Even from the very beginning — when director Jon Favreau put his reputation on the line to get Robert Downey, Jr. in the original Iron Man movie — the Marvel Cinematic Universe has earned its reputation for finding just the right actors in just the right roles. Sometimes, like in the case of Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the casting is painfully obvious; sometimes it catches you a little by surprise. Who would have known ten years ago that Chris Evans would become the perfect embodiment of Captain America?
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What do actors do between takes? Acting is hard work, but there’s also a whole lot of time when actors just have to sit there doing nothing while camera lenses are fixed or shots are set up or their co-stars are getting into position. After their hilarious dueling set videos during production of this summer’s Central Intelligence, it looks like Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson are back at it again during their downtime in the jungles of Hawaii while filming the Jumanji sequel.
Aye-yi-yi-yi-yi! The new Power Rangers has Zords, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Banks, and now Bill Hader as the robot Alpha 5.
Brits are in uproar over the newest installment in the Transformers franchise, as photos were published yesterday of Blenheim Palace, the birthplace of Winston Churchill, dressed up in Nazi flags. Yeah, that Winston Churchill, the one who told Hitler that no, he was not allowed to invade Russia, sorry not sorry.
You know video game movies, films that do all they can to finagle a two-hour plot out of what essentially amounts to button-mashing and sometimes includes characters with questionable outfit choices? Here’s a message to all you die-hard Fruit Ninja fans out there: stop wearing down the prints on your index fingers on the screen of your iPads, and rejoice, for we are getting the Fruit Ninja movie we’ve been clamoring for all these years.
In what might conservatively be described as a mildly discouraging sign, the Wall Street Journal reports that Paramount Pictures “took the unusual step Wednesday of announcing a $115 million impairment charge ‘related to the expected performance of an unreleased film.’” And that film appears to be Monster Trucks, which has an also mildly discouraging release date of early January, in which a teenager (26-year-old Lucas Till) discovers a monster who then hangs out inside his truck. Hence, monster truck.
I liked The Equalizer. I liked it more than The Magnificent Seven, which director Antoine Fuqua and star Denzel Washington made after The Equalizer (and is out in theaters today, read our review, plug plug plug plug plug). The Equalizer, loosely based on the TV show of the same name, was a very confident and occasionally very amusing action thriller that was fully self-aware. It’s basically a perfect basic cable movie; you pop in, you watch Denzel beat a room full of guys without breaking a sweat, and then you brush your tweet and go to bed. And the ending, where it basically becomes Home Alone in a Home Depot (they should have called the movie Home Depot Alone, that was a missed opportunity) was tremendous.
It’s not a great time to be a horror sequel. Blair Witch made just $9.5 in its debut in theaters last weekend (less than Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 made in its opening weekend 15 years ago), and now Variety reports that Paramount is pushing back two long-delayed installments in the horror franchises for The Ring and Friday the 13th.
Sure, there’s a ton of great titles headed to Netflix Instant in October, but you better watch the ones that are expiring first. The time for a Back to the Future marathon is now. Or why not revisit Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Running Man one last time? You also better bump The Exorcist to the top of your queue and reschedule your scary movie night; it’s gonna be long gone before Halloween hits. Also, The Truman Show is leaving, a movie that simply cannot be watched too many times.
If nothing else, Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s upcoming Han Solo prequel / spinoff is going to look fantastic, as the duo have hired Bradford Young to serve as cinematographer. Okay, let’s be honest: With Lord and Miller on board and the incredibly charming Alden Ehrenreich in the lead role, it’s almost guaranteed that the next Star Wars anthology film will be pretty entertaining — but now we know it’s also going to look really, really, really good.