Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Director's Cut Goes Blu

Hey Guys!

I know it has been a while since I posted anything on TLR--I apologize....one of my goals with the relaunch has been to do less stories that just regurgitate film news per se--That's what Twitter handle @TheLastReel is here for--and instead focus on stuff that allows for a bit more commentary from me...I hope the slight shift makes for a better blog.

Moving on.

Tuesday June 7th will see the Blu-ray debut of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Director's Cut! This version of the popular sequel has been around since about 1985 when the film made its network television bow. Director edited back in three minutes of material that adds some great character moments between Kirk (William Shatner) and McCoy (); Spock () and his protegee' Saavik (); And finally gives Scotty () a meat on the bone subplot-his expanded scene in Sickbay gets me every time...Among other bits of footage.

Meyer did a similar addition thing when his 1991 franchise return Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country hit home video. I hope the powers that be will release that cut on Blu as well.

In the Prime timeline Khan Noonien Singh is the genetically enhanced human--An American Sikh of the 1967 episode of "Star Trek" called Space Seed played both times by the great Ricardo Montalban...Despite making $467 million worldwide, "Star Trek Into Darkness" still divides the core fanbase...Thanks to the fact that Sherlock star Benedict Cumberbatch's baddie "John Harrison" in  J.J. Abrams’ sequel is really Khan in the rebooted timeline....Before STID opened I was totally against the notion of reimaging Kahn and stated my position loudly...Once I saw the film I was won over in large measure because of Cumby's magnetic portrayal ...All of that said though it's widely regarded that Montalban's version is the best Trek villain in its 50 year history. The debate will continue...

Here are specs on the TWOK-DC Blu-ray:

The Blu-ray  release will be presented in 1080p high definition with English 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, French 2.0 Dolby Digital, Spanish Mono Dolby Digital and Portuguese Mono Dolby Digital with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles.
  • Director’s Edition in high definition
  • Theatrical Version in high definition
  • Commentary by director Nicholas Meyer (Director’s Edition & Theatrical Version)
  • Commentary by director Nicholas Meyer and Manny Coto (Theatrical Version)
  • Text Commentary by Michael and Denise Okuda (Director’s Edition)
  • Library Computer (Theatrical Version)
  • The Genesis Effect: Engineering The Wrath of Khan—NEW!
  • Production
o   Captain’s Log
o   Designing Khan
o   Original interviews with DeForest Kelley, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy and Ricardo Montalban
o   Where No Man Has Gone Before: The Visual Effects ofStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
o   James Horner: Composing Genesis
  • The Star Trek Universe
o   Collecting Star Trek’s Movie Relics
o   A Novel Approach
o   Starfleet Academy: The Mystery Behind Ceti Alpha VI
  • Farewell
o   A Tribute to Ricardo Montalban
  • Storyboards
  • Theatrical Trailer
 Sure most of the extras port over from previous releases of the film. The tech specs are an upgrade though. For the record I am not a fan of the box art here...

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Travis Fimmel Lands "Inversion" Role

Deadline reports that "Warcraft" and "Vikings" star Travis Fimmel has joined the cast of the sci-fi film "Inversion".

The story follows a street-wise American con man, and a young Chinese physicist as they race against the clock to save the earth from a terrifying loss of gravity.

Paul Haggis, David Arata and Bragi Schut wrote the script from which Peter Segal will call the shots.

Michael Nozik, Philip Lee and Markus Barmettler will produce the movie.

Production kicks off in Dublin, Shanghai and Chicago on September 12th.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Dylan O'Brien Tapped As "American Assassin"

Deadline reports that NJ native Dylan O'Brien ("The Maze Runner," "Teen Wolf") is in negotiations to play the title character in "American Assassin".

Based on author Vince Flynn's eleventh Mitch Rapp novel that charts a Cold War veteran (Michael Keaton), who would be the most feared training officer in the CIA if more than a handful of people at the agency actually knew of his existence. His deputy director tasks him with training a black ops recruit (O'Brien) devastated by the loss of his fiancee to a terrorist attack. The pair is eventually dispatched on a joint mission with a lethal Turkish agent to stop a mysterious operative from kicking off a global war.

"Kill the Messenger" director Michael Cuesta will call action from an adapted screenplay written by Stephen Schiff.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Nick Wechsler are producing the film

Production begins this Summer.

CBS Films won the rights to the Rapp novels back in 2008 and originally planned to begin the series with an adaptation of "Consent to Kill" that Antoine Fuqua was due to direct Gerard Butler, Colin Farrell and Matthew Fox were all on the list to potentially play CIA agent Rapp.

O'Brien is still said to be recovering from injuries he sustained after an on set accident during production of the adaptation of the third and final book in the Maze Runner Series--The Death Cure.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Taylor-Johnson Stands Behind "The Wall"

Aaron Taylor-Johnson is in talks to star in Doug Liman's "The Wall" reports Variety.

The cat-and-mouse thriller follows an American sniper (Taylor-Johnson) and an Iraqi sharpshooter who has him pinned down behind a small chunk of concrete.

Taylor-Johnson reportedly won Liman over for the highly coveted role after several meetings.

Liman calls action using a script by Dwain Worrell, that made The Black List of 2014.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Captain America-Civil War Review: Civil Discourse

Whenever a comic book based film boasts a lot of super-powered characters I cringe because that usually means that the folks in charge intend to burden plot with spectacle rather than a good story. Thankfully the team responsible for Captain America: Civil War do a great job at balancing both. The 3rd phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe gets off to a rollicking start.

The film starts with a flashback in 1991--where we see Hydra operatives from Siberia send the brainwashed Winter Soldier aka Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) to intercept an automobile carrying a case of super-soldier serum and assassinate its driver and passenger. Cut to...

One year after Ultron's defeat in Sokovia at the hands of The Avengers, Captain America aka Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), Falcon (Anthony Mackie), and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) stop former S.H.I.E.L.D; operative Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo) from stealing a biological weapon from a lab in Lagos--when Scarlet Witch tries to displace an explosive blast into the sky, it destroys a nearby building, killing a number of Wakandan humanitarian workers.

At the team's headquarters, U.S. Secretary of State Thaddeus Ross (last seen in The Incredible Hulk and played by William Hurt) informs the Avengers that the United Nations is preparing to pass the Sokovia Accords, which will establish an international governing body to oversee and control the Avengers. The team is divided: Tony Stark aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)  supports oversight because he feels responsible for Ultron's creation and Sokovia's devastation while Rogers has more faith in his own judgement than the government's.

Widow tries to convince Cap to support the Accords, but is unsuccessful. At the conference in Vienna where the Accords are to be ratified, a bomb kills King T'Chaka () of Wakanda. Security footage indicates the bomber is Barnes, who T'Chaka's son, T'Challa, aka Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) vows to kill. Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp) tips off Rogers to Barnes' location and that the government does not plan to take him alive. Because Barnes is an old friend and war comrade, Rogers decides to capture Barnes himself, without authorization. Rogers and Wilson track Barnes to his hideout in Bucharest and attempt to protect him from the authorities and T'Challa, but Rogers, Wilson, Barnes, and T'Challa are apprehended...

The 3rd Cap film is an adaptation of the Captain America: Civil War storyline penned by series vets Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely from which Captain America: The Winter Soldier directors Anthony and Joe Russo called action. While there is certainly no shortage of action and spectacular sequences--it's still light on its feet-yes it slows down--but the pic never stops to give you enough time to check your watch.

The film tackles some of the same ethical and moral questions raised by Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice. The difference? "Civil War" is much more fun to watch. Despite the fact that this is indeed Marvel's darkest movie yet--there's still enough humor and warmth found within to prevent the film from being a total downer. During the sequel's pivotal 17 minute  battle between the opposing sides--things are serious-but there is also plenty of fun to be had....

Newly minted  Spider-Man () gets a fine introduction into the MCU--and while I still wish that former Spidey Andrew Garfield was wearing the suit--I look forward to seeing where this third big screen incarnation goes next in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The film's other big introduction is Black Panther. Boseman is just terrific I can't wait to see more of him as well.

Cap 3 biggest flaw is its true villain Zemo (Daniel Brühl). Once again we have a comic book movie bad guy who is woefully underwritten and thus poorly realized He doesn't really seem all that menacing. Behind the scenes he is the puppet master--but onscreen he's no menace. A shame because Brühl is talented.

"Civil War" has it all...Action Spectacle Drama Humor--A must see.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

What's The Last Reel Cinema Group?

Hey Guys.

I wanted to let you know that I created The Last Reel Cinema Group on Facebook

Here is the description:

"Need a film recommendation? Want to talk about your favorite films or a movie that you have recently watched? Want to promote your film? Need a cinema question answered? Get it all right here.

Have fun with it! All I ask is that you you keep the discussion Civil and the debate Friendly. Looking for more members--Spread the word Kids!"

I decided go this route rather than do a "proper" FB page for TLR--Hoping that it proves popular enough--Its fate lies with you....

Andrew Garfield Swims "Under the Silver Lake"

Heat Vision reports that former "Spider-Man" film series star Andrew Garfield is attached to star in "It Follows" writer/director David Robert Mitchell's noir crime thriller "Under the Silver Lake"

Plot details about the project are being kept under wraps other than that the film is set in contemporary Los Angeles setting.

Michael De Luca, Adele Romanski, Chris Bender and Jake Weiner are producing the pic.

Production kicks off at the end of summer.

I thought horror pic "It Follows" was meh after hearing raves--we shall see what happens here.