclusive head of an internet search company who rules the world, but is seeking so much more. He has pushed the boundaries of AI and has given one of his employees the chance of a lifetime. Caleb Smith (Gleeson) is a programmer at Bateman’s company and has given his employee the opportunity to come to his estate to spend a week and explore what the tech savant has created.
Smith is there to study, but soon learns that this experiment in AI firmly involves him. Is he there to test this creation or is he the one who is to be tested?
Soon, it appears from the trailer, that neither man is mentally or physically equipped to handle what happens when the attractive robot decides she has had enough.
Vince Vaughn is back in the funny business with the release of Unfinished Business. Over his career, he has been a large part of a number of comedy movies that have gone down in history as some of modern Hollywood’s best.
In honor of his return to the big screen, we looked back at the movie career of Vaughn and found 11 of his best comedies and ranked them all the way to number one.
Couples Retreat gets a bad rap. It's a middle of the road comedy that gets elevated for two reasons: Vince Vaughn and his old pal Jon Favreau. Then again, Kristen Bell and Kristin Davis elevate the material as well. And we love Jean Reno as Marcel. Toss in Jason Bateman and there are a lot of laughs to go around.
Delivery Man is an interesting comedy and shows us what other types of funny films Vaughn seeks to do. There’s fantastic and heartwarming humor amongst the seriousness of the idea that a man suddenly learns he has over 700 grown kids from sperm donations he did years and years ago. Having this thrust upon any actor could be a hard concept to emit, but Vaughn nails it in the most sincerely silly of ways. Oh, and his banter with a soon to be Star Lord in Chris Pratt is brilliant.
Owen Wilson and Vaughn reunited with The Internship with hopes of recapturing some of the magic from Wedding Crashers. But what critics never got was that this was an entirely different type of comedy. Sure, it featured Wilson and Vaughn as best buds going through something huge, relatable and hilarious. But The Internship was meant as more of a reflection of our world now where two 40-something guys could see themselves having to start anew in an entirely foreign work environment. Plus, to be able to get inside the world of (somewhat fictional) Google was also quite entertaining.
Ron Howard returned to comedy with two pros in his arsenal, Vaughn and Kevin James. But, who would have thought that the funniest part of the film would be Channing Tatum? See, that’s why Vaughn is so fantastic in The Dilemma. He is there to set up the other performers in the hilarity department. Witnessing him (dryly) trying to keep a secret that is killing him has the most explosively comedic result with everyone else in the film.
The Watch suffered from tragic timing. It got moved from its original release date because it had to change its name from Neighborhood Watch to The Watch after a neighborhood watch member killed someone in real life (Trayvon Martin). That had studio executives trying to separate this comedy from the reality of current events. So, The Watch was born and this group of guys trying to stop an alien invasion from spawning from a Costco-type establishment is subversively silly in the most piercing of ways.
OK, maybe Starsky & Hutch isn’t the best comedy ever made. But, there are some fantastical funny parts to this film. We had a ball watching Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller cavort in the '70s as the titular partnered cops. But, the one who sends this flick over the top is Vince Vaughn as the most CEO-type leader of a group of drug dealers that are seeking to elevate their criminal game ever higher.
The Break-Up is another one of those Vaughn comedies that has deep amounts of seriousness in it too. He and Jennifer Aniston portray a couple going through the titular life event when neither is willing to part with their awesome condo. So, neither moves out as neither (funnily) moves on with their lives.
Vaughn’s YMCA caliber gym is having trouble competing with the maybe-roided-out owner of a super gym that has landed across the street. Vaughn again re-teams with Stiller and where Stiller may have one of his most terrific roles in Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, it is Vaughn who excels again at playing the straight man who the audience hopes will triumph.
Old School may be Will Ferrell’s movie, but it is Vince Vaughn who plays our favorite character. I mean, Vaughn as the owner of a highly successful speaker store who has a happy family but is more than willing to do his part in re-living college days of fraternity-centric mayhem? Yes please, and he delivers so many of the best quotes. That is just another reason why Vaughn’s movies have serious staying power, even if his role is super small (like in Anchorman), he manages to get and knock out of the park the best comedically memorable lines in the movie.
Swingers truly introduced us to Vaughn. The performance might not have been a huge stretch from his own persona at the time, but there was a sensitivity to the chauvinistic-type aura that his character gave off. Jon Favreau and the actor showed us why they are such a good pair. Their comedic chemistry is effortless, priceless and pitch perfect. When we look back, history will say that it was Swingers that introduced us to the dynamic duo of Favreau and Vaughn, a highly amusing tandem that brought us dozens of films.
Wedding Crashers is our favorite Vince Vaughn movie because not only does he get the best quotes that we can recite all day long, but Vaughn truly has a comedy character arc that is as compelling as it is comedic. He’s a player who reluctantly and sexily gets sucked into a romantic relationship (with a sensational Isla Fisher) and that plot pathway (as well as Owen Wilson and Rachel McAdams’) leads to a weightier comedy than what could have been. Everyone is still searching for the next Wedding Crashers to take over comedy. But, there will likely only be one. It stands all by itself in what it is and what it’s about.
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John du Pont led the most unusual and subsequently criminal of lives, chronicled in Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher. The film features Oscar-nominated turns by Steve Carell and Mark Ruffalo and a career moment for Channing Tatum.
Foxcatcher arrives on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download and it is a chance to delve into one of the less talked about sensational crimes of the last 30 years and try to make sense of the senseless.
Carell scored a Best Actor nod for his turn as du Pont, an eccentric heir to the chemical family fortune who took a passion for wrestling and shook the U.S. Olympic wrestling world upside down.
Mark Shultz (Tatum) and his brother Dave (Ruffalo) are the Schultz brothers, Olympic gold medal winners in wrestling. They have a collective desire to get Mark back to the Olympics for another shot at golden glory.
After du Pont reaches out to Mark and invites him to train at his Pennsylvania-based Foxcatcher ranch, the younger brother sees it as an opportunity to escape from his sibling’s shadow. Little did he know that it would ensnarl his entire family in one seriously terrible murderous tragedy.
As we stated in our theatrical Foxcatcher review, Miller directs with a powerful even hand. It’s no wonder he scored one of those highly competitive spots this year as a Best Director nominee at the Academy Awards.
These Foxcatcher quotes also show off the strength of the E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman screenplay that takes what could have been some one-sided caricatures of real people and flushes them out with life. In fact, don’t be surprised if you seek out the documentary that is shown being filmed in the movie itself that du Pont had commissioned. Audiences will just want to see this real guy to delve further into this haunting and utterly creepy story.
The bonus features are not high in quantity, but are in quality.
The making-of featurette The Story of Foxcatcher features conversations with Tatum, Carell and Miller. Getting their insight while simultaneously learning about the film’s shoot adds layers to the entire Foxcatcher experience. Although Ruffalo may have been the best actor (by a hair) in the film, this story is truly centered on Carell and Tatum’s characters.
Hearing the pair explore their cinematic chemistry, ultimately realizing that whether the film worked or not was firmly on their shoulders, is a study in acting with a partner for film.
The Saturn Awards revealed their nominations and Captain America: The Winter Soldier dominated with 11 nominations. The Marvel movie scored nods for the sci-fi awards for Best Comic-to-Film Release, Best Actor for Chris Evans and Best Director for the Russo brothers.
The annual event salutes the best in sci-fi, fantasy and horror and Captain America: The Winter Soldier was not alone in scoring multiple nominations. Watch Guardians of the Galaxy online and there’s another flick that rocked from Marvel with its nine nominations. Sandwiched in between those two comic book movies were the 10 nominations for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.
The nominee we’re most thrilled about is Jake Gyllenhaal. After being snubbed by the Academy Awards for his role in Nightcrawler, Gyllenhaal bounced back with a Best Actor nominee for the powerful film.
The Saturn Awards are handed out June 25. To celebrate the nominee leader, don’t miss our favorite Captain America: The Winter Soldier quotes after the nominations list!
Still worth billions, the 2014 box office in the United States was the lowest since 1995. Hollywood raked in $10.35 billion last year and, yes, that is an enormous sum of money, but audiences -- as a whole -- are not as satisfied with the product that studios are giving them, now more than ever.
So, how to fix it?
We hear it from our hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook every time we report on a sequel, or TV show or remake being made as if it is huge news. For the average moviegoer, they are screaming on social media pages that they want more originality.
Cleary, audiences are also letting their voices be heard at the box offices.
Check out The Interview quotes and there’s a movie that could not have been more original, subversive and successful (albeit controversial!).
Watch John Wick online and that action flick starring Keanu Reeves pushed the boundaries of a thriller, as well as introduced the world to a fresh face in filmmaking and a story that was original, even if it was in a genre we all know (and love). And it was a huge hit!
The success of the Luc Besson film that you can see when you watch Lucy online is further proof that audiences want something that pushes the envelope on the fresh factor. We don’t necessarily need to see Scarlett Johansson kick ass as Black Widow in her own movie. Film fans were thrilled to see her do it as a character we’ve never seen before.
We have seven suggestions for those in Hollywood who green light projects. Let us know if you think that these thoughts will help the opinion that audiences have that there is no creativity in the land of make believe.
As much as we are guilty of being excited for the upcoming Jon M. Chu version of Blumhouse's Jem and the Holograms, more often than not, films based on pop culture fare that isn't film-based really miss the mark. For every 21 Jump Street, there is a Marmaduke and The Smurfs. The difference, and this is the only reason 21 Jump Street worked, was there was a pair of smart creators behind it who took it in a new and fresh direction. If you have nothing original to offer, then why are you doing it at all? Audiences have wised up to you and every time a Six Million Dollar Man or T.J. Hooker movie is announced, you wonder why people roll their collective eyes.
Sure, Journey to the Center of the Earth did surprisingly well. But, the operative word in that sentence is "surprisingly." Given that fact, do not make Journey 2 and re-cast Dwayne Johnson for Brendan Fraser. OK, that one made some money too, but it doesnâ€™t mean it was any good. All it did was further have audiences' faith in the originality of Hollywood be dented.
Look at this year's Oscar nominees and you'll find some incredible movies that had audiences amazed, from Whiplash (Damien Chazelle) to Nightcrawler (Dan Gilroy). When someone new comes along, audiences get excited about the storytelling potential coming their way from Tinseltown. Not that we don't want films from our favorite filmmaking veterans, but when marks are made such as were in 2014 with some wildly original movies, I say, studios, give more of those folks a shot and prepare to have audiences in the palms of your hands.
Another thing that moviegoers complain about lately is how trailers give away too much of the story. When they finally sit in the theater and witness the film that they have paid to see, they realize that some of the best parts of the motion picture -- they've already seen! A trailer is meant to tease. We even prefer the word "teaser." Donâ€™t give away the farm! One way to avoid this is to limit the number of trailers that are created. Why not stop at two trailers and leave the audience guessing?
When Movie Fanatic worked in a video store back in the day, the average amount of time it took for a film to go from theatrical release to home video release was at the minimum a year. With so many movies arriving on DVD, Blu-Ray and digital download so soon after their theatrical release, a pervasive attitude has also arrived from moviegoers. Why leave the comfort of my home with my super sick home video system and pay money to go to a theater when I can wait a few months and see it at home? They're NOT wrong. Let's return to waiting a year for home videos. Watch attendance in theaters grow.
No matter who we talk to in our junket interviews (from Jennifer Aniston to Benedict Cumberbatch), they all say the same thing. Hollywood does not make movies unless they are micro budgeted indies or blockbuster tent poles. The $50 to $60 million movie does not exist anymore. Bring back those and many genres (like murder mysteries -- Gone Girl was a huge success -- and elaborate comedies, for example) will return to please audience members who feel their interests have been ignored of late.
We realize it's not the studio system anymore. They donâ€™t control how actors and actresses decide on what to do and when to be seen. But talent agents -- listen up! Certain people can pull off the "they are everywhere" thing like Channing Tatum (he's in five movies in 2015). Others, unfortunately cannot. It seems like every couple of years we get a star that happens to be in every movie that arrives every other month. Audiences might be more likely to go see a film featuring one of our emerging A-listers if they feel that they haven't just seen them in something else. There's plenty of talent in this town, use it.
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There has been a whole lot of casting news emerging from Independence Day 2!
Now, we knew that there was no way that Will Smith would be in Independence Day 2, But, we always wondered whether Jeff Goldblum might be back to reprise his role as David Levinson, the man who seemed to know all along that the alien invaders from Independence Day were not here for a good time.
Director Roland Emmerich took to his Facebook page and made the announcement that Goldblum would return and that he had some other casting news as well.
Remember the little boy who was the son of Smith in the first film? Well, he’s all grown up and will be one of our leads in Independence Day 2 and he will be played by Jessie Usher.
“My producing partner Harald Kloser noticed Jessie in between sets of pushups at the gym and gave him an audition,” Emmerich said on his social media page. “As they say, the rest is history!”
Another actor who is no stranger to franchises has also signed on to the follow-up that is 20 years in the making. Liam Hemsworth of The Hunger Games movies has also accepted a role as one of the leads. It is rumored that he will play the son-in-law of President Whitmore (Bill Pullman) from the first movie.
I Still Know What You Did Last Summer and you know what... I still don't care. Jennifer Love Hewitt and her pals head for a tropical vacation, only to have terror follow them. Audiences, on the other hand, did not.
Zootopia looks to keep the trend of awesomeness coming from Disney Animation. After Big Hero 6 and Frozen won back-to-back Oscars for Best Animated feature, we might have an early favorite for the award in 2017. That is solely from the first images to be released from Zootopia.
The concept art landed and between the outrageously gorgeous landscape shot and our first look at a character from the film that is due March 4, 2016, we see immense promise in these early animated images.
Zootopia is a mammal metropolis that is supremely modern. It is described as a “melting pot where animals from every environment live together – a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything.”
One of our main characters is Officer Judy Hopps. She is the first bunny to take a job on the city’s police force. Not only is she the first rabbit to sign up to fight crime, but she’s drastically smaller than every other law enforcement officer that comprises Zootopia’s finest.
She is determined and ready to show that she belongs. So she jumps (pun intended) at the chance to work a case with one of the smoothest foxes in town, Nick Wilde.
Zootopia is helmed by the guys who brought us Tangled and Bolt, Byron Howard and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph), and co-directed by Jared Bush.
While we wonder whether there will be a third Sherlock Holmes movie starring Robert Downey Jr., we have something that will more than satisfy your hunger for a mystery involving one of literature's great detectives.
Ian McKellen stars as Mr. Holmes, a late in his years Sherlock Holmes who is enjoying his retirement… for the most part.
See, there’s one unsolved case that is haunting him and although his memory is fading, Holmes feels he must solve this murder before death calls him too.
The first trailer for Mr. Holmes has landed and we cannot think of a better actor than McKellen to tackle the legendary sleuth.
Mr. Holmes reunites McKellen with his Gods and Monsters director (a role that earned the actor an Oscar), Bill Condon. The film takes place in 1947 and centers around Holmes at his country estate, being cared for by his housekeeper (the always awesome Laura Linney) and her young (and inquisitive) son -- who takes up a great interest in the legendary detective.
McKellen is just so impressive. First he was Magneto, then Gandalf, and now Sherlock Holmes? Simply wow… and check him out in his recent work as Magneto and watch X-Men: Days of Future Past online.
When The Dark Knight failed to be nominated for Best Picture, even though it was clearly Oscar-worthy (it won a Best Supporting Actor for Heath Ledger as The Joker), the Academy famously expanded the field of Best Picture nominees from five to ten.
Then the institution subsequently slightly altered that to say that it could be anywhere from five to ten nominees. Now, after the expansion failed to get the big budget blockbusters that are also critical darlings (like Guardians of the Galaxy and Gone Girl) nominated for the film world’s top prize, word is the Academy is looking to return to the five nominee format.
The Academy had also hoped that if films such as Guardians of the Galaxy and The Dark Knight (the film that spurred the idea in the first place) were nominated, it would result in more people actually watching the Oscars broadcast to see if their favorite movie would take home the gold.
That didn’t happen. Ratings have remained stagnant, or dropped in recent years.
We think that the ten picture format is not a bad idea at all, as long as ten films are nominated.
Why, oh why, did they only nominate eight films this year for Best Picture (of which only one was a blockbuster and that was the $300 million-earning American Sniper, which only took home one award)? As we have repeatedly stated, Guardians of the Galaxy was totally worthy of a nod -- so too was Nightcrawler and the film you can see when you watch Edge of Tomorrow online, Tom Cruise’s biggest hit in years.
The old adage of use it or lose it comes to mind with a potential rule change like this. If the Academy is not going to nominate the very types of movies it sought to by expanding the Best Picture category, then why even have it in the first place?
We hope they do not return to the five picture nominee format, but if they do, it’s not like much was missed in the first place.
What do you think?
Should the Oscars go back to nominating only five movies?
Here are the best moments from this year’s Academy Awards!
Patricia Arquette used her priceless Oscar acceptance speech time to make a statement about gender equality. Given that her character in Boyhood was a single mom who did a bang-up job raising two children, she knew she could go political because it was right, and it was fitting given the role that got her the Oscar she was grasping. She proceeded to demand equal rights and equal pay for women... and the place erupted in joy. Well done, Patricia, well done.
JK Simmons was a lock from the moment Whiplash premiered. He has won every award along the way this award season. And he has thanked his "above average" children in every speech (paying tribute to Garrison Keillor while saluting his kids). In his Oscar acceptance speech, he said it again, but then went on to say something about being a parent and it touched us. "Everybody, call your mom, call your dad. If you're lucky enough to have a parent alive on this planet, call 'em. Don't email. Don't text them. Call them on the phone, tell them you love them, thank them, and listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you."
We adore NPH, but he may have been just "eh" as an Oscar host. We say invite him back next year and see what he does now that he has one under his belt. But, you cannot deny the awesomeness of some of his best Oscar night quotes:
"Benedict Cumberbatch... Itâ€™s not only the most awesome name in show business, it's also the sound you get when you ask John Travolta to pronounce Ben Affleck."
"Tonight, we honor the best and whitest."
"Edward Snowden could not be here for some treason."
"American Sniper with Bradley Cooper is the most prolific sniper in history, with over 160 confirmed kills. Or, as Harvey Weinstein calls it, a slow morning."
"And now, an actor whoâ€™s as appealing playing a male stripper as he is playing a wrestler in a onesie. He's the real deal, pants down. Hands down. Did I say pants? I meant pants."
Lubezki won his second straight Best Cinematography Oscar for Birdman. After winning last year for his stunning work on Gravity, he became only the second cinematographer in Oscar history to win back to back.
Okay, maybe it wasnâ€™t the hugest of upsets. But, given that the favorite to win was How to Train Your Dragon 2 (it won most of the major awards along the way), the delight of the filmâ€™s directors was palpable. Plus, Disney Animation kept the Best Animated Feature Oscar for another year (they won last year for Frozen).
Seeing Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island with Tegan and Sara at the Oscars was truly awesome. That performance was off the charts and everything we expected from a live performance of The LEGO Movie song and more. And yes, that was Will Arnett as Batman live and in person!
In an homage to Birdmanâ€™s iconic Times Square scene where Michael Keaton gets caught outside with his robe stuck in the stage door and has nothing left to do but go out in public in his tighty whities, cheers to host NPH for doing the same in front of billions. Yes, thatâ€™s billions with a "b."
Kudos to John Travolta for taking the mispronunciation of Idina Menzel's name at last year's Oscars and running with it. He was the subject of a fantastic joke by host Harris and then took the stage WITH Menzel to give an award. But then, he made headlines again for getting very handsy with her face!
In all our years of watching the Oscars, we have never seen a standing ovation as powerful as the one after John Legend and Common performed Glory from Selma. That performance was one for the ages and was moving beyond belief. Yes, there was not a dry eye in the house or in millions of homes across the world.
The winner for The Imitation Game Best Screenplay moved us tremendously when he said, "I tried to commit suicide at 16 and now I'm standing here. I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn't fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it's your turn and you are standing on this stage, please pass the same message along."
Lady Gaga and Sound of Music? Those two things together seem an odd pairing but they could not have been more perfect as the pop singer hit it out of the park and even got major props by (surprise!) Julie Andrews, who presented after Gaga finished wowing us with a medley of songs from the 50-year-anniversary tribute to The Sound of Music.
Patrick Willems should be contacted immediately if Wes Anderson needs a new cinematographer. The man published a love letter to what seems like it would be bitterly opposite film worlds with one fantastic video.
Willems wondered what would happen if Wes Anderson directed an X-Men movie!
The “trailer” is below and it is fantastic. We get Willems’ own version of “Magneto,” “Professor X” and even “Wolverine.” For fans of both The Grand Budapest Hotel filmmaker and the Marvel comic book/movie series, prepare to marvel at this guy’s talent.
From Memento to The Dark Knight Rises, Christopher Nolan continually pushes the envelope and leaves his audience utterly breathless. With this fall's Interstellar's buzz through the roof, that looks like it won't change.
Even Steven Spielberg's so-so movies are great. It's hard to think he has been delivering fantastic films for so many decades. We can't wait to see what he does next and hopes he never puts down his camera.
Sure, he doesn't direct as much as we'd like. But there is something extraordinary about him when he does. Whether it The Fifth Element or The Professional, you know you're watching a Besson film. We. Can't. Wait. For. Lucy.
After impressing us in the early '90s with Point Break, it's nice to see Kathryn Bigelow get the credit she deserves with her Oscar win for The Hurt Locker and nominations for Zero Dark Thirty. Whatever she does next, count us in.
Wes Anderson has the most unique of styles and although his subjects change, what doesn't is the brilliance of his work. From Bottle Rocket and Rushmore to The Grand Budapest Hotel, Anderson is just getting started.
Ang Lee is an underappreciated visionary. And the reason we use the word "underappreciated" is that audiences are always so surprised when he delivers us greatness. Life of Pi... no one should have been surprised that was so great.
No one takes a sensational screenplay and brings it to life like Alexander Payne. From Election and Sideways to The Descendants and now the Oscar-nominated Nebraska, Payne shows he is beyond gifted as a storyteller.
Although there are some actors (George Clooney, Lily Tomlin) who may disagree with us, David O. Russell is a master at what he does. We adore his Three Kings. The Fighter is a movie to treasure and Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle are both instant classics.
Ben Affleck has gone three-for-three in his short directing career. At this point, if he is attached as helmer, we'll be first in line. His Best Picture win for Argo only proves that he is just getting started on his road to being considered one of Hollywood's best -- of all time.
Nobody should be surprised to see the Coen brothers on this list! Whether it's comedies (Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski), crime dramas (No Country for Old Men) or Westerns (True Grit), is there anything these guys can't do?
David Fincher has been one of our favorites since he directed a music video for Aerosmith (Janie's Got a Gun). Zodiac is one of the more underappreciated movies in recent memory and he could not have been a better choice to helm Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. To say we're excited for his Gone Girl, well, that is just underestimating our eagerness!
In the final moments of the new (and best) trailer for the sequel to The Avengers, we get our first look at Paul Bettany as The Vision. And it is something to behold.
How he will play into this film is a mystery, so far, but if we were to bet, he is the key to defeating the James Spader-voiced Ultron... a "peacekeeper" that Tony Stark built that has come back to bite him in the behind.
"I was designed to save the world. People looked to the sky and see hope. Iâ€™ll take that from them first," Spader says hauntingly in the opening moments of the latest Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer -- as if there was any doubt this guy was an impeccable choice to voice (and take the mo-cap suit for) Ultron. We have a feeling Spader as Ultron will give that Loki guy a serious run for your villain money.
He was trying to â€œbuild a suit of armor around the worldâ€ and instead he built â€œsomething terrible.â€ Hey, Stark, donâ€™t kill yourself. Your Avengers pals may do that for you before this saga is over. Starkâ€™s peacekeeping robots are doing anything but keeping the peace in the latest Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer.
Everyone always wondered if Black Widow would hook up with Captain America. But, did anyone see this potential romance between Bruce Banner and the Russian assassin coming? And honestly, is it even real? This is a â€œteaserâ€ trailer after all!
Whedon scored so many points with the first The Avengers for flashing his wicked sense of humor throughout. And even though it appears the world is threatened with extinction in the latest trailer for Whedonâ€™s sequel, those trademark laugh moments still permeate throughout. We love how Natasha (Scarlett Johansson) tells Stark that he has â€œamazingly failed.â€ Even Mr. Serious, Captain America, laughed at that one!
If The Avengers was known for just one thing, it was that shot of all the heroes in a circle ready to battle Lokiâ€™s army. â€œThe shotâ€ this time around, what is it, you ask? How about Thor, Black Widow, The Hulk, Captain America, Iron Man and Hawkeye all (literally) flying through the air in the forest? Thatâ€™s the one!
It wouldnâ€™t be an Avengers movie if there wasnâ€™t an iconic moment for Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to deliver a speech. And boy, oh boy, does he get that opportunity when the stakes have never been higher for our heroes.
Quicksilver and his twin sister, Scarlet Witch, are drawn to the dark side that is Ultron. To see Quicksilver (after we first saw the character in X-Men: Days of Future Past) is pure joy. Heâ€™s fighting Cap!
Stark says that there is â€œno way we all get through this.â€ Considering he started it, he needs to be a bit surer of the potential for saving the day. Cap sees it as he says (with more humor!), â€œI have no plans tomorrow night.â€ Could this be another spoke in the wheel that is the rift that is coming in Captain America: Civil War?
Whedon and Marvel have done a marvelous (get it?) job with teasing their villain. With this latest trailer, we at least get to see our villain from the waist up. And yes, the scary factor keeps growing higher.