I'm confused. Is Ridley Scott making the "Prometheus" sequel for a 2016 release, or is he making "The Martian," with Matt Damon starring in the Drew Goddard adaptation of the book by Andy Weir? We've heard several possibilities, but according to Simon Kinberg, a producer on "The Martian," it appears that a choice has been made. The comments were made during a podast appearance with Jeff Goldsmith.
Last September, Shane Black did an interview with Jim Vejvoda at IGN, and the subject of "Doc Savage" came up. Black was discussing the casting challenge that Doc Savage poses, since the character was always described as being larger than anyone else, exponentially speaking. You could do it as an effect, I'm sure, but it helps if you start with someone who's already gigantic.
To that end, Jim suggested Chris Hemsworth. I concur. During a recent event of some sort that I might be heavily embargoed over, I may or may not have had reason to see Hemsworth in person in a very particular costume that showed off just how absurdly proportioned he is. I'm a long-time Doc Savage fan, and I know how I've pictured the character based on the way character in the stories react to him. He is unsettlingly large. He doesn't quite seem to be the same species as the normal human men around him. I think Hemsworth totally works if you're trying to cast that, and it helps that he is crazy talented as well. I think it would be fun to watch him play a lead in a Shane Black film, since I'm sure Black's take will have plenty of sly character humor built in, and Hemsworth is great at playing things so straight that they become funny.
One of the most immediate pleasures of flying to Hong Kong to cover the release of "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" was sitting down with the always-charming Stanley Tucci to talk about his role as "Excellent character actor screaming at the CGI robots."
As I said in my review, these are really weird movies. I am still baffled by John Malkovich in the third film. There's an entire scene in that film where I can't even fully describe what it is he's doing. I went back recently just to look at that moment, and it looks like Malkovich is on Ecstasy and that he's fixated on one of the robots, practically rubbing himself against it. It's bizarre. I'm not sure about the entire role that he played. He has a deeply strange opening scene, and it just seems to get weirder from there, like the entire perverted "Three's Company" bathroom scene.
Oh, I see what you did there, Fox. Sneaky. I like it.
I'm not even remotely surprised that Fox is working to make a new "Predator" movie. I don't really care what they call it… reboot, remake, sequel, update… whatever. They'll never stop making "Predator" movies. They'll do it anytime they've got an idea that's even vaguely commercial, because it's an evergreen property for them. They don't have to license any rights. They're not playing with someone else's material. Like with the "Alien" series, they own "Predator" completely, and they've proven repeatedly that they're willing to bend those icons in a million different ways.
One of the things that has been fascinating during the last 15 years of writing about films has been watching the way various genres or movements or international scenes have had their moment. One of the most exciting of those was the emergence of the new Korean cinema, and there were so many good movies and so many exciting filmmakers working all at once that it felt like something very special.
I have a particular fondness for the work of Bong Joon-ho, and I think he's managed to avoid being pigeonholed because of the way he's never really repeated himself as a filmmaker. My first exposure to his work was at the Fantasia Film Festival, where I saw "Barking Dogs Never Bite." Right away, I was drawn in by his kinetic sense and by the very human weaknesses of his characters. "Memories Of Murder," his next film, positively destroyed me. It's as rich and rewarding a crime movie as Fincher's "Zodiac," and it's also built on a foundation of frustration. When he made a monster movie with "The Host," what made it special was the way he also took the opportunity to comment on the dissolution of the modern Korean family. His last film, "Mother," defies any easy genre characterization, and it features maybe the strongest performance in any of his films so far.
Hong Kong in the summer time is a whole different magnitude of hot and humid than I think I've ever experienced before. While I'm sorry we didn't end up doing the interviews for "Transformer: Age Of Extinction" outside where you could have seen more of the city, I get it. It was punishing weather, and I'm sure if you're Mark Wahlberg, you don't want to to spend six hours sitting in that while people ask you about working with giant robots.
I am an unabashed fan of Wahlberg, both as an on-screen presence and as a person. I think he's had a fascinating personal evolution over the last twenty years, and I love the way filmmakers have evolved their own thinking about how to cast him and what roles he fits. One of the best things that happened to him was when people realized that his earnestness can be wildly hilarious in the right context.
Here's the thing… you're going to read a lot of reviews of "Transformers: Age Of Extinction" that will exist primarily to give the critic writing the review a chance to entertain other critics. That drives me crazy. Even when a film is as over the top horrifyingly awful as, say, "Winter's Tale," I'll still try to engage with the material, because that's only fair. I may hate everything about it, but if I'm not willing to treat the film with the same level of scrutiny that I treat everything else, then why bother writing about it?
The "Transformers" series so far is, by far, one of the strangest giant franchises in production. I've reviewed all of the films, and I think they are genuinely worthy of examination, not only in the context of Michael Bay's career, but also within the framework that the films have created for these stories. The first film is probably the easiest one to like. It was a fairly clever concept to hang the entire thing on the story of a boy and his first car, which just happens to turn out to be an intergalactic warrior robot who is part of a war that has found its way to Earth. The film is really, really busy, and the story tries so hard that it gets irritating, but it benefits from a handful of solid comic performances and a sense that there is something awesome about these giant shape-shifting mechanical creatures. The second film…
The announcement of Rian Johnson as the writer/director of "Star Wars Episode VIII" is exciting for a number of reasons, not least of which is because it indicates something about the way Lucasfilm views the sequel trilogy.
If I were to guess, I would say Marvel isn't going to hire many more writer/directors in the future, even if James Gunn and Joss Whedon both crush it with "Guardians Of The Galaxy" and "Avengers: Age Of Ultron." The fall-out from the "Ant-Man" situation has been fairly brutal, and while I'm curious to see what Peyton Reed and Adam McKay make of the project they're inheriting, the loss of the Edgar Wright version is just plain going to sting.
We often talk about movies that are game-changers, or we talk about the cutting edge of visual effects, but jumps forward are often marked in tiny baby steps.
That does not appear to be the case with "Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes."
I just recently re-watched "Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes," and the way they incorporated performance into the character animation for Caesar was remarkable. Andy Serkis and Weta Digital brought that character to life in a way that didn't just push the envelope… it shredded it. And in the new film, it looks like they've had to do that on a massive scale, bringing dozens of characters to life with that same degree of finesse.
Only time will tell if Colin Trevorrow gets "Jurassic World" right, but I think at this point it's safe to say that he gets Twitter right.
I'm impressed by the way he handled the leak of the early story details. Instead of going into defensive mode, he steered right into it, and he seemed happy to confirm some things while denying others. More than anything, it felt like he was clarifying because he knows what it's like to be a fan who is soaking up every little tiny bit of information that comes out about something.