BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — In Lasse Hallström's latest film, "The Hundred-Foot Journey," Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren was given the opportunity to play a very forthright, proud restauranteur in the south of France. It's a character that plays well to her strengths and offers a striking foil to Manish Dayal's Indian chef-in-training, Hassan.
Before I even got out of bed this morning, I was watching the "Mad Max: Fury Road" trailer. How do you like THEM apples, Hall H? But seriously, it seems Warner Bros.' presentation of materials for George Miller's upcoming film won the day at Comic-Con yesterday despite the presence of DC Comics and Marvel Studios. Hard to do, but a nice surprise, nevertheless, and today WB has mercifully made the trailer available to us non-Coners.
After just an "Avengers: Age of Ultron" footage reveal and an "Ant-Man" panel that was caught under the specter of the project recently losing its director (no new movie announcements beyond a "Guardians of the Galaxy" sequel, no exciting casting revelations), it really did seem from afar like the Marvel Comic-Con presentation was a bit of a whiff this year. I'm sure all in attendance enjoyed the early look, but it felt like it may have been pretty weak sauce, particularly if you were trying to decide between that and a unique Chuck Palahniuk/David Fincher/"Fight Club" panel and opted for the superheroes instead.
Michael Mann made his Comic-Con debut today alongside "Thor" himself, Chris Hemsworth, at the Legendary Pictures panel. Footage of his cyber thriller was screened, but the only real news is this: it has a title, "Blackhat." Deadline is reporting that it will be qualified for Oscars this year ahead of a Jan. 2015 release, but Universal denies that report. (UPDATE: Indeed, Deadline has changed its language to "may qualify.")
Have you had a chance to see "Boyhood" yet? If so, have you told us what you thought?
This one is really feeling like something special, and I must admit, early on I had doubts about whether IFC would apply the proper mustard for a campaign, but it's increasingly clear this is a special case for them. Masterpieces are left hanging out to dry during Oscar season all the time, but this one really is maintaining a hold. It's hard to ignore something this special, so the indie haven could be in line for its first-ever Best Picture nomination.
Well, maybe Benedict Cumberbatch really is just in Comic-Con for "The Penguins of Madagascar" and "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies." Though the "Star Trek Into Darkness" star had been strongly rumored for the role of Doctor Strange in Marvel's upcoming film (which will be directed by Scott Derrickson), The Wrap is reporting that Oscar nominee Joaquin Phoenix is in talks to take the part.
After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January, Anton Corbijn's "A Most Wanted Man" — featuring the last leading man performance from the late Philip Seymour Hoffman — makes its way to theaters today.
After revealing the film as part of its official lineup of premieres on Tuesday, the Toronto Film Festival has waited until today to announce that "The Judge," starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall, will serve as the event's opening night presentation on Sept. 4.
I can't offer extended "review" thoughts on Tate Taylor's "Get On Up" for another week yet, but I'm pretty sure I can comment on Chadwick Boseman's performance as The Godfather of Soul, James Brown. So let's do that…