Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Petitions Want Zack Snyder Outta The DCEU

It seems that some folks are so upset with the way that Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice turned out that they are petitioning the studio to have the helmer removed from his duties on The Justice League Part One which begins production next month...The notion has zero chance of working. One such recent effort asking to have Colin Trevorrow removed from "Star Wars: Episode IX" had 25,482 supporters but had no impact at all with production now underway.

Snyder's style, tone and approach are arguably the biggest criticisms in the reviews for 'Dawn' - the director gets the blame for things like the film's pacing and muddled narrative which have been labelled "messy" and "incoherent" in most reviews.

There are two different petitions to get Snyder removed not just from 'League' but all other involvement in the  DC Entertainment's long term Extended Universe plans--The first by Bryan Cruz has 5,000 supporters. The second by Taufique Radhakrishnan has 500.

One person who wasn't a fan of DOJ is Hollywood Babble-On podcast host Kevin Smith. The filmmaker, who helped promote the film during a special about the upcoming DCEU earlier this year, says he did not care for the film said it pales in comparison to his love for The CW's "The Flash" TV series :Smith directed an episode of the show for its 2nd season that will air during sweeps.

"Remember before when we were talking about Flash, and that it has heart, humor, and spectacle. The movie I felt like didn't really have a heart. It was certainly f--king humorless, there was nothing funny going on in that world whatsoever, but it had lots of spectacle. Like you can't take that away from Snyder. Boy, he knows how to like compose a frame and how to setup a shot. Beautiful visual stylist but you need more than just the pictures, you need like characterization and these characters seemed off character, particularly Superman... But, uh, you know, I'm happy that the DC Universe is going… I guess?

"Justice League: Part 1" is currently targeting a November 2017 release.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Batman v Superman Review: "God V. Man"

I would put Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice slightly ahead of its predecessor "Man Of Steel" in terms of  its plot--but in the end that's not saying much...

18 months after the events of MOS finds the world divided over Superman (Henry Cavill) following his battle over the skies of Metropolis with General Zod (Michael Shannon). Some see him as a hero and the salvation of mankind--while others think he is a threat that must be neutralized. The Batman  (Ben Affleck) of Gotham City has been its protector for some 20 years or so and is quite convinced that Superman is no hero. What both titans do not know is that brilliant businessman and scientist Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg) has been been manipulating events in order to carry out his own evil agenda...

I know I am stating the obvious here when I say that BvS has so much potential with the talent assembled that you would think that the film would impervious to criticism. I am not gonna complain about the film's serious tone since the script by Chris Terrio, who won an Oscar for writing Affleck's “Argo,” and David S. Goyer injects a few lines of levity this time out as opposed to MOS. Heck, even the fact that the movie basically exists to set up DC Entertainment's long term Extended Universe plans--did not bother me--I thought they did a good job introducing those elements. Indeed I am looking forward to seeing the further exploits of Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman. Jason Momoa as AquamanRay Fisher playing the role of Cyborg and  as The Flash in solo films and The Justice League Part One down the road.

Affleck did solid work playing Bats here with the script infusing this version with the vibe from Frank Miller’s 1980s ground-breaking mini-series The Dark Knight Returns.  Cavill and Amy Adams as Lois Lane share some nice scenes playing a couple living together. Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane provide good support here as Perry White and Martha Kent.

By now I know some of you are asking 'Tom this review sounds mighty positive--what gives?'

Believe me my issues with BvS are BIG-- bringing down the entire film for me...You bring together two of the genre/s best characters promising one epic cinema brawl--after lots of build-up...and what do we get? A sequence that lasts maybe 12 minutes in total screen time so that the filmmakers could shoehorn a genetically created hybrid Doomsday from the famed Death of Superman comics storyline in the movie. His intro and execution are handled so poorly that it left me with a few douche-y chills.

My biggest issue with BvS is Eisenberg's Luthor--Without a doubt the WORST incarnation of the villain in any medium. This once described "greatest criminal mind of our time" comes across as some high-pitched Millennial Spazz spouting lines of incoherent nonsense every minute he is on screen. It got so bad that I found myself wishing that Supes would just put Lex out of his misery...and ours...To think that there was at one time reports that suggested that former "Breaking Bad" star and Oscar nominee Bryan Cranston was playing Lex in the movie. What could have been?  This Lex casting makes the decision to put Richard Pryor in Superman III seem brilliant by comparison...If the bad guy doesn't work your heroes are not left with much....Hoping that Lex stays in jail for a long time.  

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Harrison Ford On Indy And Han

"The Force Awakens" hits home video in early April--the film's star Harrison Ford is on the stump showing up on both "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and "Ellen DeGeneres" this week to promote the release with talk turning to recent news about his two most iconic characters - Han Solo and Indiana Jones.

The characters will show up in new films with a young Solo coming to theaters in 2018 while Indiana Jones 5 is released in 2019.

With regard to Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's upcoming Untitled Star Wars Anthology Film DeGeneres asked him if he had any advice for a young actor taking on the role He said:

"Don't do it. First, it seems like everything's going swimmingly, and you put in 25, 30 years, and then they just let you go. And they show you the door and say, ‘We're done with you, thanks very much.'"

Ford says that he is excited about reprising his role as Indy. He tells Jimmy:

"I'll be ready - I'm excited about it. The opportunity to work with Steven again on this character which has brought pleasure to so many, not to mention me - it's fun. It's great fun to play this character, it's great fun to work with Steven. I'm looking forward to it."

Ford also sat down for an interview with The BBC where talk turned towards the new "Indiana Jones" film. In the interview, he confirmed that he always wanted to make another film in the series, but wouldn't do it unless Spielberg was calling action:

"I've always thought there was an opportunity to do another. But I didn't want to do it without Steven. And I didn't want to do it without a really good script. And happily we're working on both. Steven is developing a script now that I think we're going to be very happy with."

Kathleen Kennedy is producing the film with Frank Marshall Last week it was announced that David Koepp (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) is writing the script.

It isn't known when production is slated to begin.

Ford also spoke about the potential of playing Han Solo role again in future films--and  despite the events of 'Force,' he seemed surprisingly open to the idea (SPOILERS AHEAD):

"Anything is possible in space. I wanted Han Solo to sacrifice himself for the good of the other characters to bring some gravitas to the story. I was very pleased to have the opportunity to work with the other characters, to work on a script that I had real confidence in, with actors that were a dream to work with, with a director that had a very sure and generous hand, and it was altogether a pleasure. I hope I bring an emotional understanding of the characters and something the audience will recognize. I want the audience to experience the character, not to feel that they know him but to be involved in seeing what happens to him"

Monday, March 21, 2016

Taron Egerton Talks Han Solo Chatter

Last week Heat Vision & Justin Kroll told us that Taron Egerton ("Kingsman: The Secret Service," "Eddie the Eagle"), Alden Ehrenreich ("Hail Caesar"), Jack O'Connell ("Starred Up"), Blake Jenner ("Everybody Wants Some!!") and Jack Reynor ("Transformers: Age of Extinction") were in contention to play a younger version of Harrison Ford's Han Solo in Phil Lord and Christopher Miller's upcoming Untitled Star Wars Anthology Film.

With production to begin later this year, a name is expected to be announced soon.

Egerton appeared on The Jonathan Ross Show over the weekend where the actor was asked directly about the possibility and indicated that he hasn't been contacted by either Lucasfilm or Disney about the role:

"I've heard this rumor, yes. I mean, I've seen the stuff on the Internet, and I think any lad of my age would kill to play a part like that. It's very, very flattering. I have no idea if there's any truth in it, but I mean, Lucasfilm, Disney, if there is, then you know where I am."

Ross then asked specifically if studio suits had contacted him, to which he flatly said "No, they've not".

Peter Mayhew is playing the legendary Wookiee Chewbacca in the Solo tale.

Lawrence Kasdan ("The Empire Strikes Back," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" "The Force Awakens") and his son wrote the script.

The film is scheduled for a May 2018 release.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

An Update On "Maze Runner" Star Dylan O'Brien

On Friday TMZ reported that Teen Wolf series co-star and NJ native Dylan O'Brien was hit by a car on the set of the currently in production adaptation of the third and final book in the Maze Runner Series--The Death Cure.

Rushed to the hospital, the injuries were described as "severe" and are serious enough that the shoot has been postponed.

The film's director Wes Ball talked about the on-set accident in a letter he tweeted out on Saturday offering an update:

"Well, it's been a whirlwind of emotions these past few days. I've been overwhelmed with feelings of anger and sadness and guilt. But, ultimately I find myself left with a deep love and respect for Dylan. He is one tough cookie. I'm sorry for the grief this accident has caused his friends and family as well as my wonderful cast and crew. It's scary seeing your friend get hurt, but fortunately, Dylan is going to be just fine. After a few weeks of rest and recovery he'll be back up and running to finish our adventure together. All the best."

Author James Dashner tweeted his well wishes on Friday:

"I just want to let everyone know that yes, Dylan was hurt, but that he's going to be okay. Not life threatening in any way. Production is postponed but certainly not cancelled. All that matters now is that Dylan recovers. We love you, Dylan!!!"

Regular readers of TLR may recall that I am huge fan of O'Brien's TV and film work. I am absolutely thrilled and very relived that he will OK. Get well soon Dylan!

Fox was targeting a February 17th 2017 release but that date is likely be pushed back.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Batman v Superman-DOJ: R-Rated Cut Details

Recently it was announced that Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice would be getting an R-rated Director's Cut that will be a part of the eventual disc release.

A week away from the film's release, Snyder's wife and producing partner Deborah told THR that contrary to popular belief--the success of the salty superhero pic Deadpool played no part in the decision to make this alternate version:

"Online, everyone's like, 'Oh, they're doing an R-rated in reaction to Deadpool,' and you're like (laughing), 'We didn't just shoot it last week, and we also didn't edit it last week'."

She also shot down rumors that the film underwent re-editing in the wake of the reaction to the early trailers:

"No. When we had a locked picture, we didn't change anything. We've been working on the 3D. We did the 3D conversion after the movie was done."

Zack spoke about the extended cut which runs a full half-hour longer than the 151 minute theatrical cut:

"The DVD version is a half-hour longer, and some of that additional material is some of the stuff we took out for the rating. I was like, 'Cool, I can put it back in for the director's cut.' There was nothing by design. This was the material I just put back in, and then when [the  MPAA] looked at it again, they were like, 'Oh, now the movie's rated R.' And, by the way, it's not a hard R. There's no nudity. There's a little bit of violence. It just tips the scale."

Snyder has done longer cuts of his Dawn of the Dead and Watchmen that improved on already great films 

He also isn't concerned about criticism that BvS is too serious saying:

"I just gave it the weight that it deserves as far as the mythological conformation. But it's still a guy in a red and blue suit fighting a guy in a black suit. I mean, they're in costumes. The movie is fun, and Batman fights Superman. If you can't have fun there, then something's kind of wrong with you."

The serious tone of the sequel matches that of  "Man Of Steel". Knowing that going in I am hopeful that I will like the new film a lot more....Sources say the new movie is going for the tone of the relationship and fight seen in Frank Miller’s 1980s ground-breaking graphic novel mini-series The Dark Knight Returns. We shall see soon enough.

If you want to know the Biggest Test Screening Spoilers & Details be sure to click the link.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

What About "Iron Man 4"?

A lot of movie-goers I talk to comic book fan or not are looking forward to seeing many of Marvel's superheroes face off against one another in "Captain America: Civil War" in May....

That said, many folks are also wondering if we'll ever see another "Iron Man" solo flick at some point.  Chatting with USA Today, "Metal Head" himself actor Robert Downey Jr. suggests that 'Civil War' is effectively "Iron Man 4" as far as he's concerned:

"I don't think that's in the cards. In a way it's Cap 3 but for me it's like my little Iron Man 4. And then it's back to the thing we all recognize. Everything pulls over to the side of the road when the thunder of an Avengers thing comes through because that's how it is until it changes. If it changes."

RDJ is contracted for Avengers: Infinity War - Part I /Avengers: Infinity War - Part II but then his current deal is up...We shall see.

Meantime you can watch the latest (and really kick ass) "Civil War" trailer here. The pic opens  May 6th 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Life, Death, & Resurrection--Why TLR Is Back...

Hey everyone.

I hope you guys have been living a good life in the time I have been away....

Originally I had absolutely no intention of returning to the blogosphere--I had happily moved on with no regrets--and then--on January 9th my father passed away from complications after a fall. He was 84. Since that time--my career shifted a bit. It is not a life altering occurrence but it has been tweaked enough to help this decision along.

In the wake of my father's passing one word began repeating in my head over and over....


If TLR is to be a part of what I leave tapestry if you will--I did not like how I ended it last July--There were a few more things I wanted to accomplish in this space--Hopefully I can. And that you my very loyal readers will enjoy the ride along the way. I am hoping to regain any folks that rightfully walked away--and pick up newbies as well. Spread the word....

All of that said I have decided things will be different this time out:

Before the injury to my right hand I was writing multiple posts a day--sometimes at the cost of other aspects of living--not this time--I will post often to be sure--but I won't be "Married" to the blog--Life is short after all. The Twitter handle @TheLastReel is here to catch the news that doesn't make it into a blog post the way it used to...Thanks for understanding in advance the notion behind these changes.

I appreciate your support--Now let's go "out there....Thataway"