Here's hoping it's at least as big as "Aquaman."
I have a serious question, and it's larger than the notion of whether or not people want to see an "Entourage" movie. In general, when you are invested in a television show over a long period of time, is a theatrically-released movie the ultimate goal for you as a viewer? Is that somehow considered the payoff to a good run on TV? Or is the relationship with a TV show something very different than the relationship we have with movies?
And more importantly, is it a coincidence that the studio that is making "Entourage: The Movie" has the word "Bros" in its name?
Honestly, the thing that I'd be most worried about if I were the person pulling the trigger on this one is whether or not people are going to pony up the $15 to see a long inside joke that they've already seen seven full seasons of on HBO. "Entourage" was one of those shows that I watched while I had HBO, but as it wore on, it really started to feel like one note playing over and over again. It's an easy show to beat up on because of the lifestyle it glamorizes, but there were moments where it did a nice job of laying bare the way ego drives the entertainment industry just as much as creativity. It also helped that Jeremy Piven dug into his ongoing role as Ari in a way that basically gave him the second half of his career.
Here's hoping it's at least as big as "Aquaman."
About a week ago, my kids walked into the office where I spend most of my time, the two of them both smiling broadly.
I knew as soon as I looked at them that they were struggling not to laugh before revealing their joke. Toshi spoke first, and he sounded completely rehearsed, like he and Allen made a plan. "Daddy, you know how you said we could ask you any question?"
"Yes," I replied, and I got scared, flat-out scared that they were about to ask me something like "What's a blow job?" On the day they do ask that, I plan to reply, "Five dollars, same as in town," and then vanish in a puff of smoke.
Thankfully, though, this was something more innocent, more fitting of the mindset of two comic-book crazy kids who are mainlining pop culture. Toshi nudged Allen, giving him his cue to ask the question, and even before Allen started speaking, he started laughing, and when he talks and laughs at the same time (which is often because he is a very silly little boy), it's like Woody Woodpecker trying to describe something to you. Waves of giggles as he struggled to ask, "When Spider-Man has to go poop, does he have to take his whole costume off?"
So of course I'm in tears from laughing, too, at this point, trying to stop, and I finally managed to answer, "Yes, but he has to leave his mask on." Because that image entertains me mightily.
Allen nodded as I spoke, satisfied with the answer, and walked away with a single "Cool." And that was that. Pleased with themselves for asking it in the first place, still trailing little flurries of self-satisfied laughter, Toshi and Allen left my office and went back to the playroom. As they pulled my office door closed, Allen's last comment to Toshi was, "I knew it. I told you."
Review: Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley do exquisite work in heartfelt Sundance hit 'Spectacular Now'
PARK CITY - One of the benefits of staying longer than the opening weekend of the Sundance Film Festival is that you can catch up with films towards the end of the festival that have picked up buzz over the previous days. As soon as "The Spectacular Now" made its public premiere, it became a priority for me to see during the festival, and it more than lived up to the early word. Written by the same writers as "(500) Days Of Summer" and directed by the filmmaker behind last year's "Smashed," I think "The Spectacular Now" is better than either of those films, and it delivers a strong emotional punch in a smart overall package.
Based on a novel by Tim Tharp, "The Spectacular Now" tells the story of Sutter Keely, played here by Miles Teller, who is coasting through his high school career on a cloud of innate charm and alcohol fumes. He is the life of the party, and that's the problem. Constantly drunk, he seems to believe that there is no reason to think about the future at all. He is all about the moment, all about the sensation. As the film begins, his long-time girlfriend Cassidy (Brie Larson) has reached the breaking point, and she can't do it anymore. She knows how charming he is, but she also knows that he's dragging her down, and she wants more. There is a strong tie between the two of them, and as much as it pains her, she can't continue to let him dictate the way they both seem to be failing. Once Sutter finds himself on his own, he is rudderless, and he spends a lot of energy trying to convince himself that none of it matters, that it's okay that she left him. His mother (Jennifer Jason Leigh) has a hard time really communicating with him, and the unspoken space between them has to do with Sutter's long-absent father. His older sister (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is out of the house, married, and she married into money, doing her best to leave behind her upbringing.
Paul Giamatti as The Rhino?
I'll say this for Marc Webb. He's got one hell of a cast put together for "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." At this point, it seems like actors have all decided that everyone does a superhero movie at some point, so why not pick a side (good or evil) and just have fun with it?
Giamatti is a real-deal genre nerd. The first time I was introduced to him was on the set of "Shoot 'Em Up," and it was obvious after a half-hour of conversation that this was a guy with a voracious genre appetite. He's joining a great cast. Obviously you've got Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Sally Field all returning from the first film, and two of the darlings of this year's Sundance Film Festival are joining the cast, since Shailene Woodley has been added as Mary Jane Watson and Dane DeHaan is going to play Harry Osborne.
Last year, one of the most interesting parts of the Marvel panel at the San Diego Comic-Con was the presentation of the test footage for Edgar Wright's long-developing "Ant-Man" movie.
It was surprisingly rough, but I think it speaks to Marvel's enthusiasm for the project that they would decide to show it anyway. As a proof-of-concept, it's incredibly effective. Basically, it's just Ant-Man running down a hallway and then knocking out a couple of goons with guns. What makes it feel so fresh is the way Ant-Man alters his own size during the run and the fight. Devin Faraci described it as "size fu" after we all saw that Comic-Con panel, and that's a perfect way to sum up what it is that Wright seems to be doing. He and Joe Cornish have been working on a script for the film for a while now, in-between other projects, and it looks like they've decided where "Ant-Man" fits into the larger picture.
Kevin Feige spoke to MTV Splash Page about Phase Three, which is going to be the batch of films made after "The Avengers 2" arrives in theaters in 2015. They set a November 6, 2015 release date for the film in October last year, and Feige set the record straight on how "Ant-Man" fits into things. It sounds like they're going to really start to stretch and try new things once they've got "The Avengers 2" in theaters, which Feige says is coming together well right now.
I reviewed Tommy Wirkola's "Dead Snow" at Sundance back in 2009, and I was not a fan. As I said in that piece, "'Dead Snow' takes a really great monster to build a film around - Nazi zombies - and somehow adds up to total mediocrity in execution." Well, looks like Wirkola is two for two now. When you're making a film called "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters," you can approach it as a horror film first, or you can approach it as a dark comedy, or you could perhaps approach it as a really boring action movie that flubs both the horror and the comedy.
Guess which approach Wirkola opted for.
The script by Wirkola and Dante Harper opens with a very dark rendition of the classic Hansel and Gretel story, and right away, it feels like they're rushing to get through that moment instead of taking the time to tell it. I think it's actually sort of clever to start with that fairy tale, let us really see what that witch is like, and then once the kids deal with her and save themselves, jump forward to see that they've taken this on as their life's work. I can see how that premise could work. It just doesn't work here, in this film.
Unsurprisingly, I think it's promising news that JJ Abrams is going to direct "Star Wars: Episode VII."
Since there's no officially confirmation yet and I haven't personally confirmed things with any of the involved parties, I'm taking on faith that Lucas Shaw broke the biggest film news of the very young year. If his story is accurate, then Abrams has the job. Done deal. Signed. That's the specific language of his story, and the five billion sites that have also "confirmed" the story (ie posted The Wrap's story) are reporting this as done. Closed. This is happening.
Okay, so let's take it as 100% accurate right now. Somewhere in LA, Abrams is wrapping up post-production on "Star Trek Into Darkness," approving FX shots and listening to tweaks on the sound mix and making sure it's as tight as it's going to get, and at the same time, he's got Michael Arndt's treatment (or script pages at this point for all I know) bouncing around in his head, and he's already dreaming about what he's going to do with "Star Wars."
Thomas Lennon and I have several things in common. We were both born in 1970. We are both huge fans of Terry Gilliam's "Brazil." We both look spectacular in tiny shorts. And I'm pretty sure we both think "Hell Baby" is very funny.
"Hell Baby" is, of course, the film that Lennon co-directed with his long-time co-writer Robert Ben Garant, and I reviewed the movie after its first midnight screening at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. A few days later, I sat down with Lennon at the Yarrow Hotel for a conversation that covered a number of topics.
For example, you'll hear a lot about Michael Ian Black and his penis and a pair of disturbingly tight bike shorts.
You'll also hear about Riki Lindhome's startling nude scene in the film. Like, it's the most naked I've ever seen someone appear in a film. It's the sort of nudity that makes screen caps redundant, because by the time it's over, there is no way you will ever forget it.
PARK CITY - Look, if I ran a film festival, I'd take every opportunity that arose to invite Roger Corman to attend, too. He's Roger Corman. That's awesome.
But when I think of the midnight movie selections at Sundance, I think of genuinely edgy or interesting or ambitious movies. Every festival that does midnight movies does it differently. Sundance's midnights are not the same as Toronto's midnights. At all. I expect a certain something from the midnights here, and I'm not sure I get what the programmers saw in "Virtually Heroes," a video game/action movie mash-up that features Mark Hamill in a supporting role and that has Corman's name on it to boot.
There's a big difference between making a movie that is about gaming and making a movie that is an adaptation of a game. Matt Yamashita's screenplay does seem to have a real understanding of the mechanics of video games, the places where the artificial nature of the world of the game simply gives out. It's not a bad script, but it does lay out its biggest jokes early and then it sort of hammers those points over and over. If this had been a short, I think it might have been sort of great. There are just enough good ideas here for about 20 minutes of run time, but in a 90 minute film. Even then, I have some issues with the filmmaking itself. While I think Yamashita's script demonstrates some first-hand experience with gaming, the direction by G.J. Echternkamp is tin-eared almost from start to finish.
The teasing has begun.
There are not nearly enough Brad Bird films in the world. I just went and counted, and it's still way less than 1000, a situation I find completely unacceptable. As long as I've been writing about movies online, I've been writing about Brad Bird movies. I would still call the coverage I did on "The Iron Giant" some of the best stuff I've ever published, and it's been a real pleasure catching up with him on "The Incredibles," "Ratatouille," and "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol." In addition to have a remarkable story sense and a great knack for comic timing, Bird just plain loves movies, and that love informs pretty much every scene of everything he's ever made as a director.
Knowing there is a new Brad Bird film in development has me anxious enough. I want to know everything, but I don't want to know anything. I would love to see the whole thing right this second, but I'm terrified that I'll ruin it for myself as I cover it between now and whenever it finally comes out. For the most part, Bird's been playing mum, and even as people have been clamoring for him as one of the best possible director choices Disney could make regarding the new "Star Wars" movies, he's been hard at work on "1952," a film that Damon Lindelof and Jeff Jensen are currently writing for Bird to direct.