Mike Sampson is the Editor-in-Chief of ScreenCrush. He studied to become a lawyer and worked as an architectural planner after graduating college but neither of these professions afforded him the opportunity to watch movies and TV for a living. He previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of JoBlo.com for 10 years. He lives in New Jersey and probably spends too much time playing video games and overthinking things.
Mike Sampson Biography
Furious 7 is a highly enjoyable movie that is going to make a ton of money (the film is tracking to open with a $115 million opening weekend). This is something we can all pretty much agree on. But, that lovable lug Vin Diesel has taken his predictions to the next level: Furious 7 is going to win Best Picture at the 2016 Oscars.
When the Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation trailer debuted over the weekend everyone — rightfully — got very excited. Tom Cruise is hanging off the side of an actual plane! Audiences weren't the only ones who were excited. Paramount was so bullish on the film, they moved it up from a December release date (where it would've faced stiff competition from Star Wars: The Force Awakens) to July. But, the future wasn't always this rosy for Tom Cruise and the Mission: Impossible franchise. It was only 9 years ago this summer that Paramount essentially fired Cruise from his own franchise, terminated his production deal and ushered him off the lot.
Fast and Furious 7 is an emotional movie; there's no getting around that. There were few dry eyes after the screening we attended. But, if it's this emotional for people who are watching the movie, can you imagine what it must be like for the people who made the movie, and knew Paul Walker? We spoke to director James Wan who told us that it's still so hard, he has to get up and leave the theater during the film's ending.
I met up with Teller in Austin where he was passing through on an Insurgent promotional stop. I was eager to see which Teller would show up. The formalwear of the Oscar season was long gone and Teller was dressed bro casual in blue tank top, showing off both his impressive physique and the deep scars from a 2007 car crash that nearly killed him. The contrast between the two recalls the strength and weakness Teller brings to his roles; he's equal parts vulnerable, but looks like he could (and would) kick your ass if need be.
Avengers 2 doesn't open for another few weeks, but deep inside Marvel headquarters they've already begun turning their attention to the next big movie: Captain America: Civil War. Frequently referred to as Avengers 2.5 because of the sheer amount of superheroes packed into this one film — Captain America, Iron Man, Black Widow, Falcon, Black Panther, Spider-Man and Hawkeye are all confirmed to star — the third Captain America movie might be the biggest superhero film yet. As Marvel gets ready to begin filming, a casting call has given us our first look at the film's plot.
We're all done with Avengers 2 trailers, but this new extended TV spot (which will air during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament) has so much awesome new footage, it's almost as good as a full trailer.
Earlier this week, we were among those in the audience for the first ever Fast and Furious 7 screening at SXSW. It was an emotional affair, to say the least. It's not often you watch a movie where The Rock walks down a street shooting a helicopter out of the sky with a massive gatling gun that ends with everyone in the audience crying, but there we were. An entire audience still processing the grief and sadness of the death of Paul Walker. A few days after that screening, Vin Diesel hosted a similar screening in Los Angeles and introduced the film to the crowd. It was about as sad as you can imagine.
When Rian Johnson was officially announced as the Star Wars: Episode 8 director last week, one name was conspicuously absent from the initial press release: J.J. Abrams. Among the producers listed — Kathleen Kennedy, Ram Bergman (Looper) and Johnson — Abrams was nowhere to be found. An updated release was later sent with Abrams noted as an Executive Producer, but it only fueled the flames that J.J. Abrams may be one-and-done with the Star Wars franchise. Not so fast.
Lately there haven't been many video game movies that have been very good. There also haven't been many Adam Sandler movies that have been very good. So, how about this Adam Sandler video game movie?... Wait, where are you going?! Pixels is not your standard Adam Sandler or video game movie and, based on this trailer, you might want to give it a chance.
From Leonardo DiCaprio to Christian Bale, the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic Steve Jobs had a long road to finding the right actor to star as the former Apple CEO. Eventually director Danny Boyle hired Michael Fassbender for the part, and now we have our first look at how Fassbender as Jobs and, well, he doesn't really look anything like Steve Jobs.