Category Archives: Movie News & Opinions

Tarantino’s Spaghetti Western “Django Unchained” to Star…Will Smith?

I think it can go without saying, I’m a Quentin Tarantino fan. Not only am I a fan of his films overall, but of the writing style, the way they’re shot, and way they pay homage to what came before them. Tarantino simply put, is my favorite film-maker. Every few years we are treated to something new from him. Now, it seems that the follow-up to his mega-hit Inglourious Basterds is around the corner, and it will be called Django Unchained.

Inspired by the 1966 spaghetti western Django. The film was considered one of the most violent in history up until that point so it seems an obvious choice for Tarantino. The original movie dealt with a gunslinger who enters a town at war. The KKK is feuding with a Mexican gang, and Django gets caught in the middle.

Taratino’s movie will take the western theme, but it will be earlier, post-civil war era. It will tell the story of a former slave named Django who is trained by a German Bounty Hunter, and tries to free his wife from an evil plantation owner.

In no real surprise, it seems that Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterd‘s Hans Landa) will play the German Bounty Hunter, though not yet official. In another real shocker, Tarantino staple Samuel L. Jackson appears set for some screen-time as well. Also rumored is that the star of the original film, Franco Nero (aka Gen. Ramon Esperanza in Die Hard 2), will be involved in some capacity, but it’s not yet known as whom. We reported a while back that Treat Williams has apparently turned down roles in both The Dark Knight Rises and this movie to do some TV cop show. Good call Treat.

Now, as far as the casting of Django himself – over the weekend there were rumors galore that Will Smith seems to be the front-runner and Tarantino’s choice for the title character. Smith however is a product. And he markets himself very carefully, so it’s unclear if he’ll accept a role this…gritty.

This is from The Hollywood Reporter:

Sources prepped for those meetings say Tarantino would like Smith to star in the film, the script for which has been making the rounds in recent days to wide acclaim. No official offer has been made to Smith, and any deal would of course be subject to working out financials, which might be difficult given Smith’s status as one of Hollywood’s few sure-thing stars.  

Indeed, though Smith has been out of multiplexes since 2008’s Seven Pounds, he is still considered among the top two or three box-office draws worldwide. 

Smith is being teed up for the title role of Django, a freed slave who seeks to reunite with his slave wife, a journey that will see him team with a German bounty hunter to take down an evil plantation owner.

Tarantino wrote the bounty hunter part with Waltz in mind, according to insiders. The German ends up training Django and helping him seek his wife.

Jackson would play the house slave to the bad guy, Monsieur Calvin Candie. The slave is an expert manipulator and will face off with Django. 

Smith and his reps have received the screenplay, which could be a hot potato due to the themes of racism and the liberal use of the N-word. It’s unclear whether Smith has read the script yet. The actor manages his image very carefully, but the part is heroic and could be iconic. And let’s not forget that Denzel Washington won his two Oscars playing characters who used the N-word.

The movie is slated for a 2012 release, and while I think he would be good in it, weather or not The Fresh Prince Will Smith joins the cast won’t affect my decision to see it. I can already tell you I will be in the theater opening night next year…

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Thor 2 Getting Ready!

As with any potential box office hit, Thor 2 was recently revealed to be in the works just in case the first movie hit big. And while it didn’t quite grab the Iron Man numbers, Thor had a pretty good weekend with a domestic gross of 66 million dollars, which brings it’s worldwide gross to $242 million so far. (Thanks to Box Office Mojo) I’d say by the end of it’s theater run it will have been greenlit for a sequel if not before that.

Continue reading Thor 2 Getting Ready!

Akira: Keanu to be Kaneda?

In a huge vomit inducing report, Keanu Reeves is in talks with the studio bringing us Akira to play one of the main characters. I wasn’t crazy about the front runners to play Kaneda and Tetsuo before, but Keanu Reeves? And now it takes place in Neo Manhattan instead of Neo Tokyo? Jeez, why not just call his character Kevin and call the movie a U.S. equivalent of Akira? Adam perhaps, or Alex. Why does it need to have anything to do with Akira when it’s the complete opposite of everything but the plot. And I’m willing to bet that the plot will be warped somehow too.

Oh look! It's.... Keanu Reeves...Damn it.

Continue reading Akira: Keanu to be Kaneda?

Rachel Weisz Joins the Cast of Oz: The Great and Powerful

The latest word ’round the campfire about Oz: The Great and Powerful was that Sam Raimi and Disney were having a little bit of a casting spat. Raimi wanted Hilary Swank to play the role of Evanora, the wicked witch of the East. Disney on the other hand wanted Michelle Williams to occupy the role. Thankfully neither one of them was given the role and it has since passed to Rachel Weisz.

I am totally digging Weisz being in this role. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her in a movie as a villain so this will be refreshing. Plus if she’s the sister of Mila Kunis it had better someone almost as hot cast in the role. Hilary Swank may be able to act but she is pretty hideous next to Kunis.

What a great wicked witch she'll be

So I would seem like the main characters of the movie have all been cast with the addition of Weisz as Evandora. If you haven’t heard anything about the movie, James Franco will be playing the Wizard as he first arrives in the merry old land of Oz and Mila Kunis will be playing the future Wicked Witch of the West. Sound off below on how you think the movie is starting to look cast wise!

2011 Summer Movie Guide: 6 Movies Absent of Capes and Numbers in the Title…Almost.

What Ever Happened to Original Summer Movies? It’s Okay, I Made a Solid List For You to Watch…

When I volunteered to do an article about summer movies, I felt right at home. Ever since we were in high school, Doc Kronner and I would set up movie events in the summer where we would gather scores of friends together to partake in the best and worst movies of the season. But they were event movies for a reason, we would always debate afterwards whether one movie was better than the other, how much it impressed us or let us down. It was great times to be had. Needless to say, I had my list of ten movies that I was looking forward to. A solid ten in my mind that I could get myself excited about.

Then I got the bomb dropped on me. I had to do the article that involved no sequels and no comic book movies. That kind of made me blow up my list and start from scratch. The tent pole pictures of the summer were all comic book movies or sequels. I actually had to research what was coming out this summer in order to write this article. However, I’m glad it worked out this way, because I think I have some stuff you guys need to check out. Not because it has a built-in fan base, but because it just looks damn interesting and it’s about time we covered something original for the summer, right? So in chronological order, I have some summer movies you need to check out that are either original, or might be flying under your superhero radar.

Bridesmaids (May 13)

Now, I hate the marketing team that keeps begging this the female equivalent of The Hangover. It should be expected considering the massive success of the movie, but remember when The Sweetest Thing was supposed to be the solution to the R-Rated female comedy? Let’s keep the comparisons on the down low and look at the basics. You have a Kristen Wiig starring vehicle. Check. She wrote it too? Check. Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, and Ellie Kemper? Check. Aww, sweet, Jon Hamm? Yeah, sign me up. As long as the Target Lady or Gilly doesn’t show up, I’m game.

Hesher (May 13)

Okay, technically this film has been around since early 2010 doing the film circuit run, but it’s finally getting a wide release this summer and it’s definitely going to be way under the radar. It’s my job to make sure you see this movie. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Hesher, a bad-ass troublemaker that enters the lives of T.J. (Devin Brochu – Rubber) and his dad (Rainn Wilson) after the loss of his mother. Natalie Portman is also in this movie, and since she is the only reason I would ever punt a small animal just so she can say ‘hi’ to me, that means I would be seeing this movie. But the thing is, this movie is supposed to be awesome. Even without Natalie, I think I would still be talking about how we need to see this movie. The trailer’s nice, go check it out and see why Gordon-Levitt is starting to become one of my favorite actors.

Super 8 (June 10)

This is the closest movie to an ‘event flick’ on my list. Amongst my friends, I think I was one of two that actually made it to the end of Lost after six seasons. I actually DVR’d Undercovers too, so that shows I am a J.J. Abrams slappy. However, the guy is a great storyteller, and Spielberg endorses him, so you know you are going to get a visual treat. And lens flares. Like, a million of them.

Regardless, this has Kyle Chandler (I will always carry the football for you Coach Taylor) and it has a childhood nostalgic feel to it. Abrams combined the plot of a monster/alien movie getting loose with a dramatic idea he had about growing up making Super 8 films with his friends, and getting fascinated with filmmaking. Yet another coming of age movie, but throw a little action and sci-fi in there and you get probably the movie I most look forward to on my list.

Horrible Bosses (July 8th)

Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, and Jason Sudeikis. C’mon now, that’s friggin’ sweet. Colin Farrell, Jennifer Aniston, and Kevin Spacey play the bosses they want to murder? Okay, you had me at hello. The big kicker? According to IMDB, Jaime Foxx plays a guy named ‘Motherf*cka Jones’. Done and done. I am all for seeing Charlie Day get more prominent roles seeing as it feels like we wait forever for Always Sunny.

Also, Julie Bowen is also in it, so it’s another reason to see if she yells an awkward, “HAPPY LOOK OUTAH!” 

Cowboys & Aliens (July 29)

Yeah yeah, it’s based off a graphic novel. I don’t care, I need to mention this movie, which is also the second movie on my list that screams ‘event movie’. James Bond, Indiana Jones, Olive Wilde, Sam Rockwell…uhh, hello awesome cast? I remember seeing the first teaser trailer one year ago where no one knew what the movie was until the title card came. I remember people in the theater groaning asking aloud, “You cannot be serious…” I then turned to my girlfriend and she turned to me and said, “We have to see that on the title alone.” And that is why I hang out with awesome people. But I digress. It’s a high concept movie, but with Jon Favreau behind the lens I think we will be good hands. Or we better hope so because he passed on Iron Man 3 and Avengers for this. That has to count for something, right?

30 Minutes or Less (August 12)

Aziz Ansari is a genius. He’s probably the best sidekick to have in anything media related, because he steps in with the best observations or reactions to make awesome comedy. With Jesse Eisenberg playing straight man to Aziz’s manic best friend, that should be on the list. If I attempt to explain the plot, I tend to lose interest because it sounds pretty weird. Just know that Eisenberg digs Ansari’s sister, has a bomb strapped to his chest, and must rob a bank so Danny McBride can hire a hitman. See? How that’s how you set a tease.

Final Destination 5 (August 12)

Yeah, just kidding.

OTHER NOTABLES THIS SUMMER THAT COULD GO UNDER THE RADAR:
– Priest (May 13th – Graphic Novel)
The Troll Hunter (June 10th – Limited Release)
– The Change-Up (August 5th)
– Rise of the Planet of the Apes (August 5th – Prequel)
– Conan the Barbarian (August 19th – Reboot)