Thursday, July 24, 2014
From ew, As this poster makes clear: That’s Paul Rudd taking on the central role of Scott Lang, a thief who, according to the comics, stole the technology behind the shrinking suit from the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym.
And there’s Michael Douglas, joining the Marvel universe as Pym, a scientist with Tony Stark-levels of ingenuity. He not only builds a miniaturizing mechanism, but also constructs a method of communicating with tiny creatures. (Better to have them on your side than trying to eat you.)
Although Lang only steals the suit to make it easier to lead a life of crime—it’s simple to sneak in and grab other things of value when you are microscopic—he inevitably follows a reluctant hero arc.
Ant-Man directed by Peyton Reed opens July 17, 2015.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Large enough to cover the face of a human adult, this scary-looking insect is also known among entomologists as an indicator of water quality, says the museum.
The giant dobsonfly makes its home in bodies of clean water and is highly sensitive to any changes in the water's pH as well as the presence of trace elements of pollutants. If the water is slightly contaminated, the giant dobsonfly will move on to seek cleaner waters.
Did you read that? They only like the very freshest water and will leave if they detect even the slightest pollution. You know what that means, don't you? "You're going to go take a dump upriver?" Haha, I am going to go take ALL the dumps upriver.
From iwatchstuff, Now nearly 20 years since spoofing Slim Goodbody on Conan, Jack Plotnick returns to weirdly-specific, left-field '70s parody with Space Station 76. Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, Matthew Bomer, Jerry O'Connell, and Marisa Coughlan star in the comedy, which imagines a future as imagined in the age of disco and key parties, and EW has put up the trailer. Welcome to the jokey retro future, everyone.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Monday, July 21, 2014
Daily Spider-Man double dose! New supervillain makes everyone feel better about their silly animal-themed names!
So I guess this guy was bitten by a radioactive ox? That could happen, right?
In the Daily Spider-verse, car doors just fall open when the car is at an angle, and a rich guy can be a sandwich!
From huffingtonpost, When this lovely home in Everett, Washington popped up for sale on the web, most people didn't think twice. But "Twin Peaks" fans are a rare breed. The brightest devotees of the trippy '90s classic clearly recognized this "charming 1930s home in the heart of Historic Rucker Hill" as the ex-home of the beautiful enigma known as Laura Palmer.
That's right, the humble abode of Leland, Sarah and Laura is actually up for sale IRL. The charming manse was featured in the show's pilot as well as the film "Fire Walk With Me." As the LAist points out, many interior shots took place on a sound stage in L.A. made to resemble the house. Although the listing made no mention of the home's former Lynchian life, in typical "Twin Peaks" cult following fashion, the connection was soon made.
Fan site Welcome to Twin Peaks posted the finding, comparing photos from the listing with those from the show. Strangely, the rocking chair from Laura's bedroom is still in the house. It's good to know even 25 years after the show, "Twin Peaks" fanatics haven't lost their touch.
But the unparalleled fan following of David Lynch's surreal suburban mystery doesn't simply post a listing of Laura Palmer's house. Oh no, they start a Kickstarter campaign to buy the house themselves and transform it into a Twin Peaks museum, shrine and Bed & Breakfast.
Seattle's Stephen Lange is the man behind the mission. His campaign "The Palmer House -- Twin Peaks Museum and Tourist Destination" aims to raise enough money to buy Laura's house and transform it into an event space and functioning Bed&Breakfast, eventually redesigned to resemble its 25-year-old self. Come now, who wouldn't want to stay in this not-at-all-creepy lodgings?
"With 4+ bedrooms, the residence can sleep up to 8 people an evening, with a full kitchen, and a renovated Red Room movie theater in the basement," the Kickstarter explains. "The home will also come stocked with a full library of DVDs and music from the series, so you can fully immerse yourself in the Twin Peaks vibe." Lange is trying to raise $600,000 by August 3. Offers have already been placed on the home, which is listed for $549,950, so those moved by Lange's proposition must act fast.
Donating to the cause will get you many a "Twin Peaks"-centric reward, from an "I Saved the Palmer House" poster to complimentary pie and coffee, ostensibly served black as midnight on a moonless night. If you dream of sleeping in a spooky house where demon spirits once lived and David Lynch placed his literal, divine body, head to the Kickstarter ASAP and see how you can help.
From ew, Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s… After a Friday night showdown that heavily tipped the scales in favor of the survival-horror thriller The Purge: Anarchy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes came back strong this weekend to take the No. 1 spot at the box office.
The Apes sequel, starring motion-capture master Andy Serkis as the hyper-evolved higher primate named Caesar, collected $36 million for the weekend, according to Sunday estimates. Meanwhile, The Purge: Anarchy, a follow-up to last year’s nightmare-inducer about a 12-hour period when no crime is illegal, garnered only $28.3 million.
The Purge wasn’t entirely beloved by its terror-craving audience, getting only a B from the polling firm Cinemascore—compared to the A-minus received byApes. So-so word-of-mouth may have led to the Saturday stumble.
It’s still a terrific opening for the Universal horror movie, which cost only $9 million to make (compared to an estimated $170 million budget for the Apes film, which has earned back only $138 million domestically so far.) The winner there is obvious.
Apes is off to a strong start after only two weeks, however, and if it can maintain that it will stand as one of the stronger films of summer. For a while on Friday, it seemedPurge would take not just the spoils but the title as well. The movie earned $13 million from Friday night showings, compared to Apes‘ lackluster $10.4 million, a 62 percent drop from its opening night a week before.
But Apes rallied big-time on Saturday, earning $14.8 million to Purge‘s $9.5 million, which was a 27 percent drop from its opening night. The writing was on the wall: theApes had it.
The No. 3 slot went to Planes: Fire & Rescue, a DisneyToon Studios sequel to last year’s family comedy about a adventurous airplanes, spun-off from Pixar’s Cars universe. With only $18 million—$4 mil less than the first Planes—that’s a pretty bad stall for a family movie in the middle of summer.
It’s low Friday gross of $6.3 million seemed like it may simply have been a reflection that not many adults turned out on opening night for kiddie fare. But then Fire & Rescue didn’t do much better during family-friendly matinee hours of Saturday, earning $6.6 million. The Cinemascore rating was an A, so those who did turn out enjoyed what they saw.
The same can’t be said for Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel’s Sex Tape, which nabbed a dismal C-plus Cinemascore, and opened in fourth place with only $15 million. Diaz had been on a comedy hot-streak lately, and this raunchy slapstick about a couple trying to prevent their friends and family from seeing an accidentally-uploaded boudoir video seemed like it would be primed to continue the trend.
But there was no Bad Teacher here. Just bad.
Critics were cruel, and audiences didn’t disagree. “Director Jake Kasdan, who also helmed Bad Teacher … doesn’t quite seem to know what tone he’s going for, and the last half of the movie veers wildly between crude hard-R comedy and warm-hearted teachable moments. Blessedly, it’s also short,” wrote EW’s Leah Greenblatt.
In limited release, Zach Braff’s partially Kickstarter-donation-funded Wish I Was Hereopened in 68 theaters and earned $495,000 for a relatively strong $7,300 per screen.Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry’s whimsical French dramedy Mood Indigo collected $25,100 in two locations, for an average of 12,550 per screen.
The philosophical sci-fi saga I Origins earned $28,700 in four locations, for an average of $7,175, while Persecuted, a paranoid thriller about a preacher framed for murder, straddled the wide-release/limited-release framework by launching in 736 theaters, but earning only $959,000, 0r $1,300 per screen.
From badassdigest, I'm going to keep this vague. I have no interest in spoiling Star Wars Episode VII, although I'm sure some people will find any information about the film's plot to be spoilery. If you're a spoilerphobe or want to go into Star Wars Episode VII totally, completely clean, stop reading now. If you want to know what, on a very basic and general level, is the premise of Star Wars Episode VII, read on.
Imagine the standard Star Wars crawl, and when it ends the camera pans up to the stars. But instead of a spaceship zooming into frame we see... a hand! A severed hand, tumbling through space. A severed hand gripping a light saber.
That hand falls onto a desert planet, where it is discovered by characters who will be our heroes. One is Daisy Ridley. The other is John Boyega, who is playing someone trying to change his path in life (again, I'm keeping it vague here). They recognize the light saber as a Jedi relic and decide to return it to the proper people.
Their quest takes them off world, and they meet up with Han Solo and Chewbacca, who aren't flying around in the Millenium Falcon anymore but are piloting... well, that could be a spoiler. I'll leave it. Anyway, Han and Chewie recognize the light saber as Luke's, and they say they haven't seen their friend in thirty years, since the events of Return of the Jedi.
So begins a quest to find the missing Jedi Master. Meanwhile, on an ice planet, nefarious forces are building a super weapon, one capable of destroying not planets but entire solar systems...
In many ways this plot of Episode VII is an echo of A New Hope. Instead of R2 coming to Tatooine it's a hand falling from the sky, but the basic sweep of the story is similar, and intentionally so. But things that seem familiar may not be as familiar as you think - don't assume that every ice or desert planet in the galaxy has already been visited, if you know what I'm saying.
There's more, of course - this is just the broadest of outlines, a basic synopsis. On the one hand I sort of roll my eyes at the story echoing A New Hope, but on the other I like the propulsive quest concept. I'm hearing extremely positive things about the action, and very, very good things about the characters themselves and the way the actors are bringing them to life. Again and again I'm hearing that John Boyega owns this movie.
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Friday, July 18, 2014
From starwars7news, Today’s a good day for any Star Wars fan that was worried about the new Expanded Universe, because a fan-favorite character is going to come crawling out of the underworld to kick ass once more…
Boba Fett had been appeared in post-Original Trilogy works since 1991′s Dark Empire (indeed, the revival of the character is almost universally considered the best thing about the comic to this day), but this resurrection seemingly was not to be once Disney decided that they were going to reboot the Expanded Universe. Those who worried that Disney wouldn’t retcon the iconic background baddie’s undignified death in Return Of The Jedi, fret not: according to Lucasfilm Story Group’s Johnathan Rinzler (rather, George Lucas himself being paraphrased by Rinzler), Fett made his way out of the Sarlacc pit after all.
Yesterday, Jonathan Rinzler of the Lucasfilm Story Group held an “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit, which works just as it sounds – curious users ask the host questions for a few hours on end, and he or she answers the best and most interesting ones. (For anyone else who’s curious, the link to the entire AMA Thread can be found here.) Of course, avid fans of the famous mercenary were quick to ask questions about what Rinzler personally thought happened to the character (as opposed to what was apparently canon), but instead of getting a simple personal opinion, Rinzler confirmed a fact that many fans were hoping for: Boba Fett survived his defeat at the Great Pit of Carkoon!
blackbetha: Jonathan, In your mind, does Boba Fett Escape the Sarlacc Pit?
Rinzler: Yes, he does. I have been in meetings with George where he confirms that Fett survived. If it comes from George then it’s true!
There you have it, folks – the head honcho of the Star Wars franchise has said that everyone’s favorite Mandalorian Bounty Hunter got to live to fight another day, meaning that we’ll no doubt be in for some interesting stories involving the character. The possibility of him getting a spin-off movie just got that much more likely! Here are a couple of sincere words you don’t see on the internet every day: thanks, George Lucas!
Thursday, July 17, 2014
From darkhorizons If comic book heroes can have shared universes, why can't classic monsters? Universal Pictures has announced major plans to revitalize its heritage by developing a "substantial new production endeavor that will expand and unify a network of classic characters and stories".
In layman's terms, it means its library of monster movie properties - Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolf Man, Creature Of The Black Lagoon, The Invisible Man, Bride Of Frankenstein, and The Mummy - are about to get a shared onscreen universe deal akin to the Marvel Studios films.
"Star Trek," "Transformers" and "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" co-scribe Alex Kurtzman along with "Wanted" and regular "Fast and the Furious" series scribe Chris Morgan are the architects behind the interconnected slate, though it's unclear if either will write any of the projects planned.
Morgan and Kurtzman will work closely the studio's various arms to support the revival. They will also reevaluate projects with preexisting attachments to bring them together under one cohesive strategy.
The plan will commence with "The Mummy" reboot which will be released April 22nd 2016, making the upcoming "Dracula Untold" the studio's likely last foray into stand-alone films using these characters.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
From iwatchstuff, The cover of this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly has our first look at Ultron as he’ll appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron. In fact, there are multiple Ultrons, and the story confirms they were made by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.)
For better or worse (trust us, it’s worse), his Tony Stark has devised a plan that won’t require him to put on the Iron Man suit anymore, and should allow Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the Hulk to get some much needed R&R as well. His solution is Ultron, self-aware, self-teaching, artificial intelligence designed to help assess threats, and direct Stark’s Iron Legion of drones to battle evildoers instead.
The only problem? Ultron (played by James Spader through performance-capture technology) lacks the human touch, and his superior intellect quickly determines that life on Earth would go a lot smoother if he just got rid of Public Enemy No. 1: Human beings. “Ultron sees the big picture and he goes, ‘Okay, we need radical change, which will be violent and appalling, in order to make everything better’; he’s not just going ‘Muhaha, soon I’ll rule!’” Whedon says, rubbing his hands together.
“He’s on a mission,” the filmmaker adds, and smiles thinly. “He wants to save us.”
The article also says Ultron has the ability to upload himself to different places and recreate himself in multiple different forms. Some of these forms are bigger, stronger and faster than his first build.
Since the EW issue is a Comic-Con tease, I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing much more of Ultron, and probably James Spader, in Hall H next Saturday evening. Until now, we’ll keep an eye on the new EW for more information. What do you think of Ultron?
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Monday, July 14, 2014
From ew, In April, Archie Comics publisher and co-CEO Jon Goldwater told CNN that Archie Andrews would die in issue #36 of “Life with Archie,” a comic-book series set in an alternate universe that presented possible futures for the characters of the classic Archie Comics series. Issue #36 will arrive on stands on Wednesday—and while we don’t know yet who kills Archie, we do now know how he dies.
Today, Goldwater revealed to the Associated Press that Archie would die trying to stop an assassination attempt on Archie Comics’ first openly gay character, Kevin Keller, a military veteran and newly elected senator who’s in favor of increased gun control.
“We wanted to do something that was impactful that would really resonate with the world and bring home just how important Archie is to everyone,” Goldwater told the AP. “That’s how we came up with the storyline of saving Kevin. He could have saved Betty. He could have saved Veronica. We get that, but metaphorically, by saving Kevin, a new Riverdale is born.”
Issue #36 is the penultimate issue of “Life with Archie.” The following issue, #37, will jump ahead one year to depict how Betty, Veronica and the rest of the Riverdale gang is handling Archie’s death and honoring his legacy. Goldwater said that the way in which Archie dies is meant to “epitomize not only the best of Riverdale but the best of all of us,” and that he hopes that it works as “a lesson about gun violence and a declaration of diversity in the new age of Archie Comics.”
From slate, Hardcore Bill Murray fans may have read about his 1984 film Nothing Lasts Forever, an off-kilter sci-fi film directed by Saturday Night Live writing alum Tom Schiller (“La Dolce Gilda”). It was never released, but Dangerous Minds points out that it’s somehow made its way online and is available to watch in full (at least for now) on YouTube.
Nothing Lasts Forever stars Zach Galligan (Gremlins) as Adam, an aspiring artist who moves to New York only to find that the Port Authority has seemingly taken over and turned the city into a totalitarian state. Adam is forced to work as a night watchman at the entrance of the Holland Tunnel (Dan Aykroyd cameos as his boss) until he can prove his worth as an artist, but soon he finds himself on a bus to the moon (Murray plays the conductor) to find his true love.
It’s a weird premise, and the movie has the style to match. While it’s mostly black-and-white, it occasionally jumps into color, and even includes a couple of musical numbers. More intriguingly, clips from a variety of older movies are integrated into scenes, as if it were a sort of early YouTube mashup.
This particular aspect of the film might be one of the reasons MGM has keptNothing Lasts Forever under wraps for so long. Copyright issues have long stalled or flat-out prohibited some releases from obtaining wider distribution—hip-hop group De La Soul’s early discography being another apparent example. IFC has suggested that the shaky financial state of MGM in the wake of the failure ofHeaven’s Gate a few years prior is another possible motive. Schiller—who touched on the making of the film in the 2005 book Nothing Lost Forever: The Films of Tom Schiller—has stated that he never received a straight-forward answer as to why the studio shelved it, though he suspects it may be because the film didn’t appear “commercial” enough.
The film had one test screening before MGM pulled the plug, but it has since lived on through airings on European cable channels and the occasional public screening, sometimes at the insistence of Murray. It remains Schiller’s only feature, though he has gone on to direct hundreds of commercials. No plans have been announced for a home video release, but you can try to catch it on YouTube while you still can.
From ew, If this weekend’s number one movie Dawn of the Planet of the Apes — the second entry in the rebooted Apes franchise — has a spiritual sibling in the original series of films, it is 1972′s Conquest of the Planet of the Apes. While Conquest was the fourth movie in the franchise to arrive in cinemas it is, like Dawn, the second according to the interior timeline of its series and, again like director Matt Reeves’ new film, features an apocalyptic showdown between apes and humans. Thus, it seems appropriate that this weekend Dawn of the Planet of the Apes comprehensively conquered the domestic box office by earning an estimated $73 million, exceeding both expectations and the $54.8 million opening weekend of its predecessor, 2011′s Rise of the Planet of the Apes.
In many ways, however, Conquest and Dawn represent a study in contrasts — and anyone wanting to understand just how much Hollywood’s business model has changed over the past four decades, particularly when it comes to sequels, could do worse than consider the differences between the way Hollywood executives handled theApes sequels of the ’70s and the manner in which Dawnhas been carefully shepherded to the big screen.
Forty years ago, movie sequels were regarded for the most part as a bargain basement business of diminishing returns with very few exceptions (notably the Bond and Pink Panther movies). If you hadn’t seen a film on the big screen there was very little chance of you seeing a sequel, given the lengthy delay before movies turned up on TV and the fact that being able to control your home entertainment viewing via DVDs or even videotapes was itself still the stuff of science fiction as far as most consumers were concerned.
With less and less people going to see each sequel in a series it made sense to executives to spend less and less money on each entry. 1968′s series-inauguratingPlanet of the Apes boasted a huge star in the bare-chested form of Charlton Heston and a substantial-for-the-era $5.4 million budget. Apes proved to be a blockbuster, grossing $32 million. But the budget for the second film in the series, 1970′s Beneath the Planet of the Apes, was substantially less and featured only a cameo from a reluctant Heston. By the time director J. Lee Thompson (The Guns of Navarone, the original Cape Fear) came to make Conquest he was forced to depict his ape uprising for the Hollywood equivalent of pennies, a decision which would have been justified in the minds of studio financiers by the movie’s profit-turning but comparatively unimpressive $9 million domestic gross.
The contrast with today could hardly be greater. While the original, Heston-starringPlanet of the Apes was regarded by all concerned as destined to be the commercial high point of the series, Fox treated 2011′s James Franco-starring Rise of the Planet of the Apes as a launchpad for a franchise which executives hoped would become bigger with time. Rise cost around $90 million, but a reported $170 million was lavished on the sequel, whose cast boasts Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Jason Clarke, and of course, the ape-playing Andy Serkis. The studio further primed the pump with an astute marketing campaign, including a trio of short films which bridged the events between director Rupert Wyatt’s Rise and Reeves’ new movie. Add in the by-no-means-inconsequential fact that people actually seem to be enjoying Dawn (which earned an A- Cinema Score) and you can understand why the film has done so well. You can also understand why the next person to make an Apes movie will be given a King Kong-sized budget while poor J. Lee Thompson made the fifth and final entry in the original Apes series, 1973′sBattle for the Planet of the Apes, for roughly the same amount of money Michael Bay pays for a haircut.
Speaking of Bay, this weekend saw the second-placed Transformers: Age of Extinctiontake in $16.5 million at the box office, which easily sends the director’s robot fourquel over the $200 million mark domestically. There’s not a whole lot of exciting news elsewhere in upper reaches of the chart, although it is notable that 22 Jump Street has clambered its way back into the top five a month after the movie’s initial release. Whether that is a testament to the long box office legs of the Channing Tatum- and Jonah Hill-starring comedy or the more truncated commercial limbs of other recent films is open to debate. (Personally, I’m reminded of the time the great Norm Macdonald hosted Saturday Night Live not long after he was fired from the show by NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer for — depending on who you believe — either not being funny or for making too many jokes about Ohlmeyer’s acquaintance O.J. Simpson. “They fired me because they said I wasn’t funny,” the returning Norm explained during his opening monologue. “But it’s only a year-and-a-half later, and now they ask me to host the show. So I go, ‘Hey, how did I go in a year-and-a-half from being not funny enough to be even allowed in the building to being so funny that I’m now hosting the show?’ Then it occurred to me, I haven’t gotten funnier, the show has gotten really bad.”)
Finally, Richard Linklater’s more-than-a-decade-in-the-making movie Boyhood opened at five locations this weekend, raking in an encouraging $359,000. We’ll have to wait and see whether this extremely well-reviewed film can cross over and become a genuine hit. But the signs are looking good — and if anyone is at home to the idea of waiting-and-seeing, it is Linklater.
Here’s the top five.
1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – $73 million weekend ($73 million domestic total)
2. Transformers: Age of Extinction – $16.5 million weekend ($209.03 million domestic total)
3. Tammy – $12.91 million weekend ($57.35 million domestic total)
4. 22 Jump Street – $6.7 million weekend ($171.96 million domestic total)
5. How to Train Your Dragon 2 — $5.87 million weekend ($152.07 million domestic total)
If my hot wife spent all Sunday lounging around in nothing but a shirt, I wouldn't scowl so much.
Not shown: Doc Ock's "well appointed" lab contains several framed pictures of J. Jonah Jameson