Tag Archives: Scarlett Johansson

The Jungle Book: New TV Spot & Cast Photos Showcase Amazing Visual Splendor

Walt Disney Pictures has released a new TV spot showing off the photo-realistic  elements of Jon Favreau’s live-action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic adventure tale The Jungle Book, as well as a series of images featuring the film’s cast  posing next to their CGI counterparts.

The minute-long spot also brings out the immensely realistic recreation of the jungle and it’s residents, showing us effects of the state-of-the-art technology used for the movie. It certainly delivers on spectacle and is a return for Favreau to tent-pole films since his departure into mid-budget filmmaking with Chef. Take a look at the new TV spot for yourself:

Continue reading The Jungle Book: New TV Spot & Cast Photos Showcase Amazing Visual Splendor

The Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar! Gets First Trailer

The first trailer for Joel and Ethan Coen’s new film Hail, Caesar! was recently released and is a meta-comedy starring pretty much everyone in Hollywood.

Continue reading The Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar! Gets First Trailer

Ghost in the Shell: Scarlett Johansson Set for Lead Role

When it comes to which female action star is prospering at the moment, we have to lend a round of applause to Scarlett Johansson. She’s been on fire lately thanks to her role as the acrobatic femme fatale Black Widow in several of Marvel Studios’ blockbuster films, and her surprise hit Lucy didn’t her either. However, it’s her latest reveal that we have high hopes for. Scarlett Johansson is set to star in the Ghost in the Shell big screen adaptation, which is big news for fans of the sci-fi themed anime.

English film director Rupert Sanders (Snow White and the Huntsman) has been tapped to handle the development of this film adaptation of Masamune Shirow’s beloved manga. Back in October of 2014, it was reported that Johansson was initially offered $10 million to take the role due to the exit of Margot Robbie (she reportedly ditched this to go film Suicide Squad instead). Once 2015 rolled around, it was revealed that Johansson finally decided to lend her action movie prowess to Ghost in the Shell.

Scarlett Johansson

This manga to film adaptation has been in the works for some time now. Once Sanders threw his directing credits behind the project last year, the film’s production finally began heading in the right direction. Two more Hollywood mainstays (Steven Paul and Avi Arad) are set to produce the movie, and Paramount Studios is said to be looking to throw their financial support behind the film.

So for all the uninformed Ghost in the Shell newcomers out there, here’s the basic rundown – the world of this manga is set primarily in the future. The use of technology allows the human race to swap out their body parts for cybernetic gear. Some humans have even gone so far as to replace their entire body with cybernetic parts, retaining their original being through the use of a “cyberbrain.” These brains are prone to hacking, which occurs when a criminal named the Puppet Master starts implanting false memories into people’s minds.

Ghost in the Shell

Johansson will take on the lead female heroine’s role and fight as a member of the Japanese National Public Safety Commission. She’ll have to use all of her covert-ops skills to hunt down and take down the dreaded Puppet Master. We’re hoping this Ghost in the Shell movie turns out be just as incredible as the original anime.


 Images: Marvel Studios, Universal Pictures, Shochiku

Her Trailer: Spike Jonze’s new Sci-Fi Romance

Spike Jonze is back in the spotlight after about four years of no feature films, with his new flick Her. The story is about a heartbroken man who finds solace in an A.I computer that acts as his girlfriend, and it looks to be a cool blend of Sci-Fi over the basic falling in love storyline. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix as the loner, who on paper sounds similar to his previous character in The Master as he looks to be disconnected and awkward in society. However, the portrayal in the trailer seems to be totally different, which goes to show Phoenix’s tremendous range. Accompanying him is a killer cast including Scarlett Johansson (The Avengers) as the computer voice Sarah, Rooney Mara (The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo), Amy Adams (The Master), Olivia Wilde (The Change Up), and Chris Pratt (Parks and Rec.). Check out the Her trailer below.

The film looks great, and it’s sure to be one in contention for awards later this year. What most excites me is the Sci-Fi Romance tone that Jonze seems to be getting at, akin to Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Keeping the heart, and using the Sci-fi as simply a mechanism is what makes me excited for this.

Also, a neat note, this is Spike Jonze’s first solo screenwriting credit on a film, which hopefully proves to be a good thing as Sci-Fi is done best with a clear vision from start to finish.

her

Her opens November 20, just two days before the major blockbuster which is bound to make big bucks, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Hitchcock: Psycho and The Man Behind the Camera

His influence on Hollywood horror, suspense, and thriller films is legendary, so much so that he’s been dubbed “The Master of Suspense.”  He worked with hundreds of famous names during the production of his movies, acting and producing talent alike.  His name is known worldwide.  And yet no one thought to make a movie about this great man as a director and person.

Now we’re getting two of them; Hitchcock and The Girl –  We’re only concerned with the first one for now though…

banner-hitchcock

Directed by Sacha Gervasi, Hitchcock will get a limited release in U.S. theaters this November.  Starring Sir Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as his wife Alma Reville, the film follows the story of Hitchcock and his wife as he struggles to make the movie Psycho in 1959.  As if Hopkins and Mirren are not going to be enough joy to watch on-screen, they are joined by Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins; who of course played Norman Bates.

Hitchcock is supposedly going to be “a love story”, but we’re guessing from the trailer there will be a lot more to the film than hearts and kisses.

Hitchcock has elements of not just love between Hitchcock and Reville, but also some delightful hints of an underdog story.  According to Hollywood history, most people thought Hitchcock was mad to try a “low-class” horror film like Psycho, a situation which this trailer clearly exemplifies.  In addition, we see the typical struggle between an artist determined to go after his passion of creating a film and the producers and accountants who insist that it will be a financial flop.

Judging from the trailer, this film appears to have something everyone will enjoy.  There’s the relationship between Hitchcock and his wife for the romance lovers, and there’s the business and social tensions that arise around Hitchcock’s decisions for those of us who love a good drama.  Even more than that, though, will be the nostalgia this film brings to all film buffs.  Oh, and let’s not forget the dry British humor Hopkins already delivers so well in the three short minutes of the trailer.

Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins in "Hitchcock"Seriously, the breasts are there for a reason, darling.

Make sure to add Hitchcock to your list of movies to see this year — fortunately, you won’t have to wait very long.  In the meantime, check out this PSA in theatres now that Hopkins filmed as Hitchcock, begging movie-goers to avoid cell phone usage during films:

Your Writer/Director for The Avengers 2 is…

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?

A live feed from the Whedon household after the deal

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.

GB Assemble! Let’s Talk ‘The Avengers’

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.

Dr. Kronner:

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.

Avengers Shirt

SupaScoot:

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?

MichelleLynn61:

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 Wozz:

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.

I could go on and try to summarize The Avengers experience for you, but I could never say it better than Patton Oswalt did on Twitter:

joey123mo:

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!

Grizzly Review: Marvel’s The Avengers

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.

“F–k You Boredom!”

Hitchcock Biography: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Red Forman and The Karate Kid

A Hitchcock Biography sounds like a perfect idea for a film. The man was a genius, with over 60 titles to his credit he gave us such classics as Psycho, Rear Window, North by Northwest, The Birds, and Vertigo. He was a truly brilliant filmmaker. The folks at Left Hand Horror give the official press release from Fox Searchlight. In it  they say that principal photography began April 13th. The film stars Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock. The cast also includes Academy Award® winner Helen Mirren as Hitchcok’s wife. The ever beautiful Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Toni Collette of Little Miss Sunshine and Sixth Sense fame, and to round it all off we also have Red Forman (Kurtwood Smith) and Daneilson (Ralph Macchio), who most likely will have something to do involving boots and asses.

Continue reading Hitchcock Biography: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Red Forman and The Karate Kid