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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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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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2013 Movie Preview: Star Trek Into Darkness

Release Date: May 17
Director: J.J. Abrams
Rating: Not Yet Rated

Captain Kirk and the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise tangle with a seriously off-the-reservation Starfleet officer who is waging a solo tour of galactic damage, starting with Earth.

What We Know:

Having settled into the captain's chair comfortably, James Kirk (Chris Pine) may have let success get to his head. (You try being humble when you're in charge of the Federation's flagship and have bedded exotic women of all shapes, colors, and anatomical makeups across the galaxy.) However, Captain Ego is about to meet Captain Pissed-Off, when a former Starfleet officer, known to us only as "John Harrison" (Benedict Cumberbatch) has somehow become a one-man weapon of mass destruction and does some serious damage back home on Earth.

Apparently lacking the proper resources and personnel to deal with this crisis back at the Federation's home territory, Kirk and the Enterprise head back the Terran System's blue pearl for a showdown with the man who could be generously described as the most disgruntled employee...EVER. The battle will turn psychological and personal real quick as close relationships are put through a trying crucible devised by the hot-tempered Harrison that won't be solved by Corbomite Maneuvers and time-traveling humpback whales.

Crew members, Zachary Quinto, John Cho, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Anton Yelchin, and Simon Pegg are all back.

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2013 Movie Preview: Iron Man 3

Baxter

Posted January 9, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: Iron Man 3

Release Date: May 3
Director: Shane Black
Rating: Not Yet Rated

In the aftermath of The Avengers, Tony Stark tangles with a 10-ring-touting mastermind who has targeted him for torment.

What We Know:

Beaten-down, sleep-deprived, and constantly worried about the ramifications his technology will bring upon the world and the woman he loves, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) isn't quite feeling the like the same randy, eccentric billionaire tech genius who, with extreme hubris, who once declared his identity of Iron Man to the world.

He knows he's in the center of several cross-hairs. However, he's about to discover that he's caught the ire of a powerful ringleader who will become his definitive nemesis: The Mandarin. (Ben Kingsley)

The plot thickens as a powerful nanovirus called Extremis developed by scientists, Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce) and Maya Hansen (Rebecca Hall,) falls into the hands of the sinister bling-boasting-baddie, setting into motion events that turn Stark's life upside down. (Literally, in the case of his house.) Eventually, Extremis infects Tony's armor, giving it a mind of its own. -- Which, among other things, it uses to creep over him and Pepper Potts (Gwyneth Paltrow) while they sleep.

Rounding out the cast, Don Cheadle returns as James Rhodes, sporting a new patriotic version of his War Machine armor. James Badge Dale and Ashley Hamilton are bad guy muscle-power, respectively as Coldblood and Firepower.

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2013 Movie Preview: Pain & Gain

Baxter

Posted January 8, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: Pain & Gain

Release Date: April 26
Director: Michael Bay
Rating: Not Yet Rated

Based on a real life story, a trio of Miami weightlifters come up with a lame-brained scheme to kidnap and extort the misbegotten assets of a shady businessman. However, what started as a simple plan goes awry.

What We Know:

Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) is a down on his luck personal trainer whose obsession with pumping iron is only matched by his desire for avarice. He's sick of listening to the rantings of his wealthy criminal client, Viktor Kershaw (Tony Shaloub) and realizes that maybe bringing some brutal poetic justice to the fraudster might lead to a more jacked bank account for himself.

With the help of a hapless buddy, Adrian Doorbal (The Hurt Locker's Anthony Mackie, who will also play The Falcon in next year's Captain AmericaWinter Soldier,) and a newcomer to the gym named Paul Doyle (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson,) Daniel comes up with a non-violent plan to empty Kershaw's coffers. Unfortunately, the whole "non-violent" part falls by the wayside real quick.

The nouveau-riche knuckleheads, now known as The Sun Gym Gang, think they've killed Kershaw and left him for dead. Unfortunately, these clean-and-jerking juicers are in for the surprise of their lives when Kershaw not only turns up, but sicks a tenacious private detective on them named Ed Du Bois (Ed Harris) who is going to make them feel a burn from something other than lactic acid.

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Sin City Sequel Now Stars Josh Brolin

The upcoming sequel, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For has officially announced the acquisition of its main star. Playing the role of embattled protagonist, Dwight, is Josh Brolin.

Some who have been following this film's progress may be left scratching their heads, since Clive Owen was all but a lock, seeing as he played the role in the first Sin City film in 2005. (And played it well.) However, in true Sin City fashion of chronological chaos, this sequel, is, in part, a prequel.

Taking place well before his days of having discussions with dead bodies while night driving, Dwight, finds himself in an ordeal, torn between his feelings for a wicked woman named Ava, who always seems to bring trouble his way. -- Not to give away too much, but the lasciviously-manipulative Ava ropes Dwight into an tangled web of murder, making him a target for dangerous people, culminating in the need for a bit of facial plastic surgery.

...Which means, it could be the case that Josh Brolin plays Dwight for the majority of the film, before he goes under the knife and awakens as Clive Owen.

The news comes just after we've learned of the addition of Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Christopher Meloni to the already-stacked cast. As of now, they are still looking for the film's titular "dame" in the sexy, sinister, Ava.

[Via]

2013 Movie Preview: Evil Dead

Baxter

Posted January 8, 2013 - By Joseph Baxter

2013 Movie Preview: Evil Dead

Release Date: April 12
Director: Fede Alvarez
Rating: Not Yet Rated

The beloved film series which taught us the perils of messing with demonic books in remote cabins in the woods gets a serious update that amps-up the gore and violence to levels that could make the most hardened of horror fans flinch.

What We Know:

It's a classic story. Five young aesthetically-attractive friends decide to vacation together. For some reason, it seems that neither the beaches and bars of Key West nor the entertainment and nightlife of Las Vegas were optimal enough and they settle for the always popular "Creepy Cabin in the Woods Where The Malevolent Undead Are Said To Reside." (I think Anthony Bourdain did a special on it.)

After arriving at their super cool destination, the inevitable happens; possession, mutilation, murder, tree vines that mouth-rape people...you know, the usual tourist trap gimmicks.

Fans thinking that the Evil Dead name will bring some iteration of Bruce Campbell's iconic badass hero, Ash Williams will have to tone down those expectations. However, the Ash character will be present in spirit, as various nods to his deeds of testosterone-brimming butchery are well present. 

The cast consists of Shiloh Fernandez, Jane Levy, Jessica Lucas, Lou Taylor Pucci, and Elizabeth Blackmore.

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2013 Movie Preview: G.I. Joe: Retaliation

Release Date: March 29
Director: Jon Chu
Rating: Not Yet Rated

In this sequel to 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra the team find themselves hunted and on the run. While, the evil Cobra have seemingly defeated the Joes, you can bet that a new battle has just begun. -- That battle will involve ninjas, hot women, and explosions of global proportions.

What We Know:

This time around, the Joe team have a new alpha dog, or should we say "Brahma Bull," in Roadblock (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.") Unfortunately, he'll have a slimmer choice of people to boss around when an attack from the government practically eliminates the entire Joe team, leaving only a few survivors.

Of course, this attack was not the result of a crackdown on catchphrases and kung-fu grip, but rather, due to the machinations of the conniving terrorist group, Cobra. The Master of Disguise, Zartan (Arnold Vosloo) has impersonated and replaced the U.S. President (Jonathan Pryce) leaving the country's personnel and resources at the despotic disposal of the sinister Cobra Commander (Iron Man's Faran Tahir.)

Now, the streamlined Joe team of Roadblock, Snake Eyes (Ray Park,) Lady Jaye (Adrianne Palicki,) and Flint (D.J. Cotrona) seek out the help of the team's eponymous founder, retired General Joe Colton (Bruce Willis.) Can they stop this sinister plot? Will knowing still be half the battle? Will The People's Elbow be dropped on some jabroni?

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