Terminator: Genisys (Official Trailer)


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I’m not sure if the 5th Terminator film is a prequel or a sequel. Time travel and paradoxes and all that jazz sure make it difficult to figure that out.

Now, what we do know is that Terminator: Genisys (whoever came up with that title should be shot) will take things even farther than the first film which is suppose to kickoff a divergent timeline that makes the first four films a moot point.

So, this means that Terminator: Genisys may be both prequel and sequel, but also a reset of the whole franchise. See what I mean about confusing.

Here’s to hoping that screenwriters Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier have a better handle on all this jumbled time travel and resetting stuff.

Terminator: Genisys is set for July 1, 2015 release date.

Trailer: Godzilla (Extended)


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We are just a little over a month away from the release of the Gareth Edwards reboot of the classic kaiju film Godzilla.

As studios are now seeming to get into the habit to help build up the hype for their big tentpole summer releases we have a new extended trailer from Warner Bros. to remind everyone that the Big Guy is seriously in need of a Snickers bar.

While it’s still speculation and this extended trailer doesn’t really show any clues or evidence I still believe that this latest iteration of Godzilla will have him fighting another monster and/or monsters.

Godzilla is set for a May 16, 2014 release date.

Trailer: Godzilla (Teaser)


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This past summer saw the return of kaiju to the film vernacular with the release of Guillermo Del Toro’s Pacific Rim. The very same studios which released this film, Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures return next summer with a similar film, but this time with the return of the granddaddy of all kaiju: Godzilla.

Godzilla is a reboot of the kaiju franchise with Gareth Edwards trying to make up for the travesty that was Roland Emmerich’s Godzilla of over a decade ago. This time around it looks like (at least from the teaser) that Edwards is going the serious route with this reboot. It helps that he has quite the cast to play around with. This Godzilla will star Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Ken Watanabe.

We also get a brief glimpse of Godzilla itself right near the end followed by the iconic monster scream that’s as recognizable as the tweets and twoots of R2-D2.

Godzilla will return to the big-screen on May 16, 2014.

Trailer: Man of Steel – “Fate of Your Planet”


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Leading up to this film I was still hesitant to embrace it after the underwhelming Superman Returns. I think the more fun and energetic Marvel Studios fare has spoiled me to the the more dour (though still entertaining) take on the DC main heroes (though the Green Lantern one was neighter serious, fun or enjoyable).

The trailers and teasers already released for Man of Steel has focused a lot on the existential question about who or what Superman is and his role on Earth. Some of the teasers and trailers even try to ape the Terence Malick visual-style with the close-ups of waving wheatfields and background narration asking deep questions. But this latest trailer now switches gear and focuses on the villain of the film and more action.

I’m not hugging this film 100%, but this latest trailer has me closer to embracing it.

Will Man of Steel be too dour a la Christopher Nolan or two much a visual overload by way of Zack Snyder or will the two differing storytelling styles be able to meld into a perfect balance to finally give Superman his day in the sun once again.

Man of Steel is set for a June 14, 2013 release date.

Trailer: Man of Steel (3rd Official)


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We’re now just two months away from one of this year’s biggest and most-anticipated films. It’s also one of the biggest gamble for Warner Bros. Pictures in light of the success that Marvel/Disney had with their Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Man of Steel looks to reboot that Superman film franchise after the lackluster Superman Returns of a few years back. Gone are Bryan Singer and in comes Zack Snyder in the director’s chair with Christopher Nolan (himself reviving the Batman franchise from the depths) overlording over it all. It’s a recipe that smells success, yet there’s still some nagging doubt about whether it’s going to rule the summer and become the stepping stone to what Warner Brothers hopes will be their return shot at Marvel/Disney: a Justice League film.

The first trailer for Man of Steel had quite the Malickesque look to it. From the subtle music in the background to existential narration about the nature of Superman. Then that was followed up a couple months later by a more action-packed trailer that had the hallmarks of Snyder as a visual artist of onscreen mayhem. Now we have a third trailer (hopefully a final one) that seems to be an amalgam of the first two that tries to explore the nature of Superman in regards to his adopted planet and then some action that shows Man of Steel won’t be a two and half hours of Zack Snyder channeling his inner Terence Malick.

Man of Steel is set for a June 14, 2013 release date.

Quickie Review: Dredd 3-D (dir. by Pete Travis)


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“Only one thing fighting for order in the chaos: The men and women of the Hall of Justice. Juries… Executioners… Judges.” — Judge Dredd

In 1995 there was a little sci-fi/action film called Judge Dredd that was one very anticipated film by fans of the title character. Judge Dredd was one of those comic book characters who was beloved by the hardcore comic book fans (and British readers worldwide). When news broke that the character was going to get his own film adaptation there was rejoicing but then the first shoe dropped. Sylvester Stallone will play the title character and worse yet he will have a sidekick in the form of one Rob Schneider. Even with this casting news there was still hope the film will at least do the property justice. I mean how can one fuck up an ultra-violent comic book that was tailor-made to become an action film. Well, let’s just say that the filmmakers involved and everyone from Stallone to Schneider all the way to the veteran Max Von Sydow failed to deliver a bloodsoak look into a dystopian future with a no, nonsense lawman to police the streets of Mega-City One.

So, it was a surprise when there was an announcement that the character  will get another film but a reboot instead of a sequel. It seems everyone who had a stake in the Judge Dredd property wanted to forget the 1995 Stallone version. I couldn’t blame them for this decision. Out goes Stallone in the title role and in his place is Eomer himself, Karl Urban to don the iconic Judge helm. He would have a partner in the form of Judge Anderson (who’s a rookie in this reboot and it’s through her eyes that we get to learn the rules of the Dredd world) as played by Olivia Thirlby. The reboot was to be helmed by British filmmaker Pete Travis using a screenplay by Alex Garland (28 Days Later and Sunshine) and was simply titled Dredd and would be filmed in 3-D.

There was trepidation about the film and rumored on-the-set differences between Pete Travis and Alex Garland marked the reboot as a troubled film at best and a dead-on-arrival at it’s worst. When the film finally made it’s premiere at San Diego Comic-Con 2012 the reaction from attendees who saw the film was a near-unanimous praise for it. The same could be said for the reaction of those who saw it two months later at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was being called a film that was a throwback and homage to the violent action films of the 80’s and early 90’s. This was high praie and one reason I decided to go see it.

I was very glad that I made the decision to see it when it made it’s worldwide release. Dredd 3-D was exactly as those who praised it turned out to be.

The film opens up with a fly-over of Mega-City One (looking like the location shoot of Johannesburg expanded to a 1000x through the judicious use of CGI and matte backgrounds effects) and the world which created the massive hive city of 800 million whose borders stretched from Boston in the north to Washington, D.C. in the south. It’s Karl Urban’s voice as Judge Dredd who we learn all this from right before the film segues into a fast-paced and violent action scene. One that shows just how violent Mega-City One is (people in malls and on the streets who get gunned down by stray fire get collected by automated garbage droids who also clean the pools of blood) and just how good Judge Dredd really is at his job.

Dredd 3-D is a simple story of a veteran cop who must evaluate a rookie whose psychic abilities would make her an invaluable member of the law enforcement group known as the Judges. The story brings these two disparate individuals into a massive apartment complex called The Peach Trees to investigate a triple homicide which brings them into conflict with the film’s villain in the form of Lena Headey as the brutal head of the gang called the Ma-Ma Clan. The film moves from one violent set-piece action to the next as Dredd and Anderson must find a way to escape the lockdowned Peach Trees and take out the Ma-Ma Clan in the process.

Yes, Dredd 3-D was a very good film and despite the story being so barebones that at times it resembled a video game with the way each sequence was a way to move from one floor to the next with the danger getting worst by the floor. It was the simplicity of the story that was also it’s major advantage. We got to know Dredd and Anderson (more of the latter than the former) and their actions throughout the film made for some very good character development. Even the tough, nigh-indestructible Dredd gained a semblance of sympathy for those he was very used to executing on-sight if the law deems it not whether it’s true justice.

Even the use of 3-D in the film was one of the better uses for what many still call a gimmick and a way for theater-owners to charge a higher ticket price for. The film was done in native 3-D and when it was paired with the super slo-mo sequences when characters where under the effects of the reality-altering drug Slo-Mo it literally created scenes of art. I suspect that we might see more films which uses this 3-D slo-mo effect in years to come. It was just that well done.

Now the big question is whether Karl Urban has erased the abomination that was Stallone’s performance in the same role 17 years past. The answer to that question would be a resounding yes. Urban never once takes off the iconic Judge helm and must act through his body language, dialogue delivery and, literally, the lower half of his exposed face. He made for a convincing Judge Dredd and not once did he go against character with one-liners and witty quips to punctuate an action scene. Not to be outdone would be Lena Headey as Madeleine Madrigal (hence Ma-Ma Clan) as the clan boss who was a mixture of reined in violence and psychopathy who was also going through a level of ennui that she made for a great villain. This was a woman who was so feared by the vicious and violent men in her command yet we never doubt that she was still the scariest of the whole bunch. There’s also Olivia Thirlby as the rookie Judge Anderson who brings a semblance of compassion and sympathy to the proceedings yet still able to kickass and take names not just with her psychic abilities but also with the Lawgiver (as the Judge’s firearms were called).

Dredd 3-D doesn’t try to explore the nature of violence that’s inherent in man or some other philosophical bullshit some filmmakers nowadays try to put into their action films. This film just decided to tell the proper Judge Dredd story and knew that ultra-violence would be a necessary component if the story was to remain true to the source material. In the end, the film did it’s job well and, even though it was by accident, it was still able to lend a level of thought-provoking themes and ideas about violence and its use.

Trailer: Man of Steel (2nd Official)


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The very first Man of Steel trailer was underwhelming and played out more like a Terence Malick production. A lot seem to have happened between the release of that first official to the latest one which Warner Brothers premiered earlier today. Where the first trailer was all about serene images of Kal-El in his Clark Kent persona going through his Jack London phase this second trailer delves more into the persona of an emergent Superman who fears that the world he intends to protect from General Zod may not and will not be ready to accept his as their savior.

We get to see more glimpses of the action Man of Steel seem to have more of than the underwhelming reboot done by Bryan Singer just a couple years ago. There’s scenes of entire high-rises collapsing and what looks like Superman battling either Zod or, at the very least, Zod’s minions. We also get to see some of the other cast members from Costner’s Pa Kent to Diane Lane as Ma Kent. We already get to see Michael Shannon as General Zod and Richard Schiff as S.T.A.R. Labs director Dr. Emil Hamilton. The film doesn’t give it out but whether Emil Hamilton is an ally of Superman or a potential enemy the film will have to answer.

The story has a lot of the gritty, realistic DNA that Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy had but the impressive visuals that Zack Snyder has become well-known for. It’s going to be interesting to see if the Nolan narrative aesthetic will be able to co-exist with the Snyder flair for imagery.

We’ll find out in June 14, 2013 if all the questions being asked about this second reboot of the Superman franchise will be positive ones or more of the case of opportunity and potential wasted.