Bryan Singer, who brought the first X-Men movie to the big screens 15 years ago (yes, we are that old), has reloaded his guns and is bringing the pain in X-Men: Apocalypse. The third part of the latest trilogy and continuity shift for the X-Movies sees us in the 1980s, and the stars off the original movies are just joining the team. The first trailer for the film is here… Continue reading X-Men Apocalypse Trailer: Bringing Bald Back
If you happened to be watching baseball tonight (Go Cards!), you might have noticed a power surge during the fifth inning. That would be because it was announced that there would be a new The Hunger Games trailer shown after the top of the inning. Not only was it new, it was the final.
That’s right, we have officially reached the home stretch. While it seems like ages ago that the first Catching Fire trailer was released, all the waiting is about to come to an end. To help make the wait a little bit more tolerable, check out the trailer below!
There has been a lot of promo material of late talking about the Quarter Quell, and Haymitch, Effie, Finnick Odair… pretty much everyone, but this trailer goes back to where it all began, Katniss Everdeen and her bow. Katniss and her sister. Katniss and the President. And perhaps most important, Katniss and Peeta.
If there was any doubt that this sequel will lack any of the intensity the first film had, just watch Peeta try to convince Katniss that “It isn’t real” and all doubt will ease away.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire arrives in theaters on November 22nd. Do you have your tickets yet?
The first trailer for David O. Russell’s follow-up to Silver Linings Playbook has been released, giving a first look at the tremendous cast, 70’s flare, and somewhat atrocious hair cuts. Leading the film is Christian Bale (Dark Knight Trilogy) and Bradley Cooper (The Hangover Trilogy) as the former being a con man recruited to help the latter, an FBI agent. In addition to those two big names are Academy Award winners and ‘O. Russell’ alums, Jenifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) and Robert De Niro (The Godfather Part II). But wait, there’s more well-known faces in Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker), Amy Adams (Man of Steel), and Louis C. K. (Blue Jasmine). Co-written by O. Russell, this seems to be a sure contender come next February. Keep your eyes peeled for this, and check out the trailer below.
Originally titled ‘American Bullshit’, the script made the blacklist (an unofficial list of the top un-produced scripts voted on by producers) in 2010, and was bought by Sony Pictures who lined up David O. Russell to direct. The story goes as follows, a fictional take on the 1970’s FBI sting operation know as Abscam that follows a con-man and an FBI agent as they try to turn the table on other cons, mobsters, and politicians in the area.
The film is due out December 13th, and if Columbia shelling out what ever insane amount for a Led Zeppelin song is telling, they are gonna spend as much as they can to market this film in the coming months.
About two years since the release of The Hunger Games, it’s not surprising that a sequel is being made. Making near 700 million at the box office, fast tracking this follow up book was inevitable. Almost all the main cast returns, including the now Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence as the main protagonist Katniss. Check out the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire trailer below.
Adding to the already incredible cast from the first flick are even more incredible actors, such as Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Master) and Jeffrey Wright, who will also be arriving soon in Atlantic City as seen in this Boardwalk Empire trailer.
While the first film, in my opinion, was paced oddly, hopefully the two Academy Award winning writers, Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire) and Michael Arndt (Toy Story 3, Star Wars: Episode VII), can fix that. Also added to the mix is a new director, Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend), who’s pedigree may not be top notch, but seeing that he’s signed on to the next two iterations in the series, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and Part 2, he must have a unique view of the worlds that warrants his stay in the franchise.
The story takes place almost right after the first film, when Katniss and companion Peeta, return home after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games. Shortly preceding their embark on a “Victory Tour” through all the districts. Sensing an uprising brewing in the districts, Katniss is pulled between the people and President Snow, the man in control of everything. With the 75th Annual Hunger Games about to commence, Katniss is forced back into the games due to the Quarter Quell, an event every 25 years that brings up the victors of the previous competitions to face off. As Woody Harrelson puts it in the trailer, “Last year was child’s play”. Hopefully that means a chance to amp up the action, and thrill of the games that I found missing in the first film. And yes, the love triangle seems to be very prevalent in the sequel.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is due out November 22.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I look forward to shows after long breaks because they usually are of better quality than those towards the end of a long stretch. Sadly, this week was not one of those shows. It was alright, but not much to write home about.
They started off strong with the cold open, of course anyone who has kept up with the news this past week knew exactly who was going to make an appearance. I loved Bobby Moynihan as Manti Te’o as he nailed Te’o’s constant deer in the headlights look. I was also quite delighted to see Kate McKinnon again (she’s been absent for a while which is odd seeing how omnipresent she was at the beginning of the season) as Jodie Foster.
McKinnon does a fabulous Jodie Foster! Of course one does have to contemplate the stability of the cosmos when you have one SNL actor impersonating an actor, who was impersonating a character done by another SNL actor.
Jennifer Lawrence’s monologue was boring. No two ways about it. The smack talking of other Oscar nominees was amusing to a point but overall, blah. When the funniest part of your monologue is someone else (Bill Hader as Tommy Lee Jones), then something went wrong.
They did gain some ground with the fauxmercial for Starbuck’s home brewer, the Verismo. Besides being funny on its own, if not slightly racist, it made me realize that I like Vanessa Bayer a thousand times more when she is playing the straight man. Her reaction to the sass talking coffee maker and it’s even sassier manager was hysterical.
I really want to like the Girlfriends Talk Show sketch. I really really really do. Unfortunately I really really really don’t. It’s just boring. However, I will say that I am actively trying to find a way to make myself a “Davide R.I.P.” button because that was by far the funniest part of the sketch. That or the “slimming outer garment”. Other than those two parts (thank you Aidy Bryant) it just falls flat.
Much like when Jeremy Renner was hosting and they did the Avengers sketch, you knew there was going to be a Hunger Games sketch this week. Unfortunately just like the Avengers sketch, it left us a little wanting. There were some definite funny moments, Bill Hader’s beard for sure, and Bobby Moynihan not realizing everyone else was dead, and of course Taran Killam as Peeta, but overall it was just there.
However, the Hobbit as 32 movies bit? That was awesome. Between the titles of the movies and the “reviews”, I was dying. Thank the gods above that it was funny because the “Johnny TwoTones Diner” sketch? It was anything but. I liked the premise, and there were certain moments that were funny, but if there wasn’t a “Girlfriends Talk Show” this would have been the worst sketch of the night.
The Lumineers were refreshingly good. There was no trippy windows 98 screen saver or useless and extraneous dancers involved which was really nice. I’d forgotten what it was like to just watch people sing. Of course they went with the ubiquitous “Ho Hey” for their first offering. Is there anyone on the planet that hasn’t heard at least a snippet of this song by now? Because it seems like it is everywhere- commercials, TV promos, movie trailers. “I belong to you, you belong to me, you’re my sweetheart” is heard every time I turn on my television. Thankfully it’s not too annoying. Yet.
Weekend Update sadly only had one guest and it was the second-hand news guy, Anthony Crispino. I like him only because you can tell how much fun Seth Meyers and Bobby Moynihan have with him. Although I did literally laugh out loud when he said that Fargo, directed by the Aflac duck won a Golden Globe.
Something odd has happened with the last few episodes. For years, and perhaps decades, the sketches following Weekend Update are the ones where you start to wonder what on earth is wrong with the writers of SNL. Were they dropped on their heads too often as infants? Licked lead paint as small children? Smoked too much pot? The questions were endless. However, recently these have been my favorite sketches. I don’t know if it’s me or them, but I like it.
“Top Dog Chef” for example? There is no reason in the world as to why I found that to be so hysterical. Actually I should have thought it was stupid but much like “Maine Justice”, it was fabulous. Of all the random things on the show, I would not have guessed that a Yorkie costume would be the one to end up reused (Daniel Radcliffe was a Yorkie on Weekend Update January of last year). Jennifer Lawrence made a great Yorkie but I think we can all agree that Fred Armisen as the canine Mario Barktali complete with orange crocs was the crowning achievement in that sketch.
The best sketch of the night though? The Minnesota hip-hop morning show. I don’t know if it’s just the combination of Billy and Taran with Vanessa as the straight man, Then add in Jennifer Lawrence as the not so Lyrical Assassin, Busty Rhymes and it was just awesome. A great sketch!
If you haven’t had the pleasure, nay, the honor of seeing the incredible 1974 French soft porn classic, Emmanuelle then the Danielle sketch might have just seemed really odd and from left field. If you have seen Emmanuelle then you know how spot on this sketch was. It was sort of creepy in an incredibly brilliant kind of way.
Last sketch of the night was “Civil War Letters” and was a typical last sketch of the night. Little stupid, a lot ridiculous, and somewhat funny. It was nice to see Tim Robinson again as he’s been relegated to background extra for many weeks now. If the sketch did nothing else, it made us question whether or not Abraham Lincoln was a fan of the “tit pic”.
Like I said at the top, it was a little disappointing of an episode. It certainly wasn’t the worst I’ve seen but it was far from the best I’ve seen. Luckily we have next week to look forward to with the always funny and engaging Adam Levine.
Until next time!
Last years X-Men: First Class was a welcome entry into the X-Men film franchise, and of course, it’s going to get a sequel. Thankfully, the team behind the original, including Michael Fassbender, who played the brilliant Magneto, Jennifer Lawrence of newly found ‘Hunger Games’ fame, and Director Matthew Vaughn, who was also responsible for the kick ass, Kick-Ass, are all returning, given time for their respective schedules, to film the sequel in time for July 2014 release. James McAvoy is also confirmed as returning as Professor X, although there is no information at this time if he will be going bald. Details about the film itself are scarce, as it doesn’t even have a title yet, but it will focus on Magneto falling further down the spiral into super-villainry. All in all it’s still pretty early, and news about casting, new roles, further plot details and such are in the air, as it’ll likely be a year before any substantial updates are available.
What did the five fingers say to the face?
I especially look forward to the film, as First Class was the only film in the entire X-Men franchise that, in my opinion, carried any depth or genuine meaning with it, along with exciting, fun to watch action scenes that carried weight and gravitas behind them. The first two tried unsuccessfully to blend heady, talk heavy scenes into the film, but failed when it came to any kind of exhilarating fighting or action, and left us with a main character death in the second, that lacked emotional resonance, and ultimately ended up going nowhere interesting in the incredibly mediocre (but entertaining in a oh-man-this-is-bad way) third film. First Class finally showcased realistic uses of powers by characters who were refreshingly happy and willing to use them, because having powers would be amazing, and seeing characters unburdened by any sort of broody melodramatic guilt over the “responsibility” of their powers, was a breath of fresh air to see, especially in a genre where so many superheroes’ are so torn about having frickin’ SUPER POWERS.
So it goes without saying I’ll be looking forward to seeing some new X-Men action come July 18, 2014, because watching someone using mind powers gleefully is probably the best wish-fulfillment there is.
Being a high schooler in 2012 is possibly one of the most tiring things a human being can do. And when I say tiring, I don’t mean because of the work, because the homework is never as difficult as they say. It’s tiring because every damn week there’s a new trend that everyone is pressured into keeping up with. As the months proceed, I feel more and more behind the times because I can’t get into things until they’re not popular anymore. Call me what you want, but I seriously have no desire to flock to a line at 5 PM and wait for 7 hours to see a movie that I may or may not like.
Planking, coning, memes, Harry Potter, Glee, The Hunger Games, hipsters, auto-correct fails, Tumblr, Twitter, StumbleUpon, rage face, GIFs, Temple Run, StarKid, One Direction, remakes, 80s revival, skinny jeans, Urban Outfitters, frameless sunglasses, wayfarers, iPads, suspenders, bowties, Skype, screenshots, cats and cocaine in the same picture, dubstep, owling, swag, Odd Future, parkour, genre bending, cute Asian babies, being a liberal, tea, independent coffee shops, mustaches, general facial hair, European lifestyles, being a fake vegan, Words with Friends, Google, trolling, Ryan Gosling, Spotify, being clever, being sarcastic, being an asshole, messy hair, high waisted pants, desert boots, headbands, rain, rainbows, photobombing, henna, links, black people, Kony, hand jewelry, henna tattoos, coconut water, being first, Lana Del Rey, Adele, Dev, small venues, “Tosh.O”, homelessness, irony, sleeve tattoos, hair, vintage anything, thrifting, Goodwill, sweaters, Jason Segel, braids, bikes, lipstick, pixie cuts, Neil Patrick Harris, “How I Met Your Mother”, “New Girl”, “Portlandia”, “Game of Thrones”, puns, bad jokes, anti-jokes, dimples, being cute, puppies, kitties, “Tosh.O”, “Awkward”, “Workaholics”, Paul Rudd, “Key and Peele”, Netflix, Hulu, anything but YouTube, viral videos, CGI, 3D, velvet, skirts, leggings, jeggings, and yes, even Pokemon, are a few of the many, many things that the kids are doing these days. In fact, by the time I post this, a few of these things might even be irrelevant.
See, I’m not necessarily opposed to all of these popular things, because to be honest I’m a fan of most of these things. I just fear the children of our generation and how easily they can flee from one item of popular culture. I remember just two years ago when “die-hard” Twilight fans would literally get into fist fights about Jacob vs. Edward. Now, they couldn’t care less about what the hell Taylor Lautner is up to. But for aspiring actors and artists and musicians, isn’t that terrifying? Aren’t you scared that unless you’re able to stay as relevant as the youth is demanding, you’ll be cast away in the sea of other former Grammy winners and franchise stars? I mean for God’s sake, anytime I mention Justin Bieber to somebody, they say, “Justin Bieber? You’re joking right? It’s about One Direction, now.” I remember a time when anytime I said something remotely negative about the Biebs, I would get smacked in the freaking face.
As a teenager, I respect the fact that teens are looking for a new piece of entertainment to hold on to. We get bored quickly, I get it. But as an aspiring filmmaker and musician, I’m terrified that if I ever create something remotely popular, a mere three months after I’ll be referred to as “the guy who made that one good song” or “the guy who made that one good movie”. And I’m not trying to be dramatic or anything like that, but if you’re a teenager and reading this, think about it. Do you still love Twilight like you may have when it first came out?
I blame this on the rapidly shrinking attention spans of teens. When I was around 5, I remember patiently waiting twenty minutes for a video or a computer game to load, and I got super excited when it was finally loaded. Now, unless a webpage loads in like 12 seconds, I start freaking out about how slow the internet is. So yes, I admit that I have adopted the impatience as the rest of my generation, but what can be expected of a world where things as enticing as text messages, instant messages, micro blogging, and video sharing are just a click and scroll away!
Even my parents have become completely consumed with all the new technological appliances surrounding them. I’m the only person left in my family who doesn’t have an iPhone, and whether for work purposes or not, the thing I hear most in my house now is “Hey, Joey, can I use your iPad?” I find myself sending more texts and emails for them while they’re driving than I do for myself. Not a complaint, just an observation. Sorry to put you on the spot, mom.
All I’m saying is, I think we need to slow down just a little bit. We’re ingesting all this information, and we don’t know what to do with all of it. It’s a reality that becomes truer and more prevalent with every iOS update. My advice? If you’re going to fry your mind staring at a computer screen for eight to ten hours a day, at least do what I do and go outside while you’re doing it. Because if you don’t, you’ll probably just end up overusing technology and your life will become eerily similar to that of the characters in Up. Or, they could go the exact opposite way, and we could have a second holocaust, much like what happens in The Hunger Games. It’s really up for debate at this point.
The Hunger Games, based on the bestselling series by Suzanne Collins, follows Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), a skilled hunter and matriarchal figure to her younger sister, Primrose (Willow Shields). In this futuristic dystopia, food is given to those who enter their name into a contest called “The Hunger Games”. Every year, there’s a Reaping Day where two names, one boy and one girl, from each of the twelve districts is handpicked by Effie Trinket (Elizabeth Banks), one of the faces of the Hunger Games. The twelve districts are named as such due to class, and district twelve, the poorest of them all, is home to the Everdeen family.
During the Reaping, against all odds, Primrose is selected, despite her name only being in the bowl once. Out of fear, Katniss volunteers herself as tribute, or, as a contestant in the games. Both delighted and surprised, Trinket proceeds to pick a boy, Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson), a farmer boy who’s had a crush on Katniss for years. The two are then taken to the Capitol, who now controls the twelve districts after they waged war about a century earlier.
Their mentor, Haymitch Abernathy (Woody Harrelson) guides them as they train for the games, while they are dolled up for national television on a program hosted by Caesar Flickerman (Stanley Tucci), who looks strangely like the evil Inspector Gadget from the Matthew Broderick version. All of this is in preparation for the big day. For the Hunger Games.
When I first saw the trailers for The Hunger Games, I groaned in displeasure as I saw what looked to be the next Twilight. After seeing the film, a part of me is right, and another part of me is wrong. On a scale of Eragon to Harry Potter, The Hunger Games places a little bit above The Twilight Saga: Eclipse but lower than Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In human being language, that basically means that it’s pretty good, but not great. With a great performance by Woody Harrelson, and a decent one by Jennifer Lawrence, as well as some fantastic set pieces that don’t suffer from too much CGI, The Hunger Games definitely isn’t the worst movie you could see this weekend.
In fact, it’s definitely the most exciting, but a lot more could have been done to create quality entertainment. For one, hire a new director for God’s sake. Not since Catherine Hardwicke’s clunky directing in the first Twilight film have I seen such unnecessarily shaky and displeasing camerawork. I swear, watching Katniss walk through a forest was the equivalent of a three year old child who happened to get hold of a camcorder. It truly was awful, and in attempt to be edgy, it just ends up looking stupid. I hoped and prayed that once the action started, that crap would stop. But no, it didn’t, it got worse. Even my friend who I saw the movie with said to me, “Dude is your head starting hurt from all the shakiness or is it just me?”
Another thing that might have enhanced the whole movie was to appeal to people who aren’t familiar with the source material. As a big budget blockbuster, you have to appeal to mass audiences, emphasis on the mass. Not everyone who’s going to see this movie has read the original books, so it’s important that as a filmmaker you introduce these new terms and characters and plot points at a comfortable pace for everybody. It’s the same thing that my teachers always say, “Pretend like you’re writing this essay for somebody who has no idea what you’re writing about.” It just gives the audience more of a reason to care about what’s going on in the movie.
My final complaint is the PG-13 rating. I get it, you wanted to make a lot of money. You wanted to start a franchise. You wanted everyone to go and see this movie. But with the shaky cam, and the beautifully designed sets, why not just slash the budget in half, cut the caterers, and take the R-Rating. It would have enhanced the film’s second half, and it probably would have made everything even more intense. Not that the action doesn’t already push the envelope, because it really does, but I came to this movie to see people getting cut up and sliced open. And if I don’t get that, what stops me and thousands of other people from just going and re-watching Battle Royale, since it’s essentially the exact same premise.
As far as the positives, there are plenty as well. Once the games actually start, the intensity level rises to a million and it doesn’t let go for the entire 90 minutes that we’re following the characters through the games. At 144 minutes, The Hunger Games sure as hell doesn’t feel like it. What it does feel like, though, is a prelude to something bigger. Something even more exciting and even more dramatic than this first installment in what is sure to be the biggest franchise since the Boy Who Lived hit the silver screen.
I know, I know, I’m being a little tough on this movie. But that’s only because I want this franchise to be successful. I really do. There were a lot of redeeming qualities that I wished had been used to their fullest extent. Instead, I feel like we’re only getting a half-assed product. With that being said, half assing something this epic is still better than all the crappy horror flicks released this year combined. The Hunger Games is really just a film meant to be seen with a group, in IMAX, in a big theater, with your friends. It’s an experience that really only takes full effect with a giant screen and two of your funniest friends cracking jokes at all the unintentional hilarity that occurs. And while this is all fun and dandy now, when it comes time to look back on this franchise, will it be seen as one that really changed the way we look at films, and the way we look at big budget flicks? Probably not.
If you ask me, the whole movie is just a metaphor for the holocaust. The way they line them up, make them dress up in plainclothes, the way they glamorize everything, the propaganda. It all makes sense if you look at it from a historical perspective. The thing that really got me going on that was the scene in the very beginning where they show a short PSA from the Capitol on how important the Hunger Games were to the survival of the economy and their people. Basically, spewing all this crap in a failed attempt to get people to not panic so much. But author Suzanne Collins says the whole thing is based on Greek Mythology, so I guess I’ll just have to agree to disagree.
Still, go see the movie. Love it, enjoy it, revel in all of its glory. I admit that there’s a little kid in me that got excited when things got tense, but as a critic I have a duty to tell you what the film really boils down to. A series of missed opportunities that still amounts to a halfway decent action flick. So, have a happy Hunger Games, and may the odds be ever in your favor.
We’ve seen quite a few franchises rip through social media these days, and they all have the same things in common. One, they come from popular books series. IE: Harry Potter and Twilight. The Hunger Games is no different. Two, they all have gigantic budgets with big studios backing them. They can boast the latest in CGI, costume design, even scores by some of the top composers. And three, they can take many liberties and let the foot off the gas creatively (and they often do) because they all have multitudes of preteen fans ready to spend their lunch money on a movie ticket, even before the film is released. The result is generally poor writing and even worse acting.
The newest trailer for The Hunger Games is out and thank God it’s not another spinning acid trip in the woods. For a while there I thought I was watching daytime outtakes from The Blair Witch Project. With slightly less snot.
I will say from the top that I like the trailer. It encapsulates the character of Katniss quite well, and I am more than pleased with Jennifer Lawrence in the role with what I’ve seen so far. That and Donald Sutherland is basically a badass, so you know he’ll be awesome. I can make my peace with Lenny Kravitz, I really can. I’m sure he had the best acting coaches money could buy that auto-tuned his on-screen performance. I’m sure he knows some guitar hypnosis voodoo to get what he wants.
I really have a hard time making my peace with Woody Harrelson because of what an obscenely awful actor he is. He wasn’t exhibited much in the trailer, but I think this role should be a cinch for him. He’s like Keanu Reeves. Keanu has solid performances when he plays someone who has no clue what’s going on; because Keanu has no clue what’s going on. In this film, Woody portrays a crazy drunk who tends to lash out in a violent rage. Three shots of Tequila and he just has to read the script.
Anyhow, here it is…
I have high hopes for this film because I did thoroughly enjoy the book. There is a wide margin of screw-up possibility, as in any book to film adaptation. However, being that this was the only book in the trilogy that was actually worth reading, I’m excited to see it. This new trailer really gave us a glimpse into Katniss’ life before and leading up to the games; her bravery in volunteering to die to save her sister’s life, her friendship with her fellow tribute, Peeta. It felt inspiring. Hopefully the film lives up to the hype.
Hunger Games will be released on March 23, 2012.