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"Avoid everything here - it's bad." XYZ Films and IFC Midnight have debuted a trailer for the movie Stung, from director Benni Diez, a horror about disgusting giant mutant, ugly ass wasps, that need to be slayed right now. Clifton Collins Jr., Jessica Cook, David Masterson & Lance Henriksen star as guests at a party that goes to hell when these mutant wasps emerge from the ground. The description claims that it has a "seamless blend of CGI and oozing practical effects", but I can't really tell. It's also supposed to be a horror comedy but none of the jokes really hit either. Anyway, take a look and let us know what you think.
The ground shakes. Buildings fall. Hope rises. The crowd falls asleep… That's about where we're at with disaster movies and have been under this same model since the aliens invaded on Independence Day nearly 20 years ago. Sure, gimmicks like found footage and the glorious discovery of 3D (Thanks, Cameron) have given disaster movies a glossy, new coat, but it's the same gears moving it all forward underneath. Did you really think San Andreas, the latest, disaster flick from Warner Bros, would shake things up? Don't let the assumed size of the film's title fool you. San Andreas keeps it right at that level we've all grown tired of.
Well this is sad. On a recent radio show, special effects and make-up artist legend Rick Baker announced that he was retiring from filmmaking. "The time is right, I am 64 years old, and the business is crazy right now. I like to do things right, and they wanted cheap and fast," Baker said in an interview on 89.3 KPCC (via THR). "That is not what I want to do, so I just decided it is basically time to get out." Baker has been working in the industry for over 40 years, and is now 64, he's had a huge impact on the industry and been a part of movie history for so long. He last worked on Maleficent, Tron Legacy plus MIB 3, and runs a studio.
There's nothing like Kung Fury! Get a load of this. There is a crazy throwback 1980's action comedy short film going around the web called Kung Fury, written & directed by David Sandberg, that you just have to see to believe. It's intense and well-made and features nazis, dinosaurs, vikings and cheesy one-liners packed into one 30 minute short. It's actually the kind of breakout cult sensation that we love coming across nowadays, because it's made with such love for all the cheesy 80's movies, but also fits perfectly in today's cinematic marketplace. Don't second guess, don't think about it, just dive in & enjoy the glory of Kung Fury.
Heroes don't get any bigger! Marvel has unveiled a new poster for Ant-Man, directed by Peyton Reed, starring Paul Rudd and Michael Douglas. This one seems to make up for the atrociously boring official poster they released earlier in the month. This time they have Ant-Man riding on the back of an ant, in full costume, dodging (or perhaps about to punch?) bullets. It actually looks pretty good, much better than the Photoshop disaster before. Despite this art looking solid, it still doesn't compare to some of the fan-art out there that we've included in the post below. Marvel's Ant-Man lands in theaters in a few months! Get ready.
This is cool. But I can't wait to see what the character actually looks like in the movie. There's an interesting interview with photographer Annie Leibovitz on StarWars.com that includes a fantastic new shot of Andy Serkis in full motion capture gear to play a character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, directed by J.J. Abrams. The shot shows him inside a mo-cap rig, presumably at ILM, with cameras all around and dots all over his face. In the interview they reveal: "Andy Serkis is playing a character named Supreme Leader Snoke, and the character is being created through performance capture." Indeed. See him below.
"He killed two operatives with a spoon." Roll those joints, then light ’em up, and get ready for a good time. Lionsgate has debuted a red band trailer for Nima Nourizadeh's American Ultra, from a script written by Max Landis, co-starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart as stoners and lovers. It turns out that Eisenberg, while living a peaceful pot head existence in a small town, is actually a trained secret agent (think Jason Bourne) and there's suddenly people out to eliminate him. The trailer starts out with a few conventional setups, but gets much bigger in the second half with crazy action. It gets good when he says "I keep killing people… and there's a chance I may be a robot." Topher Grace & John Leguizamo co-star.
"Everything is qualified by the fact that you don’t have a dick." Amplify Releasing has debuted a red band trailer for Jason Banker's Felt, a controversial and provocative indie film that premiered at Fantastic Fest last year. Felt broaches the topics of feminism and consent and sexuality, but dives in to the deep end with these topics, in what is described as a "feminist psychological thriller". Based on the real life experiences of Amy Everson, in the film a woman creates an alter ego in hopes of overcoming the trauma inflicted by men in her life. The cast in this includes Everson, Kentucker Audley, Ryan Creighton, Elisabeth Ferrara and Roxanne Lauren Knouse. If you're intrigued, give this a watch. Too experimental and wacky for my tastes.
And then there was a man. Variety is reporting that the DC Comics take on Wonder Woman has cast the first male in the movie. Chris Pine will co-star with Gal Gadot, who is playing Wonder Woman, in the movie being directed by Patty Jenkins later this year. Pine will co-star as the love interest Steve Trevor in the origin story of the Amazonian warrior turned superhero. Variety also mentions that Scott Eastwood was rumored to be a top contender for the role, but in the end it went to Pine, who won over the WB execs. The actor is currently filming the thriller Comancheria and will start on Star Trek 3 right after, then this movie.
One of the next films by Jason Reitman will be animated. Deadline is reporting that Reitman has partnered with DreamWorks Animation based in Burbank, CA to adapt the book The Adventures Of Beekle: The Unimaginery Friend. This will be the first project put into development since DreamWorks Animation went through staff changes last year, with new Co-Presidents of Animation Bonnie Arnold and Mireille Soria running the ship. "I was book shopping with my daughter, when a little tooth-shaped character in a paper crown stole our hearts," Reitman said about the project. "His name was Beekle and I'm honored to now be adapting [author Dan] Santat's charming story into a feature film." Sounds like it will be a charming film.
One filmmaker on the rise in a big way is Denis Villeneuve, from Quebec, Canada, who just premiered his latest film Sicario to rave reviews at the Cannes Film Festival (here's our review). He's next set to direct the Blade Runner sequel/reboot/restart with Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, not to mention Roger Deakins as cinematographer. His previous work is also impressive (and worth seeking out): Incendies, Prisoners and Enemy. And if you want to go back even further, you can now watch his 2008 short film Next Floor that mocks the "endless symphony of abundance". It's a wicked commentary on excess that's powerful to watch.
Whoa. Some impressive casting news for Marvel's Dr. Strange movie in the works. THR is reporting that Oscar winning actress Tilda Swinton is discussions to play the character called The Ancient One, a Tibetan mystic who is a mentor to Dr. Strange, originally a male role in the comics but now a female role in the movie. Director Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Deliver Us from Evil, The Day the Earth Stood Still) is at the helm of this new Marvel introduction, and it seems like he's really pushing for bold choices in the cast. Benedict Cumberbatch is set to play the lead Dr. Strange, and now with Swinton, this is an excellent duo so far. More casting news is likely on the way soon, as shooting us supposed to begin in November. Read on.