‘Pitch Perfect 2′ trailer

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For a lot of movies that deserve sequels, some are made and some aren’t. In the case of Pitch Perfect, the female-comedy had some funny moments but it never struck me as a movie that screamed “Green-light a sequel immediately!!”. Yet here we are with the trailer for Pitch Perfect 2 and it looks like it could two ways for me. The first film is clearly a “chick flick” so they never were targeting me as females make up most of the audiences excited for the film. The original featured Kendrick doing a rendition of the song “Cups” which rose to the number 6 spot on Billboard Hot 100 which the trailer featured at the very beginning.

Instead of college competition, this time the Bellas will take on international competition in the world championship of a cappella. The film will be Elizabeth Banks’ directorial debut and she looks to the stakes up a notch from the previous film. The film returns stars Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Banks herself, John Michael Higgins, and Adam Devine (Workaholics) and features newcomers David Cross, Joe Lo Truglio, Kathy Segal, and NFL star Clay Matthews. The film does have a bigger scope than the last one and could hit off or could suffer from severe sequelitis. Pitch Perfect 2 will be released May 15, 2015. The trailer and teaser poster are below.

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Rumor: ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ teaser trailer ready?

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Without a doubt, next year’s film schedule will feature some huge blockbusters with Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Despicable Me spin-off MinionsThe Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part II, the untitled Bond 24, Ted 2Furious 7, the Jurassic Park sequel Jurassic World, yet none (not even Marvel’s finest) can match the hype that surrounds the newest Star Wars film. Despite being nearly a year away from release, audiences may be getting their first look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Earlier today, it was reported by Badass Digest that the first look at JJ Abrams’ highly anticipated Star Wars sequel is coming very soon. Some even say as early as this weekend with the release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part I, yet it’s more likely that the first trailer of the Star Wars will be released sometime in December. If I had to guess, I would say that it would be attached to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies or another fellow Disney film Into the Woods.

The first description of the trailer that is being rumored by Badass Digest, states that there isn’t any dialogue in the footage, mostly just revealing some of the characters with it ending with a title shot and the Millennium Falcon, firing blasters, coming right at the screen. Below is what Badass Digest describes in full:

It’s going to have The Force Theme played on woodwinds, softly, over flashing images of the main leads, each fading to black. There’s no dialogue, just reveals of the characters. And then the music swells up into a full orchestral piece – perhaps what John Williams recorded this weekend? – and we hear a female voice, likely Daisy Ridley’s, saying “Wake up.”

As a big fan of JJ Abrams (loved Star Trek, really like two thirds of Star Trek: Into Darkness, love his TV work as well), I’m cautiously excited at seeing his vision. As a vocal Star Wars fan, it’s clear that both the latest Star Trek films were inspired by Star Wars and Abrams knows it. Coming off those awful prequels, it won’t be hard for Episode VII to be better than any but, with Abrams aboard, fans should be excited about the prospects of someone who has a good idea on how these films should be done. In short, hopefully Star Wars: The Force Awakens isn’t just a blatant cash-grab like those damn prequels. Star Wars: The Force Awakens stars John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Harrison Ford, Adam Driver, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Lupita Nyong’o, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, and Andy Serkis. The film will be released December 18, 2015.

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Interstellar review

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The great wonder for many is what is out there beyond our world in the deep depths of space. It seems recently that many filmmakers have made more attempts at exploring space for films. However, director Christopher Nolan wants to attempt something much greater and far more ambitious than most films would dare to attempt. Nolan’s latest feature some of the best cinematography of the past few years, fantastic performances headlined by Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Jessica Chastain, and a story that does attempt to be something unique and special. However, it’s not perfect or close to it. The film is very flawed and despite Nolan’s ambition, Interstellar never fully grasps its full potential.

Set in a futuristic town in America, Cooper (McConaughey) is a pilot-turned-farmer who doing his best to protect his family and survive the dangerous conditions of Earth. Those main issues happen to be dust clouds which are affecting Earth’s crops and the human race will go extinct sooner rather than later. Humanity’s last chance lies in the hands of a mission to find a new home, capable of saving the human race. Cooper is asked to lead the mission and travel through a mysterious black hole and save the world.

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The film is such an odd case of being simple and complicated at the same time. In terms of a storyline, Interstellar ‘s emotional story between Cooper and his daughter Murph (young version portrayed by Mackenzie Foye; older version portrayed by Chastain) is by far the simplest story Nolan has ever used before. The film’s connection to the audience is mainly based on the emotional issues between Cooper and Murph. The father and daughter relationship is rocky at times and is ultimately where the film’s heart lies.

Now for the science part of the story, it’s just the opposite. To try and dissect all the science elements of Interstellar would spoil the movie and take some of the fun out for the experience. It’s hard to keep everything in front and remember especially since it’s about 3 hours long and this is material that requires years to learn. Everything Nolan attempts to present to you feels cool and overwhelming at the same time. One of the biggest issues with the film is that Nolan is too smart for his own good and it hurts the film in that sense.

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What doesn’t hurt the film are the phenomenal performances by McConaughey, Hathaway and Chastain. Already apart of a giant career revival, Matthew McConaughey adds another great performance to his already impressive list. The great chemistry between he and Foye show how much the southern-accented actor has grown. His emotional journey feels impactful and very genuine, which adds to the film’s overall impact. Hathaway’s character Brand, a scientist who is also on the trip, shows the range with an impressive performance. Hathaway’s emotional trip trying to stay strong is illustrated very well considering when we first meet her. She seems so relaxed and calm until the plans don’t go accordingly. Yet despite getting the least amount of screen time compared to the two leads, Jessica Chastain holds her ground as Murph. The events that unfold turn Murph into someone who lives with much doubt and anger towards Cooper. Chastain breathes life into Murph’s emotional distress based on everything that transpires.

Yet the film’s greatness and faults lie in the hands of the director. For all the brilliant scope, gorgeous cinematography, fantastic score and the ambitious ideas Nolan gives us, the film never fully realizes the ideas. For all the love Nolan has received from his previous films, people will give him a pass for all the faults. The film’s explanation and the inability to properly tie up all the loose ends end up making the finished product clunky and uneven. The film tries to explore hard science fiction with real science but they take a left turn in the final act and make it about love. It never feels truly genuine despite the film trying to establish a real connection between McConaughey’s Cooper and Foy/Chastain’s Murph. It works very well for the first act but once the film gets to the space travel, it occasionally brings up the relationship but it forgotten in all of the film’s deep exploration of space.INTERSTELLAR

The biggest problem with the film is that something people would call the George Lucas Syndrome. As many know, Lucas is the man behind the Star Wars franchise and was the reason why the prequels sucked. When they began making The Phantom Menace, Lucas began to work on the film’s script and obviously went with his gut instead of having people edit some of it out. Nobody had the balls to tell Lucas that some of the ideas he had in the script (the first hour, Jar Jar Binks, the development of Anakin) needed to be edited or just plainly cut out. Due to the fact that Nolan is the man responsible for The Dark Knight series, Inception, the criminally underrated Memento, nobody wanted to tell the auteur that maybe he and his brother Jonathan Nolan should think about the third act’s ideas. Or even if it did sound great at first, they should have realized that maybe while filming they should have scrapped the idea and done something that fit the film better.

It’s hard to not recommend the film but it also hard to recommend as well. As a big Christopher Nolan fan, I will say the film is definitely worth seeing in theaters. The special effects and cinematography are easily the best part of the film and the acting is great as well. The film is Oscar-Worthy for the most part but unfortunately Nolan decides to take a route that feels too easy and ultimately a crowd-pleasing ending that feels out of place. The film will be a player at the Oscars but Nolan never grasps the ambitious ceiling it sets itself and comes down to just a really, really good film that ultimately fails to reach the greatness it tries to set for itself.

Rating: B

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‘Toy Story 4′ to Hit Theaters in 2017

Originally posted on Variety:

John Lasseter will return to direct “Toy Story 4.” Disney will release the Pixar film in June 2017.

Walt Disney Co. chief Bob Iger made the announcement to Wall Street analysts as he discussed the company’s fourth quarter and fiscal year results.

“Toy Story 3″ was released in 2010 and earned nearly $1.1 billion at the worldwide box office. Lee Unkrich, who co-directed “Finding Nemo,” “Monsters Inc.” and “Toy Story 2,” directed the third installment.

Iger gave few details of the fourth film in the franchise other than announcing Lasseter’s return to the director’s chair.

Walt Disney Animation Studios, which produced the highest-grossing animated film, “Frozen,” which has earned nearly $1.3 billion, is currently gaining praise for “Big Hero 6,” out this weekend.

Lasseter, who serves as chief creative officer at Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, and DisneyToon Studios, previously directed “Toy Story,” “Cars” and “Cars 2.” A third “Cars”…

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First ‘Furious 7′ trailer

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Universal Pictures has just released the first trailer for Furious 7. The 7th (!!!!) film in the Fast and Furious franchise features the last performance of actor Paul Walker. The film clearly has a sadder feeling to it than any of the other films in this franchise. The trailer shows us the revenge storyline of Ian Shaw (Jason Statham), who is the brother of Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). For fans of the series, they know Owen Shaw is the villain in the previous film.

The trailer gives us a good look at what fans can look forward to with the exotic scenery and of course the car-filled action sequences. The latest film will be directed by James Wan (The Conjuring) who is taking over the reigns from Justin Lin who has done the last four Fast and Furious films. I have begun to enjoy these films since the fourth installment since they have ventured away from all the racing to become about heists. Plus they also realize these films are pretty stupid yet they never try to act like they are something they’re not. I’m looking forward to seeing the guys on “one last ride”. Furious 7 also stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Kurt Russell, Ludacris, Lucas Black, Elsa Pataky, Nathalie Emmanuel, and Djimon Hounsou. Furious 7 will be released April 3, 2015. The trailer is below.

 

Marvel announce Phase 3 lineup; Chadwick Boseman confirmed as ‘Black Panther’

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Marvel is having a pretty great week since the first look at their next film Avengers: Age of Ultron was unleashed. Now on the heels of the trailer, sources are speculating that Benedict Cumberbatch may become Marvel’s next hero. He’s In the final stages of negotiations to portray the lead in Doctor Strange.

Along with Cumberbatch, another rising star has been officially announced as one of Marvel’s next heroes. That would be Chadwick Boseman (42, Get On Up) who was announced at Marvel’s special event today, would portray Black Panther. The hero has been long in development and fans begun to speculate if he might make an appearance in Avengers: Age of Ultron. President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige did confirm today that T’Challa will appear in 2016′s Captain America: Civil War.

As for the schedule, 2 weeks ago DC announced their schedule which consisted of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, then would be followed by Suicide Squad. Then in 2017, they followed that up with a Wonder Woman film & the first part of Justice League. The year after would see the release of The Flash and Aquaman. In 2019, we would see the release of Shazam and the 2nd part of Justice League. Then finally in 2020, WB will introduce us to Cyborg and reboot Green Lantern.

Nevertheless, this is a post about Marvel and their Phase 3 schedule so below are the logos of their plans.

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Needless to say, this has been a huge couple of weeks for Marvel as they have now announced a female superhero film (Captain Marvel) so to all the haters that kept bringing that up, what can you say now. President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige says that Phase III will begin with Captain America: Civil War meaning Ant-Man will effectively end Phase II. Marvel’s next film, Avengers: Age of Ultron will be released May 1, 2015.

Images via Marvel’s Twitter page

‘Batman v. Superman’ trailer coming soon?

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With the Internet nearly blowing up after this week’s release of the first Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, Marvel’s rival, DC, is readying a teaser for their next film. With over 2 years until Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, I would have expected the first trailer to be released in Spring 2015 at the earliest. Apparently, fans will get their first look at Batman v Superman as early as the next two months. According to Batman-on-film.com, their insiders say the teaser trailer is done and they will release it very soon.

The only two films I can think that they would release the teaser with would be Interstellar or the more likely choice The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Interstellar is produced by Warner Bros and is directed by BVS executive producer Christopher Nolan. However, expect our first look at the DC team-up in the final installment of The Hobbit. The Middle Earth film is being released by Warner Bros’ sister company, New Line Cinema. Hell the teaser could be attached to The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part I. I’m just cautiously optimistic at seeing our first official look at Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. It’s also worth noting that the teaser will be “Batman-heavy”. Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice stars Henry Cavil, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Jason Momoa, Jena Malone, Laurence Fishburne, Holly Hunter, Ray Fisher, Callan Mulvey, Tao Okamoto, Scoot McNairy, and Jeremy Irons. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens in theaters on March 25, 2016.