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2013 Movie Preview: Riddick

Baxter

Posted January 21, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: Riddick

Release Date: September 6
Director: David Twohy
Rating: R

The universe's most infamous eyeshining-assbeater is back for another round of against-the-odds action. This time, he's left stranded on a hostile, perpetually-sun-scorching planet with vicious creatures and killer bounty hunters on his tail.

What We Know:

Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel) just can't seem to hold on to the good things in life. Apparently that whole "being crowned new Lord Marshall of the Necromongers" thing was short-lived. The fortune-deprived Furyan now finds himself stranded on a harsh planet with a weather forecast that would simply read, "blazing hot afternoon up until...forever."

Of course, what unforgiving alien planet would be complete without a set of indigenous creatures looking to make our hero their lunch? Indeed, the planet has forced Riddick to utilize his impressive repertoire of reaping as he maintains a marathon of massacres just to survive. The solution to this dilemma: Riddick must locate an emergency beacon which, contrary to conventional thinking, will not send for help, but rather, alert a group of angry elite mercenaries who have been looking for him so that he can fight a lopsided battle to jack their ship. -- Sounds like a plan, right?

Now, for Riddick, the pot of gold at the end of this proverbial rainbow involves tangling with the toughest, meanest, and generally unpleasant mercs the universe has ever seen who look to cash-in on our castaway. However, the arrival of another ship run by a man with a personal vendetta could make for rare serendipity when a bad guy battle royale ensues as each party fights to nab Riddick for themselves. Yet, with all the carnage, looms a serious storm in which no living being will want to be caught, so time is of the essence.

Katee Sackhoff, Dave Bautista, Matt Nable, Nolan Gerard Funk, Raoul Trujillo, Jordi Mollà, and pop star, Keri Hilson fill the cast. Additionally, Karl Urban reprises his role from The Chronicles of Riddick as Vaako.

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RED 2 Trailer Makes Explosive Debut

Baxter

Posted January 18, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

RED 2 Trailer Makes Explosive Debut

The debut trailer for this summer's aging action romp, RED 2 has arrived.

It certainly appears that circumstances have caused the wizards of wetwork we met in RED to once again un-retire themselves. This time, the mellow life that Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) made with his significant other, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) will go up in a glorious nitroglycerin blaze. The former CIA black-ops badass has somehow found himself a high level target by MI6, sending former friend, Victoria (Helen Mirren) on his tail to do her duty and make his retirement REALLY permanent.

With the help of his insane killer colleague, Marvin (John Malkovich), Frank and Sarah are on the run from not only Victoria, but another mysteriously-deadly assassin. (Byung-hun Lee, better known as Storm Shadow from the G.I. Joe films.) However, while looking to find out who wrecked their lives, it seems that their home might also stand to be wrecked when Frank's ex-flame, Miranda (Catherine Zeta-Jones) steps into the picture.

David Thewlis (Remus from the Harry Potter films), Neal McDonough, and the great Anthony Hopkins fill the cast.

Check out the trailer below to see "how are things."

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2013 Movie Preview: Elysium

Baxter

Posted January 18, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: Elysium

Release Date: August 9
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Rating: Not Yet Rated

In a bleak future where people are class-divided by luxurious life on a space station and misery on a dying Earth, an unlikely hero emerges.

What We Know:

By the year 2159, Earth is rendered a polluted, overpopulated mess of a planet that is regularly bombarded by carcinogenic radiation. As a result, those with the means (i.e., "the rich") have abandoned the terrestrial life in favor of a gigantic space station called "Elysium," designed to luxuriously house humanity's fancier, pinky-raising population. Over there, life is good and a pesky bout of radiation exposure is easily eliminated by way of tech reserved for fancy people.

It's certainly of no help to the folks stuck back on Earth, which has become sort of the MySpace of the future. This is especially so for a blue collar worker named Max (Matt Damon), a miserable manual laborer whose co-workers are androids that don't particularly like him. (Residual backlash from Stuck on You?) His luck would only worsen with a work-related incident exposing him to deadly levels of radiation. Rather than giving him superpowers, it has left him with less than a week to live.

Not content to simply lie back and die, Max has decided to defy the law, escaping his quarantine and fighting his way to Elysium for a cure. Of course, the Scrooge McDucks of space aren't having any radiated rabble in their pad and "immigration enforcement" has become a big operation. Headed by a tenacious taskmaster of an official named Secretary Rhodes (Jodi Foster), her cops of caste are hot on Max's trail, exhausting vast amounts of manpower and resources that probably dwarf what it would have cost to simply cure the poor bastard.

Along the way, Max gets modified with cybernetic implants, leveling up his badassery to new futuristic heights. He'll need it, since not only are the government on his tail, but a grungy and menacing merc named Kruger (Sharlto Copley) is also looking to nab our hero. Max's quest to get to the spa in the sky could also lead to a breakdown of class barriers. However, it will be riddled with obstacles...obstacles that will end up in explosions...epic, futuristic explosions.

William Fichtner, Alice Braga, Talisa Soto, Diego Luna, Carly Pope, and Michael Shanks fill the cast.

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Terminator Follow-Up Moves Forward, Nabs Writers

It appears that the long-discussed return of The Terminator franchise will be moving forward. A duo of writers in Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier have been appointed to pen a follow-up for the best film franchise to feature time-traveling cyborg assassins with Austrian accents...ever.

Co-produced by Skydance Productions and Annapurna Pictures, the hiring of the new scribes is the first bit of movement on this project since a rendition directed by repertory helmer of The Fast and the Furious films, Justin Lin apparently fell through. This project comes after 2009's Terminator Salvation underperformed, followed by years of wrangling over the rights. However, the concept was revived when star, Arnold Schwarzenegger expressed interest in returning.

Laeta Kalogridis brings notable credits for authoring Shutter Island and Pathfinder, and as exec producer on Terminator maestro, James Cameron's Avatar. Patrick Lussier, on the other hand, brings a more action/horror-driven vision, with writing and directorial credits for the upcoming Halloween III, My Bloody Valentine, and Drive Angry. Together, the duo will bunker-down and try to find what will surely be a compelling new twist for the nearly 30 year-old franchise.

With Schwarzenegger clearly past the point of feasibility to play a killer cyborg, perhaps it's time for a script portraying him as a human character. (Maybe a human resistance fighter whose DNA was used to create the T-800 flesh suit. -- Just throwing out an idea.)

[Source]

2013 Movie Preview: 300: Rise Of An Empire

Release Date: August 2
Director: Noam Murro
Rating: Not Yet Rated

The bloody, over-the-top story of 300 is expanded upon as a new hero steps forward against the invading forces of a gold-glimmering Persian overlord waging a grand naval battle against the armies of Athens.

What We Know:

The legendary 300 Spartans, who now "dine in hell," may have fulfilled their role in rallying the sentiments of Greece to take arms against the Persian invasion waged by Au-obsessed Persian King, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro, reprising his role). However, if this was a story of how a great fire was started, that was merely the initial spark. The self-anointed living God has now burdened himself with a grand war between kingdoms taking place on multiple theaters. Perhaps acknowledging that even he cannot oversee such a campaign alone, the ersatz deity calls upon the wisdom of a wise general; A beautiful one, at that.

Artemisia (Eva Green) takes command of Persia's naval forces in a well-planned large-scale invasion of Greek lands that would serve to definitively expand Xerxes' brutal empire across what we now know as the Mediterranean Sea. However, just as we saw with King Leonidas of Sparta on land at Thermopylae, another hero would step forward to inspire the Allied forces in their campaign against the invaders at sea in Athenian general, Themistocles (Sullivan Stapleton).

With the word of Leonidas' sacrificial deeds still resonating throughout the lands, the former politician-turned military leader, Themistocles will need to find his own calling to muster the forces of Greece together to repel the invaders. Yet, Artemisia is both calculating and smart as she is gorgeous. Under her lead, the Persian machine of military might is more than a match for the Greek forces' penchant for passionate yelling and line-ups of symmetrically-oiled pecs. At the mercy of the winds, it will be a monstrous maritime battle of wits that will spill over to a grandiose ground battle.

Filling the cast are Jack O'Connell and Callan Mulvey. Plus, Andrew Tiernan, Andrew Pleavin, and Lena Headey are back to reprise their respective roles from the original 300 as Ephialtes the hunchback, Daxos of Arcadia, and Queen Gorgo.

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2013 Movie Preview: The Wolverine

Baxter

Posted January 16, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: The Wolverine

Release Date: July 26
Director: James Mangold
Rating: Not Yet Rated

On his own and disillusioned with life, Wolverine finds himself in Japan where the love of a woman entangles the claw-commanding mutant into a battle with a powerful crime syndicate.

What We Know:

Set sometime after the disastrous events of X-Men: The Last Stand, in which he was forced to kill Jean Grey, the woman he loved, Logan (Hugh Jackman) is flying solo, left in a serious existential funk regarding not only his mysterious past, but his mutant-healing-factor-endowed immortality. While it's a state that many people would covet, for this Wolverine, he realizes that anyone he tries to befriend or love will grow old and die in front of him.

At his lowest point, an old flame summons Logan to Japan for mysterious purposes. However, the Land of the Rising Sun has plenty more in store for our ambivalent ass-kicker than he could possibly imagine. It seems that Logan's former love, Mariko Yashida (Tao Okamoto) has been whisked back to her home country and was forced by her crime boss father, Shingen Yashida (Hiroyuki Sanada) into a sinister marriage of convenience with one of his criminal associates, Noburo Mori (Brian Tee). Despite her own feelings of obligation to her father, Mariko reaches out to Logan in a move that would undoubtedly lead to a whirlwind of adamantium-aligned destruction when he arrives in full Wolverine mode.

With Mariko unsure where her loyalties lie, Logan becomes the primary target for her vengeful father's ire, thrusting him into battles with his honor-obsessed sword-swinging subordinates, crimson-clad ninja clan, The Hand, and Mariko's powerful mutant half-brother, The Silver Samurai (Will Yun Lee). However, things get even more interesting when a mysterious and beautiful assassin named Yukio (Rila Fukushima) injects herself into the colossal cluster of crises when she lends her help to Logan. While her overall motives may be questionable, one thing is clear: She's got the hots for our hero, compounding this dire dilemma with a possible love triangle.

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Partners Ubisoft and New Regency took another step toward delivering the upcoming Assassin's Creed movie with news from The Hollywood Reporter that British writer Michael Lesslie has been hired to tackle the script. Lesslie is best known as a playwright, having written Prince of Denmark, a one-act prelude to Hamlet, and a stage adaptation of the Hollywood film Swimming With Sharks.

Lesslie has considerably less experience in the world of film, with four IMDb credits to his name, all for short films. You can hear his written words at play in the above short, Airlock, Or How To Say Goodbye In Space, directed by Chris Boyle and starring Michael Sheen (Tron Legacy, 30 Rock), Steven Waddington (The Last of the Mohicans), and Derek Jacobi (The King's Speech, The Borgias).

Here's a fun fact: Chris Boyle also served as the creative lead and director on Call of Duty: Black Ops 2's in-game live-action sequences. By my count, that gives Lesslie just a single degree of separation from the games biz.

2013 Movie Preview: Pacific Rim

Baxter

Posted January 15, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: Pacific Rim

Release Date: July 12
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Rating: Not Yet Rated

After a race of giant lethal leviathan have risen from beneath the Pacific Ocean to wreak destruction, mankind battles back by constructing giant piloted robots to clobber the maritime monsters back to the kelp beds from which they came.

What We Know:

One fateful day, mankind collectively learns that they are far from the top of the food chain on the planet when giant 25-story tall creatures called Kaiju (named after the Japanese mega-monsters of cinema,) emerge from a glowing portal deep beneath the Pacific Ocean and wage a campaign of pure destruction upon all that has been built. However, to tackle these mammoth marine-dwellers, engineers develop equally-large anthropomorphic robot constructs called Jaegers. Controlled via neural connection by two pilots on board the metal monstrosities, the Jaegers are armed to the teeth and ready to gut Gamera and grab Godzilla by the gonads.

Unfortunately, years into the war and millions of casualties later, it seems that those "Jaeger bombs" may not have been enough to floor the forces of the gargling giants completely. Turning to desperate measures, the military brass put their hopes on an on-the-skids former pilot looking for redemption named Raleigh Becket (Charlie Hunnam) and a tenacious, but green noob of a pilot in Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi). The oddball pairing bring startling differences to the table, but will need to learn a different kind of teamwork as the duo assume the controls of a legendary, but obsolete mech.

With the Kaiju's victory seemingly at hand, Raleigh and Mako must make the most of this old-school Jaeger and prove that sometimes victory can be drawn from the most unlikely of sources.

Filling the cast of this colossal crucible, are Idris Elba, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, and Ron Perlman. (Who, with Charlie Hunnam, makes this a Sons of Anarchy reunion.)

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Zack Snyder To Direct A Star Wars Movie?

It seems that the Disney-acquired Star Wars franchise has found a director...although not quite for the project we all had in mind.

Director, Zack Snyder may already have quite a bit on his plate with this summer's Superman reboot, Man of Steel, but according to a report from New York Magazine's Vulture blog, the action-oriented helmer known for 300, Watchmen and Dawn of the Dead will assume the director's chair for what will be considered a Samurai-inspired Star Wars spinoff film.

According to the report, this project will be based on Akira Kurosawa's seminal 1954 film, Seven Samurai. (Which was redone in the States as western classic, The Magnificent Seven.) The Japanese masterpiece featured a group of samurai defending helpless villagers from a ruthless gang of exploitative bandits who have come to take their misbegotten share of crucial crop. Of course, this new project, taking place in the expansive Star Wars universe, will substitute the "elegant" hum of the lightsaber for the katana and Jedi Knights for Samurai Warriors.

With no working title as of yet, what could be in store for "the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic?"

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S.H.I.E.L.D. TV Series Set After The Avengers

New light has been shed upon Marvel's upcoming S.H.I.E.L.D. live action TV series. In what might be the most critical bit of info revealed about the show thus far, it seems that, contrary to popular belief, it will take place AFTER the events of mega-film, The Avengers.

ABC president, Paul Lee recently spoke to IGN about the show's connection to Marvel's hugely-popular, canon-coordinated comic book films, to which he would respond:

“There is no question that it is part of the Marvel Universe. In fact, the story takes place after the battle for New York." Adding: "This is S.H.I.E.L.D. They’re following their own particular stories. There are characters in it, Coulson, who clearly come from Avengers. So it’s part of the world, but we’re going to be very, very careful that we don’t tread on the toes of the features and build a whole new world. And that’s what Joss Whedon does better than anybody else. He’s built a world for us."

So, if it's not a prequel series, then how is it that Clark Gregg's Agent Phil Coulson, who (and I think we're well past the window where this would be considered a "spoiler,") was killed in The Avengers last year become resurrected to be the show's headlining star?

Well, in the true fashion of fanboy lake-fishing with proverbial dynamite, we're only left with more vexing questions like that.

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2013 Movie Preview: The Lone Ranger

Baxter

Posted January 14, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: The Lone Ranger

Release Date: July 3
Director: Gore Verbinski
Rating: Not Yet Rated

Presumed dead and having touched the other side existence, a badge in the Old West, aided by a Native American spirit warrior, becomes the famous a masked marauder of justice, battling the forces of an evil robber baron.

What We Know:

Back in the Old West, John Reid (Armie Hammer of The Social Network) did his best to uphold the law. That was, until it cost him everything he knew and loved, ending up buried in a grave after a mysterious skirmish. So, you can imagine his surprise when he woke up on top of some crude scaffolding situated on a rock formation high atop a desert canyon.

In tune with all things spiritual, Native American bystander, Tonto (Johnny Depp) was nice enough to dig graves for the battle victims, including John's. Yet, despite his knowledge in such areas, the whole "dead guy waking up from a high altitude nap" phenomena was a bit of a surprise to him, as well. He's concluded that John, having successfully made a rare round-trip from the afterlife, was a Spirit Walker; "A man who cannot be killed in battle."

Such a thing will certainly come in handy when John wages a rather lopsided war against a brutal, avarice-obsessed tycoon named Latham Cole (Tom Wilkinson), who is using the westward railroad expansion as a means to rule ripe territories while ravaging the homeland of Tonto's brethren.

Now cavorting incognito to maintain his deceased status, John becomes The Lone Ranger. Alongside Tonto and a freaky tree-climbing horse, the Ranger takes the battle to the forces of this self-obsessed steampunk Scrooge. (Who probably wipes his mouth with hundred dollar bills and uses rose-cheeked Dickensian urchin children as foot-rests.)

Rounding out the cast are Helena Bonham Carter (because, you know, Johnny Depp is in the film), William Fichtner, Barry Pepper, and James Badge Dale.

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2013 Movie Preview: Kick-Ass 2

Baxter

Posted January 11, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: Kick-Ass 2

Release Date: June 28  August 16 (revised)
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Rating: Not Yet Rated

The awkward journeyman justice-bringer is back! Now a High-School grad, he's weighing his options for higher education...by starting a new team of costumed heroes. Meanwhile, an old enemy of his plots a sadistic revenge.

What We Know:

When we last left our heroes, Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Mindy Macready (Chloe Grace Moretz,) they had settled into an early retirement from crime-fighting as Kick-Ass and Hit-Girl. -- Well, not so much, as it turns out.

A wave of wannabe heroes now roam the streets fighting crime and young Mindy just couldn't resist her instilled life-long vigilante ways and gets back to making her rounds as Hit-Girl. Unfortunately, she gets busted, caught with her hand in the proverbial cookie jar (and by that, we mean "viciously and violently spilling the blood of the wicked") and this time, her retirement is no longer voluntary. -- But she won't sit back without a fight.

Dave is also called back to the baddie-bashing beat as Kick-Ass when he joins a band of costumed crusaders led by a gritty former mobster in camouflage going by the name, "Colonel Stars and Stripes." (Jim Carrey) Calling themselves "Justice Forever," this group may not have the style, skills, resources, technology, or irradiated giant green brutes like "that other superhero team," but these enthusiastic amateurs nevertheless have the will to make a difference.

It turns out that Dave will need all the help he can get when his old frenemy, Chris D'Amico, still upset with him over that whole "killing his criminal father" incident, plots revenge by pulling together a team of super-villains to counter the rising Justice Forever. No longer calling himself, Red Mist, Chris, now known as "The Mother F**ker," is out to slowly cash out his vengeance on those closest to Dave, starting with his girlfriend, Katie. (Lyndsy Fonesca)

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2013 Movie Preview: World War Z

Baxter

Posted January 11, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: World War Z

Release Date: June 21
Director: Marc Forster
Rating: Not Yet Rated

In the wake of a zombie pandemic outbreak, a United Nations employee travels the world looking for a solution to stop this virulent strain of violence before it wipes out all of humanity.

What We Know:

United Nations employee, Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his wife, Karen (Mireille Enos of The Killing) were just sitting in the car with their two daughters, waiting out what only appeared to be a New York traffic jam, when pure carnage ensued. A powerful outbreak had abruptly spread across the city and the rest of the world, turning people into mindless zombies.

However, these aren't the traditional slow shamblings that stereotypically stagger and crave brains. Rather, they are quick-moving, aggressive, reckless, and move in gigantic herds, making them a formidable collective force that could be qualified as an enemy army in a new "World War." The phenomenon has spread across the entire globe, exposing the startling differences between nations in regards to how they handle the crisis.

After an intense ordeal getting his family out of the overrun city, Gerry is recruited by the military to leave his family behind in their care while he and a team travel the world looking for a solution to the widespread woe that has transformed billions upon billions into bellicose brutes. (And it's going to require a lot more than a bizarre speech about Chanel No. 5.)

Rounding out the cast are Matthew Fox, Eric West, David Morse, and James Badge Dale. (Fresh from his role in Iron Man 3 as baddie, Coldblood.)

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2013 Movie Preview: Man Of Steel

Baxter

Posted January 10, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: Man Of Steel

Release Date: June 14
Director: Zack Snyder
Rating: PG-13

Wandering and ambivalent about his place in the world, Clark Kent is forced to step-up and tackle a cruel super-powered warlord from his home planet.

What We Know:

While the story of Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) is a familiar one told to us many-a-time by Hollywood, we seem to be getting a deeper, pathos-heavy version. The classic tale is still mostly in place: The last survivor of a majestic alien race, a super-infant is rocketed to Earth only to be discovered and raised by Smallville couple, Jonathan Kent (Kevin Costner) and wife, Martha (Diane Lane.) However, this film explores the doubts that linger in Clark's soul regarding his super-status.

Now a twenty-something, he's arrived at a critical crossroads in his life and must decide if the virtue of keeping his powers a secret outweigh an ethical duty to use them for the good of the people. (Or, as the critical lesson learned by another iconic costumed hero goes: With great power, comes great responsibility.)

His odyssey of self-discovery leads him to the big city of Metropolis working for The Daily Planet. However, despite finding a slick new job and working side-by-side with a gorgeous investigative journalist named Lois Lane (Amy Adams,) the good times won't last as his past comes back to haunt him in the form of Kryptonian visitors.

The evil General Zod (Michael Shannon) has arrived on Earth looking for a new place to instill his might. (Which may or may not involve the constant command to "kneel.") At this point, it appears a decision about those pesky powers has been made for him and it's time to kick Zod and his lady cohort, Faora (Antje Traue) back to the cold depths of space.

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2013 Movie Preview: After Earth

Baxter

Posted January 10, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: After Earth

Release Date: June 7
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Rating: Not Yet Rated

1,000 years after humanity evacuated an uninhabitable Earth, a war hero and his son crash land on the now-hostile planet, filled with evolved savage wildlife who are not so keen on a reunion.

What We Know:

A millennia after humanity left Earth and settled on a planet called Nova Prime, General Cypher Raige (Will Smith) is its greatest hero after winning countless battles with hostile alien species. He originated a technique called "ghosting" in which the soldier purges all fear, rendering him invisible to certain enemy aliens species who sense it. (Or it could just be the name of the next YouTube meme sensation.)

That technique will certainly come in handy when the ship of the retiring General crash lands on Earth, leaving him and his son, Kitai (Jaden Smith) as the only survivors. With Cypher critically injured, it's up to 13 year-old Kitai to rely on his training as a Ranger Cadet and the advice of his father to control his fear in order wait out a rescue.

Now, armed only with a futuristic, multipurpose spear weapon, Kitai will have to contend with not only the hostile environment, its ravenously-evolved species out to kill, but also humanity's alien enemies who decide to drop by for some easy pickings.

Isabelle Fuhrman of The Hunger Games and Zoë Kravitz of X-Men: First Class also round out this future-set survival story.

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