For years, Denzel Washington has created one of the best resumes in Hollywood by essentially just playing himself. Take a minute and think of the first five Denzel movies that come to mind. For me, it’s Training Day, John Q., Man on Fire, Glory, and American Gangster. If your list is in any way similar to mine, think about Denzel’s performances in all of those movies. Were it not for maybe the clothes he was wearing, or the setting of the scene, do you think you could even discern certain Denzel performances from others?
If you can, you must be really good at crosswords and “Where’s Waldo?” because I seriously can’t even begin to tell them apart. Still, I believe that that’s a big part of Denzel’s appeal. You know what to expect, and it works every time. If it worked the first 12 times, there’s a pretty big chance that it’s going to work a 13th time. In the newest vehicle for Denzel, Safe House, he plays Tobin Frost. In the mid 80s and up until the late 90s, Frost was one of the top CIA agents in the world. He went rouge in 2002 for unknown reasons, and has been on the run from the US government ever since.
Discovered in South Africa, Frost is placed in the care of Matt Weston, a young and optimistic CIA agent who has spent the last year working as a safe house operator, never able to see any real action. Frost is brought in by an extraction team led by Daniel Kiefer (Robert Patrick), but the location of the house is compromised, and with the extraction team dead, Weston is in charge of Frost’s whereabouts.
Back at his apartment, Weston has a beautiful French girlfriend with whom he is madly in love with, and vice versa. The obvious conflict with having a relationship in his line of work makes it extremely hard to explain to her what is going on among all of the commotion. The subplot of Weston’s lady friend makes for interesting character development later in the film when he must make the difficult choice between the safety of the woman he loves, and the strong feelings he has for her.
Stateside, orders from Catherine Linklater (Vera Farmiga), David Barlow (Brendan Gleeson), and Harlan Whitford (Sam Shepard), three of the agency’s executive officers, instruct Weston to successfully bring Frost out to a new safe house in rural South Africa. While trying to get to their location, Weston and Frost are being tracked by a group of men after a file that Frost has hidden. Inside the file is very valuable information that may just be the end of government secrecy as we know it.
Safe House is Denzel’s first film since 2010’s Unstoppable, his second train movie after The Taking of Pelham 123. Safe House is an extremely welcome return to form for Denzel, who turns in a fantastically familiar performance as Tobin Frost. Ryan Reynolds is also surprisingly effective as the up and coming CIA agent who just wants to do the right thing. Brendan Gleeson, Vera Farmiga, and Sam Shepard all do wonderfully in their supporting roles, but Gleeson really steals the show, as usual, playing yet another diverse character to add to his already eclectic resume.
The chemistry between Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington is dynamite. Their banter is often revealing, quick, and engrossing, serving as an equal to the heart-racing action sequences littered throughout the film. They both seem very comfortable in their characters, and even more comfortable with each other, which makes for some wonderfully tense and sometimes hilarious scenes between the two. I’d love to see them star in a comedy together with Ryan Reynolds leading the way instead of Denzel, because honestly, they make a great pair.
Directed by Daniel Espinosa, Safe House makes good use of the effective shaky cam style that has been popular for a few years now, editing together some stylish action sequences, as well as some tense dialogue that moves the film along at a very brisk pace, to say the least, because once the action starts, it doesn’t let up until the end credits roll, something that can’t be said for a lot of the other “action-packed” spy movies that have been released recently.
The fast paced but intelligent script by first time feature film screenwriter, David Guggenheim, manages to be action packed but also contains a considerable amount of character development as well as good enough dialogue that doesn’t distract from the movie’s serious tone. The biggest success in the screenplay, though, is its integration of culture to service its plot, including a breathtaking arena sequence that segways nicely into a display of South Africa’s slums, including a nice cameo performance by Ruben Blades.
All in all, Safe House is a thrilling ride that is better than it has any right to be, offering a slew of excellent performances, some great action, and a script that takes you on a wild ride through the mind of a traitor, as well as through South Africa’s best and worst. If you liked the trailer, you’ll love the movie, as the advertising doesn’t misrepresent the film like many other previews that we see on TV. Safe House, among many other things, is entirely predictable from the first scene, but that shouldn’t stop you from what is otherwise a thrilling ride at the movies.
I’m a Green Lantern fan. I’m not one of those from the beginning Lantern fans, I’m talking the Geoff Johns era Lantern fan. That would probably make a whole bunch of geeks out there vomit in revulsion because they don’t like the Geoff Johns era because it made Green Lantern relevant after they blindly followed his lameness throughout the decades before. But that’s neither here nor there, as a Lantern fan (a pretty big one in my opinion) I felt it only proper that I review the recent Ryan Reynolds starring film. I was very excited after the second trailer came out for the flick, but once I missed it the first week in theaters the critics and my colleague Dr. Kronner had already done the damage. The movie was lambasted as a piece of crap that failed at every turn. Dr. Kronner had a more reasonable assessment but he stopped short of calling it awesome or even good. Well I’ve watched the Blu-Ray disc this very night and let me tell you: This movie sucks major arse, especially if you’re a Green Lantern fan. Casual movie goers would enjoy it and that’s about it, which explains it’s heartless box office performance.
So for those of you who do not know, the movie is about an ancient species of beings called the Guardians who have harnessed the green energy of will power and created an intergalactic force of peacekeepers to maintain justice throughout the space sectors of the galaxy. The peacekeepers wear rings imbued with the green energy of will power and the wearer can make any construct they can imagine to serve and protect those in need. Sounds great right? Yes, in theory it does and in the comics it is awesome but this movie really just falls flat and makes the mistake of spending far too much time on Earth and not in the galaxy showing us what the Lanterns can do.
Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan I could live with. He was wise cracking and humorous at times but nothing too over the top for Mr. “I like to wear no shirt” Reynolds. But as for the costume he wore, in particular the mask, I found myself laughing out loud at it in certain scenes. I still can’t figure out if the laughter was a confused laughter because I should have been crying at what a joke they had made of the Green Lantern Hal Jordan.
It’s a shame because the movie did have some potential in many ways. The scenes on Oa and elsewhere in the galaxy were very well done and made up the best parts of the movie. As I said before there just wasn’t enough time allotted to said parts. Kilowog, Tomar Re, Sinestro and the Guardians all looked fantastic as well. Mark Strong did a fine job as the veteran lantern Sinestro who starts off as a mentor to Hal Jordan before eventually turning into his greatest nemesis. The one issue I had was with Parallax and it was not because they changed up his origin and character quite a bit. It was because he basically looked like a squirming pile of burning dog shit. Watch the movie if you want to see what that might look like on screen.
Instead of more Oa and space action we are served with a generic romance between Hal Jordan and fellow pilot Carol Ferris, played by Blake Lively. Lively is definitely a very, very hot slice of pizza but she really doesn’t have much of an onscreen presence. However, that doesn’t mean I’m against a sequel where there is a possibility of her being in the uniform of a Star Sapphire.
The other bit of Earth story we get is the completely pointless one of Hector Hammond, played by Peter Sarsgaard. Hector is a childhood friend of Carol and Hal who is more of a bookworm who gains telekinetic powers from a connection with Parallax; this again is for no good reason other than to have someone for Hal to fight on Earth. I give props to DC and the studio for making Hammond, a lesser known Lantern foe the main villain besides Parallax to face off against Hal, but unfortunately most of the scenes with him made me laugh. And I assure you that was not their intent.
His gargantuan cranium looked sillier than it does in the comics and he had a propensity for screaming about anything and everything that brought an amused smile to my face. This would be the sort of smile I get when I see a drunken idiot in a bar trying to fight everyone in sight and making a complete ass of themselves. Epic fail Mr. Hammond. Epic fail. But seriously big ups to the literal roast of Tim Robbins, because that was entertaining for about ten seconds.
Overall I have to give the movie a 2 out of 5 bears. It would have been a 1 out of 5, but since Ms. Lively was looking so superbly elegant in the movie I’ll bump it up. The other point would be for the scenes not taking place on Earth because they looked pretty, especially on Blu-Ray.
Otherwise the movie just didn’t have good enough pacing or anything on Earth worthy enough to care about. Hal’s fear wasn’t touched upon nearly enough except in a silly flashback seen from viewpoints of footage we had seen about fifteen minutes previously and a couple parts that took him two seconds to decide “I’m not afraid. Let’s party”.
A sequel is definitely most welcome, granted they work on focusing it more in the galaxy at large instead of boring old Earth. With Sinestro utilizing the yellow ring of fear at the end that would make for a good set up for a third film if he is exiled from the Green Lantern Corps by the end of the second movie. And if they need a villain that doesn’t suck as hard as Hector Hammond for the sequel I suggest they use Artrocitus and his Red Lanterns due to his history with the Guardians… and because they are totally bad ass.
What’s a summer blockbuster without its prerequisite movie tie-in video game? Well, its still a summer blockbuster but it… hmmm… I don’t really know where I was going with that but it doesn’t matter. So yes, we are here to talk about Superhero video games, but we’ll start with the movie tie-ins.
Over at Yahoo Movies, the new Green Lantern trailer dropped and it its packed to the nuts with new footage, A great look at all the characters, and some really great scenes of GL in action. But why am I talking about it, you should just watch it.
With so much news to talk about lately, we decided to split the updates up, so if you missed the Marvel Avengers edition you can click here. Still a lot of Marvel to cover, but I think it’s time to talk about some upcoming DC movies. Let’s get this started.
Starting off the Trinity of DC movies hitting us soon is Martin Campbell’s Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, Mark Strong as Sinestro, Blake Lively as Carol Ferris, and Peter Sarsgaard as Hector Hammond.
Now I think it’s safe to say a lot of people were impressed when we saw the 5 minute WonderCon footage earlier this year. Over at Newsarama they have an interesting read on why they believe this footage rocked fandom.
Next we’ll take a look at the latest TV Spot which doesn’t show a whole lot of footage, but is still pretty effective, as well as being quite revealing regarding story and potential SPOILERS:
They show a whole lot of Parallax is what I’m saying. And now we move on to the picture portion of our program. No joke, get ready for posters, and lots of them.
From SuperHeroHype we get a look at Hal’s CG costume in great detail:
Wonder Con has brought us quite a collection of geek tidbits this year. None of them quite stack up to the spectacular four-minute preview of the forthcoming Green Lantern movie. After watch the preview I was awestruck. It seemed as if they got everything right or at least looking comparable to the comics. Abin Sur and Sinestro looked like their comic counterparts, while Oa and it’s inhabitants were simply beautiful in their scale and variety.
We finally were able to get a good look at Tomar Re and plenty of other Green Lanterns including Kilowog! Before reading on you should just watch the footage already!
Not only do we get to see Tomar Re, we get to hear him speak with the voice talent of Geoffery Rush after it was announced several days ago. We still didn’t get to hear Kilowog speak but I was just satisfied to get another glimpse of him. Mark Strong seems to be doing a stellar performance as Sinestro giving an inspirational speech to a group of gathered Lanterns and it looks as if Parallax will play a large part in the movie.
If I was skeptical at all about this movie before, then it has all been wiped away by this preview. Even my skepticism of Ryan Reynold’s playing Hal Jordan has abated after seeing him in the preview. His costume looked a lot better when Jordan is in action and his humor wasn’t over the top. My favorite part was when his ring had created a replica of a mini-gun that Hal was unleashing on something.
Being a big fan of the Green Lantern comics and Sci-Fi movies, this movie has jumped past Thor and Captain America as my must see comic movie this year. It will be released on June 17th, 2011.
Our first dose of Marvel Comics movie starts with the God of Thunder and his sweet look hammer Mjolnir. The cast includes veteran actor Sir Anthony Hopkins as Thor’s father Odin, the excellent and now Academy Award winning Natalie Portman, relative newcomer Chris Hemsworth as Thor himself, and Tom Hiddelston as the villainous brother Loki.
After numerous trailers, it keeps looking better and better. It almost looks like Masters of the Universe, but not total crap. My optimism is of course guarded because I hate disappointing myself. Here is the (still) most recent trailer:
The X-men have a slew of updates flooding the web. In case you’re not familiar with the story, the movie is about a young Professor Xavier and Magneto starting a school for gifted youngsters (Muties!) together.
X-Men: First Class will delve into their beginning friendship and perhaps its eventual implosion. Let’s start with some pictures that were recently released at SuperHeroHype:
The movie will star James McAvoy as Professor Xavier, Michael Fassbender as Magneto, January Jones as Emma Frost, and Kevin Bacon as Sebastian Shaw, the leader of the Hellfire Club.
We’ll also get a look at characters such as Havok, Mystique, Azazel, and The Beast.
If one X-men movie wasn’t enough, FSR reports that two more and a spin are still to come in the form of X-men 4, X-men 5 and Deadpool.
Deadpool on the other hand will completely ignore any connection to the Deadpool character from X-Men Origins: Wolverine, which is a fantastic move on their part. Though I do worry about Baraka not having a job.
I wasn’t very pumped for Green Lantern in the beginning because of the studio’s choice to cast Ryan Reynolds, but my interest is in high gear ever since I read Blackest Night and became a Green Lantern faithful.
I’ll give Reynolds and the movie a chance. The trailer actually looked pretty good, particularly the shots of Oa, Sinestro, Kilowog, and Abin Sur. The film will of course star Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan. But we will also see Blake Lively as love interest Carol Ferris, Mark Strong as Sinestro, Temuera Morrison as Abin Sur, and just recently announced Michael Clarke Duncan as the voice of Kilowog. Playing big-headed villain Hector Hammond is Peter Sarsgaard.
Is it a reboot or a sequel? Like The Incredible Hulk (and, by the sound of things, the next Daredevil movie) it seems to be kind of both. “We’re just looking at it as an evolution,” explains Taylor. “The movie takes place years later. We’re not disowning the first movie but this Ghost Rider is an evolved form of the previous Ghost Rider. We basically completely re-envisioned the whole start of the character. The whole mythology behind the Ghost Rider that existed in the comic books never really made sense to me, so we sort of had to re-engineer the entire back-story into something new. That mythology never got delved into in the first movie, anyway, [but] we really get into that.”That enhanced focus on the demon Zarathos has involved a whole different approach to playing the character for returning star Nicolas Cage, who’s now playing Blaze and the Ghost Rider, instead of leaving the Flaming Skull up to the FX guys and the stuntmen. “Shooting action and car crashes and all that stuff is boring,” says Taylor, “but shooting a Nic Cage performance is a total adrenaline rush.”
The Avengers cast is all but assembled! Iron Man will of course be played Robert Downey Jr., while Chris Hemsworth fills the thunder god Thor‘s boots, and Chris Evans is our shield wielding patriot Captain America. The supporting Avengers are as follows: Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, Scarlett Johansson reprising her role as the Black Widow, Mark Ruffalo filling in as Bruce Banner with Lou Ferrigno doing the Hulk voice. Finally Sam Jackson will once again be our eye-patched Nick Fury. Recently it has been confirmed at DisFanReview that the villains of the Avengers film will be comprised of two alien races; the Kree and the Skrulls. Also joining the fray from Thor will be Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston.
After so much speculation on which pretty boy would be the new Peter Parker, the powers that be selected Andrew Garfield of recent The Social Network fame. The villain he will face off against played by Rhys Ifans, has recently been announced to be none other than Curt Conners; The Lizard. I would say this film has inspired the Man of Steel to cast the hero’s parental figures with veteran actors, because Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben will be played by Martin Sheen, and Aunt May by Sally Field. Emma Stone will play Peter Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacy, as her father Captain Stacy is played by Dennis Leary.
THE BIG ONE. This is my (Doc.) most anticipated movie on the list. By far. That may be why this is the movie on the list that we have done the most coverage on thus far. This is the 5th article to at least partially cover the movie (Jan. 19th, Feb. 2nd, Feb. 14th, March 22nd).
Well since that last update we have 2 more casting bits. First, actress Juno Temple has been confirmed as “street-smart Gotham girl”. Wtf that is I don’t know, but maybe she’s a budding Harleen Quinzel or a young Barbara Gordon, or maybe shes just a nobody. Who knows…
Secondly when have ‘Used to be Relevant’ actor Treat Williams, who is best known (at least to me) for Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead, and probably – more famously, for replacing Tom Berenger (Inception) in The Substitute sequels. Is that weird that he followed Berenger in those movies, and now he’s been offered a role in Nolan’s follow-up to Berenger’s last major role? Any way, this is news to…well, everyone. But Williams claims to have been offered a role in TDKR, as well as Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming western (more on that later), but will apparently turn down both films to do a TV show called Against the Wall. So this guy is choosing to do a Chicago set TV cop drama (because we don’t have enough of those), instead of what figures to be the last Nolan Bat-Movie and the next Tarantino flick. Good career move. This better be the best f–king show of all time…
ALSO – It would appear that Nolan is keeping the end of the movie SO closely guarded that he didn’t even put it in that script. He is instead verbally conveying it to the cast in hopes of keeping it secret. What it could be I don’t know, but it he kills off Batman…
There is also talk of rebooting the whole series after this installment to make a version of Batman who can better interact with the other superheroes. More on that at Moviephone.
For more on Batman, well…you can stay here. Batman is our territory.
Superman: Man of Steel – Opens December 2012
The newest incarnation of Superman directed by Zac Snyder is moving right along with almost the entire main cast selected. Newcomer Henry Cavill will play Clark Kent/Superman, with his Daily Planet partner Lois Lane just being announced to be played by The Fighter‘s Amy Adams. Ma and Pa Kent will be played by veterans Diane Lane and Kevin Costner respectively.
Now all that is left is the casting of a villain, which is still currently up in the air. Rumors right now are pointing furiously at Viggo Mortensen playing the villain Zod. EW is reporting that he has withdrawn from Snow White and The Huntsman to possibly star in the Man of Steel. This is undoubtedly the best decision he could have made in that regard.
Time will tell which Superman villain we shall see onscreen next and who will play them. We will of course keep a very close eye on any developments.
According to IGN, there has been word from Warner Bros. that they are set on re-inventing the Batman franchise after Nolan completes The Dark Knight Rises, and to also have a Justice League movie released by 2013. Let the speculation begin about how many JLAers will be in the movie!
I would expect to see an onslaught of DC movies coming out before 2013.
Iron Man 3 – With John Favreau leaving the Iron Man franchise, who knows if it will suffer greatly from the loss. They still have leading man Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man and the new director Shane Black has been announced as Favreau’s replacement [Ed. – A move I love]. This won’t be the first time Downey Jr. and Black have worked together, Black directed the 2005 cult classic Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangwhich Downey starred in.
Not much else has been revealed about Iron Man 3 except that it will not have any superhero crossovers, as Iron Man 2 did with War Machine and Nick Fury. The film will also thankfully take a different direction than the second film, so hopefully we won’t see Iron Downey Jr. drinking and laughing it up in his Iron Man suit at his party mansion.
Please give us the Mandarin in this one Marvel, his time has come.
The Wolverine – Oh what could have been Mr. Aronofsky. After the Black Swan director just recently bailed on the sequel to Wolverine: Origins, the obvious question is who shall replace him? Recent rumors say it could be David Slade, who is also reportedly attached to direct the Daredevil reboot. So will he ditch the ‘Man Without Fear’ for Wolvie, or can he do both?
Wolverine will be spending some time in Japan for this one although there are some delays at the moment due to the Earthquakes and Tsunamis that recently occurred there. If my expectations have dropped a little, they are still kept afloat by Hugh Jackman’s dedication to the character and the franchise. EW had a chance to catch up with the Wolvie actor who had this to say:
“So now we’re out looking for a director, We were pretty much ready to go. The script is fantastic — the best we’ve ever had, which is why it attracted Darren in the first place. His personal situation precludes him from doing it now, and I feel for him. But now we need to find a director.” Jackman wouldn’t cite any preference, but said the team is aiming for another prestige filmmaker, not just someone to yell “action” and “cut.” “We’re not going to settle. We’re going to find a director as good as Darren, if not better. Well, as good, Everyone is still pushing forward to getting it done.”
Daredevil – If there is any Marvel movie franchise besides Ghost Rider that is in desperate need of a reboot it’s ‘the Man Without Fear’. According to Screen Rant newly appointed director David Slade claims that the reboot will not have any connection to the Affleck Daredevil movie, and will be a “very strong character driven take” on the hero.
I suppose that’s better than an Evanescence driven take. Thankfully the rumors of possible Robert Pattinson casting interest was debunked by Slade, who explained that the DD reboot is only in its early development stages so at this point the possibilities of cast members and villains are wide open.
So there we have it for now. Was that enough for one post?