Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying is a spiritual sequel (adaptations of novels by Darryl Ponicsan) to Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail, starring Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, and Laurence Fishburne. The film will have its premiere at the New York Film Festival where it will open both on Amazon Video and theaters this November. We have the first trailer below
There is less than a week till the final eight episodes of one of the greatest shows in television history. Breaking Bad is by far my favorite drama ever made and it is kind of crazy to think a simple 71 second trailer could get me more excited… but it has. Forgoing scenes from the episodes, we instead get a brooding Walter White’s voice, setting the inevitable, dark and twisted tone that will ensue. Check out the Breaking Bad trailer below.
The poem that Walter White (Bryan Cranston), reads is Ozymandias, which if you didn’t get from the trailer, talks about the eventual decline of all leaders. That could give us a good taste of what we can expect for Walt as we near the end.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed:
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
– Percy Bysshe, 1818
When we got a flash forward with the gun in his trunk, I don’t think anyone thought he was getting away scot-free. Even more, Vince Gilligan, the show runner, has compared Walt to Scarface multiple times in interviews, so could that mean he could face the same fate. All that said, the more mysterious question on my mind is how is Hank’s reaction to the news going to last 8 episodes. That will be a tricky one for the writers, but if I trust anyone, it would be the writers of Breaking Bad.
Breaking Bad returns for its final 8 episodes on August 11, and if you haven’t caught up or haven’t seen any episodes, buy a Netflix account right now, and marathon the hell out of them. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Godzilla, the latest of the franchise will be released May 16th next year, and recently we have seen an abundance of information on the film. We now know who the cast will be (mostly) and we some short footage of behind the scenes as well as newly released images. The main reason for this article is that we haven’t updated the news on this film since Comic Con, and with some substantial news and updates it felt necessary to share with our wonderful readers.
A giant radioactive monster called Godzilla awakens from eons of sleep and attacks a city.
Well that’s creative and new. Well done Warner Bros. Before we go onto the cast, images and behind the scenes footage we should talk about the prospect of this film being good or bad. On the one side you have Frank Darabont as a screenwriter, the man is brilliant and the master mind to many great films and TV Shows. Mainly The Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile, The Mist and The Walking Dead. However I fear that the Director Gareth Edwards is a little inexperienced to be in charge of such a large production, also I didn’t think his debut film Monsters was all that good. Fear and doubt surround this film for fans of the franchise.
The Cast of Godzilla
Aaron Johnson (Kick Ass) will be the lead in this film as a Soldier. That is all we know for now and whilst he was good in Kick Ass lately he has looked more and more like a massive douche.
Ken Watanabe is in this film and that’s pretty much it, again not much has been revealed but he is a well-respected Japanese Actor and a personal favourite so will most likely be the main Japanese character. Actually turns out be the only Japanese actor announced which seems strange for a Godzilla film.
Elizabeth Olsen, Juliette Binoche and Bryan Cranston
We know nothing about any of their roles in the film except that Elizabeth Olsen is Aaron’s characters girlfriend and that Bryan Cranston is someone’s stepfather.
Whilst most people will recognise the cast none of them are exactly big star and this could hurt the film’s box office because none of them will be a mass draw for viewers.
Behind the Scenes Footage
We have three videos that have been released which show behind the scenes footage of the filming of Godzilla. First we have a 15 second tease with the director, then a series of “action” takes from the film which show practically nothing as you’d expect this early on.
Set Photos Leaked
Let’s face it we all just want to keep this classic going.
With only one episode left after this in this first half of the season, it’s reasonable to think that some proverbial shit would hit the fan. In the episode’s opening scene, Mike, Walt, and Jesse make their way to the desert to meet with the crew Mike had been negotiating with about the Methylamine. Walt promised Mike his $5 million dollars, and after some intense negotiating with the crew, he was able to give it to him.
But instead of just giving them the methylamine, he offered his cooking services. They reluctantly agree, but only because the money is too good to resist. Walt and Jesse (who is still set on leaving the business), make one final run to transport the Methylamine from the car wash to the new lab that they’re building. Meanwhile, Mike is working with a non-Saul Goodman lawyer to get money to the nine men who worked for Gus Fring, as well as Haylee, Mike’s granddaughter. Mike then listens in on a conversation with the DEA and abandons his laptop and his dirty guns before they have a chance to search his house.
With a warrant, the DEA does what they said they would but, of course, find nothing. Walt and Jesse talk about doubling down, but Jesse remains firm about getting out. This is when Walt switches into Heisenberg mode and tries to manipulate him into staying. Jesse, who seems to impervious to that kind of thing by now, stands firm and then walks out when Walt refuses to give him his money. Walt enlists the help of Todd who, as of now, is the only person to stick with him.
This decidedly unspectacular episode of “Breaking Bad” exists not to move the plot forward in a significant way, but to serve as a build-up for a final scene that, while I knew it was coming, still surprised me when it actually happened. The thing that really shines in the episode is the lighting. While the camerawork itself isn’t Vince Gilligan/Rian Johnson good, the way the light is manipulated makes for some fantastic still shots and layered visual metaphor.
Say My Name also marks the first time Jesse and Walt have had any real conflict since the pilot episode, and to be honest it was a little disappointing. Their teamwork is what made this season so great and seeing them truly break their partnership was a shock in many ways. The biggest shock of all, though, came in the last five minutes.
Vince Gilligan promised that episodes 5 & 7 would be the most shocking in the season’s first half and while episode 5 was definitely a shock, I’m still unsure how I feel about the twist at the end. After promising Mike that he’d get him his “go bag”, which is a bag filled with money, his passport, and a holstered gun, and then bringing the bag to him, Walt demands the names of the men Mike’s been paying off. When Mike refuses to give them up, Walt shoots him with the gun that was in the bag. Mike attempts to speed away in his car, but quickly crashes into a rock. Running down a nearby hill, Walt finds Mike sitting on a rock with a fatal gunshot wound in his stomach.
Walt realizes that he could have just gotten the names from Lydia and he apologizes to Mike, who replies with, “Shut the f*** up, Walter, and let me die in peace.” A few seconds pass and Mike falls to the ground, dead. Now, the entire Breaking Bad fandom predicted his death, but I’m still not sure that I agree with it. Of course, no one gets out clean here, but if Gilligan and Co. are willing to kill Mike, a fan favorite, how far can we expect things to go? Some fans are predicting the death of Holly White, while others are predicting a Scarface-style shootout at the end of the series.
I’m definitely not condemning the bravery of the writers, but I guess I’m just disappointed that my favorite character had to go. In a narrative sense, this may be Breaking Bad‘s most accomplished episode of the season. From a personal standpoint, I am, in some strange way, mourning the death of a character that I’ve grown so accustomed to over the past year.
Where do I even begin? There’s really no way to start an article like this, but here goes nothing. Thus far, Season 5 has, sans the fourth episode, proved itself to be the best of the entire series. It’s taken chances, it’s given Jesse the time to shine he’s always deserved, and it’s put Mike at the center of everything, something almost everyone wanted in Season 4. The introduction of new characters has been astoundingly well done, and the development of old characters (excluding Skyler because she’s just awful), has been just as perfect.
This leads to Episode 5 of Season 5, one of the most heart-pounding, nail-bitingly intense episodes of TV ever put to air. After another strange opening scene involving a small child on a quad putting a very large spider in a jar, the episode starts at 6th gear and doesn’t stop. By now, Mike, Walt, and Jesse have made a deal with Madrigal that ensures both their safety and as much methylamine as they’ll ever need. Their plan? To rob a train that passes through Albuquerque every so often. Of the many liquids contained on the train, one of them is their precious methylamine. How much? About 1000 gallons.
Enlisting the help of Pest Shop Boys employee Todd (Jesse Plemons, who is turning out to be a much more capable actor than I originally thought), whom we first saw in 503 “Hazard Pay”, the guys plan and pull off what is literally the perfect robbery. In one of the most daring and intense train robberies ever committed to film, “Breaking Bad” has solidified its status in the motion picture hall of fame with this one.
Meanwhile, Walt Jr. (who is once more calling himself Flynn), and little Holly are both staying with Hank and Marie. Jr. spends most of his time in his room, not talking to anyone. When he does talk to someone, though, it’s usually a short answer or a question about why he can’t stay in his own home. But a heartbreaking scene reveals an obviously stressed Walt pulling a little bit of Heisenberg on his kid in a way we’ve never seen before. Whereas Walt is usually very fair and explanatory with Junior, this time he pulls a “because I said so” and basically scares Junior out of the house.
Skyler theatrically announces that she’ll continue to launder Walt’s money and “be whatever partner you want me to be” as long as Junior and Holly don’t stay at the house. She feels that if anyone were to come and kill him or kill her, they shouldn’t be in the house to see that or become a part of the danger. While she actually makes a decent point, her approach is always so cocky and melodramatic that I can’t seem to take her seriously. Ever. She just…needs to go.
This is all fine and dandy, and ending the episode like that would have been perfectly satisfying. But it takes an extremely dark turn, even for a show like this. After successfully pulling off the robbery, the little kid from the first scene reveals himself to the group and waves at them. Stunned, Todd is the only one who waves back but suddenly he pulls out a gun, shoots, and kills the child. Now, if you’ve been following this season, you’ll know that Todd was developed excellently as a loyal addition to the group, and I thought the show would actually take a more Ocean’s 11 direction than anything, but nothing is ever as it seems with “Breaking Bad”.
Usually, I’m not a fan of when well-developed characters suddenly flash their dark side, but this one just seemed, in a strange way…natural. Jesse’s always been a fan of kids (he’s almost gotten himself killed over kids he didn’t even know), and Walt, a father himself, was surely appalled by what happened. But then there’s Todd. He’s a young guy with nothing to lose and we really don’t know his predicament when he enters the scene. Of course, that all changes when he reveals himself to be a ruthless killer. I’m interested if cooking meth will even be a major point of the show anymore, or will the manhunt to end all manhunts ensue, ending with Walt’s demise and Hank’s obvious reveal of the identity of Heisenberg.
I though the show was going in one direction, instead, it took a turn that I never saw coming, and I kind of love that.
In the fourth of episode of Breaking Bad‘s final season, much of the season’s plot has been put on hold to take a moment and focus on the dynamic between Walter and Skyler. Their rapidly deteriorating marriage is the major focus of this episode. Words are exchanged, things are said, and Walter continues to be the most intelligent man on the entire show. Meanwhile, Mike, Walt, and Jesse are looking to find a way to handle Madrigal, who may or may not have betrayed them.
What could have been this episode’s strengths end up being the major weaknesses. The emphasis on how much of a raging bitch Skyler is, versus how much of a controlled family man Walt is – makes itself apparent within the first five minutes of the episode, where Walt gets himself and his son extremely expensive cars. The sequence is oddly hilarious and I’m not sure how much I was supposed to laugh, but I’ll admit I was definitely cracking up.
I never liked episodes that focused on Skyler, and here we see everyone in a panic because of her. She’s really the only reason everything isn’t going according to plan, and what she says to Walter at the end of the episode is unforgivable and wrong. She may have proved herself momentarily a couple seasons back, but she’s just reverted to her old nosy, selfish, and frankly unintelligent ways. On the other hand, Marie is proving to be a valuable addition to the White family. She and Hank (who’s losing weight faster than a cancer patient, ironically enough), are definitely stepping up to the plate as both siblings-in-law to Walt and Skyler, but also as aunt and uncle to Walter Jr. and Holly.
Stepping away from all of that, though, another major issue I had with this episode was the mild usage of Jesse and Mike, and the complete absence of Saul. Breaking Bad works mainly because of the chemistry between Walter and Jesse (I swear, these [Breaking]bad puns are completely unintentional), but the lack of that here is really apparent. That is, of course, until the end.
Jesse buys Walt a watch for his 51st birthday. In fact, he’s the only person to get him a gift and it’s a beautiful watch that Walt genuinely likes. He wears it, brings it back to Skyler and explains to her that the watch was given to him by someone who was pointing a gun at his head just a couple weeks ago. They’re now good partners and friends, so if their relationship can be mended, so can Walt and Skyler’s marriage.
He then leaves and takes the watch off, putting it on his nightstand. It ticks, and ticks, and ticks, and as the seconds get closer to the next minute, the ticking becomes louder and more intense until the end where it sounds like a gun cocking or the minute hand changing (or both).
I’m thinking that the watch is either bugged (unlikely) or that it’s merely a visual representation of Walt’s literal ticking clock. It’s possible that the cancer may come back and kill him since, as of this point, there isn’t anyone on the street who serves as some kind of imminent danger. But I guess we’ll have to wait until Sunday to find out.
I find it ironic that Douglas Quaid (Colin Farrell) is so bored with mundane life in Total Recall that he seeks the key to the secrets in his dreams; a longing for a better, more spectacular life with more substance. Better and more spectacular – this remake had the potential to be that, to build on the Philip K. Dick story that was originally immortalized in the Arnold Schwarzenegger 1990 flick. However, it seems to run into the same issues Quaid does in his (fake) life. Everything from the plot, to the characters, to even the visuals are redundant and generic during Len Wiseman’s reboot. It is at least – for the most part – a fun, if forgettable escape before we step out of the theater into our own reality.
Farrell plays Quaid as he is haunted by the same dream of escaping capture with a mysterious woman (Jessica Biel) that gives him a longing of a higher purpose. He works on an assembly line, in a factory with his friend Harry (Bokeem Woodbine) building synthetics, robot soldiers in the vein of the Clones in the Star Wars prequels or the NS-5’s in I, Robot. He lives a nondescript life with a beautiful wife (Kate Beckinsale) and while going through the motions, he is driven to find the answer to the emptiness he feels.
Quaid and his wife live in the Colony, a dark, industrial-like slum, and they commute via The Fall, a transport that goes through the core of the Earth in order to reach Great Britain, the only other habitable place on the planet, where the rich get richer. The world is comprised of these two regions as the rest is uninhabitable due to the plaent’s earlier chemical warfare. The Resistance has been fighting with the elite over equality ,while the controlling government class declares them as terrorists trying to disrupt the system that works for all involved. Quaid feels connected to these stories and needs answers to filling the void and lack of purpose in his life that his dreams allude to.
Enter ‘Rekall’, the escapism that the bored need in order to live the fantasy and drown out the routine reality. You can become a movie star, sports figure, or even a secret agent. It is obvious that Quaid goes for the secret agent gig, but before he can get fully immersed, things go bad. Fast. His loving wife, quite suddenly is an evil undercover agent trying to kill him. That girl in the dream? Oh, she’s real and fights for the Resistance. Speaking of the Resistance, yep, he is definitely connected to their organization. And the government led by Chancellor Cohaagen (Bryan Cranston)? Yeah, Quaid is so important to them, that he needs to be hunted down for what he knows. Still following me? Honestly, it doesn’t matter. He is basically Jason Bourne in the future trying to figure out his purpose. That seemed easier than writing those last two paragraphs. Take from that as you will.
It should be known that while there are few Easter Eggs for those that have seen the 1990 version (Three-boobed lady!!), this bears extremely little resemblance to that movie. The Paul Verhoeven film had Mars, Sharon Stone, the idea of reality versus perception. Plus bug eyed people in search of oxygen (note, that ALWAYS freaked me out when I was a little kid, I couldn’t watch that sequence for years). Len Wiseman goes in a direction that only skims the idea of living up to your past versus establishing your own destiny and identity. He has always been a great visual and action director and really takes advantage of the futuristic setting and beautiful actors to establish eye candy and fast pacing for the audience to cover up the lack of depth in the screenplay.
Farrell does a serviceable job as Quaid as he runs around trying to figure out who the hell he is and who he needs to be. I do wish that there was a bit more depth or explanation to the character that delves into Quaid’s past, because his path to the truth seems to run so fast, and the character embraces his rogue fugitive present all too easily. While great for pacing into the action set pieces, which Farrell handles very well, the investment into the character is just on the ‘good guy must beat bad guy level’ as opposed to the ‘I hope he gets closer on who he truly is destined to be’ type of guy.
Beckinsale has fun with largely expanded role of his wife that goes from ‘loving spouse’ to ‘femme fatale-like kiler’ too quickly in her quest to take down her confused ‘husband’. However the increased visibility of the character distracted me as it seems to be more a showcase for her, as opposed to keeping the story on Quaid and developing his journey story arc to find the truth. Granted, I can definitely get over myself and just appreciate Beckinsale owning the screen. Jessica Biel does a good job as well, even if the character is very one note, and merely a directional arrow in order to get Quaid from point A to point B. Cranston should have been in this movie for longer, but during his time on the screen, he owns it and makes sure you know he is the big man in charge, and that he has no problem making sure his agenda is carried out.
Visually, the Colony looks like the world in Blade Runner, mixed in with Toronto’s Chinatown. Apparently Australia, where the Colony is located, is where all the Asian people went during the chemical warfare that engulfed planet Earth. The filmmakers really put the doom and gloom into the movie and capture the oppressed nature of the citizens of the Colony. While visually impressive with the set decoration and CGI, it feels repetitive to stare at the same dull interiors that every bar/apartment/government building this world has. Who knew the future was so listless and unimaginative? However, the action sequences are great and the futuristic car chase scene is fun to watch. I was a big fan of an elevator sequence too because holy crap Beckinsale kicks ass in this movie. I swear they took the sequences straight from Minority Report [Ed. Note – Early Drafts of the Minority Report script were written for Total Recall 2, which obviously never happened], but they still are visually appealing nonetheless. And Kate Beckinsale, again, is a total badass in this movie.
Overall, this is a fun diversionary movie and nothing more. I felt it could have gone deeper into the idea of innate personality versus the expectation/perception of who you were, but I will take a straight up sci-fi action flick that will stimulate the senses for 2 hours. The movie goes fast and it is a ride, but just like Quaid, do not ask me to recall any details about it later, for it will be a distant memory until the next action flick shows up on the silver screen.