Oliver Hirschbiegel ‘s “13 Minutes” – Monday Trailer Madness

On a grim Monday morning, what could be better than revelling in the often unsung attempts of one man to kill one of the most notorious dictators of all time? Nothing is right. After a spectacular run out of competition at the Berlin Film Festival, we finally have a trailer for Oliver Hirschbiegel‘s 13 Minutes.

The film, depicting the account of George Elser’s attempt to kill Hitler (spoiler alert – it doesn’t work) was a firm favourite at the festival, and almost certainly has some potential for Best Foreign Language Feature despite the long distance from the finish line. Have a look at the trailer for yourself, courtesy of YouTube:

Be honest, how far removed could this film be from the likes of Inglorious Basterds or even Valkyrie for that matter? Like the trailer, the film is abundant with heavy, volatile quiet, capturing genuine danger and social pressure of the time and the place. Certainly a new favourite for foreign language fans, and if that isn’t generally your bag this is the film to cut your teeth on.

13 Minutes stars Christian Friedel, Katharina Schüttler and Burghart Klaußner.


First Set Photos From Feig’s Ghostbusters Reboot

Set photos from the set of the Ghostbusters reboot – do we want them or don’t we?

Unofficial set photos have become something of a cornerstone in movie news. Often times the circulation of shots taken by wayward bystanders reveals things we want to know but in an entirely unfulfilled context. Nearly all the news coming out of the Captain America 3 camp is blurred Dutch angle photos revealing more of the plot, and sneaky snaps have all but ruined any chance Suicide Squad has of surprising us – though I still hope Ayer’s got a secret weapon in the chamber. Sometimes, however, set photos can be a good thing, especially when a frozen second of filming raises more questions than it answers – at least that keeps the conversation bubbling.

That’s the case with the shots taken in the set of Paul Feig‘s Ghostbusters, which just began shooting this week. Not only do we get a look at how the all female cast is gonna look in the film, but it also leaves a lot of facts open to interpretation, and that’s what we like here. After all, no one likes a know-it-all.

With that in mind, check out the photos below, courtesy of Screen Rant:

gb1 gb2

Nothing too damaging there right? Kristen Wiig certainly looks the part as the supernaturally inclined college professor,with an air of either decorum or discomfort. Either way it should play well off Melissa McCarthy, who’s got a more casual, Wenkman style look going on with what looks to be a spectre containment device in tow. The real questions coming out these photos are about Kate McKinnon, who looks like she wandered off of the Tank Girl set shooting a block over. Is she going to be wildly unpredictable, aggressive, a bit flaky. Whichever way it goes the SNL alumnist will undoubtedly make it work.

No sign of Leslie Jones as yet, but doubtless she’s going to round out this quartet nicely with her own delightful and potentially self-destructive qualities.

There, that was some nice wholesome speculation, right? But that’s not all. There are other set photos that show Wiig visiting the science institute. Could she be investigating something spooky? If so, could this be a call back to Eleanor Twitty, the library dwelling ghost from the first Ghostbusters film? Yeah, probably not, I’m just fuelling the speculation fire. Enjoy the toasted marshmallows of suspicion and doubt.

Rob Zombie to Direct Groucho Marx Biopic

Think back for a moment: have you ever used legendary comedian Groucho Marx and rockstar filmmaker Rob Zombie in the same sentence? Once maybe, trying to decide which one would win in a fight, but other than that? Well it may very well become the common thing, if news about Zombie’s latest cinematic plans are to be believed.

According to Screen Rant, the former frontman of White Zombie and every nightmare I had as a kid has acquired the rights to the biography Raised Eyebrows: My Years in Groucho’s House. The account written by Marx’s former secretary Steve Stoliar covers the final few years of the comedy icon’s life.

This is near unbelievable for a number of reasons, the main one being Rob Zombie is a horror director by trade: after making his first mark on the scene with House of a Thousand Corpses, Zombie has made a number of successful albeit critically snubbed gore stories, most prominently the remake of Halloween that outperformed all other films in the franchise at the box office. It’s also not as though this project is appearing in a moment of quiet removal from the genre. Zombie latest horror project 31 is still pulling in interest on Kickstarter, and is highly anticipated.

So why Groucho? Well apparently Zombie is a big fan of Marx, as he explains below:

“I have been a huge Groucho Marx fan ever since I was a child and have read countless books on the comic legend, but after reading the book Raised eyebrows, a totally new perspective on Groucho’s life emerged. I immediately saw this project as Groucho’s ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and knew I had to bring it to the big screen. It is a sad, funny and very dark tale of one of Hollywood’s greatest stars’ final years.”

Oren Moverman has been brought on to write the script while Zombie will direct and produce. Miranda Bailey and Amanda Marshall from Cold Iron Pictures will also produce along with Andy Gould.

This isn’t the first time Zombie has attempted to move beyond the safe waters of his horror portfolio, but so far his alternative projects have fallen by the wayside.

Will the Groucho Marx biopic be the director’s farewell to horror?



Matthew Vaughan Fancies Doing “Kick-Ass 3” and a Hit-Girl Prequel

Remember Kick-Ass? Yeah that was a fun movie, choc full of that classic Matthew Vaughan so-violent-it’s-funny clout. Remember Kick-Ass 2? Ok, less of a good film, not a popular one among the critics or the audiences but successful in putting the rumours that Jim Carrey can make any project better to bed. So how interested would you be in seeing not only a sequel, but a prequel to the comic adaptation franchise? Oh, not really? Ok, well, just have a read anyway because it might be happening.

Screen Rant is reporting that Matthew Vaughan  is just as dissatisfied with the franchise as anyone, particularly with how it lost a lot of its lustre the second go around. In a conversation with Yahoo! Movies, the director of Kingsman: The Secret Service and X-Men: First Class expressed a keen interest in getting back into it with a Hit Girl focused prequel and a Kick-Ass 3. Here’s what he has to say:

“We’re working on an idea for a prequel of how did Hit Girl and Big Daddy become Hit Girl and Big Daddy. If we make that, hopefully that will be the sorbet for the people that didn’t like ‘Kick-Ass 2’ and then we can go off and make ‘Kick-Ass 3.’ I think we’ve got to do this prequel to regain the love that we had with ‘Kick-Ass’.”

This follows on quite neatly from similar plans Mark Millar had for a Hit Girl project not too long ago. Did these ideas occur in a vacuum or has some collaboration already taken place on the new idea? It’s unclear, but there are practical points to clear up before anyone gets too excited. For starters, if we’re going back in time then original Hit Girl Chloe Grace Moretz would presumably be out of the running, given the fact that she’s currently busy being over 10. Also, Moretz made some pretty concrete claims last year that the franchise was dead, and as hard as it is for a director to raise the dead it’s infinitely harder for an actor to go back on something they casually mentioned in an interview.

Take all that away and you’ve still got the Vaughan issue. The director is going to be pretty darn busy for the foreseeable future, what with plans to make a sequel to the graphically successful Kingsman, and a gig at Fox working on the new Flash TV series. Still, there’s always 2020; the question is will any of us have the sheer force of will for a Kick-Ass prequel sequel double black by then?

Should Kick-Ass fade quietly into the night or be handed down to another director?

Jack Huston the Latest Actor to Exit “The Crow” Reboot

Hey, so this is a little embarrassing. Remember a few months ago when I said The Crow reboot project at Relativity Studios had a new lease of life and was going to see some serious traction and if you had any sense you’d heavily invest in the film’s production? Remember that? Well forget I said that.

According to Screenrant, the project has seen yet another mammoth setback with the exit of Jack Huston. The actor was set to take up the mantle of the supernatural rockstar Eric Draven, originally played by Brandon Lee in 1994, following the departure of Luke Evans and what feels like every other leading man in Hollywood. Huston’s addition to the cast was a strong sign, as the Boardwalk Empire actor joined very quickly after Corin Hardy took the helm as director, keeping the flow of fresh blood running thick and fast.

Unfortunately, the actor’s departure is down to a scheduling conflict.

I may be overreacting about how doomed the project is, since Hardy himself doesn’t seem too perturbed by the abandonment of his leading man:

Jack Huston is unfortunately unavailable to continue with us on The Crow. The Crow is an amazing project, and I am grateful that we have the time and patience to get it right. We look forward to unveiling our new lead and starting to film over the next several weeks.”

Who could that new lead be? Currently the rumours are suggesting that the role will go to either Nicholas Hoult of  Mad Max: Fury Road fame or Jack O’Connell, who recently starred in Angelina Jolie‘s Unbroken. Even Relativity doesn’t seem that concerned about the loss, and continues to laud Hardy as a director:

“Jack is a remarkably gifted actor, and we look forward to working with him in the future. Corin Hardy has a tremendous vison for The Crow, and we are working closely with him to continue prepping the movie and supporting him as he brings his vision to the big screen.”

It sounds as though the studio is pretty well versed in setbacks when it comes to The Crow, so it wouldn’t be a surprise that they have contingencies ready and waiting. Let’s just wait and see who gets the role next.
Who would you like to see as The Crow?


“The Gambler” Director Rupert Wyatt on Board for “Gambit” Solo Project

Hey I’m Gambit. I’m a longstanding member of the X-Men and I bring a lot of charm and home cooked cool to the team. Ever seen me throw a playing card? Yeah, it’s pretty damn cool.

In case you couldn’t hear it though the screen, I was doing that in a flawless New Orleans accent. I’m a big fan of Gambit, and you know who else is? Rupert Wyatt. Well, I assume he’s a fan since he’s just been selected to direct the mutant’s standalone movie next year.

Empire is reporting that the director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes will be bringing the action and CGI chops he earned on that movie to the world of mutants and superheroes. Channing Tatum has long been attached to the role of Gambit, so the hiring of Wyatt is a good sign that the project is ready to get going. After all, the release date has been set for October next year.

Wyatt’s last picture was The Gambler, which saw Mark Wahlberg kill it in an entirely foreign role. Even though the film left a lot to be desired, it’s clear that Wyatt can work magic with leading men. Let’s hope he can help fellow comic book noob Tatum get to grips with a bayou roaming rogue who can manipulate kinetic energy with explosive effect.

No other cast members have been named as yet, but hopefully with the announcement of Wyatt we’ll be seeing an increase in momentum from the Gambit camp. With any luck we’ll get a sneaky look at Gambit in X-Men: Apocalypse.

Who else would you like to see battle it out in Gambit?

Jurassic World Review: The Blockbuster From Another Age

The Skinny

Boy makes dinosaur. Boy likes dinosaur. Dinosaur gets loose. Dinosaur chases boy. Boy has second thoughts about dinosaur. Boy makes a sequel or two to get over it. A decade or two later and we have Jurassic World, a futuristic theme park that is just itching to go all Skynet on itself. Enter Park manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), who’s introducing a new hybrid dinosaur courtesy of possibly mad (definitely mad) Dr Wu (B.D. Wong) and is encouraged to bring in raptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to ensure the new Indominus Rex can’t escape its cage. So when the Indominus Rex escapes its cage, it becomes a race against the clock: stop the dinosaur, save Dearing’s nephews who are visiting the Park for the weekend, and prevent hostile military dude Vic Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) from turning the hybrid dinos into a military asset. Will they do it? Yes. I’d say spoiler, but it’s really not.

The Good

From the get go, Jurassic World harks back to the blockbusters of ten years ago. The old school approach to action, humour, pathos and horror combines the safety of a film you know you’re going to love with the promise of some stunning new CGI scares.

Perhaps the scariest thing (other than the dinosaurs) is how realistic the visitors to the park are. Deliciously in-keeping with our modern day need for instant gratification and super-fast desensitisation to the spectacular. The combination of living monsters of the past and themed fried foods is enough to make you weep for a time when a raptor alone was enough to give you some jollies.

What seems to have been taken for granted about this film is the outrageously tongue in cheek way the premise for the film mimics the inception and production of the film itself. The audience likes dinosaurs, but it’s not excited by the same attractions over and over again. So what do the people making the attractions do? They make some bigger and badder dinosaur to scare the dung out of the ticket-buying public. Maybe if it had worked out in the film, the park visitors would have cheered for the Indominus Rex as much as they have from the cinema seats.

The Bad

Let’s just set the blindingly obvious straight: It’s not November anymore, we’re not looking for the painfully melancholy or the devastatingly sardonic. It’s the summertime and we want a ruddy block to bust. So let’s focus on the things that hold Jurassic World back as a summer smash. First off, the characters are a little two-dimensional. Sometimes, a lot two-dimensional.

The main culprit of this is Hoskins, who seems to be hell-bent on the idea of militarising dinosaurs for use against whatever foreign threat he deems deserving of having their faces eaten off. Not only that, but he seems to be completely psychopathic whilst remaining an idiot.

At one point he’s standing on the roof of the command centre watching people being attacked by pterodactyls and grinning, which is a level of evil that is far too deep and twisted to be dealt with by a dino-flick in barely two hours.

This is one example of the film stretching itself a little too thin at times, dipping its toe in pools that are filled with dull, uncooperative hermit crabs. Whether its Claire’s sister and her apparently dwindling and undramatic relationship with her husband, or park-owner Simon Masrani’s love of helicopters and oddly timed death, there were a fair few uncooked potatoes stealing the heat from the steak…in this metaphor they’re all in the oven.

The Verdict

Jurassic World treads a very unstable log between legacy and self-reliance, plunging feet into either side seemingly effortlessly but always deliberately. There are more than enough callbacks in Trevorrow’s expansive Park to keep sales of the Jurassic Park anniversary Blu-Ray up and rumours of hidden connections between Spielberg’s and Trevorrow’s stories sizzling away. But at the same time, there is a very believable alternate reality where Jurassic World exists and Jurassic Park 1, 2 and 3 do not. As a sequel however, Jurassic World does exactly what a legacy movie should do and what George Miller just did with Mad Max: Fury Road – it makes you think fondly of the original and forget the questionable filler movies in between.

The plot has feet of steel that know when to creep, know when to run and definitely know when to kick. Are there too  many jokes? I dunno, ask the Marvel Universe. They’ll probably answer with a pun and you’ll enjoy it like we all do. Because what’s a summer blockbuster without a little silliness? It’s dry, it’s unbearably serious and not nearly as self-aware as it should be. Fortunately, Jurassic World has no lack of self-awareness. So go and see it fools!


Amy Poehler to Join Will Ferrell’s “The House”

Ok, I’ll admit it: Get Hard was a little disappointing. The first major project for leading man Will Ferrell since Anchorman 2 had a promising premise and a cast that could deliver, but more often than not it fell on its face and gave into the temptation of easy jokes. That being said, we are suckered for punishment here so we’re going to let ourselves get excited once again about Will Ferrell‘s next project. We’ve already heard that he’s doing a tongue in cheek Lifetime Movie with SNL co-star Kristen Wiig, and it looks as though his next movie had attracted another SNL alumnist.

Empire is reporting that Amy Poehler is in negotiations to work on The House which already has Ferrell producing and starring.

The House follows the attempts of a suburban couple to set up an illegal casino in order to replace the money they “borrowed” from their daughter’s college fund. If Poehler gets on board then she’ll be playing Ferrell’s wife, which is a combination that we haven’t really seen focused on, at least not on the big screen before.

The last time the two comedians worked together was on Anchorman 2, in which Poehler had a cameo as an entertainment tonight anchor. It will be nice to see them get some extended screen time together, which hasn’t really happened since Blades of Glory.
Poehler is already having a busy year for films, lending her voice to the Pixar creation Inside Out, as well as co-starring with Tina Fey in Sisters which will be in theatres at the start of next year.

The House is written Brendan O’Brien and Andrew J Cohen, who recently wrote the script for Bad Neighbours. So if you were wondering why a film about a suburban couple misbehaving sounds so familiat, that’s why. Even so, this sounds like it could be a lot of fun, with Poehler no doubt bringing her considerable comedic chops to the table.


New “Interstellar” Featurette Explains How they Built Mcconaughey’s Dimensional Prison

Now that Interstellar is out on DVD and Blu Ray, we can expect a repeat of the arguments we had to endure when the film first came out between people who thought it was drastically over appreciated and those who though it should have won at least 12 Oscars, including some in categories that would be introduced specifically for the Christopher Nolan space romp. We’re all pretty impressed with it here, so we were all excited to see that a featurette had been released that focuses on one of the most scientifically and artistically mind slapping parts of the film.

Slashfilm has reported on the recent featurette that explores the Tesserect, which is the name Nolan gave to his interpretation of the fifth(?) dimensional plane that Matthew  Mcconaughey sort of fell into. Check out the video below:

If you’re a fan of Interstellar then this won’t disappoint, and if you’re not then it will at least help you appreciate the work that went into the design and construction of the film. It’s no joke that Nolan made considerable use of models and physical sets where ever possible, using CGI to compliment the scenes instead of dominating them.

The Tesserect in particular, which was modelled first and then built using projectors and scenery, was an impressive feat and apparently as tormenting to the crew as it was to many people in the audience.

So, does anyone understand what it is yet? Just kidding, I know it’s Hell or something.

Terry Gilliam Signs with Amazon for “Don Quixote” Project

There are some directors who without fail have a difficult time getting their films off the ground in the current in the studio, and even when they do are plagued with misfortune and soul (and funding) sacking delays. Terry Gilliam wrote the self help book that all these directors read in the bathtub. Gilliam’s body of work has as many tragic, self-deprecatingly mad stories within it as there are about the film actually getting made, and that’s unfortunately been accepted by many as an anecdotal status quo. But it looks as though all of that is going to change, and soon.

Empire is reporting that that director has made a deal with Amazon to vacuum the dust off a script in Gilliam’s wishlist and get it onto the screen. That script is The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, the story of a film-maker who travels to Spain to shoot a film and stumbles across a giant, played by John Hurt. If this is anything like Gilliam’s other work, that will be the most normal part of the movie. The film is also set to star Jack and Toby O’Connell.

On the shopping Jest of working with Amazon, Gilliam had this to say:

“Amazon and the like are interesting because they are all still in their formative stages. They’re not a bureaucracy that has been around for years like the studio system, and so they’re full of people that are open to new and fresh ideas. So it’s a good time to be working with people like that.”

Sounds like an ideal incubator for Gilliam’s work. The director also suggested that some of his other projects will be seeing the light of day soon:

“I’ve got a couple other things I’m playing with…A couple of old scripts that have been wallowing within the studio system; we’ve got them out, so we’re going to stretch them out. So what was going to become a two and a half hour movie will now become a six-eight part TV series.”

A TV series directed by Gilliam? We’re in. How about you?