Business As Usual – Nightcrawler Review

After walking out of a screening of Nightcrawler, I am pretty certain that I have seen one of the best films of 2014. Exploring the psychopathic nature of modern capitalism and business enterprising in a manner to films such as American Psycho dressed in a similar tone to Drive. Jake Gylenhaal takes centre stage in this character driven story with a supporting cast that includes Rene Russo and Bill Paxton in limited supporting roles who serve to draw attention to the main selling points of the film, like pieces of meat hanging on display at the butchers shop. A testament of how our main character – Lou Bloom – views the rest of the world.

Lou Bloom is an eccentric character, ruthless, manipulative and ambitious. He literally and figuratively drives the story through a highway of prospects that he’s always so keenly aware off. This leads him towards various encounters that he cunningly takes advantage of unashamedly and without a shred of remorse. His unapologetic conduct ensures that he fully exploits every moment that you rarely see him in trouble for. He is a living breathing personification of a business enterprise with every word from his mouth sounding like a rehearsed sales pitch or marketing slogan, the most memorable of which is his view that “To win the lottery, you’ve got to make the money to buy a ticket”. Superficially harmless at first glance, it is a chilling insight into ruthless nature of the character.

Largely anti-social, his isolation is only a means to an end which he uses to exploit every encounter he makes, like a machine process playing out accordingly. The effect of which is that in spite of the random nature of his interactions, he is always in control. Like the way he builds leverage to acquire more power over Rene Russo’s character, professionally and sexually. He eventually surpasses and obliterates his competition in Bill Paxton and eliminates a threat presented by his hapless employee played by Riz Ahmed. Each and every one of these relationships, though superficial at best, helps to express the character’s world view.

The movie’s dark tone registers the dark side of ambition, power and consumerism. People are dehumanized to the point of being nothing but meat. This film shares a scary insight into human nature told from the point of a character who as audience we are meant to connect to and in whom we see ourselves, no matter how much we choose to judge him.

At the end of the day it’s just business as usual.

Into the Woods Trailer

“Into the Woods” is a modern twist on the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, intertwining the plots of a few choice stories and exploring the consequences of the characters’ wishes and quests. This humorous and heartfelt musical follows the classic tales of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel—all tied together by an original story involving a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch who has put a curse on them.

Starring Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, James Corden, Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Johnny Depp, and Tracey Ullman.

Rocky spin-off “Creed” to start filming in January 2015

Since its announcement last summer, the Rocky spin-off has been gaining lots of momentum at studio MGM with THR reporting that the production is gearing up to start filming in January, with a potential release at the end of 2015.

The film will be directed by Ryan Coogler who will be reuniting with his Fruitvale Station star Michael B. Jordan taking the lead, Sylvester Stallone returning as Rocky Balboa and professional champion boxers, Andre Ward and Tony Bellew in negotiations.

The story will focus on Apollo Creed’s grandson, Adonis (Jordan) who enters the ring under the mentorship of a retired Rocky Balboa. Champion Boxer Bellew is set to play Adonis’ main competitor “Pretty Rick Porter”, while Ward’s role remains unspecified at the moment. It’s probable that we will see an older Rocky who is mentoring the young protege in the hopes that he will not see a repeat of what happened to Apollo Creed.

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies Trailer

From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien.

“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town.

Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor to hoard it as Bilbo’s frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain.

As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide – unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt cast as Edward Snowden in upcoming film

joseph-gordon-levitt-edward-snowdenJoseph Gordon-Levitt has been confirmed to play Edward Snowden in a film by Oliver Stone about the former NSA agent who blew the whistle on USA’s mass surveillance programs.

Director Stone, whose work includes Oscar-winning Platoon and Born On The Fourth Of The July, has completed a screenplay based on two books – The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena.

Snowden leaked tens of thousands of classified intelligence documents to the media in 2013 exposing the NSA’s methods of gathering data from the Internet activities and phones of millions of ordinary Americans and dozens of world leaders.

The untitled film is set to start production in January in Munich with independent studio Open Road Films to stick in the vein of not having political pressures coming into play along the production.

Gordon-Levitt, most recently directed and starred in Don Jon and is known for films such as Inception and 500 Days Of Summer.

Furious 7 Trailer

Continuing the global exploits in the unstoppable franchise built on speed, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson lead the returning cast of Fast & Furious 7.

James Wan directs this chapter of the hugely successful series that also welcomes back favorites Michelle Rodriguez, Jordana Brewster, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Elsa Pataky and Lucas Black. They are joined by international action stars new to the franchise including Jason Statham, Djimon Hounsou, Tony Jaa, Ronda Rousey and Kurt Russell.

Neal H. Moritz, Vin Diesel and Michael Fottrell return to produce the film written by Chris Morgan.

Marvel Event: New Phase 3 Films/Dates Announced

MarvelEventPhase3NewFilms

Marvel has released a whole slew of announcements at a recent event for the new additions to Phase 3 of their cinematic universe with the announcement of Doctor Strange, Captain Marvel, Black Panther and Inhumans.

IMG_2738.JPGAs we mentioned earlier with Deadline confirming Benedict Cumberbatch playing Doctor Strange, Marvel have officially announced a release date of November 4, 2016, but have not confirmed Cumberbatch’s casting as they may be co-ordinating the production schedule to work with the star.

Doctor Strange is a former neurosurgeon who goes on to become the “Sorceror Supreme”, a mystical guardian protecting the Earth from otherworldly threats.
black panther phase 3 marvel cinematic universeThe Black Panther movie has been made official after much speculation with a release date of November 3, 2017 and Chadwick Boseman cast as T’Challa, the titular character. Boseman recently played James Brown in the biopic Get On Up and also played legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson in biographical sports drama 42.

Black Panther is most known for being the first black superhero ever to appear in a mainstream comic book franchise. His abilities include top-tier speed and agility and heightened senses, as well as a genius-level intellect. In the comics, he is also the leader of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, which happens to be one of the very few places where it’s possible to find Vibranium, the rare metal that makes up Captain America’s shield.

Marvel has also released images of the Black Panther costume which looks awesome! (click on the image to see it in its full glory)
captain marvel phase 3Captain Marvel has been set for a July 6, 2018 release date and will showcase the first female-led superhero film to their universe.

This is likely to get a positive response from the core fans, as the growing number of female characters seemed to be resigned to supporting roles. As Guardians Of The Galaxy opened up the cosmic side of the universe, Captain Marvel will follow suit as it tells us the story of our heroine who gains her powers through genetics/technology from the race known as the Kree as introduced in the Guardians flick.

No casting announcements have been made as of yet but news of a female-led Marvel movie brings it into contention with DC’s standalone Wonder Woman film albeit being released a year later.
inhumans-phase 3 marvel cinematic universeThe next announcement was the introduction of Inhumans which has been swirling in the rumour mill for some time, with Vin Diesel teasing a potential (on-screen) role and Marvel producer Kevin Feige expressing his interest in bringing the superhuman team to their movie universe, very early and often.

Marvel has been facing problems around the exclusive rights to ‘mutants’ held by competitor Fox and their X-Men, and a film like Inhumans helps them around that obstacle. When both Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver – originally mutants from the X-Men storylines in the comic books – were confirmed to be joining The Avengers: Age of Ultron, the need to link them to a race of superhumans (that weren’t the X-Men) for the sake of origin stories became more pressing. But with the announcement of the Inhumans franchise, there is a chance that they will be connected to the existing characters.

 

 

Marvel Event: Phase 3 Sequel Dates Announced

MarvelEventPhase3SequelsThe latest Marvel Event has informed us of our favourite superheroes and when they will be returning with news on sequels for Captain America, Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers.

Chris Evans will be returning 6th May 2016 in Captain America: Civil War. The Civil War story arc will be well known to comic book fans pitting Captain America against Iron Man in a battle to register superheroes. Robert Downey Jr seemed to be initially apprehensive to revisit Tony Stark/Iron Man but it seems that he is fine with going back to the role of the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.

Chris Hemsworth will also be returning in Thor: Ragnarok the following year on 28th July 2017 to be exact. Those among us who know a little bit about Nordic mythology will know that Ragnarok literally means the end of all things as mentioned by Marvel Studios’ head Kevin Feige, when he spoke at the Marvel event which will hopefully lead to us seeing Thor and his comrades engaged in an apocalyptic battle for Asgard.

After the massive success of the breakout summer hit film Guardians of the Galaxy, Marvel has decided to move the release date of the sequel forward two months to the 5th May 2017 hopefully this will appease the new fans for this potentially expansive franchise. We look forward to revisiting the cosmic protectors and an awesome soundtrack in 2017.

So after all the standalone films the World’s Greatest Heroes will team up in Avengers: Infinity War which is now split into two films Part 1 being released in May 2018 and Part 2 being released in May 2019. The blockbuster is set to be an all out war against Thanos and the Infinity Stones with the threads and clues being linked all the way back to the first Iron Man film in the post-credits reveal to the Avengers Initiative by Samuel L. Jackson in his first appearance as Director Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. There are a few rumours swirling around that the Avengers line up in this two parter will be quite different from what we are used to due to the events of Avengers 2 as well as the events in the standalone films that follow.

Ezra Miller to play The Flash

IMG_2739.JPGWarner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara revealed at a major investors event that Ezra Miller will play The Flash in DC’s cinematic universe.

The Flash just relaunched as a TV series but it’s been common knowledge that DC’s TV universe would not mesh with the movie universe and Miller’s casting seems to confirm this.

However, a 2018 release date does two things for The Flash, it puts a large gap between the film and the TV show, which already has a huge audience and also gives DC enough time to develop their movie universe.

Miller is best known for his work in We Need To Talk About Kevin and The Perks of Being A Wallflower where he plays smaller darker roles as an outcast or the bad-boy type.

This history seems to point towards Miller playing the Wally West iteration of the Flash. Wally West is the nephew of Barry Allen (the character currently portrayed in the TV series) who goes through a similar accident to Allen granting him similar super powers to his uncle. Also, it makes sense for DC to go for Wally West in order to avoid inconsistency with their TV universe. Although they have made it clear that they do not want the TV and movie universes to mesh together, it would be illogical to have two actors out there portraying the same character.

But this could change as we have three years until the movie is released and perhaps even get a sneak peek as he makes an appearance in Justice League, a year earlier in 2017.