Lionsgate has released the first trailer for the new thriller Knives Out. Rian Johnson returns with a great assembled cast in a movie that promises to pay tribute to masterminds Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock with his own modern-day murder-mystery.
I saw Captain America: Civil War opening night and despite popular opinion, I was a bit disappointed.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s leaps and bounds better than the majority of other Marvel Cinematic Universe films, but I think the hype got to me and I left a little underwhelmed. So, if you loved it (and you probably did), don’t yell at me, I loved it too, my disappointment couldn’t outweigh my enjoyment. But I do have a few things I’d like to address…
Remember how we were going to get the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer during the October 28th Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode? Well someone decided to crash the party, and if you believe Marvel, it was Hydra.
It seems that Robert Downey Jr. just can’t get enough of Marvel.
According to various reports, while there may not be an Iron Man 4, Robert Downey Jr. has signed on for a major role in the as of now untitled third installment in the Captain America franchise, and it could have some huge implications for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
RDJ has been making the rounds recently for his film The Judge, and naturally all anyone wants to talk about is his future as Iron Man. Originally, he was contracted for only one more Marvel movie, Avengers 3. However, it appears that Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has major plans for Phase 3, which includes Captain America 3, Ant-Man, Doctor Strange, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Thor 3 and of course, the third Avengers. Feige may just be gearing up for Marvel’s biggest storyline of the last decade.
The thought is that this casting will lead to the Civil War series that ran in the comics in 2006 and 2007. That would put Captain America and Iron Man on opposite sides of the superhero registration act, dividing the former teammates and friends, and pitting half the Marvel Universe against each other, Cap opposing the act and Iron Man backing it. This could also help explain some of the recent rumors about Sony and Marvel working together, and Spider-Man showing up in the MCU. Afterall, he did play a big part during Civil War.
So, while the deal has yet to be signed, this is obviously the major announcement that RDJ has been teasing for the last few weeks. Granted, we’ve seen stuff fall through like Joaquin Phoenix as Doctor Strange or Edgar Wright leaving Ant-Man, but I have a feeling that this one is going to get done. Especially considering that Iron Man 3 grossed more than a billion dollars, so while they’ll back up the Brinks truck for RDJ one more time, it will all be worth it.
Images: Marvel Studios, Marvel Comics
With an all-star cast, an unbelievable true story, and a period setting, it’s remarkable that The Iceman got such a limited release and such little buzz. Directed by relative unknown Ariel Vromen, the film is based on the true story of Richard Kuklinski, who not only was a contract killer who worked for various mobs over 30 plus years, but managed to hold a stable family that knew nothing of his work. Michael Shannon stars as Kuklinski with Winona Ryder playing his wife. Chris Evans, Ray Liotta and a few other well-known faces join the two as well. Originally given a limited release last May, the film did poorly, only earning back about an eighth of its 10 million budget. Now coming to DVD soon, this movie will have a second chance to reach an audience. While I have not seen the film myself, reviews have been mostly positive. Plus by the looks of the trailer, Shannon seems to be putting in one hell of a performance. This seems like something to keep your eyes out for in the coming months. Check out the trailer, and then read on if you want to know more about the true story.
The Iceman is hitting DVD and Blu-Ray on September 3. Here’s a little more background on the true story of Kuklinski for those interested. Richard Kuklinski grew up in an abusive family in Jersey City, New Jersey. Between his brother dying at the hands of his father’s abuse, his other brother going to prison for murder, and the constant beatings by his mother, Kuklinski had a tough upbringing. First going through the ranks as a loan shark, the DeCavalante crime family eventually caught wind of his ruthless, no nonsense tactics, and in the mid 1950’s hired him for his first hit. From there sprung a period of about 30 years, where he jumped across various crime families in New York City performing assassinations for money. In this period, he claimed to have committed over 100 killings, but at the same time, was in a healthy marriage with three children all while keeping his entire work private to his family. In 1986, Kuklinski was finally caught by undercover cops and was incarcerated. The oddest part of the story is the media frenzy that sprung up. During incarceration, and until his death in 2006, Kuklinski provided multiple interviews on his time as a contract killer, had two documentaries made on his life and had two biographies written about him. While clearly no saint, Kuklinski had a quite an interesting story that could make one hell of a film. Hopefully, The Iceman is just that.
In addition, here’s a test scene with Michael Shannon as Kuklinski that was shot about a year prior to production on The Iceman. If you want to get a better sense of Shannon’s dark and soft-spoken portrayal, without spoiling any of the flick, check out the clip below.
Joss Whedon, come on down! You’ve just been chosen to continue on the path of greatness and while adding to your god-like status amongst the human population! According to several news sources, ranging from the Hollywood Reporter, EW.com, Newsrama etc., Joss Whedon is back in the saddle as your writer and director for Marvel’s The Avengers 2.
In the deal, Mr. Joss “I Own The World, Bow Before My Awesomeness” Whedon, signs a deal with Marvel Studios that keeps in the fold through the end of June 2015. In that, he will cover his duties as director and writer for The Avengers 2, as well as helping develop a live action series for ABC and, according to the Marvel Studios’ press release, “will also contribute creatively to the next phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe.” Basically, as I have read it, he will take the Jon Favreau role in making sure that the universe that Marvel Studios has cultivated will be ushered into the next set of movies, culminating in The Avengers 2 movie. You can bet that the TV show will deal in the Avengers universe and it is safe to say that it is NOT the Guillermo del Toro Hulk series being developed for ABC apparently. Excited much? Yessir. Let us face it, Joss Whedon knows his characters and his television. While not successful all the time in terms of nielsen ratings, his television shows always are great and at least will cater to the cult crowds and die hard geeks his drops his wisdom on. Plus if it’s set in the Marvel Universe, umm, insta-hit?
From a Hollywood perspective, this should be zero surprise of course. The Avengers has made 1.5 BILLION worldwide. A large part is because not only the commercial acclaim of putting together the most brilliant way to market your movie (uhh, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger? Yeah, those were basically marketing teasers for that movie, profitable ones too at the very least), but the critical acclaim that got people coming back for more. The onus on Whedon and Marvel was making sure the characters were enjoyable to watch and developed to where they both electrified the screen individually AND as a team. Whedon solidified the Marvel Studio’s universe in this movie because he made sure this ambitious project did not implode like a dying star. With egos and sheer enormous size of this project, this could have been an unmitigated disaster with everything that was going on but instead, Mr. Firefly himself controlled the movie and its stars (and the future of this universe) and made sure the next several movies are events flicks that people of all walks and sizes will need to see.
So let’s recap, this will be Joss Whedon’s universe for the next three years and with Iron Man 3 for May 3rd, 2013; Thor: The Dark World in November 8th, 2013; Captain America: The Winter Soldier for April 4th, 2013; Guardians of the Galaxy launching on August 1st, 2014; with possibly Edgar Wright’s Ant-Man figuring into the equation too, this will probably confirm Avengers 2 hitting theaters in 2015, right when the contract ends. Not too mention the TV show that, crossing my fingers and just a hypothetical guess, will probably be S.H.I.E.L.D. related? Excited? You know it baby. So much that this ScarJo pic will be used to match the badassness of this news.
Comic Con is always an awesome time for us fan boys and girls. The smell of new comics on a mornings day, the greasepaint on some guy’s face who’s dressed as the Joker, and exclusive action figures.
The Avengers is a box office smash, having shattered records with a $200 million opening weekend. So when it came time for us to review The Avengers, we realized that pretty much every staff member and their dog (and Michelle’s cat Pepper Potts) had something to say about the film. So it only made sense that we provide a forum for us all to share our thoughts. Of course not all our thoughts were entirely positive. But most of them were. I also enlisted a few friends of the site to get their opinion on this monumental movie. Let’s get to it.
Well, after years in the making, my childhood imagination was finally given life this weekend with Marvel’s release of The Avengers. Writer/Director Joss Whedon took what was given to him from the previous 5 movies (Iron Man, Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger) and showed us that in this case, the sum is greater than the parts. With huge potential to epically fail from a creative standpoint (ala X3, Wolverine, Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Iron Man 2) as many people were concerned that it was just too many characters to gel together, The Avengers proved the to be Marvel Studios best film yet. And after the early vocal concerns about Mr. Buffy – Joss Whedon directing, it would seem he was actually the perfect man for the job. There was enough of a comic book feel to appease the readers, while remaining accessible enough not to lose the average movie goer.
The movie itself provided perhaps the best ever use of the Hulk on-screen, as it’s obvious that he works better in a supporting role than carrying a movie himself. And his interactions with Thor were immensely enjoyable. Mark Ruffalo I thought was also the most enjoyable Bruce Banner we’ve seen, at least since Bill Bixby on the 70’s TV show anyway. The scenes with Stark and Banner nerding it up while Thor and Cap struggled to follow along just felt right.
Overall, Loki made a solid villain, even if we are never really clear what his powers are, and the last 30 minutes of the movie were non-stop awesome. The humor was well-timed, and while things started a little slow, the payoff was well worth the wait. I’ve gone twice already and I loved it both times.
MY FAVORITE PARTS (Possible Spoilers)
– Thor Headbutting Iron Man
– Hulk vs. Loki
– Stark and Banner in the Lab
– Hawkeye shooting Loki out of the air
– Cap stopping the Thor/Iron Man fight.
I’ve never been happier to be a nerd. I’ve been a fan of The Avengers since I was old enough to read, and like many fans never imagined I would ever get a chance to see the team on the big screen. Then the Iron Man post-credit scene opened the door and the little fanboy inside of me rejoiced. The Road to the Avengers was a long one, and we witnessed some great entries and some not-so-great entries, but they were all leading to what I now consider my Holy Grail. All they needed was the right director to put it all together. And they found him.
Whedon delivered a breathtakingly awesome portrayal of some of my favorite characters. I was practically near tears at a few moments throughout the movie, and my emotional roller-coaster didn’t stop until well after the final scene of the film. While it started off a little slow, I never felt that the exploration of the characters bogged the movie down at all, and it all led nicely to the ridiculously action packed third act of the film. As a comic fan, I was overjoyed to see a little more development of Black Widow’s character, as well as probably the best Bruce Banner I’ve ever seen. Kudos goes out to Mark Ruffalo for absolutely nailing it. The Big 3 (Thor, Cap, Iron Man) were very consistent with their characterizations and were enjoyable, but what really stood out for me were some of the supporting cast. Obviously Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye (Agent Barton as he is most commonly referred to) was a high point of the movie for me, but I really enjoyed Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson and Cobie Smulder’s Agent Hill. I left the theater feeling more satisfied then I have at any summer blockbuster I can remember, and that feeling continued even after I saw it a second time.
I don’t even know If I can look forward to future movies. The Avengers might have just spoiled me as a movie lover. The Dark What? Who’s Batman?
Although I knew that The Avengers would be a star-studded, explosion-fest, I had very low expectations. After some pretty bad Marvel blunders (Spider-man 3, where Peter Parker looks like he is a member of Fall Out Boy, and “Ghost Rider” which had an equally terrible sequel) I was terrified for what they might do with this film. After seeing The Avengers, I would say this movie not only exceeded my expectations greatly, but it is the most fun I have had at the movies in… well… since I can remember. Aside from the teenagers clapping every time Tony Stark said something, The Avengers was an amazing movie experience.
One of my favorite parts is when Thor shows up. The three-way battle between Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor was absolutely amazing. Also, there’s Loki catching Hawkeye’s exploding arrow. However, of my favorite parts, I would have to say that the most hilarious was when Hulk treated Loki like a rag-doll. “Puny God!” There has got to be a way to get a GIF of that (Check the link above in Dr. Kronner’s piece). When I left the movie theater, my face literally hurt from smiling. I am very pleased with this film. Joss Whedon- I love you.
The Avengers is a project that isn’t meant to work in Hollywood: Four different movie franchises culminating into one team-up action blockbuster. It’s a concept that would essentially read as fan fiction were it not already an established concept in source material. The amount of scheduling, policing, planning and communication that has to go down just to make it happen is astounding. Having it succeed would be nothing short of superhuman.
Enter the seventh Avenger, Joss Whedon, whose penchant for writing characters has earned him an almost mythical reputation in the Nerdscape. Whedon has an uncanny ability to isolate the most interesting elements of his characters and bounce them off one other, and that’s just what he does here. The fact that superheroes by nature have such bold, highly concentrated personalities makes every line of dialogue crackle with electricity, and every character arc feel attended to. This is the foundation of The Avengers success. We’ve seen countless action movies crumble under the weight of too many characters, or a convoluted script. The Avengers manages to tie everything down and keep the story grounded.
Despite keeping my expectations low for this film, The Avengers is, from its first scene, underwhelming in every way. With a script littered with excuses for a plot, and an exposition that lasts far too long, The Avengers doesn’t only take a few pages from the Transformers: Dark of the Moon Handbook; it steals the handbook and uses every page. Mark Ruffalo is fantastic and the Hulk keeps the film grounded in some realm of human emotion, but The Avengers is too busy setting up for yet another Marvel movie to take a minute and reflect on how far it’s already come. Furthermore, The Avengers is just proof that Loki needs a hug.
Fister Roboto of LeftHandHorror:
Nerds everywhere owe Joss Whedon an enormous ‘thank you’. Not only has he satisfied critics and hardcore comic fans with his adaptation, but he’s given the film a soul as well. Every scene smacks of his signature witty and snarky dialogue; a welcome element to a team of super serious heroes. If the film felt effortless and organic to you, we can once again thank Joss for turning his love of The Avengers comic into a passionately well-crafted film. The Avengers is everything we’ve ever wanted in a comic book movie. Packed with action, great banter, citywide property destruction, mesmerizing special effects and a rampaging Hulk on the loose – The Avengers cements Whedon into geek infamy forever. This film is a true rarity of success and substance.
Christopher Brown of ModernBro:
Two words: HOLY. SH*T.
Avengers could possibly be the best comic book movie of all time. Not only did they achieve exactly what the fans wanted, but they did it with style, humor, and a boatload of action. For a two and a half hour movie, it flew by, never dragging or lagging, always entertaining and always faithful to the characters’ characterizations. Everything about this movie was great, in my opinion, and each character had his or her charm and appeal (though Hawkeye and Black Widow seemed a bit flatter than the rest of the characters). Without spoiling anything, I think that The Hulk flat out stole the show with some of the most amusingly badass – and flat out hilarious – scenes. I’ve got a definite new found respect for The Hulk as he was done RIGHT in this movie.
This one’s definitely being added to the collection, and I can’t wait to compare The Dark Knight Rises to it. It’s going to be extremely difficult for anyone – including Marvel – to top this…and yet, the extra scene after the credits makes a BOLD promise that they intend to try. And for that, Marvel, I salute you with a good old fashioned Stan Lee “Excelsior!”
Tim of Tim’s Film Reviews
Joss Whedon you beautiful man you. Well he has done what many thought would be impossible creating a film with six superheroes without it being a total mess. The film is not only not bad but in my opinion pretty damn perfect. By perfect I mean I honestly don’t have any complaints, no stupid stuff, no boring scenes, it’s just a great action film.The characters are surprisingly well performed by the cast and were written as being more human than any of their own films have portrayed before (especially Bruce Banner).
The avenger’s first contact with each other certainly was kept true to the characters created in the films and comics meaning there was plenty of clashes involving all the heroes.There are a few things Joss Whedon does very well and you see two of them a lot in this film, the first would be brilliant character development meaning in this film that each of the characters in this massive film had their own screen time without one being more important than any other(even lesser characters got their time on the screen). The second is making smaller film sets get packed with massive stories and characters which looks and works great (action scenes within flying fortress, fight between Iron man and Thor within the woods), he obviously feels more comfortable on smaller sets because of his work on TV and lower budget films but he knows how to make these look just as good as in the open landscape scenes. This film is great for anyone to watch and I hope it does as well as it deserves.
So a pretty resounding success for Marvel Studios and the cast of the film. I guarantee you that as the numbers were rolling in for the opening weekend Keven Feige and Co. were spinning out new movie ideas left and right. Which is a good thing in my eyes.
So what does everybody else think? Let us know your thoughts on the movie in the comments section below!
The “Dream Team” was thrown around a lot after the 1992 Olympic US Men’s Basketball team gathered Jordan, Magic, Bird and a gaggle of other superior stars to take on the world. These vastly superior athletes were able to put their egos aside for one goal: to conquer the world. It has come and gone throughout the last few decades ranging from the US Women’s World Cup team in 1999 to even the underwhelming 2011 Philadelphia Eagles when Vince Young destroyed his team’s hopes by raising the expectations. It can apply to movies too, like Christopher Nolan and his Batman team. Scorcese and DeNiro. Heck, Scorcese and Leo. It only seems fitting to talk about Marvel’s The Avengers in the dream team concept. However, in this awesomely epic buddy action film, I think the real Dream Team lies behind the scenes: Joss Whedon and Marvel.
This all started with the first Iron Man where RDJ took to the screen and carried the movie with his charisma and stage presence overcoming flaws, but it was an entertaining movie that set the stage for the Incredible Hulk, then the fart noise inducing Iron Man 2. What followed were vastly underrated Thor and a solid Captain America: The First Avenger last year, which set the stage for The Avengers movie. An artifact originating in Thor, called the Tesseract, has been taken by Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and he is harnessing its enormous power to set the stage for the conquest of Earth. Giant wormhole portals ensue and that means the big guns must be called in. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) heads up S.H.I.E.L.D., a covert agency charged with taking back what may or may not be rightfully theirs and since puny humans failed to protect the artifact the first time around, it is time to call in the big guns. So Iron Man (RDJ), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must form the dream team and solve some issues. Did I forget to mention they really have a lot issues to be worked out internally too?
Turns out Iron Man is a narcissist non-follower, Cap has no team to follow his gung ho lead, Thor is just amused at these white boy problems, the Dr. Banner just wants some peace and quiet. But we all knew these things because of the previous movies. Director/Co-Writer Whedon does an amazing job in creating winks and nudges for the geeks that did watch the previous movies, yet remains accessible enough to where new people can follow the adventure. The danger here was incorporating several ideals from five different movies with seven different heroes to make them mesh as well as show off their individual spark that got them their own movies to begin with. Everyone gets their time in the spotlight, especially the Big Four (Cap, Iron Man, Hulk, and Thor) to establish their own paths and how they, for just this one movie and eventual sequels, have their paths intertwine into a solid team. The audience is treated to the banter and the battles with each other before they all come together with their common goal.
The beginning of the movie does feel like exposition and even felt dangerously close to voiceover narrative territory in trying to set up the plot before the fun begins. The dialogue shines from the Zak Penn and Whedon script which feels like a love letter to Marvel fans as well as accessible to the every man with the humor and levity that spills out of the actors’ mouths. None of it feels forced or unoriginal and really shows off the chemistry between these superheroes that could just turned into a giant awful bomb of apathy. RDJ owns as Iron Man and really should because this is not at all possible without what he has brought to the table with the earlier movies and the personality that exudes confidence and sarcasm. Chris Evans conveys his sense of duty in what would be the corniest role this side of Cyclops but develops his want to belong yet remain strong and self-assured as the leader. Hemsworth continues to impress with his observations and sly humor as the demigod and as the third Hulk actor, Ruffalo just enjoys the moment to stay out of fire long enough to steal scenes as his CGI counterpart. Hiddleston continues his great work from Thor and makes his villain memorable. Plus he just loves to chew scenery and you can tell he is just having a blast going against his heroic counterparts. Nick Fury finally gets his time to shine a bit as the hardass leader that brings them all together. Johansson and Renner do not have the same screen time as their super counterparts and feel a bit shoved in there but that might have more to do with the byproduct of dealing with the Big Four as opposed to whether they belong or not because let us face it, they are equal part of this movie.
The last thirty minutes is a spectacular assault on the senses in visual effects. Nothing seems too terribly out of place and that is a testament to not only Whedon, but Marvel Studios themselves. They have carefully ushered these characters into this movie and making sure that every part meshes together to create a fantastic experience for the audience. Whedon had many critics going into this movie on whether he could handle the scope and vast enormity of the movie but he has proved he can handle this mega franchise. This is the perfect movie to start off the summer movie season with because it’s simply pure fun. No one expects a Dark Knight Rises social commentary, this is strictly a boys being boys type of movie where you want to bash Hulk Hands against the toy Captain America shield you bought at the toy store after leaving the movie theater.
It does not take itself too seriously and nor should it. You will walk out amazed and wonder how the almost two and a half hours went by so fast. Again, credit should go to the dream team of actors that had the right chemistry and ego to make this an enjoyable experience but it was Whedon and Marvel Studios that came in with the cape to save us from boredom.