Second entry in new reboot locks down May 2, 2014 date
The newest incarnation of the world's most famous webhead won't hit theaters for nearly another year, but Sony Pictures is apparently enthused enough by what they have already seen to go ahead and schedule the film's sequel for 2014. Deadline reports that the sequel to "The Amazing Spider-Man" will open in theaters on May 2, 2014.
While there's no word on who will write or direct the sequel, Andrew Garfield's original contract to play the slingin' superhero has options for up to three films, so he's certainly on board for the sequel (and, really, who would want to go through the arduous search that it took to get Garfield lined up for the role again?). Certainly, the news that a sequel has already been scheduled signals that Sony is pleased with what they've seen, though the public has only been privy to a few photos from the film and one teaser trailer so far (and all of that material has, not surprisingly, divided fans of the classic comic book superhero).
Some have bemoaned the existence of this new "Amazing Spider-Man," especially since the film has made no bones about being an origin story. Marc Webb's reboot of the franchise is set to open on July 3, 2012, which means that the film will open only ten years and almost three months since Sam Raimi's own origin story, "Spider-Man," hit theaters. Is a decade long enough for the movie-going public to be hungry to see how Peter Parker got his powers...again?
Sundance darling Jeff Nichols will direct from his own script
The name Jeff Nichols may not be familiar to anyone not firmly entrenched in indie and art house entertainment, but that will soon change with the release of his Sundance and Cannes Film Festival entry, "Take Shelter." The film stars two performers poised to make the jump from indie darling to marquee name, Michael Shannon (who has already booked a big role as General Zod in "Man of Steel") and Jessica Chastain ("The Tree of Life"). It also won the Critics Week Grand Prize at Cannes, and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize.
An intimate and terrifying tale of personal disconnection by way of a possible apocalypse, "Take Shelter" will open in theaters on September 30.
With that release set, Nichols is focusing on his next feature, "Mud." And with the positive buzz surrounding "Take Shelter," the writer and director is now able to line up an all-star, big name cast for the project. A press release from this morning reports that Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon are both in discussions to star in "Mud," along with another "Tree of Life" alum, Tye Sheridan.
The handsome actor helped push Hollywood to the right
Is there anyone out there who remembers Robert Taylor, the classic movie heartthrob who would be turning 100 years old today? Born on August 5, 1911, Taylor was named Spangler Arlington Brugh until an MGM talent scout gave him the much more marquee-friendly handle.
Though not that well known today, the actor was right up there with Clark Gable for a while as the King of Hollywood and he made a lot of memorable films (“Camille” opposite Greta Garbo and “Waterloo Bridge” with Vivien Leigh were my favorites). Robert Taylor always felt his jaw-dropping good looks were more of a liability than a plus. Whenever he made a public appearance, women would literally swoon and throw themselves at his feet. He had dalliances with many Hollywood starlets, and for a while was married to actress Barbara Stanwyck. Later in his career, Taylor’s big roles include “Quo Vadis” with Deborah Kerr and “Ivanhoe” opposite a much younger Elizabeth Taylor.
Despite the misguided notion that most Hollywood types were liberals, Robert Taylor was a staunch conservative—so far to the right that I’m sure he’d be a darling to followers of the Tea Party. In 1944, Taylor founded the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, which was based on the concept, later solidified by people like Senator Joseph McCarthy as well as the House Un-American Activities Committee, that there was an organized attempt by the Commies and other left-wing extremists to infiltrate Hollywood. Oy. Taylor’s conservative alliance included show biz folks such as Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, Cecil B. DeMille, Walt Disney, Ginger Rogers, John Wayne, and author Ayn Rand.
The 'Tower Heist' and 'Rush Hour' director agrees to produce next Oscar telecast
Reportedly directs second unit
An Unevolved Take
In his four-out-of-five-star MSN Movies review, Glenn Kenny notes how "… it's my pleasure to report that not only does 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes' not suck, but is in fact very nearly close to completely awesome, and is the best sci-fi blockbuster of the summer, in a walk, even." Glenn's cogently argued and incisive review is well worth reading, but if you're still unsure about giving "Rise" a chance, let me give a slightly less evolved set of responses to try and convince you that yeah, what looks like a star-free CGI-heavy desperate return to a better-forgotten franchise is, in fact, the surprise of the summer, gripping and smart, with special effects that are truly special.
1) Finally, we can Blame the Apocalypse Directly on James Franco
Sure, we've all felt James Franco represents the end of days, but "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is the first time it's been less of a vibe -- "Every time James Franco is on 'General Hospital,' it feels like the finale of human achievement …" -- and more of a cause-effect thing. In all seriousness, the human characters in "Rise" aren't especially well-developed … and bluntly, they don't need to be. This is a movie that knows it's a B-movie, and, as such, shoots for an 'A' grade in that regard.
2) The Effects are That Amazing
Yes, every review is raving about Andy Serkis' work as the lead ape, Caesar, and there are plenty of news pieces about how there are no real apes in the movie at all, how it's all CGI. And yes, there are a few overly-ambitious all-CGI shots where the modern moviegoing problem where you feel like you're suddenly flying through a screensaver is in effect. But, really, this is a movie that doesn't just move the needle on effects but, rather, like "Terminator 2" or "The Matrix" moves the needle on special effects while using those new technologies to tell a story that would be impossible to tell any other way.