Logan is a response to a litany of unprecedented events. Comic book films are more popular than ever, the X-Men series is still a viable franchise seventeen years later, Hugh Jackman is still in great health and more committed to Wolverine than anyone thought possible, and Deadpool's box-office success paved the way for a long sought R rating. It's the true definition of lightning in a bottle
But do you know why "lightning in a bottle" is such an effective, but limited metaphor? Because you'll rarely get a film so bravely varied, the only way to truly describe it is to compare it to a bright, blinding storm you can't believe you've managed to witness in the palm in your hand.
Logan is a love letter to Hugh Jackman's long history as Wolverine, and the comic book adaptation subgenre, yet it's a wholly unique beast of its own. It's a film so aware of its own identity, and I'm sure we're never going to get another film like it.... read + comment
You know when Adam Sandler does that weird voice where he's kind of talking like a baby, but not really. At some point it was funny, but now it's just kind of sad. Well Sandy Wexler, Netflix's next Adam Sandler movie, seems to be Sandler doing that voice for two hours while famous people stand around talking about him. At least that's what I'm getting from this trailer.
If Sandler's previous Netflix films are any indication this one shouldn't be too much of a standout, which actually seems too bad. Sandler is at is best when there's some actual heart to the film, and the tale of a manager who does everything he can for his stars actually seems like it could have connected. But then he does that voice... and it's all lost.
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Gore Verbinski has always been a peculiar director. I've been a fan of his ever since he did remarkable work adapting the Japanese film Ringu into The Ring (a series that has not fared well in his absence), but choices in Pirates of the Caribbean and The Lone Ranger left much to be desired. His films tend to drown in excess. He's seen it fit to include more than necessary into his later works, and unfortunately, that's the case with A Cure for Wellness.
A Cure for Wellness is visually captivating, yet pale. It's grim and morose, yet blindly optimistic. It's at times creepy, yet utterly goofy. It's a cure, yet afflicted with disease.... read + comment
I was completely unaware of The Void until last night. Now it's one of my most anticipated movies of the next few weeks. (I mean, come on, it looks great, but I don't want to oversell it, right?)
Written and directed by Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski, The Void looks like a mix of John Carpenter's The Thing and Prince of Darkness, the cosmic horror tales of H.P. Lovecraft, and just a hint of Hellraiser II: Hellbound.
Give this brief, gory, gooey, NSFW teaser trailer a watch below.
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Man, I am a big fan of everyone in The House, but judging from the trailer I don't think those parts are going to add up to much of a whole. Other than the final gag in the trailer almost nothing hits as really funny, just a bunch of gags we've seen a million times before in movie with plots that... aren't idiotic.
I mean there are great comedies out there with dumb plots, but the best have ones that at least pull you in. I can't even get behind this at all. Ferrell seems to just be doing Frank the Tank again, but possibly dumber. Does any of this stand out as truly funny to anyone?
The House lands on June 30. Place your bets now on it not being around by March 1.
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Hugh Jackman's purported final turn as popular superhero Wolverine "Logan" Patch in Logan hits theaters in about two weeks. Also starring Patrick Stewart and Dafne Keen, the movie sees an older, grumpier Wolverine on a quest to protect a mysterious young mutant from the forces that pursue her.
Anyway, if you're reading this you probably know that already – we're here today because, as the hype machine mounts for Logan, 20th Century Fox has released two new TV spots for the movie. Titled "Last Hope" and "Hero," the clips portray some new action sequences:
Fox has also released a new poster for the movie, which gives off a distinctly old-school, '70s Western vibe:
Check 'em out, and see if that holds you over until Logan hits theaters March 3. The film is rated R for “strong brutal violence and language throughout, and for brief nudity.”... read + comment
While Suicide Squad didn't set critics on fire, it looks like a sequel is coming because we can't have nice things. Warner Bros. is hoping to keep the DCEU alive with its misfit band of killers and criminals, and they're trying to find the right director. One of the main names on WB's list for Suicide Squad 2 is Mel Gibson.
Yeah, that Mel Gibson. To direct bad guys, hire a bad guy, I guess.
Warner Bros. is also looking at Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland), Daniel Espinosa (Safe House), and Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies) to potentially helm the film. As Variety notes, the list could grow, and no deals are currently in the works. There is no word on if Gibson or any of the other directors listed is interested in the project.
David Ayer, who who wrote and directed the first Suicide Squad as well as much better movies, is turning his attention to the standalone Harley Quinn movie starring Margot Robbie.
What do you think of the current list of filmmakers who may direct Suicide Squad 2: The Search for Curly's Gold? Let us know in the comments.
[via Variety]... read + comment
We happen to be massive fans of Gareth Evans films The Raid and The Raid 2: Berandal. This is mostly because he is possibly the best action director working and because they are some of the best action movies ever. So you can imagine the reaction here at Flixist when we learned they'd be doing an American remake without him. Seems kind of dumb. And as dumb things do, it started to stagnate with everyone dropping out.
But we now have word it is lurching back to life and... it may not suck. XYZ Films today tweeted out the video below of The Grey director Joe Carnahan and actor Frank Grillo watching the original film and talking about an adaption. From there Carnahan confirmed that he was indeed working on the remake and he had the full blessing of Evans.
That's good news all around, folks. While I still don't think a remake is necessary, Carnahan is at least a skilled director who will bring his own take to things. In fact he's promising it's not a remake, but instead a new take on the concept. There's not much evidence that he can handle martial arts fights, but I'm willing to give him a chance since The Grey is an effing masterpiece. Check out the video and tweets below.
Oh, and in case you want to watch a Raid remake that is awesome in its own right now, there's always Dredd.... read + comment
Harrison Ford had a serious case of life imitating art back in 2015 when he had to make an emergency landing in a vintage plane on a Venice, California golf course. Thankfully he survived the crash and no one was harmed. His prowess as a pilot is credited with preventing others from being injured.
Yesterday, Ford had another aviation mishap, and it could have been much more serious. According to NBC News, Ford was instructed to land his single-engine private plane on a runway at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA. Ford mistook a parallel taxiway for the runway, flying over an American Airlines 737 with 110 passengers and 6 crew members. Thankfully this error resulted in no injuries or damage to the planes; the American Airlines flight took off minutes after this incident occurred.
According to NBC News, Ford asked air traffic control, "Was that airliner meant to be underneath me?" He probably adjusted his fedora right after and blamed his father for the incident.
Landing on a taxiway is a violation of Federal Aviation Administration rules. The FAA will investigate the incident, though it's unclear what punishment, if any, Ford will receive. NBC News notes that it could be anything from a warning letter to a suspension of his flying license.read + comment
It seems the Doctor Strange home video release is going to pack in quite a bit of goodies. Along with both "Team Thor" shorts, it's also sharing our first peek into Thor: Ragnarok. This concept art revealed during a video teasing Phase 3, and it shows off a Gladiator-styled Hulk, Thor in his trademark helmet (which hasn't been seen since the first film), and a look at Cate Blanchett's Hela. I'm pretty excited about all of this, but I really just want to see it in motion soon.
Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters in November. Here's a synopsis:
Thor is imprisoned on the other side of the universe without his mighty hammer and finds himself in a race against time to get back to Asgard to stop Ragnarok – the destruction of his homeworld and the end of Asgardian civilization – at the hands of an all-powerful new threat, the ruthless Hela. But first he must survive a deadly gladatorial contest that pits him against his former ally and fellow Avenger – The Incredible Hulk!
[via ComicBook.com]... read + comment
Thor: Ragnarok is one of Flixist's most anticipated films of 2017, and that's mainly because director Taika Waititi offers such a refreshing perspective. Capitalizing on Chris Hemsworth's natural humor and charm, this new "Team Thor" short (a sequel to the short explaining Thor's absence from Captain America: Civil War) once again sees Thor with his normal human roommate Darryl. This time handling the mundane task of paying rent.
I know Thor: Ragnarok won't be anything like this, but I wouldn't mind a full film of Thor just living a lazy life in Austrailia a la What We Do in the Shadows. Both Team Thor shorts will be available on the Doctor Strange home video release later this month.
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It's Valentine's Day, which means you are obligated to do something special-ish because greeting card companies own you. If you are single, this means your parents will guilt you into having children because the biological imperative to see their genetic material carry forward owns them. That's a lot of pressure. Even worse, you might not know what to get the one you love.
While Flixist's Die Hard Valentines are a possibility, you can also go with these David Cronenberg Valentines. Yes, nothing says "I love you" like a bit of body horror and gooey science fiction from the clinical mind of a horror maestro. Enjoy a tender evening together, cherishing your affection with images from The Fly, Videodrome, Scanners, The Brood, Rabid, Dead Ringers, and Naked Lunch.
We've got a few designs in the gallery. For all of the Valentines and to send your sweetheart something wonderful, visit cronenbergvalentines.com.
[via Cronenberg Valentines]... read + comment
Just as Ben Affleck's The Batman was getting back on track with director Matt Reeves in the wings, it's rumored to have hit another snag. It's a big rumor, too, so get your salt ready. According to sources cited by John Campea on Collider Talk, Ben Affleck no longer wants to play Batman. He wants out ASAP.
If these rumors are true, Affleck is discussing a way out with Warner Bros., and he will no longer appear in The Batman or any subsequent DCEU movies. If Affleck and Warner Bros. cannot work out a deal, Affleck will appear in The Batman and then vacate the role.
Here's video of the rumor being discussed on Collider Talk (starts at 17:41).
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You might recall a video essay from Folding Ideas about the crummy editing of Suicide Squad. It was an informative look at the lessons a person can learn from poor cinematic craft. The video essay was a much better watch than the actual movie.
Folding Ideas released another video recently about the language and grammar of cinema, this time focusing on Leni Reifenstahl's infamous 1935 Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will (Triumph des Willens). Given certain things going on nationally and internationally, this seems like a rather timely exploration of the rhetorical techniques of propagandists.
Check out the video essay below. Feel free to discuss it in the comments.
[via Folding Ideas on YouTube]... read + comment
Yeah, none of us here at Flixist actually saw it (so far, and Nick, I'm looking at you) ...
Fifty Shades Darker
Director: James Foley
Release Date: February 10, 2017
So, I'm going to pretend I did! Wait. This is too difficult. I just can't.
The truth is that I was forbidden to see Fifty Shades Darker with my lady friend. She refused to allow me to come, for fear that my snickering would mar the otherwise beautiful experience. I do snicker both obnoxiously and with volume--I can hardly blame her. In point of fact, I wouldn't dare blame her. I'm sure I was done a favor.
Once upon a time, long long ago, in this very same galaxy, I ridiculed Twilight (both book and movie) without remorse. However, I'd never read the book or seen the movie, and thought perhaps, I was a hypocrite. This premise established, I read Twilight, at approximately 3 times the speed (average reading velocity) of Atlas Shrugged (which I was reading at the same time).
If anything, I'd been being generous in my earlier critiques. It was worse than expected. I won't make the same mistake here. My relentless mockery of Fifty Shades and all its friends will continue, unfounded, without research, for all eternity, and my conscience shall remain clear.
... read + comment
We all knew there would be more X-Men coming. Not only does Fox like money, but in X-Men: Apocalypse they set up the Dark Phoenix saga about as subtly as a baseball bat to a Walking Dead character's head. However, these things usually take time and we usually get a ton of info on screenplays being written and director choices and studio drama. We don't usually hear that it's going to start filming within the year without all that other stuff happening, and definitely not this soon after the last one was released.
However, last week there were rumors that things were happening and now Sophie Turner, who plays Jean Grey, has seemingly confirmed the fact that the next X-Men film will be shooting this year when she told HeyUGuys, “We’re about to start shooting the next X-Men, we’ve just finished shooting Season 7 of [Game of] Thrones, and I’ve got a couple of movies to do before X-Men starts. And then we go on to Season 8.”
Fox has announced that they've got two X-Men movies coming (New Mutants is the other), but given that we've heard absolutely nothing outside of rumor about Supernova it's hard to believe they've got everything together enough to shoot this year.... read + comment
Just as our piece on Fangoria possibly folding went live, the publication released an official statement about its future. Brief, vague, and apologetic, Fangoria President and Owner Tom DeFeo said the following:
I’d like to thank readers and subscribers for their patience as we deal with our internal issues. We will carry forward and devote our efforts to make amends with all that have been inconvenienced in our current state of affairs.
The statement essentially reassures readers that Fangoria will continue online throughout the year while trying to work out its long-running problems. You can read the full official statement here.
There is nothing in the statement that specifically addresses late payments to contributors or specific ways that the publication will address the concerns of its subscribers. The last print issue of Fangoria was in 2015.
I'll keep up with this story through the year since Fangoria was one of those formative magazines of my teenage movie geekdom. I don't know where I'd be without Fangoria or The Psychotronic Video Guide.
[via Fangoria]... read + comment
In its heyday, Fangoria was the premiere horror genre publication. Started in 1979, Fangoria covered mainstream releases, cult gems, and held weekend-long fan conventions that celebrated all things horror. A lot of my love for horror literature and films came from reading Fangoria as a teenager, often cover-to-cover.
Sadly, all good things must come to an end. That's doubly true when it comes to print publications.
Former Editor-in-Chief Ken Hanley revealed on Twitter that he had been on hiatus with Fangoria since mid-December, and that there may never be another print issue of the magazine.
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Melissa McCarthy returned to Saturday Night Live over the weekend to portray White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Like the previous Spicer sketch, McCarthy went to town on that prevaricating jabroni, and it just got more and more absurd. Alec Baldwin was the host for the bajillionth time.
If reports are true, Donald Trump was rattled by McCarthy's caricature, so much so that' it's put Spicer's job in jeopardy. Trump was especially angry that Spicer was played by a woman. On a related note, the Dominican newspaper El Nacional ran an image of Baldwin as Trump on SNL rather than an image of the actual president.
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The BAFTAs last night awarded several top prizes to Damien Chazelle's La La Land, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress (Emma Stone), and Best Original Music. It may be a preview of what's to come at the Oscars. Other big awards went to Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea (Best Actor for Casey Affleck and Best Original Screenplay) and Lion (Best Supporting Actor for Dev Patel and Best Adapted Screenplay).
Major honors also went to standout British films, notably Ken Loach's I, Daniel Blake, which won Outstanding British Film, and Babak Anvari's Under the Shadow, which won Best Debut by a British Writer, Director, and Producer.
Here's a full list of the winners.... read + comment
Last month, Ben Affleck announced he would no longer direct the new Batman movie. There was speculation that the actor was bummed out by the negative response to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and his recent directorial effort Live by Night. Matt Reeves is now being tapped to direct The Batman. The deal is not finalized.
Reeves would be an interesting choice for the project. He's come a long way from the original Cloverfield. He's remade Let the Right One In, delivered a solid picture with Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and might have made a solid Apes sequel with War for the Planet of the Apes. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Ridley Scott and Fede Alvarez may be offered The Batman if Reeves declines.
It's been reported that the script Affleck co-wrote with Geoff Johns is being reworked by Chris Terrio, and may undergo further rewrites. Apparently Affleck and Warner Bros. higher-ups are happy enough with the new script, which means The Batman may be moving forward soon.
What do you think of Matt Reeves making The Batman? Is there another director you preferred? Is the DC cinematic universe something you're interested in? Speak up in the comments. And come closer--I can't hear you, what with my age and all.read + comment
Avengers: Infinity War and its untitled sequel started filming on January 23, 2017. We won't see the finished films until May 18, 2018 and May 3, 2019, respectively, but Marvel Studios released a new promotional video about the start of production. The behind-the-scenes teaser features Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, Chris Pratt, Kevin Feige, the Russo brothers, and others, each hinting at what's in store for the entire MCU.
Enough of my jibber jabbeer. Here's the video.
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In the John Wick cinematic universe, everyone who matters knows John Wick, by face, name, and reputation. They know the stories, they see the man, and they get a little concerned: “You working again, John?” asked the neighborhood cop in the first film, upon seeing numerous bodies lying on his floor. The answer was Yes, but not because he wanted to. He wanted to retire, but he had to get vengeance. He had to get vengeance on the only man who didn’t know John Wick by face.
(Of course, Wick isn't not so vain that he could kill a man over that, but that was really the guy’s biggest mistake. Guess he should have checked his Master Assassin flash cards.)
But they can’t use that conceit again, of course. In John Wick: Chapter 2, everyone knows who John Wick is. And yet someone still wants to bring him out of retirement. Now we’re dealing with a whole different type of stupidity.
And by “we,” I mean John, and by “deal with,” I mean commit mass murder. The funnest mass murder since, well, the last time around.... read + comment
Adi Shankar, who was recently revealed to be part of an animated Castlevania series on Netflix, is no stranger to weird, violent projects. Known in fan circles for his "Bootleg Universe," he's made fan films based on Venom, The Punisher, and most recently/infuriatingly Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. His short Power/Rangers was an intentional parody because he stated how much he hated dark reboots and picked a show he disliked to ridicule it. So imagine my surprise when he now says he wants to do more of it.
In an interview with Polygon, Shankar said he was working on a "fucking dark" animated, R rated reboot of the first three seasons of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. While it might seem like a good idea to those nostalgic for the property, remember that his original short was outright terrible. Sure some of his ideas for it sound neat like the fact he imagines a sort of Dragonball Z-esque action cartoon with less of a monster-of-the-week format, but he has yet to pitch the idea to networks.
I'm not too worried about this because I don't expect it to happen. With Saban in the midst of their own reboot, we won't get anything from Shankar any time soon. Especially not a super violent cartoon, as much as some misguided individuals might want it.
Honestly, you want a serious Power Rangers story? Read the comic series out right now. It's got the same goofy charm of the original show, but with serious writing from a bright and creative team.
[via Polygon]... read + comment
The Lego Movie was my favorite animated film of 2014. It felt fresh, had a story and jokes fit for both children and their parents, and even managed to deliver a heartfelt message at the end. The big standout was Will Arnett as Batman, a self-loving, parodical take on the "serious" Batman we had seen in other films. He was such a breath of fresh air, and hit overall, Warner Bros. decided to make a spin-off film all about him.
The result of this experiment delivered on a few things, but faulted in many other ways. The Lego Batman Movie is the best Batman story in, well, quite a long time but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a great film overall. Stretching the one-note character into a full story wasn't a good idea.... read + comment
The animated Netflix Castlevania series was announced yesterday, although it was buried in a press release. Producer Adi Shankar, who teased the series back in 2015 on Facebook, took to social media again to share some small, additional details about the show.
There are two seasons of Castlevania in the works, with the first season debuting in 2017 and the second season rolling out in 2018. Comics writer Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Planetary) has written both season one and season two. Shankar added a personal guarantee that this will end the streak of bad video game adaptation.
Expect more details to come this year about the series' story and what elements from the games will be making it to the show.
[via Adi Shankar on Facebook]... read + comment
Netflix is making a series based on Castlevania, which will debut later this year. The first season of the series has been written by comics scribe Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, Iron Man, Planetary). According to Polygon, this information was buried in a press release at a New York event about Netflix's new slate of original programming.
There has been talk about Castlevania as an animated series for some time now, starting in 2015 from producer Adi Shankar and hinted at by producer Fred Seibert late last year. As of now, no official word on what capacity either will be working on the show, though Shankar did say on Facebook years ago that he'd be co-running the show.
Also unclear is what game or story elements the Castlevania series will focus on. While a tale about the Belmont family seems like a safe bet, we might wind up with something about Alucard a la Symphony of the Night.
What do you think of the news? What game or story elements would you like to see? Also, Warren freakin' Ellis, right? Gosh. Let us know in the comments.
[via Polygon]... read + comment
For 14 movies (and counting), the Marvel Cinematic Universe has focused almost solely on its heroes, with the villains playing second banana. That might soon change.
In an interview with Collider, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige says that next year's Avengers: Infinity War will break from the previous two films' blueprint of the big hero team-up in order to focus more on a single character: Thanos, the big cosmic baddie who's been popping up now and again since the end of the original Avengers.
“Thanos in Infinity War is — in a movie that has a lot of characters, you could almost go so far as to say he is the main character, and that’s a bit of a departure from what we’ve done before, but that was appropriate for a movie called Infinity War,” Feige said.
Thanos has been quietly menacing the Marvel Cinematic cosmos since the end of the original Avengers, where he was revealed to be the power behind the alien army Loki set upon New York City. Since then, he's been seeking out artifacts called Infinity Stones – conveniently the MacGuffins of many of the MCU flicks – in a bid to take over and/or destroy the universe. He's been portrayed by Josh Brolin since his appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy.
Assuming that Infinity War and the currently untitled Avengers 4 are still essentially a two-parter (which, as far as we've heard, is still the case even though they're no longer actually titled "part one" and "part two"), focusing in on Thanos rather than the Avengers does make a certain kind of sense – we need enough story to fill out two movies, after all.
It's also a welcome shake-up. One of the biggest flaws of the MCU films are the villains; sure, you've got Loki, but other than that most of 'em are bland heavies who stand around pontificating until they can get punched. Thanos has been the MCU's Big Bad for a while now, but he's really just been a dude who pops up for to be menacing in a scene or two every now and again - we don't actually know who he is or what makes him tick, at least in the context of the MCU. Taking time to really get to know Thanos in the same way we have some of the heroes themselves can only be a good thing. And hey, when you've got someone like Brolin taking up the role, you don't want to waste him (then again, we would have said that about Lee Pace in Guardians and Christopher Eccelson in Thor: The Dark World, but here we are).
Avengers: Infinity War doesn't hit until May 2018, but in the meantime Marvel fans have Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to look forward to on May 5, and Netflix's Iron Fist series (which drops March 17 - check out the trailer!) on the small screen.... read + comment
The Fate of the Furious will be in theaters on April 14th, just in time for Easter. If you're looking for another Fast fix, you won't have to wait that long. The Fast and the Furious will become a live, touring arena stunt show starting in January 2018.
Developed by Universal and Brand Events (what a crummy yet accurate name), Fast & Furious Live will recreate key scenes and stunts from the Fast series, with precision driving and cars doing car-like things. So it's basically a mix of a Universal Studios stunt show, demolition derby, those live touring superhero things, and a meathead Cirque du Soleil.
No word on if the stunt show will feature someone breaking a cast by flexing their muscles.
Would you watch Fast & Furious Live? Is wrestling a more accurate form of meathead Cirque du Soleil? Let us know in the comments.
[via /Film]... read + comment
Paramount Pictures recently killed off the Friday the 13th reboot and delayed World War Z 2: The Zquel. As they figure out how to rework and retool World War Z 2 for a potential 2018 or 2019 release, there are rumors that David Fincher may still direct the film.
Over at The Hollywood Reporter/Heat Vision, sources have told them that Fincher is still creatively interested in the movie and would like to direct it. Fincher's World War Z sequel would have a smaller budget than the original, which cost $190 million. If WWZ2 gets made, it would be the fourth time Fincher worked with Brad Pitt. So, spoilers--I guess Brad Pitt's character lives.
Fincher's clout could elevate the movie from schlock to watchable, and apparently the choice is mostly on Paramount at this point. They may be cagey about certain projects after the abysmal failure of Rings (which was so bad that our own Nick Valdez refuses to review it) and the poor performance of Monster Trucks, a costly boondoggle made because the former President of Paramount had a 4-year-old child who liked monster trucks. This is not a joke.
Would you watch a David Fincher World War Zquel? Let us know in the comments.
[via THR/Heat Vision]... read + comment