Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Baywatch Movie: Art Imitates Life

The Wrap reports that Zac Efron’s character Matt Brody in next summer's Baywatch movie--which wrapped production long before the Rio Summer Games began, is essentially multi-medal winner Ryan Lochte.

The film puts a comedic spin on the worldwide success of the TV show that ran from 1989–2001 charting the exploits and rescues of a team of lifeguards--ala 21 Jump Street.

The story paints Brody as a U.S. Olympic swimmer, two-time gold medalist and world record holder who becomes embroiled in controversy after committing a crime. To rehab his public image and satisfy the community service portion of his sentence, he must head to the beach from where he seems to annoy chief lifeguard Mitch (Dwayne Johnson).

Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera, Priyanka Chopra, Hannibal Buress, Izabel Goulart, Charlotte McKinney and  also star in the film.

 Original series stars David Hassehoff and Pamela Anderson are both set to appear.

In late 2011 "Rescue Me" co-creator Peter Tolan and Jeremy Garelick had reportedly finished their script then--Reno 911 creators and stars Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant were attached to work on the pic at one point as well In June 2012, Justin Timberlake was linked to play a disgraced former Olympic swimmer trying out for the Baywatch crew. But that version fell apart

Justin Malen did a rewrite of the script that Seth Gordon directed from.

Ivan Reitman, Beau Flynn and Tripp Vinson produced the pic.

The Paramount release opens May 19th next year.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Taylor Kitsch Goes Bad For "American Assassin"

Heat Vision reports that former Friday Night Lights TV fave Taylor Kitsch will play the bad guy 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 (NJ native "The Maze Runner," and "Teen Wolf" star Dylan 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 (Kitsch) 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.

Wow! Kitsch, like O'Brien, is an acting favorite---I am excited to see the two of them go head to head here.

Production is due to kick off next month in London and Budapest.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Poster: “Spider-Man: Homecoming”

An Instagram post gave us the first look at the poster for the upcoming “Spider-Man: Homecoming” starring Tom Holland--and then we got a better quality version.

The film also stars Robert Downey Jr., , Marisa Tomei, Logan Marshall-Green, Donald Glover, Kenneth Choi, Hannibal Buress, Michael Mando, Bokeem Woodbine, Abraham Attah, Angourie Rice, Martin Starr, Michael Barbieri, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Zendaya, and many others.

The story takes Peter back to High School and follows events chronicled in Captain America: Civil War where Holland made his debut as Spidey.

The Sony Pictures and Marvel reboot is being directed by Jon Watts from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jonathan GoldsteinJohn Francis DaleyChristopher FordChris McKenna and Erik Sommers.

The movie is currently set to be released on July 7th, next year.

Sunday, August 07, 2016

Star Trek Beyond Review: "Let's Make Some Noise!"

Star Trek Beyond commemorates Star Trek's 50th anniversary with lots to love. Still unlike the previous two reboot entries--it's hard not to notice that the film takes one major miss step.

Note: Beyond has been out for a few weeks now. There are SOME SPOILERS AHEAD.

Three years into its five-year mission, the USS Enterprise arrives at Starbase Yorktown for resupply and shore leave for her tired crew. Struggling to find continued meaning in their mission of exploration given the endless nature of that objective, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine)  has applied for a promotion to Vice Admiral and commanding officer of Yorktown. He recommends Spock (Zachary Quinto) as the new captain of the Enterprise.

Meanwhile, Hikaru Sulu (John Cho) reunites with his family, Spock and Nyota Uhura  (Zoe Saldana) amicably end their relationship--shortly after he also gets word from New Vulcan that Spock Prime (Leonard Nimoy)has passed away, Montgomery Scott () works to keep the ship operational and Chekov () tries to up his social game.

The respite is short lived though when the Enterprise is dispatched on a rescue mission after an escape pod drifts out of a nearby uncharted nebula. The survivor, Kalara (), claims her ship is stranded on Altamid, a planet within the nebula. The rescue turns into an ambush when the Enterprise is overwhelmed by a massive swarm of small ships and is quickly torn apart. The swarm's alien commander, Krall (Idris Elba), and his crew board the ship, and unsuccessfully search for a relic called an Abronath that Kirk had obtained for a failed diplomatic mission. Krall has taken many of the crew from the ship. As the dying Enterprise continues to break apart the saucer section hurtles towards the planet; the survivors abandon ship in escape pods...

Pegg co-wrote  the script with Doug Jung, creator of TNT's short-lived "Dark Blue" series and writer of the upcoming Bad Robot film "Diamond".  For the most part the story works very well.

I loved the new alien character of Jaylah (Sofia Boutella) She aides our heroes once they land planet-side. She is a great addition to the pantheon of strong female characters that populate the franchise. Boutella is given a wide range of things to do here and is up to the task. I hope that this isn't last we see of her in Trek.

The story separates the crew for most of the action allowing for some great character interactions. I was especially thrilled that the famous Spock/McCoy dynamic was finally given its due. Something that the two previous films sorely lacked--save for a few moments.  There are so many nice Trek nods and touches throughout that I can overlook that I had to watch the Enterprise get destroyed for the umpteen time. Enough guys.....Each one of the main cast members is given a few moments to shine beyond Kirk and Spock. The film boasts a nice nod to Star Trek-TOS that put a lump in my throat--given that we lost Nimoy in the real world.

Fast and the Furious film franchise director Justin Lin took over directing duties after "Star Trek" '09 and "Star Trek Into Darkness helmer J.J. Abrams went off to steer Star Wars: Episode VII. Lin has a deft hand with both the action set pieces and quieter character stuff--proving that he was a great choice to take over the center seat. My issues with it as a plot device aside--the destruction of the beloved starship was exciting to watch....Lin's fondness for Trek is clear and he knows how to work its strengths.

My biggest gripe with "Beyond" is the big bad Krall. You manage to grab one of today's best actors for the antagonist and like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and  Captain America: Civil War before it he is poorly realized. Through no fault of Elba Krall has such muddled back story and unclear motive at times that whatever it truly is ends up a big disappointment. The film's big twist as it was in "Darkness" ruined  thanks to an ill-advised promo push prior to the film's bow. Krall is a lot like fellow Trek baddie Ru'afo (F. Murray Abraham) in  Star Trek: Insurrection if I were into ranking the lower end of the franchise villains.  Given the other recent examples I cited Hollywood has a villain problem for sure bringing "Beyond" down a bit over the other reboot entries.

In the end "Beyond" and it's many Trek-isms make it a must see....

Monday, August 01, 2016

TLR Chats With Author Will Stape About Star Trek Sex

It's hard to believe that Star Trek officially reaches the half century mark in September.

Creator launched a TV show in 1966, which, despite being compellingly unique, lasted only three seasons. it became the television series which not only wouldn't die - it spawned copious novels, an Animated Series, comic books, video games, feature films and countless other collectibles.

I rarely discuss non movie related stuff on TLR--but thought you guys might want to know about this. Author William Stape's new book is available just in time for Trek's 50th Anniversary bash, a new movie Star Trek Beyond, and a new TV show coming in 2017--called Star Trek: Discovery.

I caught up with him recently for a reunion.  We met in college, just as the first trek episode he wrote was being broadcast on prime time TV.  These days, Will's on a promotional tour for his book, Star Trek Sex: Analyzing the Most Sexually Charged Episodes of the Original Series, published by BearManor Media.

OK.  First things first.  Let's get this out of the way.  Why are you so sex crazed about Star Trek?

(laughs) Maybe I am.  I'd really like to ask that question of Gene Roddenberry, if I could.  In fact, after some accused Star Trek of treating women as sex objects, Gene said this during a lecture in the 1970's, "...to be fair, we will continue to use men as sex objects as well. I’ve played one myself. It’s great fun.”

I think it really sums up Trek's playful and fun treatment of sex and sexuality, something I tried my best to put into my book.  Over the years, much has been made of Captain Kirk's roving romantic eye and his galactic love conquests.  The real truth is ST allowed much of its crew and alien guests to get randy and romantic in all manner of ways -  and even with all manner of species.  

What was the biggest surprise, if any, you got while writing the book?

More of a satisfaction and confirmation than surprise - just how well and mature and even relevant Trek's love stories still are.  These are tales where men and women (and others) are searching for and longing for the same kinds of romantic relationships you'd see in any time or era.  Like much of Star Trek, the romance is breathtakingly timeless.

Pick your favorite episode or moments, for sheer sexiness or plain, old fashioned romance.

For mind bending sci-fi sexiness, The Man Trap has to be my #1.  The episode is creepy and it utterly fascinates.  It encapsulates what great Trek can offer - mystery, adventure and a sense of the truly otherworldly.  

Joan Collins in City On The Edge Of Forever dazzles.  It's the most romantic Trek romp of all time.  Collins, in her lovely prime, weaves a physical chemistry with William Shatner's Kirk that's simply unforgettable.  Once again, by using a plot device like The Guardian of Forever and layering a temporal/time twist to the narrative, Trek infuses a cerebral sci-fi concept with the very human need for love and romance.

Is there room for more Sex in Star Trek in your future? In OUR future?  Another book?

I'd love to work on another volume!  Next Generation and Deep Space Nine aren't as purely sexual as the Austin Powers like vibe of the real 1960's with the original series, but there's definitely good stuff in all the incarnations of Roddenberry's cosmic vision.  As my favorite Ferengi Quark might say, "For every kind of flavor, there is a market!'

Longtime readers may recall that Will was my one time Blog Talk Radio cohort and is an occasional guest contributor for the blog. He wrote the original script for the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode that became Homeward--as well as the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine segment Prophet Motive. I hope he'll return to help commemorate Trek @50 before the year ends. You can follow him on Twitter @WillStape for updates including fun polls