Archive for category Upcoming Movies

Aaron Eckhart Flexes Serious Muscle in Action/Thriller ERASED’s First Trailer

erased_aaron_eckhart_cia_conspiracyAaron Eckhart has proven he has the acting chops for whatever dramatic role comes his way.  Whether he is a spokesman for a tobacco company in Thank You For Smoking, a district attorney turned maniac in The Dark Knight, or a police officer in The Black Dahlia he turns out good performances.  But his one attempt to lead an action movie, Battle Los Angeles, was one of the most disappointing movies I have ever seen and his performance was completely cliché.  However, after seeing the trailer for Erased I am thinking Eckhart may have gotten an action movie right this time.

As first glance I thought this would be a sequel/remake/reboot to Schwarzenegger’s Eraser but director Philipp Stolzl (North Face) made the switch to this title after some lengthy production/post-production delays.  Erased had originally been titled The Expatriate and was supposed to have been released in fall of 2012.

Erased‘s plot follows a former CIA agent, Ben Logan (Eckhart), who is going about business as usual in his new international corporate life allowing him time with his 15 year old daughter (Liana Liberato) when suddenly it is as if the company he was working for never existed.  Empty rooms and no record of Logan ever being at the corporation allude to a conspiracy that sends Logan and his daughter on the run from those he thought he trusted in order to protect himself and his daughter. Here is the trailer:

The trailer makes Erased makes it appear to be a hybrid of Adjustment Bureau meets The Bourne Identity with some Taken thrown in at the end.  As to whether or not it will live up to thrilling action of the latter two movies (I did not particularly care for Adjustment Bureau) we will have to see.  The fact that there has been such a long delay for this one has me a bit nervous that this may be a mess while at the same time optimistic that they wanted a little more time to get it right.  But the premise and trailer give it some promise.

Currently Erased is set for a May 10, 2013 theatrical release but will be available April 5th on demand.

What are your thoughts on the trailer and Aaron Eckhart taking another stab at leading an action movie?

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Ric Roman Waugh Discusses a Grounded SNITCH Starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

(From Collider.com)

(From Collider.com)

I am willing to bet that if you approached the casual movie-goer and asked them who Ric Roman Waugh is all you will get is a blank stare or shrug.  Waugh spent a good fifteen years as a stunt coordinator until 2001 when he broadened his resume to include writing and directing.  Even though his writing/directing credits are limited right not, I truly believe this guy will be name of the future.

Last summer I posted a review on Waugh’s last directorial effort, Felon.  To put it simply Felon is a powerhouse of a small film.  I won’t spend much time discussing the plot for that you could click here for the full piece.  But I will emphasize is that the film features some strong authenticity.  What I mean by that is that it rarely feels exaggerated but instead grounded.  The characters feel like everyday people that go through emotions of those in the prison and how life outside the prison is impacted by their imprisonment.  If you have not seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it you will not regret it.

The word “authenticity” is a word that Waugh used to describe his filmmaking process especially with his latest film Snitch.  Most of you at this point have most likely seen the TV spots for Snitch but if it is not ringing a bell, it the one with Dwayne Johnson going undercover to prove his son’s innocence in an underground drug ring.  Naturally after reading that one line synopsis I just gave you are thinking of Johnson flexing his muscles toting a large automatic firing weapon but really it could not be a more different action/thriller.

In an interview with Collider.com and Drax Largo on YouTube Waugh mentions how this will be a very different Dwayne Johnson role and movie (click on source’s name for the interviews with Waugh).  Waugh specifically says that if you were involved in the real life drug world that your stature would not make you any safer.  Whether you a six-foot-five-inch brick wall like Johnson or a five-foot-nothing twig, a bullet or explosion will stop you in your tracks just the same.  We are all used to seeing Johnson in the “larger than life” sort of action flicks like Fast Five, Faster, and The Rundown where the man’s skin might as well be armor not flesh.  But what Waugh wants to do with Snitch is show Johnson as a regular guy that is vulnerable both emotionally and physically as a man diving into a foreign business world to clear his innocent son.

This is not to say the explosions and other action elements will be played down because let’s be honest how fun would that be?  Again this is about the characters and being true to that drug world.  Waugh describes the emotional drive behind the film as willing to move heaven and earth to protect our children by whatever means necessary.  But there is also the emotion on the law enforcement side one people who are so close to a bust but yet so close to ignited the powder keg that is the war on drugs.

Waugh does a better job explaining it than I do but what I am getting at is Snitch’s authentic/grounded approach to an action/thriller should create a more rounded experience than those larger than life movies as proven in Felon.  They have the necessary amount of gun fire and explosions to excite audiences combined with immense suspense from unimaginable situations that these everyday characters are experiencing.

What are your thoughts?  Do you want to see the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson take one more grounded action thrillers like Waugh’s Snitch or would you prefer he stuck to the over-the-top larger than life action movies he has done in the past?  I recognize this is tough to answer know being that Snitch has not hit theater yet but what is your gut or initial feelings?

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Christian Bale and Tom Hardy to Star in Separate “EVEREST” Movies

christian_bale_tom_hardy_everest_movieNew broke earlier today that Christian Bale has opted out of the cape and utility belt for a down coat and crampons.  Bale is to star in director Balstasar Kormakur latest survival drama/thriller about the infamous expedition in 1996 than would spawn John Krakauer’s Into Thin Air.  But earlier reports say that it will not be an adaptation of his novel but a mix between Krakauer’s telling of the events with other survivors.  The cliff notes version of the drama that unfolded in 1996 is (1) conflicting takes on what exactly happen from the survivors after unpredictable conditions rolled in and (2) that the expedition’s guide, Rob Hall, felt obligated to get one particular un-fit member to the summit after two previous expeditions that failed.

Now around 1996 commercialization of Everest was at its peak.  What that means is anyone with enough money in the bank to write a $10,000 check (give or take – remember 1996) can join an expedition to attempt to reach Everest’s summit.  No matter your fitness level that check is what matters.  Needless to say a majority of those expeditions do not reach the top but it’s the thrill and experience of trying.

As of right now Bale’s role is not yet known but if I had to guess, my money would be on him playing Rob Hall.  Hall was a well respected mountaineer that made summit on Everest on several occasions.  Currently Kormakur’s project is simply titled “Everest” but this is not to be confused with Doug Liman’s project of the same name.

Nearly four month ago word got out director Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity and Mr. & Mrs. Smith) would be doing a movie about Sir George Mallory who is to be played by Tom Hardy.  Mallory has a lot of speculation surrounding him and Everest as well (warning S P O I L E R S   to follow).  Mallory was allegedly the first mountaineer to reach Everest’s summit back in the 1920’s.  I say allegedly because it was his third attempt and well he never came back done until climbers found his body in 1999.  So there is disputable proof of whether he made it or not which should be interesting to see what Liman will suggest.

Two separate Everest movies that will most likely be release close to each other staring Bale and Hardy.  Reminds me of when another Bale film about magicians The Prestige came out at the same time as another magical film called the Illusionist.  Funny how that happens in Hollywood sometimes.  This might explain both actors growing those serious beards of theirs.

My question to those reading is which are you more excited to see?  The Kormakur/Bale EVEREST about the disastrous 1996 expedition or the Liman/Hardy EVEREST about Sir George Mallory.  Or maybe both?  I am a big fan of both actors but not all too familiar with the directors.

Sources:

Christian Bale in EVEREST

Tom Hardy in EVEREST

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Noomi Rapace & Niels Arden Oplev Reunite for Dead Man Down

dead_man_dead_noomi_rapace_colin_farrell_niels_arden_oplevNoomi Rapace is steadily becoming increasingly popular here in the United States since her break out performance as the dark and mysterious Lisabeth Salander in Niels Arden Oplev’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Of the three Swedish films based on the popular trilogy Oplev’s installment is widely known as the superior one.  Naturally when news broke that Rapace and Oplev were working together again for Dead Man Down many were joyous and anxious to see what lied ahead but now we have a rough trailer!

A brief synopsis of Dead Man Down from Collider.com is as follows:  Victor (played by Colin Farrell) an enforcer the “right hand man to an underground crime lord in New York City. He seeks to avenge the death of his wife and daughter caused by his boss. When his employer is threatened by a mysterious killer, Victor also becomes detective. Victor is seduced and blackmailed by Beatrice (Noomi Rapace), a victim turned avenger whose intense chemistry leads them spiraling into payback delivered in violent catharsis.”

Here is a rough trailer for the film (as soon as a higher quality video for the trailer comes I will update the video):

I cannot begin to explain how psyched I am for this movie to come out.  The original The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is one of my top 50 movies and I think Noomi Rapace embodies the roles she gets so I look forward to any movie she is in.  Even though I have only seen one of Oplev’s films I have heard good things about two of his other movies like We Shall Over Come and Worlds Apart.  Now toss in the acting chops of Colin Farrell and Terrance Howard and this movie has some serious potential.

The trailer suggests that this film will have a good balance of drama and action.  At least that is what I am hoping for.  The premise sounded interesting enough months back when I first read about it but this trailer gives the film off a vibe that Dead Man Down will be a very taut thriller.  Plus even though the quality of the video is poor, it still appears to be a beautifully shot movie.

Dead Man Down currently has a release date of March 8, 2013 and I will definitely be there opening day.

Reference:

Trumbone, Dave.  “First Trailer for Dead Man Down Starring Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, and Terrence Howard.”  Collider.com.  Date Posted:  December 29, 2012.

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James Wan & Patrick Wilson Discuss Upcoming Horror Movie “The Conjuring”

James Wan has developed quite a name for himself in the horror world as the director of low budget hits like Saw and Insidious.  Now in post-production of his latest movie call The Conjuring, some details about the film are steadily starting to be released.  For those of you who are fans of shows like Ghost Hunters where paranormal experts try to make contact with spirits and draw conclusions on their existence.  Specifically this film will feature a look into Ed and Lorraine Warren.

For those of you who do not know who Ed and Lorraine Warren (like myself), they were the original investigators into the paranormal over 30 years ago before it was “cool.”  Any horror fan should be familiar with the classic The Amityville Horror, well Ed and Lorraine were the original investigators to look into the spiritual happenings in the house back in the late 1970’s.  Wan has stated in an interview that The Conjuring is going to be sort of a biopic about this couple who cases have inspired some of Hollywood’s most popular horror films.  Check out his brief interview with Clevver Movies:

After a panel session at the latest Comic-Con in New York it was said that The Conjuring will follow Ed and Lorraine’s outing to a Rhode Island farmhouse that has a witches curse on it that threatens a couple and their five children.  Not much else has been mentioned other than that Wan wants to stay as loyal to what Lorraine Warren had to tell them.

Casting features Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga as the Warrens and Lili Taylor and Ron Livingston as the Rhode Island couple in the cursed home.  To watch an interview with Patrick will about The Conjuring, Watchmen, and an Insidious sequel click here.

It is currently scheduled for a July 2013 release and as soon as a trailer is officially release to the public I will post it here.

 

 

Consulted Articles:

Weintraub, Steve ‘Frosty.’  “Patrick Wislon Talks The Conjuring, Rob Marshall’s Into The Woods, Caught Stealing, an Insidious sequel, Watchmen, and More.”  Collider.com.  Date Published:  October 20, 2012.

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Final Quarter of Movies in 2012

There have been a lot of big movies to hit theaters this year so it is not a surprise that there are plenty yet to come.  In this post I will pick 10 movies that are set to be released between now and the New Year that I am most excited for.  You will probably notice the absence of some of the biggest films of the fall/winter but I will explain why I left them off the list.

10.   Hyde Park On Hudson

Bill Murray takes on yet another more dramatic role as Franklyn Delano Roosevelt who starts a “love affair” with Margaret Stuckley (Laura Linney), his distant cousin, that he has invited to spend time with him to help get his mind off being president all while England’s royalty comes to visit his abode in the country side of upstate New York.  Naturally since Murray is involved, this film is also labeled as being a comedy.  So even though this is kind of a biography/drama we can certain expect a good amount of wit as well.  Plus a lot of Murray’s recent films that I have enjoyed have been a bit more dramatic so I look forward to his performance in this one.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  December 7th

9.    Flight

Flight is the latest from director Robert Zemeckis who did Forrest Gump, Cast Away, and the Back to the Future trilogy.  Denzel Washington plays Whip, a veteran commercial pilot, who pulls off a miracle landing that even computer simulation could not have done but further investigations reveal that Whip may not be much of a hero after all and could very well be the cause for the falling aircraft.  Zemeckis rarely disappoints and this intriguing plot has a great cast to support it including John Goodman, Don Cheadle, and Melissa Leo.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  November 2nd

8.    Argo

Ben Affleck is really beginning to prove himself to be a quality director and Argo has the potential to be his best yet.  Amidst high tensions in Iran, six Americans are forced to hide with a Canadian ambassador until Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) can essemble a fake Canadian film crew to go in to Iran to film a fake science-fiction film in an effort to help the six Americans escape.  The film’s cast also include Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Victor Garber.  Being that it is set back in the seventies, it has the same feel to me as the film Stander which I am a big fan of.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  October 12th

7.    Paranormal Activity 4

Okay based on what I have read on other people’s blogs, I am one of the few who is not sick of the found footage feel of a lot of new horror movies so long as it is done right.  I am not going to get into the plot because we know it.  Things suddenly getting “weird” in a rich person’s house so they get cameras all over the place to try and catch whatever it is and let the ghostly fun begin.  People can rip on the “this has been done to death” all they want but I still always find it to be a fun experience in a full theater.  You cannot deny the tension it build in some people which makes it entertaining for others in the theater.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  October 19th

6.    Deadfall

Deadfall seems to be gliding under everyone’s radar.  Sibling criminals (Eric Bana and Olivia Wilde) make a break for the Canadian border when their car crashes and the two are forced to separate.  Wilde’s character then befriends a country boy (Charlie Hunnam) who resides right near the border but things get complicated when local police begin looking for the criminals responsible for the death of one of their own.  And this casting is stacked with Bana, Wilde, Hunnam, Sissy Spacek, Kris Kristofferson, Treat Williams, and Kate Mara.  Click here to watch the chilly thriller’s trailer.     Release Date:  November 21st

5.    Skyfall

The most extensive action movie franchise gets another addition and it is shaping to be a worthy one.  Daniel Craig reprises the role of James Bond and not too much is known about the plot right now other than that Bond’s superior M (Judi Dench) is in danger and Bond has to help protect her.  There is no the physical obtrusiveness Craig bring to a role that has depended on gadgets for too long now.  Two noteworthy castings are Ralph Fiennes who appear to also be a member of the British secret service and Javier Bardem and the films villain, Raoul Silva, who is described as flamboyant and volatile.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  November 9th

4.    The Collection

A lot of criticism for this movie’s predecessor The Collector was that it too closely resembled some of the Saw sequels of a fun house with tortuous traps.  If you are unfamiliar with that movie click on the link to watch the trailer which sums it up pretty well.  The sequel will feature the escaped protagonist (Josh Stewart) who is enlisted by a mob boss looking to bring back his daughter who is being held captive by this hard rubber masked deviant known as the Collector.  Many of my friends were upset with the ending of the first one and I was too but all the twisted traps made the movie a lot of fun and this one looks to have some next level traps.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  November 30th

3.    Seven Psychopaths

I remember seeing the movie In Bruges on a list called “The Best Movies No One Saw.”  That is not saying it did poorly in theaters it just did not get a wide release, at least not in any theaters near me.  Since that movie was on that list there is no denying that it has since gotten the positive attention it deserves.  That movie was from writer/director Martin McDonagh and his latest film follows a couple of small time dog-nappers that capitalize on the rewards until one of them inedvertanly takes the precious shih tzu of a gangster that will do anything to get it back.  Seven Psychopaths has an all star cast including Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken, Sam Rockwell, and Woody Harrelson.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  October 12th

2.    Les Miserables

Les Miserables is hands down my favorite musicals of all time but it has never been executed well off the stage.  That may change now that The King’s Speech director Tom Hooper is wrapping up some finishing touches of his take that features “live singing.”  Confused about what exactly that means?  Click here to see a behind the scenes look of how the actors are singing live every take with no prerecorded tracks.  I cannot give a plot summary there this one since it is such a complicated and well developed story that would take many paragraphs just to introduce it.     Release Date:  December 25th

 1.       Sinister

Most horror fans will admit the first Paranormal Activity was very well done and gave Oren Peli a window into making more horror.  But some had thoughts that he would be some one-hit wonder like Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez of The Blair Witch Project.  Then came Insidious, one of the scariest PG-13 movies in years.  Now Oren is not involved with Sinister but one of his fellow producers, Jason Blum is.  He is not well known for the horror movies he has produced but if he is producing another horror film, I am in.  Sinister follows a writer (Ethan Hawke) that moves into a house where he finds footage that suggest various family murders are a result of this pagan demon deity called a Bagul and must not protect his family from the demon he has just discovered.  Click here for the trailer.     Release Date:  October 12th

So there is my list.  I know I am missing some of the most anticipated films for a lot of other bloggers like Lincoln and the first installment of The Hobbit.  But after the movie about a vampire slaying Lincoln I just do not have an interest in yet another movie around this historic figure in the same year.  As for The Hobbit, I liked The Lord of the Rings trilogy and realized how perfectly made it was but the story just is not something I find much joy out of multiple views.  I know a lot of people can watch it over and over and I respect that but it just is not for me.

So what are some of your most anticipated films before the end of 2012?  Feel free to put them in the comment section below.  I know for a fact my list is not universal.  Thanks for reading!

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Sinister: Latest from Producers of Paranormal Activity & Insidious

(Still of Ethan Hawke & Bagul from Sinister)

One of the many trailers to debut this past week has me very excited for the fall season.  Fall just screams horror movies to me most likely because of the ominous yet beautiful colors resulting from a change in climate (at least here in upstate New York).  The sense of the leaves on trees dying turning from a lush green to tattered reds, oranges, and yellows is essentially a perfect atmosphere to curl up on the couch and enjoy a good slasher film or spooky movie.

Some of my favorites horror movies of the past five years include (but are not limited to) Paranormal Activity and Insidious.  These two have been under a lot of scrutiny, being accused of being not original and just rip offs of classics such as Poltergeist, The Blair Witch Project, and more but I never understood that.  Of course horror movies borrow from something that came before it there is no avoiding that but these two movies I found to have something unique at the same time.

So when news broke about the producers of these two movies have another project, Sinister, set to be released in early October this year I could immediately feel the hair on my arms rise with chills before even watching the trailer.  A short synopsis of the plot from IMDb.com is as follows:  “Found footage helps a true-crime novelist realize how and why a family was murdered in his new home, though his discoveries put his entire family in the path of a supernatural entity of pagan myth known as Bagul.”   And the trailer does not disappoint:

This movie gives me the same creepy vibes as the Insidious trailer when if first saw it so naturally my expectations are already high.  The demon in the videos Ethan Hawke’s character is watching is very reminiscent of the spirit that kept appearing in photos of Patrick Wilson’s character in Insidious.  There is something that people will say has already been done, personally I do not care so long as demon appears creatively which is what the trailer suggests and works in with the story.

I have never heard of a Bagul before or even if it is a real story but all I know is that this one is rated R.  Insidious was hands down one of the scariest PG-13 movies I have ever seen so I am anxious to see what and R rated non-found footage movie from these producers will be like.  Hopefully better than Chernobyl Diaries.  What are your thoughts?

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