It's hard to believe it's been more than 15 years since our proud nation last took a stab at O.G. kaiju franchise Godzilla — give yourself a pat on the back, Hollywood, for a valiant show of restraint. That last attempt didn't go so well, so perhaps it was wise for Warner Bros. to yoink it away from Sony, then take it down to the lab and class it up a bit. So slice off a hunk of that pungent Bay Area sourdough, fire up that 2001 soundtrack, and get ready to watch your favorite action heroes Juliette Binoche and David Strathairn battle everyone's favorite nuclear metaphor without the aid of a single giant robot suit! Or wait … I guess I'm jumping to conclusions. Tell us, Legendary Pictures, what exactly is going down in 2014’s Godzilla?
Here is the second trailer for the RoboCop remake, which provides us with Cop 2.0’s revamped origin story: Giant police drones roam the streets of every country in the world but America, maintaining an efficient, if terrifying, order. (Feel free to take a deep breath when you realize that young Adib registers as a non-threat, saving us from having to watch what happens when a finger scans as a gun. They definitely saved the "cannons tearing innocent civilians into flesh-confetti" montage for the movie.) And so Corporate Interests decide to put a human face on the lumbering biped sentinels of Remote-Controlled Justice, a Detroit cop is barbecued inside his car, and yada yada yada, the Peacekeeping iPod is born. "Let's go with black," decides the Steve Jobs of public security, and the next thing you know, Joel Kinnaman is running around in Batman's armored pajamas, gunning down bad guys, and thanking his agents for negotiating a helmet that occasionally reveals his entire face. Peter Weller's jaw really could have used Team Kinnaman. (And Michael Keaton's armor-tailors. Robo 1.0’s shit was boxy.)
Ohhhh boy! It's finally here! The trailer for Days of Future Past, the Generations of X-Men movies, where your O.G. cast and your hot young First Class cast band together to save the mutants of the future. My first thought is: Time has certainly passed. Do you realize that the first X-Men movie came out in 2000? Hugh Jackman has been playing Wolverine longer than most Bonds play Bond. My second thought is: DINKLAGE. My third thought is: Wow, they really got everyone back together for this, didn't they? Famke, Halle, Anna, Shawn (Ashmore, duh, most dependably present Iceman ever) ... yup, just about every original X-person. The whole gang. Literally everyone.
Keanu Reeves — Eff Bee Aye agent, knower of kung fu, reluctant destroyer of sad sandwiches — cordially invites you to abandon your family on Christmas Day to watch him and roughly four-dozen of his best samurai buddies fight some dragons. And not your regular, run-of-the-mill, Benedict Cumberbatch–sneering-in-a-mo-cap-booth, slouching-along-at-a-hyperreal-frame-rate dragons. Here there be dragons made of magical geishas and infinity-kimonos and gushing hellfire, who threaten you with mountains of corpses and dudes tattooed head to toe in the finest skeleton body-art. (Do they have guns? OK, they have guns. Cool.) Keanu's dragons are not messing around. They've seen DragonHeart and everything, and they aren't impressed. Connery totally phoned it in.
Wassup, Wes Siiide! Really excited to share the new trailer for The Grand Budapest Hotel with you all today. Wes Anderson was one of my favorite filmmakers when I was a teenager, so I feel like I already have a lot emotionally invested in this movie. Watching his films just makes me feel like a child, which is a really good thing sometimes! We talked about the poster earlier this week; and while some of my predictions may have been a bit off the mark, I feel open-minded and ready for whatever this whimsical and off-beat auteur is serving up this go-round.
But first off, for as much as I got wrong about the poster, I was right about one thing: murder! The Grand Budapest Hotel looks to be a madcap murder mystery with a generous side of that ol' Andersonian father-son angst some people just can't seem to get enough of. I'll admit I was a little nervous about this new thematic territory going in, as I always am when faced with new things and the threat of change, but as soon as I saw that lobby boy hat on newcomer Tony Revolori, its function stitched on in immaculate golden Futura, and realized that M. Gustave was just another variation on Royal Tenenbaum and Steve Zissou, I knew we weren't too far from our comfort zone. There is a secret tiny handwritten code exchanged between young lovers, phew.
In any movie where there's a group of people who have to get a job done by working together and utilizing all their different skills and strengths, I always feel the most kinship with the expert/professor character. So The Monuments Men looks great to me, because its entire dirty dozen is made up of experts/professors. (Although I'm gonna make a wild guess that Bob Balaban is the most experty of all the professors; that just seems like his thing.) Art historians don't get nearly enough chances to be action heroes in American cinema, and I'm glad George Clooney is righting that wrong.
Aaron Paul's post–Jesse Pinkman era is nearly upon us, and here's a taste of what's in store: fast cars and very serious voice-overs. Need for Speed is an adaptation of the driving game of the same name, and appears to be trying to live in that sweet spot between the Fast & Furious movies and Drive. Aside from there being as much dialogue in this trailer as in all of the latter, all this makes me think is that post–Breaking Bad Paul could do very well as a troubled-girl's Ryan Gosling. From now on, all he needs to do is save a kid, get his face messed up a little, and weep himself hoarse as all that he loves and makes him human is taken away from him, and it'll be like Jesse never left us.
Most likely, Jude Law's always had some seediness to him. He was probably just too pretty for us to notice. Over the last couple of years, though, as he has undergone something of a debeautification process, he has commendably embraced the newfound opportunities. In Contagion, to play that most dastardly of villains, an evil blogger, Law let Steven Soderbergh gnarl up his teeth and shoot him from above, where that receding hairline is all the more receding. In Side Effects, from this year, he let Soderbergh use his fraying looks again, this time more subtly: He's a creepy, possibly criminal therapist, and we're never quite sure if we should trust him. (It'd never work with thoroughly handsome Jude Law; that guy you couldn't not trust.)
Silver: What’s not to like about this? Really? I honestly can’t find a thing. The cast is amazing. The tone is reminiscent of early Apatow, when his films danced down the razor-thin line between comedy and drama, and then (sorta) knew when to end. A.C.O.D. looks to contain as much heart as it contains laughs. (That line was the most douchey, pull quote-y sounding phrase I’ve ever composed. I’m a little ashamed, but I'm sticking to it.)
I must admit, I’m a little disappointed that the amazing Mary Elizabeth Winstead didn’t make it into the parade of top-billed performers. It might just be me, since I appear to have been the only person to have seen Scott Pilgrim in the theater (twice), but I think she has earned at least a mention alongside these performers. If only based on her performance in Smashed.
It seems the world (me) has been asking for a buddy comedy starring John Turturro as a middle-aged prostitute and Woody Allen as his pimp nigh on forever. But our prayers have been answered at last, in the form of Turturro's fifth directorial feature, Fading Gigolo. Turturro and Allen have been friends dating back to at least 1986, when Turturro had a small role in Hannah and Her Sisters. Turturro's last two films as a director were a documentary about the music scene in Naples called Passione and the musical romantic comedy Romance & Cigarettes.
Was the ahistorical irreverence of Inglourious Basterds not quite cheeky enough for you? Good news, then: George Clooney would like to take you back to WWII and show you a rollicking good time. The flick is Monuments Men, the latest writer/director/star turn for Georgey, and it bears more than a passing resemblance to his Ocean's Eleven days: Once again, our man has to devilishly charm his way into a crew, and then manipulate that crew into doing the impossible. (Joining old friend Matt Damon in the entourage are some cultishly beloved favorites: John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Bill Murray, and George Clooney's mustache.) The big difference is that, this time, they're not revenge-heisting casinos, but saving priceless works of art from Hitler's minions. And while it's based on real events (as outlined in Robert M. Edsel's The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History) one does get the sense that, in real life, maybe avoiding death at the hands of Nazis wasn't quite as much fun?
Beards have never been more popular. Don't believe us? Ask the decimated razor industry, whose warehouses are overflowing with unshipped crates of 10-blade UltiProGlide X replacement cartridges with curdling LubriStrips that will never cut a Barbisol-slicked swath across a defiantly hirsute nation's stubble-riddled faces. Exposed cheeks are becoming as socially unthinkable as exposed genitalia; decency demands you cover that rosy shit up with the protective fur nature gave you, yo. Beard up or beard out.
This current Peak Beard moment has never been more apparent than in the just-released trailer for Peter Berg's Lone Survivor, the inspired-by-true-events story of a tragic Navy SEAL mission in Afghanistan, starring Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, and Eric Bana. How did the project attract such A-list talent? Surely they jumped at these roles not just to portray the brave men of SEAL Team 10, but to rebel against a Hollywood system that too often demands they be as aesthetically emasculated as those shivering, hairless cats they bury with pharaohs. This was the perfect opportunity to let it all grow out and see what happens.
After going back-to-back on Best Picture and Best Director nominations for The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell officially put his next project in the threepeat crosshairs. So what's he bringing to the Oscar party this time? The trailer for American Hustle debuted this morning on Good Morning America, as, uh, all serious awards contenders do, and we've now got our first look at how absurdly Russell has stacked the deck for his latest run. There's Oscar-winning Fighter star Christian Bale in a spread collar, ascot, and truly unfortunate hairpiece. Then Bradley Cooper, Oscar-nominated for Playbook, shows up. Oh, and didn't somebody else actually win for that movie? Right, Jennifer Lawrence. Yeah, she's in it, too. How about another Fighter Oscar nominee in Amy Adams? Yup. De Niro? Not in the trailer, but he's in it. He's won stuff. And let's also throw in a Renner, just because the call sheet has all those fun boxes for names.
We are just three weeks out from the premiere of Man of Steel, and, more importantly, the moment that Superman will launch himself into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, close his eyes, and listen to the millions of voices crying out from Earth's besieged multiplexes in either delighted rapture or unbridled outrage, then decide whether to return to his adopted home to bask in the glory of the triumphant box office hero or fly himself right into the center of the sun, an unloved martyr accepting with fatal resignation that his time has passed. The threshold for the decision will probably be about 75 million opening-weekend American dollars. Below that, the chatter will be of disappointment, of underperformance, of unmet expectations. Above that, the cheers will drown out the sighs, and Krypton's favorite son will justify putting off his nuclear self-immolation through at least the debut of the sequel.