If you say you saw 'The Avengers' coming, you're a liar.
And we're not necessarily talking about the film's massive box office success or cultural impact, either. That's all after-the-fact stuff. We're talking about the fact that the film exists in the first place. We're talking about how Marvel Studios (with a little help from some deep-pocketed friends) managed to create a series of individual franchises with their own films and characters before having them all come together in a special crossover event. 'The Avengers' didn't just unite Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk, it openly acknowledged that all of these characters lived in the same world and that the events of their own films could actually have an impact on each other.
They all live in the same universe ... and audiences love it.
Since its inception, movies have starred the beautiful people. Young people. The kind of people you simply wouldn't see on every street corner. It's such a Hollywood cliche to discuss the film industry chewing up young stars and spitting them back out once they start to get up there in years, but it's only a cliche because it's happened enough times to take on truth.
But, there have been times in cinematic history where youth and beauty have taken a backseat to age age and experience. Every so often, we stop caring about traditional movie stars and start embracing something the folks who look like they've taken a beating. Sometimes, the older folks start to take over the spotlight and right now, we're living in the age of the Old Man Action Hero.
There's been some talk in recent weeks about the trouble with the female characters on 'True Detective,' and that talk hit a boiling point this week following the airing of "Haunted Houses," in which Marty gets up to his old habits and Maggie retaliates, causing many critics to lash out at the show's portrayal and treatment of women -- but the show isn't treating its female characters poorly, the men are. And there's a big difference.
This week, James Franco, the multi-hyphenate talent and student of all things art, finally chimed in on the ongoing shenanigans (Shia-nanigans?) of Shia LaBeouf -- from his plagiarism of Daniel Clowes, to his plagiarized apologies for his plagiarism, to his bizarre public appearances wearing a bag over his head declaring "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE," among various other ridiculous things. Franco's op-ed in The New York Times read like a myopic declaration of male actor privilege, particularly because you'll never see actresses pulling the same stunts LaBeouf's been pulling (or that their other male counterparts have, for that matter) -- and if they have or had, they certainly wouldn't have a career afterward.
AMC zombie drama 'The Walking Dead' has divided critics and fans alike over the course of its first four seasons, weaving in and out of comic storylines to tell a unique tale whose effectiveness can often be as bleak as the zombie apocalypse itself. It may not ever live up to the comics, but is it beyond saving?
With 'The Walking Dead' returning for the second half of its fourth season, I decided it was time to revisit the Image comic book series that inspired the show in the first place. What I found was inconsistent, talky, often wooden and frequently uneventful. What I found was also compelling in spite of itself and superior to its TV adaptation in virtually every way. As a comic, 'The Walking Dead' is flawed but hugely entertaining. As a show, 'The Walking Dead' is broken and needs to be completely retooled.
News broke this week that indie darling and 'Frances Ha' star Greta Gerwig is headed to CBS to write, produce and star in the new sorta-spinoff of 'How I Met Your Mother,' titled 'How I Met Your Dad.' Cue surprising controversy as fans lashed out at the precious star: is she selling her soul to the home of lesser cable programming, or is this an opportunity for Gerwig to line her pockets and make more of the films she wants to make? Should we feel angry and betrayed, or thrilled and supportive? Why can't we have mixed feelings about it? In the realm of the internet, our reactions can only ever be extreme.
Warner Bros. has been trying to bring the Justice League to the silver screen for some time, if only to compete against Marvel's 'The Avengers' franchise. Following Christopher Nolan's now-famous trilogy of Batman films, Zack Snyder stepped up to the plate and served up a rebooted take on the 'Man of Steel'. After that film's success, Snyder agreed to direct the follow-up, a still untitled 'Batman vs. Superman' movie, which will feature three of the most famous DC heroes of all time -- Superman (Henry Cavill), Batman (Ben Affleck) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) -- and will mark a major step into making 'Justice League' a reality.
But before that happens, Warner Bros. Animation recently released the latest the animated direct-to-DVD 'Justice League: War,' which unites the DC superhero team for an epic battle to save Earth from destruction, and may also serve as a dry run, for a live-action 'Justice League' movie.
Filmmakers Phil Lord and Chris Miller have made it their business to turn seemingly tired properties (a children’s book about giant food, an eighties television show about cops masquerading as kids) into intelligent and incredibly funny feature films that appeal to kids and adults alike, and their latest outing, ‘The LEGO Movie,’ is no different – it just comes with the added caveat of centering its action on tiny plastic things. If anyone could make a film about LEGOs work, it’s Lord and Miller, and that’s just what they’ve done with their witty and inspired take on the classic toys – but how did they actually make it, well, work?
Yeah, it's jarring casting. It's out of nowhere. Jesse Eisenberg is very possibly the last person anyone expected to be cast as Lex Luthor. And, in an odd way, that's why it may be completely brilliant.
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