Monthly Archives: September 2013

Catching Fire Poster: Katniss Takes Aim!

Jennifer Lawrence is back as Katniss and she is ready to fight in the film’s latest poster from The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Fresh off the release of 20 Catching Fire photos, we’ve got the latest one sheet and it is impressive.

Catching Fire Katniss Poster

As teased in the Catching Fire trailer, Katniss and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) are on a Hunger Games Victory Tour and discover before too long that their celebration will be short-lived. See, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) is not too thrilled with Katniss’ victory fanning the fires of revolution and needs to find a way to (legitimately) wipe her out.

What better way than to host an all-star Hunger Games that puts Katniss back in the ring fighting for her life with a series of past winners of the Hunger Games?

Catching Fire hits theaters November 22 and also stars Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin, Jena Malone, Elizabeth Banks, Woody Harrelson and Philip Seymour Hoffman. 

22 Jump Street Starts Shooting: Off to College

Sony Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures have announced that 22 Jump Street has begun shooting, reuniting Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum. The original film gave us those unforgettable 21 Jump Street quotes and an action comedy that showed what can happen when a TV show makes a solid jump to the big screen (Check out our Top 10 TV Shows that Should be Movies!).

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill in 21 Jump Street

Hill and Tatum are back as undercover cops Schmidt and Jenko, and the sequel also brings back the original’s directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Ice Cube will also return in his scene-stealing role as their superior.

22 Jump Street will be shooting in New Orleans and Puerto Rico and finds our heroes heading undercover at a nearby college. Producer Neal H. Moritz could not be more excited.

“We were all so thrilled by the irreverent humor and the chemistry between Channing and Jonah as we sent them back to high school in the first film. So, of course, we just had to send them to college. It’s also great to have Chris and Phil back at the helm,” Moritz said in a statement announcing filming had commenced.

“From the get go they have had the perfect pulse on the material, and have created an unforgettable cop buddy team in Schmidt and Jenko.”

Lord and Miller add that they can commiserate with the power that is working as a team. Tatum and Hill have it, and so do Miller and Lord. “Buddies who work together is a topic that is close to home for us. We’re looking forward to working with Channing and Jonah, Neal and our friends at Sony again to take these guys’ relationship to the next level,” Lord said.

Tatum and Hill added, “We are grateful to our friends at Sony and MGM for letting us do another one. We’re proud to be working alongside Phil, Chris, Neal, Ice Cube, Korean Jesus and the rest of our amazing crew and cast. As we all know, sequels are ALWAYS better than the original. Every single time. This will be no exception. How are we still saying the exact same words at the same time? This is crazy! Jump Street!”

Look for 22 Jump Street on June 6, 2014.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Banner Teases Trailer

Warner Bros. has released a banner for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug as a way of highlighting that the film’s second trailer will premiere tomorrow at 9 a.m. Eastern time.

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Banner

The first The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug trailer showed us a glimpse of the titular dragon, and hopefully, we’ll get to see more of the evil creature that has made life miserable for the dwarves seeking to return to their home.

The second chapter in Peter Jackson’s new Middle Earth trilogy lands December 13 and finds Martin Freeman’s Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) continuing their journey to liberate the dwarves’ homeland of that awful fire-breathing Smaug character! And for more on the sequel to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, check out this Peter Jackson video blog from the set.

The Croods Directors Dish DVD: Kirk De Micco & Chris Sanders Go Back in Time

For The Croods directors Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders, their animated film set the bar pretty high from the film’s first moments. The opening sequence set a lot of the dials as to the boundaries of the film. “Just jumping into an action sequence was new,” Sanders said on a recent visit to the DreamWorks animation campus.

The film is arriving on DVD and Blu-Ray October 1 and De Micco admitted that it has been a long time coming — as with most animated movies by nature — but this one started out a little different than what viewers saw in the theatrical version that lands on home video tomorrow.

The Croods DVD

“The whole project started at DreamWorks but back in 2004. I started writing with John Cleese but it was more of a road trip movie with buddies, two guys,” De Micco said.

“Then, Chris came on in 2007 and we were still working on that idea for a while. Then Chris went to How to Train Your Dragon for 14 months and I said, ‘What if we just made it one family who loses their cave and goes on a road trip to find a new cave and on their way, they become us?’”

Sanders then gazed at his partner. “It would have helped if you had said that earlier,” he said, and everyone laughed.

As seen in The Croods trailer, the film is led by Nicolas Cage… who plays patriarch Grug. “We always had Nick Cage’s voice in mind when we were working on Grug,” Sanders said.

The film follows Grug and his caveman family (the last of their kind) that includes the vocal talents of Emma Stone as his daughter, Catherine Keener as his wife and Clark Duke as their son. Ryan Reynolds voices Guy, a more evolved human being who plays a role in helping the Croods escape their cave and survive another day as the world is rapidly changing around them.

Sanders knew that Cage could hit it out of the park — something we clearly agree with from our theatrical The Croods review.

“It’s a kind of difficult role. He’s got a lot of rules and could come off unlikable if it weren’t Nick. Grug is so stern especially at the beginning, and Nick has this put-upon, beleaguered quality that you can’t really get upset at him. You just feel the weight of the world on his shoulders in everything he says, so I think that made him likable. He’s barking all these orders and you see that he’s just a guy trying to get by.”

The Croods Directors Kirk De Micco & Chris Sanders

And Stone also simply kills it as the teenager, who may be from another era… but still possesses the same traits exhibited by those inhabiting those awkward years in modern times. The filmmakers were thrilled to get her, especially by casting her before she became a household name thanks to roles in Easy A and The Amazing Spider-Man.

“We didn’t know in the very beginning that she was going to be as popular as she was when the movie came out,” De Micco said.

“We suggested Emma Stone for the character of Eep based on a movie we loved called The House Bunny. She has a great voice and we loved her character. There’s a universal relatability in a great voice like that. She more than brought this character to life.”

Among the biggest challenges De Micco and Sanders faced down on The Croods was building a world that doesn’t exist. That isn’t an unusual task for animated film directors, but when dealing with a landscape that is firmly planted within a reality that is prehistoric man, it was almost that there was too much they could choose from.

“It took many years because the entire film is exteriors — even inside their cave is an exterior. Organic things are very labor intensive to create,” Sanders said.

The Croods Family

“The thing that no one ever sees is how many meetings would just be to talk about what our leaves were going to look like. Are they going to look like rubber? Are they going to look like real leaves? If one of the cavemen brushes against a leaf, is it going to move out of his way? Just building the world — it’s an unimaginably big job.”

De Micco adds his two cents while giving his thoughts on the already green-lit The Croods sequel.  “We are excited about stepping into the second movie,” he said. “We know the world now. We know what the boundaries are.”

Baggage Claim Review: Paula Patton Flies the Friendly Skies

Paula Patton is certainly charming enough to carry a romantic comedy. Evidence of that is front and center in the Baggage Claim trailer which teases the story of Patton’s flight attendant who has been lucky with her career and unlucky in love. With the news that her much younger sister is getting married, she sets a goal for herself to find a man worthy of marrying (or at least bringing to the wedding) in the 30 days that remain until her sister’s big day.

Paula Patton Baggage Claim

Patton and her fellow flight attendants (including a scene-stealing Adam Brody) hatch a scheme that the best way to achieve her goal is to revisit her past. The idea is that one of her exes has to have been Mr. Right — it’s just that the timing was wrong. So, they use their sources across their airline to determine which man is flying where and they orchestrate it so Patton is working those flights.

The cast of former flames is top notch including Taye Diggs, Trey Songz, Boris Kodjoe (Resident Evil: Retribution) and Djimon Hounsou (soon to be seen in Guardians of the Galaxy). But, the man who seems all-too-obviously perfect for her lives across the hall… her longtime friend William Wright (Derek Luke). Heck… his name is even Wright!

Baggage Claim has two problems that are hard to get past, although some may thoroughly enjoy it for those issues. The film seems to have forgotten what decade it is in. This rom-com feels like it is from the 1990s, complete with its score. The soundtrack is pure 2000s, but the orchestral music is right out of My Best Friend’s Wedding.

Secondly, Patton’s character strikes us as someone who is driven and not one who would be defined by a man.

Yet, as the story of Baggage Claim plays out… it seems that all she wants is a man. Like, she is some sort of failure because she has nobody and her sister does. That also seems to be a trait of a dated romantic comedy. The best rom-coms of modern days feature strong women who happen to find love as part of everything else that is going on in their lives. We just don’t buy that Patton’s character, a jet-setter, would so define life success or failure by the fact that she does or does not have a ring on her finger.

There is a bright light in the film, beyond Patton’s charm, and that’s Luke. He shines from the moment we meet him and carries the film throughout. We expect to see a lot from this young star in the future and hope both he and Patton get roles in better projects than this seriously out-of-date date night movie.