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

IMG_0022.JPG
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.

IMG_0008.JPG

IMG_0011.JPG

IMG_0020.JPG

IMG_0012-0.JPG

IMG_0021.JPG

IMG_0010.JPG

IMG_0009.JPG

IMG_0007.JPG

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?

IMG_0004.JPG
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.

More ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ footage coming

IMG_0003.PNG
With the release of Marvel’s first look at next summer’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, they still have more to show. According to Deadline, Marvel still plans to show footage of Ultron during this week’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD on October 28. Marvel’s original plan was to release the teaser trailer this upcoming Tuesday before it leaked.

That’s not all though, as it’s being reported that Marvel will also release some new footage of the Avengers sequel during their special Marvel 75 Years: From Pulp to Pop! on November 4. Needless to say, this is only the beginning of Marvel’s marketing plan for the blockbuster sequel that may break all the box office records by the end of its run. DC better make sure than Batman v Superman works because otherwise, it may get pretty ugly. Avengers: Age of Ultron will be released May 1, 2015. You can catch Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and Marvel 75 Years: From Pulp to Pop! on ABC.

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ trailer 1

Avengers Age of Ultron
Next Tuesday was suppose to be the release of Marvel’s first trailer to the highly anticipated Avengers: Age of Ultron but someone else had other plans. The leaked trailer for the film has been released and let’s just say this: Marvel has done it again. The trailer has a darker tone than the previous film and looks to up the stakes this time around. The highlight of the trailer has to be the creepy voice over by James Spader who has put any doubters to shame. Spader knocks it out with his Ultron voice and making fans (such as myself) wanting the calendar day to say May 1, 2015 tomorrow. This trailer will most likely be online for a short period of time, but I will post an updated version with the official trailer when Marvel decides to release it. Looks like this trailer has ‘no strings on it’ as Mr. Spader would say. [UPDATE: Marvel has now been forced into officially releasing the trailer in glorious HD]

Avengers: Age of Ultron also stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Andy Serkis, and Samuel L. Jackson. The Avengers: Age of Ultron will be released in 3D, 2D, and IMAX 3D on May 1, 2015.

NFL Corner: The Dysfunctional Chicago Bears

453621966

Chicago was pretty hyped for the start of the NFL season with the Bears about to begin their season. The offense looked to improve on what was a fantastic debut season last year and the defense improving from an awful year. 7 games into the season, the Bears look like a team with flashes of brilliance and moments of failure. The team has started 0-3 at home this year and 3-1 on the road. They have beaten teams like the San Francisco 49ers but have lost to teams like the Buffalo Bills. Last weekend’s loss to the Dolphins seemed to be have caused serious issues with the team mentality. The ‘offensive genius’ himself, Marc Trestman seems to not have much control over his locker room and is on the edge of letting the season slip away. The reason for dysfunction? It’s hard to point to one thing specifically, but the man who was guaranteed $54 million for 3 years is one of the biggest reasons.

The highest paid player in the NFL (no, you didn’t read that wrong), Jay Cutler has been awful and great at times this season. In the Bears’ 4 losses, Cutler has 7 interceptions and 2 fumbles lost. In their 3 wins, only 1 turnover by Cutler. Jay is on pace for career numbers but the guy isn’t a leader and isn’t much of a winner. In fact, he is essentially this generation’s Jeff George. That’s an awful thought for any Bears fan to think considering they both are remarkably similar. George had all the talent in the world but could never make anything out of it. Sound familiar? Cutler is at best, an above average QB who can seduce you with his talent. Yet it usually all comes crashing down when he throws an ill-advised ball to a defender.

treatman-140233566784nkgBut it’s not on Jay as the ‘high powered offense’ has looked nothing like it should. Trestman’s team has looked flat in a few of their losses plus he and his coaching staff have failed to make adjustments at critical times. Against Green Bay and Carolina, the Bears played very good in the first half, only to fall apart in the 2nd. In the case of the Green Bay game, the defensive game plan had the Bears rush 4 and that allowed Aaron Rodgers to pick the defense apart. Instead of changing up the defensive gameplan, they were too stubborn and continued to rush 4. With the defense failing the Bears, that forced the offense to be perfect and they are far from it. I was one of those fans who called for DC Mel Tucker’s head because I believed he was an awful defensive coordinator. Yet the man who brought him back, Trestman, has failed to progress as a head coach in his 2nd season. His play calling has been questionable and his time management has been downright awful (similar to the last Bears HC).

It’s easy to panic despite having 9 games left, the Bears reportedly had locker room issues that occurred after Sunday’s loss. And according to multiple reports, star receiver Brandon Marshall was at the center of the yelling that occurred. One report said that Marshall called out Cutler but it was later reported that the Bears WR called everyone on the offense out. Marshall has a past of being a locker room issue, so this has caused many to question if Marshall is still the same selfish guy he was before. The reality of the situation is that Marshall was frustrated that his play hasn’t been up to par based on his standards. After his 3 TD game in Week 2, he slowed down because of his ankle issue that didn’t seem to be okay until the Falcons game. The issues are still in question: Can Trestman right the ship and save the season?  Can Cutler show that he is worth the money and play clean ball? As a Bears fan, it’s hard to believe that either question can be answered with anything but a “I don’t know”.

Box Office Numbers: ‘Gone Girl’ holds off ‘Dracula’, ‘Alexander’ for top spot

Look at all that green. Can't wait until we see those little gold men!

Look at all that green. Can’t wait until we see those little gold men!

The box office saw a pretty solid weekend following up a record breaking weekend for October. Once again, David Fincher’s latest Gone Girl took the top spot once again, showing it could have legs through the Award season. Yet the real story of the weekend was the strong debuts of the newcomers, Dracula Untold and Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The horror reboot of the classic vampire overperformed despite the film looking to be a dud based on pre-tracking/ The film featured rising star Luke Evans (The Hobbit and Fast and Furious 6) as the titular character and the film is supposedly Universal’s first film in their Classic Horror Monster Universe (CHMU?). In the case of Alexander, the film took advantage of a very weak family crowd that featured only Boxtrolls in terms of competition. And in a mistake on my part, the third newcomer, The Judge failed to distinguish itself with the more interesting drama Gone Girl stealing its audience. Despite featuring superstar Robert Downey Jr., the film performed like another failed Oscar-bait.

Gone Girl has continued to overperform since opening last weekend. The Fincher-Affleck film fell only 28% from last weekend and earned $26.4 million. The film has earned an astounding $77.8 million since opening last weekend. Despite only a B from audiences according to CinemaScore, the film has shown great staying power. Next weekend will see the debut of Brad Pitt’s Fury which should steal some of the audiences from Gone Girl but expect Fincher’s film to earn over $130 million for the director’s highest domestic grosser.

I guess I don't need hobbits or cars to make some cash!

I guess I don’t need hobbits or cars to make some cash!

The big story of the weekend would be the performance of Dracula Untold. The film earned $23.5 million and was another $20+ million debut for a horror film. The film is kicking off Universal’s Monster universe which features not only Dracula but The MummyFrankenstein, and many others. The film received a lot of negative feedback from critics (only 23% on Rotten Tomatoes) but the film was received well by audiences with an A- from CinemaScore. The film will need good legs to make back its $70 million budget back. The other major newcomer, Alexander and the Long-ass, Horrible Name for a kid’s movie Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day had a solid debut in 3rd. The film took advantage of the weak family competition and earned $18.3 million. The film’s budget is about $28 million which should mean that Alexander should pass that and hold up well over the coming weeks.

Last weekend’s number 2 film, Annabelle dropped down to the number 4 spot this weekend. The Conjuring spin-off/prequel fell about 57% from last weekend with $15.8 million. The horror film earned $61.6 million since last weekend and should finish its run with $85-$90 million. That would be an impressive run for the horror film since its budget was only about $6.5 million and that 2014’s horror trend was pretty down until July’s Purge: Anarchy.

I'm just gonna sign my Marvel extension and get out of your hair.

I’m just gonna sign my Marvel extension and get out of your hair.

The two other newcomers failed to spark any buzz really. Last weekend, I thought Robert Downey Jr. ‘s latest would be a big hit but instead the film was anything but. Downey’s The Judge failed to create any buzz with Gone Girl dominating the box office. The court drama placed in 5th with $13.1 million, which means that the film will likely earn about $35-$40 million at the end of its run. Despite the starpower, the film earned mixed reviews from critics (48% on RT) but did earn an A- on CinemaScore. It will likely perform similar to another recent Oscar-bait film, J. Edgar which earned mixed reviews and superstar Leonardo DiCaprio.

The other newcomer, Addicted was barely advertised and performed very poorly. The erotic thriller was essentially sold as another Fatal Attraction style film. It also seemed to have a similar look to last year’s thriller, Temptations which was a Tyler Perry film. The film earned $7.4 million and will likely disappear after next weekend.

Relax, we're not dealing with Batma... oh wait

Relax, we’re not dealing with Batma… oh wait

Next weekend will see box office star Brad Pitt in a WWII film, another Nicholas Sparks romance, and a very stylistic animated film. Pitt’s Fury is expected to top the box office next weekend with Gone Girl close behind and the Spark’s adaption The Best of Me taking the third spot. Can we just get to Interstellar already?

TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count /Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #
1 1 Gone Girl Fox $26,406,134 -29.6% 3,284 +270 $8,041 $77,887,324 $61 2
2 N Dracula Untold Uni. $23,514,615 - 2,885 - $8,151 $23,514,615 $70 1
3 N Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day BV $18,360,230 - 3,088 - $5,946 $18,360,230 $28 1
4 2 Annabelle WB (NL) $15,855,329 -57.3% 3,215 +30 $4,932 $61,645,901 $6.5 2
5 N The Judge WB $13,116,226 - 3,003 - $4,368 $13,116,226 $50 1
6 3 The Equalizer Sony $9,703,875 -48.2% 3,117 -119 $3,113 $79,864,248 $55 3
7 N Addicted LGF $7,485,346 - 846 - $8,848 $7,485,346 - 1
8 5 The Maze Runner Fox $7,468,015 -35.8% 3,072 -533 $2,431 $83,807,836 $34 4
9 4 The Boxtrolls Focus $6,638,703 -44.6% 3,270 -194 $2,030 $40,995,115 $60 3
10 6 Left Behind (2014) Free $2,834,919 -55.0% 1,887 +62 $1,502 $10,845,791 $16 2

Gone Girl review

gone9f-2-web

When it comes to life, there are some bright and beautiful memories but for the most part, life is hard. A normal American life consist of growing up while getting an education and then finding a career. Along that journey, we meet people who we make judgements about, both positive and negatives. And at some point we all experience love with another whether man or woman, and we begin that responsibility to take care of that significant other. Unfortunately, there isn’t a handbook on what to do in a marriage which leads to pain and hate of someone you once would die for. In the case of David Fincher’s latest, Gone Girl tackles the subject of marriage and in its beauty and misery. The film takes a look at how hard it is for two people to live with one another when they can’t stand one another. While for the most part the film is a whodunit with the disappearance of a seemingly innocent housewife, it quickly becomes a film that analyzes the issue of an unhappy marriage that features pain, despicable moments and in the end, it’s simply shrugged off as “That’s marriage”.

Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) is a struggling writer in a marriage that seems perfect at first but quickly falls apart. His wife, Amy (Rosamund Pike) is a beautiful, intelligent woman who feels that she is losing herself while trying to salvage a marriage with Nick. One day, “Amazing” Amy disappears out of thin air. A giant manhunt begins for Amy where Nick struggles with his emotions on how to deal with the disappearance of a woman he wasn’t in love with any longer. This ultimately leads to Nick being framed for the potential murder of his wife and the whole story behind it.

Gone GirlThis is one of those films that doesn’t feature the darker themes that we’ve grown accustomed to with David Fincher films (ex. Fight ClubSe7en) but is still Fincher’s finest since The Social Network. The director’s style is all over the film, from the green tint to the beautiful cinematography to even the effective score. Yet the film features more comedy than most of Fincher’s films. There are moments that are funny despite the dark subject matter and they never feel forced. Instead they are genuine moments that are placed in the right time to remind the audience its not all bad news.

Despite all my praises of Fincher (and it’s well deserved), the star of the film is no doubt Rosamund Pike, the woman behind Amazing Amy. During the production of the film, angry fanboys on IMDb message boards were questioning the casting of Pike as Amy despite not seeing the actress in action as Amy. Those doubts were quickly put to rest as Pike is spectacular in the film. Some may argue that she was a bit over the top, but I believe that this is the kind of performance that could win the Brit an Oscar. I can guarantee that she will be nominated for Best Actress and is the favorite for it. Pike’s innocent yet ruthless performance gives this film the lift it needed to be more than just good. Unfortunately, it’s hard to describe her performance without spoiling anything.

The other surprising factor in the film was the really good performance by Ben Affleck. Affleck has received a lot of criticism during his acting career and while a lot of it was warranted (Gigli, Daredevil anyone?), he has proven to be a very good actor. He’ll never surpass his best bud Matt Damon in terms of acting in the eyes of many, but he has shown a lot of improvements over the years. As Nick Dunn, he plays a man who is flawed, despicable in many ways, but means well in more ways than one. Affleck plays him well enough to give fans more breathing room and confidence to see Affleck dawn the cowl in 2016. His performance shows a man isn’t saddened by his wife disappearance but he’s rather a bit more relieved. There was a sense of uneasiness when it came to Nick and Amy’s relationship. The two were always telling one another they never wanted to become “that married couple” when it eventually happened to them. Affleck plays the character well to make him seem likable despite being a pretty awful person.

gone-girlThe movie is not all about the in-depth look of a failing marriage, Gone Girl also manages to point out the cartoonish nature of today’s media. Everyday, we deal with the media blowing a story out of proportion just to start some buzz or really get ratings. Fox News, CNN, MSNBC are some examples of these type of media that love taking a story and turning it into something that it’s not. Fox News is more notorious for doing this but CNN isn’t pure though. The film features a news anchor who essentially turns the disappearance of Amy into a murder case that was caused by Nick because he’s a man and he smiled in a picture. Similar to anchors such as Bill O’Reilly, Wolf Blitzer, the film features Missi Pyle in that same vain.

Yet the film is not all about crazy people and the media, in the end, Gone Girl is truly about marriage and how much domestic violence can affect even the most beautiful people. Fincher delivers yet another fine film that features a great performance by the lovely Rosamund Pike and a great performance by Ben Affleck. The supporting cast does its part, and that includes the much maligned Tyler Perry who proves to be a capable actor under a good director. The film does have flaws and most of it lies in the script which features a weak ending and a few plot holes. Nevertheless, this is another great one for Fincher’s collection which already includes Fight ClubSe7en, and The Social Network.

Rating: A-

0001_gg_poster