Articles on this Page
- 03/11/15--15:20: _25 Little-Known The...
- 03/11/15--15:08: _Liam Neeson To Do A...
- 03/11/15--15:10: _Jurassic World: Chr...
- 03/11/15--23:13: _Cinderella Exclusiv...
- 03/11/15--22:46: _Knights of the Roun...
- 03/12/15--11:00: _Hotel Transylvania ...
- 03/12/15--11:00: _Furious 7 Behind th...
- 03/12/15--10:28: _Frozen Fever Review...
- 03/12/15--10:39: _First Star Wars Spi...
- 03/12/15--11:05: _Frozen 2: John Lass...
- 03/12/15--13:44: _Fantastic Four Reve...
- 03/13/15--07:24: _Insurgent Review: T...
- 03/13/15--11:00: _Avengers Age of Ult...
- 03/13/15--07:50: _4 Reasons Why Summe...
- 03/13/15--07:33: _Run All Night Revie...
- 03/13/15--07:37: _Cinderella Review: ...
- 03/13/15--08:00: _Original Star Wars ...
- 03/13/15--09:21: _Mike Tyson Biopic G...
- 03/13/15--10:07: _Avengers Age of Ult...
- 03/13/15--11:04: _13 Horrific Facts A...
- 03/11/15--15:08: Liam Neeson To Do Action Movies for “Maybe Two Years” More
- 03/11/15--15:10: Jurassic World: Chris Pratt Is on the Run!
- 03/11/15--22:46: Knights of the Roundtable: First Photo & Synopsis Revealed!
- 03/12/15--11:00: Hotel Transylvania 2 Teaser Trailer: The Drac Pack Is Back!
- 03/12/15--11:00: Furious 7 Behind the Scenes: Bigger & Better!
- 03/12/15--10:28: Frozen Fever Review: Love Olaf? You’ll Love Snowgies!
- 03/12/15--10:39: First Star Wars Spin-Off Called Rogue One!
- 03/12/15--11:05: Frozen 2: John Lasseter Says It’s In the Works!
- 03/12/15--13:44: Fantastic Four Reveals Photos: Miles Teller Is Fantastic!
- 03/13/15--07:24: Insurgent Review: Tris Prior Grows Up
- 03/13/15--07:50: 4 Reasons Why Summer 2017 Should Be Renamed Summer of Disney
- 03/13/15--07:33: Run All Night Review: Liam Neeson & Ed Harris Go Gangster
- 03/13/15--07:37: Cinderella Review: Charming Is Just the Beginning!
- 03/13/15--08:00: Original Star Wars Trilogy Coming to Blu-Ray Uncut!
- 03/13/15--11:04: 13 Horrific Facts About Friday the 13th
The Hunt for Red October came out 25 years ago this week and it wasn’t always a given that the Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin Cold War thriller would be a blockbuster hit.
Author Tom Clancy had serious trouble getting the book sold in the first place!
Then, there were those casting issues as both lead roles were to be famously played by others. There were also a few names that were in the running that might be quite shocking.
Although those The Hunt for Red October quotes show how impeccable the script was at capturing Clancy’s tense prose, there were issues in post production that could have derailed the film completely.
We celebrate the 25th anniversary of a classic and present 25 things about The Hunt for Red October that maybe you did not know!
Watch The Hunt for Red October online and after checking out our slideshow of fun facts, we bet you’ll look at the Jack Ryan first film a little differently.
Since the success of Taken, Liam Neeson has enjoyed a nice career revival as an action hero. The actor was already a huge success and an Oscar nominee (for Schindler’s List) and enjoyed wide acclaim and fame.
But when Taken landed, it changed everything.
He has another action flick coming out this week, Run All Night, which finds him as a mob assassin trying to keep himself and his son (Joel Kinnaman) alive for just one more night while he figures out who is trying to wipe out the entire mobster business that he protects.
Just earlier this year, Neeson had massive box office success with Taken 3, and several months before that, he ruled the action movie genre again with the dark and delicious A Walk Among the Tombstones.
Neeson is 62-years-young and when interviewed by The Guardian for his latest role, he was asked how much longer he could see doing this action hero thing. “Maybe two more years, if God spares me and I’m healthy,” he said. “But after that, I’ll stop [the action] I think.”
We hope the operative phrase in that quote is “I think.” Neeson is actually no stranger to action with his early career work in Darkman and of course in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
Recently, he has also had The A-Team, Unknown, Non-Stop and The Grey… and of course Taken 2.
He goes comedy again this summer in Ted 2, reuniting with his A Million Ways to Die in the West helmer Seth MacFarlane, but after that, maybe it’ll only be a few more flicks where he kicks ass.
Movie Fanatic certainly hopes not -- although, we wouldn’t mind him returning to deep and rich roles, like the one that brought him an Academy Award nomination.
See how Neeson's action career got going (again) and watch Taken online.
The latest tweet from one of the most anticipated movies of 2015, Jurassic World, is one stunning photo. It features Chris Pratt running heroically and was tweeted with the caption, “Don't look back. #JurassicWorld.”
The actual photo contains the text “If something chases you… run.” For those who have been paying attention, that is a line uttered by Judy Greer to her son who was heading to the dino park in the first Jurassic World trailer.
It’s easy to think that Pratt is running away from something horrifying and absolutely life threatening. But, might we suggest that he is not alone and he's running to something?!
By saying, “Don’t look back,” sure, you might think he’s in flight or fight mode, but if I’m someone who has gotten into the raptor whispering business (as clearly Pratt's character has), one could argue that he is running towards something with some pretty fierce company.
We’ll find out soon enough as Jurassic World is set to hit theaters June 12. It also stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Jake Johnson, Ty Simpkins, Vincent D’Onofrio and features the return of B.D. Wong.
Watch Jurassic Park online and see how it all got started.
Kenneth Branagh has had the most diverse of movie directing careers. From his early work with Henry V through Thor and now bringing to life the Disney animated classic Cinderella, his work is varied, but always brilliantly Branagh.
We caught up with Branagh to talk Cinderella for an exclusive chat where he let us in on what makes him accept a directing job. For instance, Cinderella could have been seen as a no-win situation. It is a beloved Disney classic. But, he saw something in the story that he could put his unique stamp on and a new Disney classic has been born.
Branagh also dishes why Lily James was the perfect Cinderella and even takes us back in time to reveal how he first encountered the classic Dead Again. His reaction to that script was the same he had for the fairy tale about a woman, a glass slipper and a prince. Yet this Cinderella, he also tells us, won’t find its heroine waiting for her rescue. She’ll be just fine on her own.
Movie Fanatic: What made you want to tackle Cinderella? It could have been a no-win situation.
Kenneth Branagh: You always have to go to the script and I always try to carefully read in a quiet place and listen to my reaction. I was really caught by it. I was also surprised to be asked. And I was surprised by its deceptive simplicity. I found that it punched above its weight emotionally. I was much moved by it. I wanted to do an update that observed the parts of the fairy tale that I wanted to still see. I wanted to see the set pieces and I wanted to take a classic approach. But, I felt this semi-revolutionary idea of being courageous and kind would be something that would be fun to put at the center of the film.
Movie Fanatic: One thing I enjoyed was that Cinderella would be just fine without that prince.
Kenneth Branagh: It was something that we spoke about from the word, “go,” was that we had to feel that was the case. Otherwise, we’d return to dangerously that she is passive. She waits to be rescued. She’s only reactive. She can turn out to be more than that and the performance proves it -- even though it was always going to be an un-showy thing. It’s funny sometimes to try to make movies about restraint. I love Age of Innocence, which was an inspiration for this film. It’s such a quiet film, but the explosive power is tremendous. We wanted to make a good person complex. Another, and it sounds like a strange thing to say, character in film that I drew on in inspiration was A Man for All Seasons with Paul Scofield as Sir Thomas More. That play and that film presents as a pragmatic saint. Cinderella had some of those requirements in my view to make goodness or kindness a superpower. And make kindness and goodness sexy.
Movie Fanatic: One thing that impressed me talking to the actors like Cinderella herself, Lily James, was the realism of the massive sets and how those contributed to their importance. Why was it important to you to build these huge sets, like the ballroom, instead of doing them with CG?
Kenneth Branagh: It’s because you end up monopolizing much more of an imagination. Many times, when there’s a pre-existing or a pre-visualizing of a sequence, you take things away and you end up explaining how they fit into a specific or a pre-allotted vision. Suddenly, you’re bringing in all these excellent imaginations and they’re having to guess what it is that you want them to do instead of doing something unexpected that they bring that’s in a room that you don’t have to recreate. You see the difference in the performance. It was particularly important in the ballroom, that 360-degree world was something that just really created an atmosphere where the whole crew and every actor was going to the ball.
Movie Fanatic: Another rich aspect of this film besides the production design and performances is the costuming by Sandy Powell. What was it like for you to work with such a visionary?
Kenneth Branagh: I have several things that come to mind when I think of her. She’s always the first to arrive and the last to go, so there’s one element. But then again, if I was seeing it, technically I was the last to go [laughs]. But, she had that slow, methodical, practically and hard working application as well as a spontaneous, fervent imagination. She’d bring in references from contemporary magazines, fashion plates from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. We cross pollinated it. She was precise and methodical in terms of what I liked and did not like. What I saw was a master craftsman that knows how to cut, shape, collect, move and switch and get it up to a point where all the pieces were assembled, but then acknowledge that there was some area of inspiration after that. That was the case when it came to this three-dimensional aspect of having layers and layers and layers on the skirt in Cinderella’s dress or in the folds of Cate Blanchett’s skirts. She also is very interested to know and coordinate with me and our DP, what are the other color elements?
Movie Fanatic: It was probably a challenge to find Cinderella. What was it about Lily James that she was the girl? Because boy, oh boy, did she get it.
Kenneth Branagh: A combination of delicacy and strength. She’s a natural listener and very present. I thought that was going to make for a great chemistry for the man who plays opposite her. She’s very engaged. And she’s managing to be fully present in a process where she knows also the stakes are that she might get a job, she might not get a job. It’s not a natural state of affairs. Kindness in the voice and kindness in the spirit were the things that I really responded to. That was all very Cinderella-like. She had also come from an intense workshop that is Downton Abbey and in the company of some masters.
Movie Fanatic: What makes you want to direct something? You have such diversity on your helming resume, from Henry V to Frankenstein to Thor to Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit to now Cinderella?
Kenneth Branagh: It’s a combination of things and also the immediate impact. I so love the first read of a script. I so often want to recall it in future moments of struggle where you can feel a bit stuck. It’s important to remember the impact the words and the images had on you. I love, love, love seeing the images. A classic example was Dead Again. I remember saying to my then Mrs., Emma Thompson, in a dressing room in Los Angeles, we were doing a play here -- we’d seen a lot of scripts come our way and they were often not good -- I said, “I’m going to start reading this script to you and I bet we’ll know in three pages whether we even need to continue.” I remember the beginning, it’s a prison sequence where a man’s hair is being cut and there’s a song being sung, Lush Life. As I say it, I’m already intrigued! I’m in the half shadow. You don’t see his eyes. He steps forward, he’s the one singing. As I read it, I felt myself leaning up in the chair. By the time I got to page three, I remember saying to Emma, “This is very good!” I look for that experience where I would just love to be in this world.
"First day on KORT," said director Guy Ritchie on his Twitter feed and thus the production for the highly anticipated story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table has begun.
And who’s that by his side in the photo that Ritchie included with his tweet? Why, that’s Charlie Hunnam, who is set to portray King Arthur.
We think it is a stroke of casting genius and we could not be more thankful that the Sons of Anarchy star skipped out onFifty Shades of Grey so that he could make a Ritchie movie with him portraying the leader of Camelot!
Warner Bros. has also released the film’s first synopsis:
The bold new story introduces a streetwise young Arthur who runs the back alleys of Londonium with his gang, unaware of the life he was born for until he grasps hold of the sword Excalibur -- and with it, his future. Instantly challenged by the power of Excalibur, Arthur is forced to make some hard choices. Throwing in with the Resistance and a mysterious young woman named Guinevere, he must learn to master the sword, face down his demons and unite the people to defeat the tyrant Vortigern, who stole his crown and murdered his parents, and become King.
The brilliant cast doesn’t start and end with Hunnam. Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes star Jude Law is set to be the villainous Vortigern and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides breakout Astrid Berges-Frisbey is set to be Guinevere.
The film will follow Arthur as he claims his destiny that we all know from the legend. But, do we really know how the iconic man got there? Ritchie promises an educational and we suspect surely entertaining (and action packed) adventure that could be the first in a series. In fact, Ritchie has been quoted as saying -- in his mind -- this is a six-picture series.
See Ritchie’s most recent work right now and watch Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows online.
The Hotel Transylvania 2 teaser trailer has premiered and this is one wise move by Sony Pictures Animation.
The teaser is basically a two-minute clip from the upcoming sequel to 2012’s Hotel Transylvania. And it tells you everything you need to know to get all sorts of excited for the return of your favorite
scary funny monsters.
It appears that Jonathan (Andy Samberg) and Mavis (Selena Gomez) have had a child and now Dracula (Adam Sandler) is a grandpa. Grandpa is doing what grandpas do and is ready to teach his young charge a thing or two about being a vampire… like flying.
But, his friends, including Frank (Kevin James), Murray the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key) and Wayne Werewolf (Steve Buscemi) are on hand to remind him that before he tosses this toddler off of a two mile drop, that the kid is half human!
This has us ready for the full trailer, whenever that arrives, especially given the fact that we know that Mel Brooks has been cast as Dracula’s father, who comes to visit to check in on his great-grandchild.
Brooks and Sandler as father and son? Sign us up right now!
Hotel Transylvania 2 hits theaters September 25. Watch Hotel Transylvania online and get all sorts of caught up.
Universal has released a fantastic Furious 7 behind the scenes video exploring how filmmakers made one of the most stunning stunt sequences we’ve ever seen. And to think that we’ve just been teased with the entity that will be the entire scene where cars fall from the sky!
Director James Wan has taken over the franchise and from every single Furious 7 trailer we’ve seen so far, it is a stunning move having the horror movie master move into the action genre.
The behind the scenes clip has stunt coordinator Jack Gill talking about “pushing it that extra mile and push it further than you normally would.”
Well, if you’ve seen that aerial cars falling from the sky sequence in the Furious 7 extended first look, I’d say they’ve more than done that and we get the impression that is just the beginning.
April 3 brings back our favorite Fast and Furious family members, including Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Michelle Rodriguez, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, Jordana Brewster, Lucas Black and Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.
Joining the cast is Djimon Hounsou, Ronda Rousey and Kurt Russell. Watch Fast and Furious 6 online to see where we left off.
After the phenomenal success that was Frozen, the pressure was immense to follow it up with a Frozen 2. Not wanting to rush greatness, Frozen directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck did the wisest thing they possibly could, they created a short -- Frozen Fever -- as a thank you to fans. The animated short that will premiere before Kenneth Branagh’s live action Cinderella is utterly delightful and should keep those Frozen fans happy, at least until we get a full length movie that brings back Anna, Elsa and Olaf.
Frozen Fever picks up soon after the Oscar winning film closed. It is Anna’s (Kristen Bell) birthday and Elsa (Idina Menzel) wants to something truly extraordinary for her. The entire village is involved, especially Olaf (Josh Gad) and Kristoff (Jonathan Groff). As you can see in the Frozen Fever trailer, things look like they’ll be great if they can just keep Olaf away from eating the cake!
Trouble arises when Elsa realizes she’s getting a cold. That can’t be! The woman with the power to create ice and snow from her fingers doesn’t get colds. She emits the cold! She will not let this setback dampen her sister’s birthday. But, the ever caring Anna (after all, this is the sibling who ventured into the merciless snow to find her sister in the first film) does her best to let Elsa know just having her home is gift enough.
Even though the film only clocks in at just about seven minutes, Beck and Lee managed to get all of what we adore about the first film and highlight it in their short. There’s even a new song by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Making Today a Perfect Day. And like Let it Go, this track impeccably captures the spirit of the story and yes, is equally as catchy.
Will it become a sensation like their Oscar winning track? Time will tell, but like Frozen Fever itself, it is a great joy to be back in this world and sing along with our favorite characters. After all, a Frozen movie is not a Frozen movie without the supreme talents of the Lopezes! Also fantastic is the fact that the songwriters are so self aware of the transcendence that is Let it Go, that there’s even a line in the new song from Elsa that is impeccable, “A cold never bothered me anyway.”
What else is terrific about the track (and the film itself) is it is a celebration of the sisterly bond that knows no other in the world. These two dance and sing throughout the castle and we found ourselves with a perma-grin that never let up, right until the closing credits.
If you love Olaf (and who doesn’t?), does Frozen Fever have a treat for you. When Elsa sneezes, she produces little miniature snowman, called Snowgies. They are adorable and to witness Olaf be paternal to the hundreds of little munchkins is truly a gift. Yes, your kids will want their own stuffed Snowgies to cuddle with, we can guarantee it.
Our Frozen Fever review can safely say that for the hundreds of millions of fans of Frozen, although it is no proper sequel, it is a true blessing to be back in the world of Anna, Elsa and Olaf, even for a short period of time.
Watch Frozen online and see how this story got started.
Disney head Bob Iger was addressing The Walt Disney Company shareholders and made an announcement of the Star Wars variety that has us smiling profusely.
It appears that the first Star Wars spin-off movie will be called Rogue One.
The film is set to be written by Chris Weitz (Cinderella) and directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla). We’ve already reported that it will feature Felicity Jones in the lead and now we know it will shoot in London this summer and hit theaters December 16, 2016. That is almost exactly one year after Star Wars: The Force Awakens premieres.
Yup, we told you we’d be getting a new Star Wars movie once year for the foreseeable future. Now, honestly, did you ever think that would happen?!
The story for Rogue One, according to Iger, came from a visual effects supervisor, John Knoll. He is also the chief creative officer at Industrial, Light & Magic, and a such, no one can come up with an authentic Star Wars world better than him!
Now, what we don’t know is what Rogue One will be about. But for fans of the Star Wars universe, you probably have a good idea. It will follow something about those pesky rebels, we’re sure of it.
Iger also announced that Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: Episode VIII will premiere in theaters on May 26, 2017. Does that date sound familiar?
Yup, it’s forty years and one day after Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope landed in 1977!
Well, that didn’t take long. Just days after we talked to Frozen directors Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck and they told us that Frozen 2 would not happen without a solid story worthy of a follow-up, Disney chief creative office John Lasseter told investors that “Frozen 2 is in the works.”
It’s six simple words, but it set the world of Frozen fans on fire.
As you can tell from our Frozen Fever review, the animated short film that brings back Olaf, Anna and Elsa is a pure joy. But, like any animated short should, it left us wanting more.
Now with today’s news from the Disney shareholders meeting, we have the hope that Frozen 2 is definitely coming.
“It has to be a great idea because we can’t come out with anything less,” Buck told us in our exclusive interview.
Guess that great idea has struck as details are few, but the important one is that there will be another Frozen film.
Stay tuned as this story develops and watch Frozen online to keep that anticipation burning!
Four more stills have landed for Josh Trank’s Fantastic Four reboot. There are four heroes (thus the title!) and we have four photos, but there is one missing!
That doesn’t make our excitement any less for the new stills of Miles Teller (the Whiplash star gets two!), Kate Mara and Michael B. Jordan. Perhaps their fourth, Jamie Bell, will get a photo release all his own quite soon.
Fox released the photos (through Total Film) as they are trying to keep the momentum high after that first Fantastic Four teaser trailer finally gave fans of the Marvel series something to cheer about.
Trank could not be a better choice to helm the project. With his recent work with his own version of a superhero movie (watch Chronicle online), giving the guy a bigger budget and an established Marvel movie property, well, we think he will hit it out of the park.
Look for this Fantastic Four film to follow the comic series Ultimate Fantastic Four (among the writers is Mark Millar). It will be a very different feel than the Chris Evans-starring series from years ago.
Teller is Mr. Fantastic, Jordan is The Human Torch, Mara is The Invisible Woman and Bell is The Thing.
The film also has some great pedigree in the form of the screenplay by Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past). Look for it August 1.
Veronica Roth’s vision of a dystopian future where peace loving peoples’ fate is tied to a young woman is nothing new in the base story department in her Divergent book series.
But, what sets the Divergent world apart is how the heroine (Shailene Woodley as Tris Prior) has an equally powerful female foe, dictator Jeanine (Kate Winslet). That battle between these two sides continues in the sequel to Divergent, the aptly titled Insurgent.
That dichotomy between the one who is right, Tris, and the one who is clearly on the wrong side of things, Jeanine, gets a third powerful female to the mix, Naomi Watts’ Evelyn.
As teased in the Insurgent trailer, Tris is having some issues with how things ended when you watch Divergent online. It wasn’t pretty and although she may have found the love of her life in Four (Theo James), she has lost much that is near and dear to her. She is having nightmares. Tris and Four are on the run and have found themselves in the faction Amity where they are trying to lay low while their leader Johanna (Octavia Spencer) worries that their presence might bring the government knocking down their earthly doors. Well, guess what happens?
Tris and Four go back on the run and Tris’ brother Caleb (Ansel Elgort) tries to keep up. They are the most wanted folks in the entire land, and it appears to be only a matter of time before Jai Courtney’s Eric and his goons catch up to them.
Meanwhile, Jeanine has her own reasons for wanting these Divergents rounded up and it has nothing to do with squashing a rebellion. Seems she has found something that Tris’ parents hid and it could hold the key to everyone’s collective future.
Insurgent is a visual marvel, a true trip. Woodley is becoming more and more of a movie star of the most classic of varieties. Her chemistry with James is downright electric. And its Oscar caliber (and winning) cast only adds weight to a story that is supremely powerful to begin with. Spencer and Watts are nice additions and we’re eager to see where they go in the final two films (based on the final book).
Divergent director Neil Burger did a wonderful job setting up this world in the first film. Helmer Robert Schwentke (RED) was a perfect choice to take over this more action-oriented second film in Roth’s series. The director gives it the epic feel it deserves and it's a sequel that delivers.
There are issues as this is not a perfect picture. Woodley’s Tris seems to be pushed back to a supporting character in her own story. James’ Four actually gets in most of the action (although Tris is a heavily involved participant) and has the opportunity to deliver some of the most rallying of lines. Even Miles Teller has a blast, way more than he should, and gets the spotlight in scenes where it seems it should be on Woodley. Then again, if you have an actor like Teller, why not share the spotlight?!
It is action-packed, that is for sure, our Insurgent review can report. We just wish there was a little more character development -- particularly with what Tris goes through in this middle chapter, as well as Watts and Spencer’s characters that we know will have a much bigger role in the third and fourth films.
See, that’s exactly it. Like most middle chapters -- Insurgent feels like it’s a stepping stone to something bigger. As long as you go in knowing that, you will not be disappointed in the least.
Joss Whedon clearly thinks that James Spader is one good sport. In a new video, released by Marvel, Whedon is talking specifically about the challenge that the Avengers: Age of Ultron director had to put his actor through to capture the titular villain.
Spader has done many things in his life, but appearing in a motion capture suit while pretending to be an eight-foot-tall robot was not one of them.
Whedon talks about, in the below video, how Spader arrived on the set and the very next day was put into the most uncomfortable contraption that forced him to perform all his lines and movements without his glasses.
“It was a nightmare for poor James,” Whedon said.
But, Whedon was absolutely amazed at the actor’s gifts… even in the face of such challenges. “He’d go from very intense to very comedic and get there (snapped his fingers).”
Watch The Avengers online and get ready for Avengers: Age of Ultron landing on May 1.
With the announcement today that Star Wars: Episode VIII will arrive on screens in May of 2017, Movie Fanatic has come to a realization.
From now on, any mention of that particular warmer season must carry a new moniker: Summer of Disney!
1969 may have been called The Summer of Love. But for fans of the Walt Disney Company, there can be no bigger summer filled with adoration towards the studio that has the iconic Mickey Mouse as their logo, than the way that heart beats will be racing during the summer of 2017.
Watch Toy Story online and its fourth installment is one reason why 2017’s summer will be scorching hot for Disney (and obviously Pixar). Those Guardians of the Galaxy quotes? Yup, they’re getting a follow-up.
Click through the slideshow below and discover why the summer of 2017, er, sorry, the Summer of Disney will be the most profitable period of movie releases in history.
Disney will own that summer, and honestly because of that, the entire movie year.
Does Liam Neeson in fact run all night in Run All Night? Technically, no, but it sure is a fun run for the audience. In fact, the best moments in the new thriller starring Neeson as a Brooklyn mob hit man are when it is at its quietest. The scenes where two acting titans share time together, Neeson and Ed Harris, are pure power.
In Run All Night, Neeson is Jimmy Conlon, a man who has known Harris’ mob boss Shawn Maguire since they were kids running the wild streets of the New York City borough. That fact comes through with these fine actors, who seem to be having a ball playing old buds. That’s what makes what drives a violent wedge between these two all the more potent.
We learn from flashbacks and through exposition delivered with panache by Homicide Detective Harding (Vincent D’Onofrio), who has been trying to get Jimmy behind bars for decades, that when Shawn needs something taken care of, Jimmy makes the problem disappear. Neeson’s character is responsible for dozens of deaths. But he doesn’t do that anymore and Shawn has moved into more legitimate businesses.
Meanwhile, Shawn’s son Danny (Boyd Holbrook) has followed in his father’s illegal footsteps and winds up in serious trouble with the Albanian mob. See, his mess becomes Shawn’s mess, and that in turn becomes Jimmy’s mess -- specifically his son Mike (a stellar Joel Kinnaman). When Jimmy’s son and his family (including Genesis Rodriguez as his wife) are threatened, the former hit man goes back to his old bag of tricks.
And it sets up a kill or be killed confrontation with his old boss, and lifelong friend.
Director Jaume Collet-Serra reunites with Neeson after their work on Non-Stop. Run All Night is a much better film and not to take anything away from the mid-air thriller, but there’s something about the landscape of New York City that fits Collet-Serra perfectly. The way he intercuts between different parts of the city truly puts the audience firmly in the middle of this story that at its heart is really about fathers and sons and the difficulty that can be found in those most unique of relationships.
Collet-Serra’s cinematic style is also a huge selling point here. New York looks beautiful and painted like the modern city it is, all while still having those underbelly aspects that find this old school mob-centric story. The director also gets the most out of his actors from a script that gets a tad thin at points.
The chemistry between Kinnaman and Neeson is what also drives the film. Their characters haven’t spoken for years and there are massive amounts of resentment from Mike towards Jimmy. But on this night, his father is the only thing that can keep him alive until this entire mess is fixed. Throughout their time, in between jaw-dropping action sequences involving mobsters, dirty cops and old friends alike, the two “bond,” as best as they can. These two actors are impeccably cast and as good as Harris and Neeson are, so too are Kinnaman and Neeson.
Our Run All Night review finds that the film is a much better and more emotionally powerful thriller than Non-Stop. But it is not quite as hard-hitting as what you see when you watch A Walk Among the Tombstones online, if we’re comparing Neeson’s recent work as an action star.
It is amazing he keeps finding these scripts that fit him like a glove. They still contain action sequences that work with his age, work with his skill set and still operate on other levels than just people seeking or extolling justice.
There was talk that Neeson would only do action movies for two more years. With what we see in Run All Night, we hope that is not the case.
The idea of taking the 1950 Disney animated classic, Cinderella, and making it into a live action movie could have been filled with nothing but negatives. Hiring Kenneth Branagh as director and Chris Weitz (About a Boy, recently tapped to pen Star Wars: Rogue One) as screenwriter, the project was already off to a fantastic start.
Branagh and Weitz also brought this classic fairy tale into the modern era. Lily James’ Cinderella would be just fine without her prince. She makes the most of a horrible situation and the audience adores her for it.
Disney’s Cinderella, circa 2015, may have the same origins, as you can see in the Cinderella trailer. She adores her father and mother and is adored by them. Her mother dies young and her father perishes soon after bringing home a stepmother (a wonderfully wicked Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters. Then things get ugly. Cinderella is reduced to the help and mistreated on many levels, as so many know from the iconic tale.
What is so compelling in this particular version of the story is that although the framework is the same, the character development of our titular heroine is completely different and how James delivers it is also a huge aspect. Cinderella is strong and that does not come out of nowhere. It is something that was instilled by her father at a young age when he told her that kindness and courage would go a long way. In this world, they are her powers. It is almost like she is a superhero of the fairy tale age.
In Branagh’s Cinderella, she meets Prince Charming and has no idea who he is. And he has no idea who she is. They meet on equal terms. In fact, they are both on horseback. They’re both intrigued by the other, and we can see a spark of romance that goes way beyond a “someday my prince will come” mentality. These two really care for one another and it is clear they are smitten.
When the legendary ball happens at the prince’s palace, and Cinderella is not permitted to go by her stepmother, it is crushing. We know they belong together, but it is not simply because she needs saving.
Enter the sublime Helena Bonham Carter as the Fairy Godmother. The actress is beyond brilliant in the role and has an absolute ball making Cinderella’s dream night come true.
And speaking of the ball, it is just a microcosm of another reason this Cinderella is so divine, charming and brilliant. The production design is as real as it gets. Those are actual sets, no CG here. It feels as magical as any animated flick can and it’s stunning what Branagh and his team have done with the look throughout. From the Fairy Godmother transformation to Cinderella’s dank room in the attic -- it is as loving of a tribute as can exist for a live action version of a beloved animated classic.
James is a vision. She emits the qualities we think of when we imagine a living and breathing Cinderella. It had to be the most supreme of challenges to find their lead, and Branagh completely nailed it. And where to start with Blanchett? She is as wicked as any Disney villain, and yet there is a grace and charm to her character that sucks you in, even though you know she is just this side of terrible.
Whereas in the animated Cinderella where Prince Charming had maybe two lines, in Branagh’s vision, Richard Madden plays him as the most fully developed of characters. The Game of Thrones star was born to be Prince Charming on many levels, not the least of which is his ability to project his own powers of kindness that mirror the woman that he so clearly adores.
Our Cinderella review finds that, in hindsight, this is a project that should never have been seen as having any drawbacks -- between Disney’s capacity for brilliance, Branagh’s command of telling a terrific tale and a cast where each was born to play the roles they inhabit. This live action version of a beloved animated icon is truly magical.
Who would have thought that Disney could take the same story six decades apart and spin two classics that could not be more different while still staying true to the core fairy tale? Frankly... anyone who has paid attention to what the Mouse House does.
When Disney bought Lucasfilm and announced a new Star Wars film would be coming soon, fans were ecstatic. But, there was also a question that arose over and over again. Would the Mouse House release the original trilogy -- A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi – on Blu-Ray in its purest form, aka without George Lucas’ “upgrades” and “edits?”
Guess what? Your prayers have been answered, people, as Disney/Lucasfilm have announced plans for the first three Star Wars movies to land on Blu-Ray in the near future in the form that we first fell in love with them when we saw them in theaters all those years ago.
So, while we celebrate the news that Rogue One will be the first Star Wars stand-alone movie and that Star Wars: The Force Awakens brings back our favorite stars from the original trilogy in an all-new adventure from J.J. Abrams, know this: The movies that made us fans of a galaxy far, far away in the first place are returning soon.
We’ve heard that Disney and Lucasfilm want to get these out to the public before Abrams’ film lands December 18 (and in time for Christmas). But, complications have arisen and that might not happen. Stay tuned as we’ll let you know as soon as we hear a firm release date.
Mike Tyson has really had the most interesting of life journeys (so far), and we’ve always thought it would make for a great movie. Given the right star and person behind the camera and writing the script, it could be as compelling as biopics come.
Guess what? That movie is coming our way and it’s arriving with Jamie Foxx starring as Iron Mike, Martin Scorsese directing and the man who gave us those The Wolf of Wall Street quotes penning the script.
Scorsese is no stranger to telling true boxing tells that go down as some of the best films ever. His Raging Bull is considered the standard, so to think that he’s tackling the entity that is The Champ, well that has us just a little excited.
This news came to light when Foxx visited the morning radio show The Breakfast Club and let the explosive news known to the world.
“I just went in with Paramount with Mike Tyson. So I’m going to do the Mike Tyson story. Listen, to be in the same room pitching Mike Tyson to Paramount, Mike Tyson is on one side, I’m on the other side and doing Mike Tyson at the same time,” Foxx said. “And Martin Scorsese at the helm -- this will be the first boxing movie that Martin Scorsese has done since Raging Bull.”
Now if you are a fan of Foxx like we are at Movie Fanatic, this casting is not out of left field. Foxx does an incredible impression of Tyson (just watch his I’m Going to Need Security stand-up special). And we all know he can act, he’s got the Oscar for Ray to prove it. So, his portrayal of Tyson will be much more than an impression, but nailing the speech is a huge part of why this will work.
Stay tuned as more info comes about this project that has immediately become highly anticipated in our book.
Avengers: Age of Ultron have saved the best for last when it comes to its character poster premieres. Well, time will tell if they are the best, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are certainly the newest.
Marvel released the Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Quicksilver and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch posters over on Yahoo in anticipation of the May 1 arrival of Avengers: Age of Ultron.
Can you believe we're only six weeks away?!
Scarlet Witch, aka Wanda Maximoff, will first find allegiance with Ultron (James Spader), before something happens (we can’t wait to see what) and she and her brother jump ship to the Avengers.
As we saw in the most recent Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, the pair appears to be a linchpin in this entire story and bridge the battle between the robotic villain and our favorite superheroes.
Watch The Avengers online and prepare for the next chapter of Marvel movie magic.
Happy Friday the 13th everyone! To honor this quite spooky day we’re reminded of the classic horror movie that shares its name.
Friday the 13th has had one seriously long pop culture life since it debuted in 1980.
One could argue that, besides being a solid scare, it is also because every time the calendar reads Friday the 13th, we’re reminded of that horror flick that introduced the world to that killer baddie named Jason.
Check out these Friday the 13th quotes and it’s easy to see how the flick keeps scaring us.
Did you know that there is a real Camp Crystal Lake? And did you know that it is still operating? I mean, would you send your kids there?!
Watch Friday the 13th online and celebrate the day that only comes, at most, a couple of times a year.
Then, click through and discover some things you might not know about the horror classic. We present 13
fun horrific facts about Friday the 13th.