IR Exclusive: Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ 35mm & 70mm to Open Two Days Early

Christopher Nolan Directing

by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief
with: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer

Christopher Nolan’s love of film in its physical celluloid form has been well documented. He’s been at the forefront of a movement, along with other high-profile directors like Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, Wes Anderson, Rian Johnson and Judd Apatow to keep film stock alive as a viable option for filmmakers in an industry that’s become more and more reliant on digital production, from the way that it’s shot to the way that it’s projected in our favorite temples of cinema. Quentin Tarantino, one of the most vocal of the directors who have sworn their allegiance to physical film even went so far as to retrofit his New Beverly Cinema to 35mm film projection only. Most recently the outspoken director released a special Roadshow cut of his latest film, The Hateful Eight, early to theaters equipped to project the film in 70mm, his preferred exhibition of the film.

Back in August Warner Bros announced that Christopher Nolan’s upcoming WWII epic Dunkirk would be released on July 21st  2017, but a source with knowledge of the release has revealed to me that Nolan and Warner Bros are planning to reward theaters who have the ability to project film (and fans who enjoy seeing it that way) by releasing the film two days early on July 19th.

You’ll recall that Nolan employed this same rollout (along with Paramount) for Interstellar, releasing the film two days early back in November of 2014, dropping the film in 240 theaters in 77 markets equipped to handle 70MM IMA X® film, 70mm film and 35mm film formats. The director’s insistence was not without controversy, as many exhibitors  have abandoned their film projectors in favor of embracing digital projection and spending millions in the process to do so. “This devalues what we’ve done. I can’t afford to get the projectors out of the warehouse for two days, and I don’t even have anyone to operate them,” said Joe Paletta, CEO and founder of Spotlight Theatres, a Georgia chain that had switched to all-digital projection. Foothills Cinemas president and CEO Byron Berkley also went on record stating, “It makes no sense to step back in time.”

In a speech given at CinemaCon in 2014 Nolan explained his allegiance to shooting and presenting his films on film vs digitally comes from a simple (yet VERY debatable) case of digital currently being unable to surpass the quality of physical film stock, stating,”I am not committed to film out of nostalgia. I am in favor of any kind of technical innovation but it needs to exceed what has gone before and so far nothing has exceeded anything that’s come before.”

The debate is far from one sided though, as digital certainly has its share of heavy hitter’s on the other side of the fence, with director’s such as David Fincher, Matt Reeves, Danny Boyle, Steven Soderbergh and Robert Rodriguez all embracing digital productions. James Cameron might be digital’s biggest cheerleader, a director who has always pushed filmmaking technology forward, even developing the technology personally when necessary.

I have no dog in the digital vs film fight. From a production standpoint, digital production has opened up a whole new world of filmmaking for filmmakers who might otherwise not have the opportunity to make movies. More voices having access and making films is a great thing. It should be the artist’s decision to pick which medium they feel most comfortable realizing their preferred vision. It’s imperative that there are devotees on the production side, as well as the exhibition side that are keeping the format alive for artists that want to explore that option. I also love that the studio is backing Nolan and allowing his fans the opportunity to see the film in the manner that he originally intended before the full digital rollout.

Dunkirk is Nolan’s take on the historic and heroic events of 1940. When the German forces pinned the militaries of the British, French and Belgium into a trap, coming from the North, East and South, there seemed to be no hope for the allies. What followed was an evacuation from Dunkirk which seemed impossible and hopeless, with France now occupied by Hitler and endless divisions , and the French forces heavily depleted, the nightmare that the entire Allied force could potentially be captured or destroyed was becoming reality.

Eventually, after eight long days, and a mistake by Hitler which gave the Allied troops time to escape, essentially costing him the war, the remaining Allied forces managed to make it safely across the channel and back to British soil. A combination of British war vessels, merchant ships, fishing boats and luxury yachts carried these brave soldiers to safety, and saving the lives of 345,895 thousand troops.

Josh Digs Into ‘Narcos’ Season 2 and the History of Pablo Escobar!

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Narcos Season 2: The Fall of Don Pablo

by: Josh Outred

I recently finished season 2 of the hit Netflix Crime Drama, Narcos. The documentary-thriller which tells the story of Pablo Emilio Escobar Gaviria, Colombia’s most famous drug lord and leader of the once renowned Medellin Cartel.

Season 1 of Narcos, which debuted last September, catalogued the rise of Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) from small-time illegal contraband activities to Colombian drug lord and the world’s seventh richest man. His story through season 1 was one of incredible violence, ruthlessness and lust to sit on the throne of Colombia. We got to see how Escobar gained the name of El Padrino (The Godfather), through acts of terror this man who came from nothing would go on to be the most wanted man in Colombia’s history.

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Now, it’s no secret as to how Pablo Escobar’s story ends, on December 2nd 1993 to be precise, the question was, who would fire that fatal shot? It is still unknown to the general public as to who actually killed Escobar; the Colombian police say they pulled the trigger; however his son Sebastian Marroquin as he’s now known claims his father committed suicide on that rooftop, firing the final shot through his ear.

By all accounts, Narcos has been fairly faithful to the real-life tale of Escobar’s rise and fall; the show clearly states however that certain character names and scenarios have been altered for dramatic purposes. Narcos season 2 perfectly executes its key scenes and adds a cinematic value that wasn’t there in the first season. For example, during the second episode Cambalache we see homage paid to the famous baptism scene from The Godfather, the montage scene in which Michael Corleone’s son is baptised is dramatically recreated as Escobar dances to the opera with his wife, Tata (Paulina Gaitan), we cut back and forth as Colombian police are executed throughout Medellin on Pablo’s orders.

Along with perfectly executed scenes like this comes a performance from Wagner Moura that’ll go down as one of his best, captivating and absolutely unmissable. There have been plenty of renditions of Escobar over the years and Moura’s is by far the standout of them all. In season 1 we saw him as a man who had what seemed to be unlimited resources and power coming from every angle, an unpredictable younger man who was not afraid to put himself in the limelight and do what was necessary to keep his cocaine empire intact. This season however, we see Wagner Moura as Escobar in a completely different shade. As the cracks begin to get wider and Pablo’s iron fist starts to melt, we see a man under pressure, as the Cali Cartel and former associates move against the man on the run, taking over his cocaine production laboratories and capitalising on Escobar’s now illusive figure.
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Moura, who gained 40 pounds for the latter half of season 2, gives a Shakespearean-esque performance, a very sombre yet edgy look into the final months of this once untouchable Tsar of cocaine. The show’s creators Carlo Bernard, Chris Brancato and Doug Miro have crafted this season’s Pablo Escobar as the villain you hate to love, and who, for 90% of this season you actually sympathise for more than DEA agents Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) and Javier Pena (Pedro Pascal).

One scene in particular where Wagner Moura portrays Escobar in a way none of us saw coming appears in the final episode, Al Fin Cayo. In this scene Pablo sees and converses with an apparition of his late cousin and business partner, Gustavo (Juan Pablo Raba). During these few moments both actors give such an emotionally weighty performance without all the tears and blubbering so often sprinkled all over, Pablo admits to Gustavo that it all fell apart the day he left, and that he misses him every single day of his life, it’ll break you, trust me!

With all that said, let’s go to the death scene we were all waiting for, and boy was it done to perfection. As Pablo has one final conversation with his wife and children via radio (the only way they could communicate for months), Search Bloc (the force set up to hunt and find Escobar) are doing their rounds, listening to static and hoping for any lead. Finally, Colonel Martinez’ son has a breakthrough, he tracks Escobar’s final conversation (this is the one time he stays on the line too long), when they finally reach the location he sees Pablo, stood up in the window for all to see, possibly becoming a little sloppy in his final days. What ensues is some of the greatest climatic moments of the small screen that surpass even the best of Breaking Bad, that’s right, better than Walt’s final moments! The combination of Wagner Moura’s desperation and almost heroic gun slinging, Limon’s (Leynar Gomez) loyalty, and Search bloc’s final stand and Steve Murphy finally getting the man he’d been after for years amount to a truly epic shootout on a suburb rooftop in Medellin – the actual rooftop of Pablo Escobar’s death.

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All in all I truly can’t say a bad word about the second season of Narcos; it had me gripped from the get-go. With cinematic references, and an award-worthy performance from Wagner Moura, Narcos season 2 hit all the right buttons. Suspenseful, nail-biting and gripping combined with the illuminating documentary style; Narcos truly is the best of its kind. I wonder how season 3 and 4 will work without its key player, the character who ultimately drove the show from start to finish. I guess we’ll find out in 2017.

For the love of Narcos, give Wagner Moura an Emmy!

Check This Out! Judd Apatow is Making a Garry Shadling Documentary!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-chief

To know Garry Shandling was to love Garry Shandling, this seemed especially true for those privileged enough to have known Garry personally, but for many others like myself, we loved Garry through his amazing body of work. In a year that we lost some true icons, his passing struck me harder than most of them. There was just something so genuine and honest about him, that made me feel like he was a friend. Years from now, we’ll look back at 2016 and say, “ Bowie, Prince, Wilder, Shandling, Rickman and then fucking Trump?!…Boy, 2016 really stuck it in and broke it off, didn’t it? “

I can vividly recall spending time with Garry Shandling via The Larry Sanders Show, his revolutionary HBO show back in the 90’s. My town felt like one of the last in the world to get cable. (There was a time, not very long ago where this wasn’t so uncommon.) I spent much of my childhood in the 80’s fighting with a set of rabbit ears on my small color TV. It didn’t pull much in and what it did pull in didn’t come in very well. When we finally got Cable I watched a LOT of HBO, mostly for the movies but then for their original TV shows. The Larry Sanders Show had me hooked from the first Jeffery Tambor “Hey now!” (Honorable mention goes to Brian Benben on Dream On)

One of the men behind the scenes on The Larry Sanders Show was a young Judd Apatow, who would write and produce numerous episodes of that iconic show. Apatow’s connection to Shandling actually began a decade before his work on Shandling’s HBO show, though. As a teenager in the early 80’s Apatow interviewed Shandling as well as many other comedians he idolized for a show he created for his high school radio station (solely as a way to meet his heroes. I can relate).

Shortly after Shandling’s passing, Apatow would tell The Wrap: “I just don’t know how to sum up someone I loved so much who taught me everything I know and was always so kind to me. I am just too sad. Maybe tomorrow I will do better.” Given some time, it seems Apatow has figured out how best he can sum up Shandling, by crafting a  documentary film about the legend. Yesterday Apatow posted a picture of he and Kevin Nealon with the caption: “Shooting started today on a documentary I am making about Garry Shandling. Kevin Nealon was our first interview.”

Shooting started today on a documentary I am making about Garry Shandling. Kevin Nealon was our first interview.

A photo posted by Judd Apatow (@juddapatow) on Nov 30, 2016 at 8:23pm PST

It’s inspirational to see Apatow using his chosen art to transform his grief into a tribute for such an amazing showman. With a career spanning over forty years, he crossed paths and made friends with many. I’m sure Garry’s friends will have no shortage of  stories to share. Apatow is a filmmaker who always manages to mix the heartfelt with the hilarious in the most amazing ways. It feels like his path has been leading right to this film. I’m eager to see what he puts together to honor Shandling.

Emilia Clarke Joins Lord and Miller’s ‘Han Solo’ Film

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by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer

StarWars.com have officially revealed that Emilia Clarke has joined the cast of the yet untitled, ‘Han Solo’ spin-off film.

Emilia Clarke, who is best known for her role as Daenerys Targaryen in the hit HBO series, Game of Thrones, has landed the female lead role in Phillip Lord and Chris Miller’s Han Solo origin story. The third cast member to be announced, Clarke joins Alden Ehrenreich as young Han Solo, and Donald Glover, who will portray a younger Lando Calrissian – Chewie of course, is set to return.

This untitled ‘Han Solo’ story is starting to come together, and the casting of the accomplished Emilia Clarke definitely impresses me, though – I do have one issue. Previously, Variety reported that three actresses were in the later stages of testing for the female role in the film, Tessa Thompson (Creed), Zoe Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Naomi Scott (The Martian) all reportedly tried out, all actresses of minority – yet the white, brunette actress ended up with the part. Let’s hope that these three actresses were testing for a different role altogether. With the events happening around us right now, the casting of the female lead going to an actress of minority would’ve been a powerful and hopeful message.

It’s curious to note that Clarke, along with Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones are all British. Interesting that the three female leads all hail from across the pond. 

The ‘Han Solo’ film is set for release in May of 2018. Written by Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan, with Phillip Lord and Chris Miller sharing the director’s chair.

It’s Official ‘Deadpool 2’ to be Directed by John Wick’s, David Leitch!

Deadpool

 

by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer

Fantastic news! Variety has revealed that John Wick director, David Leitch, has officially signed on to helm the Deadpool sequel.

David Leitch replaces director, Tim Miller, who dropped out of the project last month due to creative differences. Miller’s departure from the sequel came as a shock, disappointing many after the fantastic job he did with Deadpool, which raked in a massive $782.6 million. The news of Leitch’s appointment doesn’t come as a shock, he’s been the frontrunner for the position ever since Miller exited the project.

John Wick was actually David Leitch’s directorial debut, co-directed with Chad Stahelski, both had previously only done second-unit directorial work. Leitch is the perfect choice to helm Deadpool 2, his stylistic choice couldn’t fit better with the outspoken superhero, expect some huge action from the sequel!

Deadpool 2 is yet to be given a release date.

A New Extended Rogue One TV Spot is Here!

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From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, with Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel are producing, with John Knoll and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers. The story is by John Knoll and Gary Whitta, and the screenplay is by Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy.  “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” opens in U.S. theaters on December 16, 2016.

Marky Mark is the Big Hero Who Says Deep Things In the New ‘Patriots Day’ Trailer

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

I take issue with so many things about Patriots Day that I’m not sure where to begin.

I suppose it starts with Mark “It wouldn’t have gone down that way if I was on my 9/11 flight” Wahlberg starring in a film that only an authentic Boston guy could top line and get away without it being called a cash grab. Make no mistake though, it is a cash grab. Add to it, Peter “I only make films that are based on a true story these days” Berg and we have a real recipe for an actual tragedy told in the shallowest way possible, full of heroic low angle Marky Mark shots and filled to the brim with scenes designed to try and pull the tears out of your eyes. It’s despicable that they approached a community that was still healing after the trauma of a gunfight in their quiet neighborhood to ask if they could recreate the same gunfight to lend “authenticity” to their film.  Patriots Day may have been shot in Boston with a lead actor from Boston, but it feels as authentic as all the Boston-area people sporting their Boston Strong gear in the wake of the tragedy because it was fashionable. This film does not feel like it’s been made for the right reasons in any way.

Me? I’ll be waiting for David Gordon Green’s Stronger, an important story to come out of the Boston Marathon Bombing tragedy that has all the ingredients for an inspirational and moving film.

An account of the Boston Marathon bombing, PATRIOTS DAY is the powerful story of a community’s courage in the face of adversity. 

In the aftermath of an unspeakable attack, Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) joins courageous survivors, first responders and investigators in a race against the clock to hunt down the bombers before they strike again. Weaving together the stories of Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon), Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman), Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (J.K. Simmons) and nurse Carol Saunders (Michelle Monaghan) this visceral and unflinching chronicle captures the suspense of one of the most sophisticated manhunts in law enforcement history and celebrates the strength of the people of Boston.

‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ to be Shot on 65mm Film

Star Wars Logo

by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer

You’ll probably recall that back in the early days of Episode VII Kathleen Kennedy said that they would be taking an old-school approach to the way that they would be making the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy. We knew J.J. Abrams preference to shoot on 35mm over digital, stating at Produced By Conference “I have not yet shot a movie digitally. Film is the thing I am most comfortable with. If film were to go away—and digital is challenging it—then the standard for the highest, best quality would go away.” Then, Rian Johnson confirmed on twitter that he would also be shooting Episode VIII on 35mm and would have shot on 65mm but couldn’t for “logistical reasons.”

Now comes confirmation via Playlist that Colin Trevorrow (Jurassic World) will shoot Star Wars: Episode IX on the larger, 65mm format. This is fantastic news for film enthusiasts, and shows a real commitment to keeping the incredible format alive, as well as the fact that Kodak’s facility in the United Kingdom has just gained the capabilities to handle the format. Also revealed in the article was the great news that cinematographer, John Schwartzman (Armageddon) will be returning to Colin Trevorrow’s side after the success of Jurassic World.

The news that Trevorrow will be shooting in 65mm is exciting to say the least. It’s a format that has slowly been making its way back from an uncertain future, with filmmakers like Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master), and the vocal Quentin Tarantino (The Hateful Eight) utilizing it recently to bring back that old-school cinema experience. I’m hoping this news means that the format might be embraced by more theaters worldwide so that the films can be seen the way that their filmmakers intended, enabling us to see these films the way they were intended to be seen!

The New Trailer for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Roars and Soars!

The Beast (Dan Stevens) in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio's animated classic which is a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.

The Beast (Dan Stevens) in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic which is a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.

by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

Check out the new trailer for Disney’s upcoming live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic ”Beauty and the Beast.”  One of the most beloved tales ever told, the film brings it to life in a stunning, cinematic event directed by Bill Condon with an extraordinary ensemble cast, including: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Ian  McKellen and Emma Thompson.

I don’t know about you, but with every new bit I see of this one, the more I need to see it. Bill Condon’s visual sensibilities are always remarkable and paired with this property I think we are in for something really special. Take a look at the new trailer below and let us know what you think!

 

And some gorgeous stills!

Check Out the Two Newest Rogue One International Trailers! Chock Full o’ Rebel Goodness!

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From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.

I’m getting really excited for Rogue One, the last US trailer really got me buzzed and I’m enjoying the little bits that these new International variants are providing us. It’s hard to believe we’re barely a month off from another new Star Wars film. This was inconceivable five years ago. I don’t want to ever let this feeling go.

While this production as been mired in controversy over reshoots and internal power struggles, what really matters is what ends up on the screen come December 16th. We could all use a victory against the Empire, don’t you think?

Today’s third Rogue One International Variant:

 

And yesterday’s second:

’Pacific Rim’ Sequel Begins Shooting and Official Title Revealed

Pacific Rim

by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer

The great John Boyega took to Instagram to share a picture of his Pacific Rim 2 script, along with the leather bound notebook comes the official title. Pacific Rim: Maelstrom as it’s now known, has just begun shooting with, Stephen S. DeKnight (Daredevil) behind the camera.

First day on Pacific Rim today. Here’s to a great adventure ahead ✌🏿

A photo posted by BOYEGA (@jboyega_) on Nov 9, 2016 at 10:14am PST

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The sequel to the averagely performing Pacific Rim, looked as it may be cancelled at one point, with its ever fluctuating release date, creator and director of the first film, Guillermo del Toro, stepped out of the director’s chair to write and produce. The title, Maelstrom, has been rumoured for some time now, and it’s entirely possible that it could change again (especially with a production that’s been in flux for a while).

The sequel’s story well under wraps, with so little known we assume that we’ll see the massive Jaegers fighting of the earth invading, Kaiju again. John Boyega will play the son of Idris Elba’s, Stacker Pentecost, alongside up and coming female lead, Cailee Spaeny. Scott Eastwood (Fury), Adria Arjona (Emerald City), Tian Jing (Special ID) and Levi Meaden (The 100) are all set to star in the film, which is set for release on February 23rd 2018!

Stay tuned for more updates!

Forget About Deadpool 2 We’re Already Talking Deadpool 3!

Deadpool

by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer

It seems things may be shifting around for Fox’s X-Men, The Hollywood Reporter has gotten wind of some shuffling around for the well established Marvel franchise. Fox, who have had the rights to the X-Men series since the ’90’s, are reportedly re-evaluating the franchise, with the likelihood of a reboot.

Sources tell THR that Bryan Singer will not be returning to helm the next X-Men film, and that frequent X-Men producer and Star Wars: Rebels Executive Producer, Simon Kinberg, is already in the process of writing the script for the next film. Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy and Nicholas Hoult have all now finished their three-picture deals, the question is; will Fox renew these costly contracts, or will they opt for a soft reboot? With a reconfiguration of the X-Men franchise at Fox, attention also turns to the other superhero properties owned by the studio.

Last month Deadpool 2 lost its director, Tim Miller, and soon after composer, Tom Holkenborg also parted way with the project. Rumours point heavily towards, David Leitch (John Wick), taking up the director’s chair. However large the shakeup with the sequel’s creatives is, sources tell THR that Deadpool 3 is already in the planning phase, with X-Force playing a part in the story.

It really does seem as if Fox are going back to the drawing board with their Marvel properties. X-Men: Apocalypse took home $544 million worldwide, a huge difference to 2014’s Days of Future Past, which earned a massive $748 million at the box office. With such a large loss in profit, the push of the refresh button seems inevitable, and necessary, coming in with a fresh director may well help reinvigorate the franchise, something I feel it really needs. As for Deadpool, well, things may not be as bad as first thought, if they’re already planning out the third film, then Fox most likely has confidence that the sequel’s can make the huge profit of the first film, and bringing in David Leitch would be a superb idea (I loved John Wick), his visual language has Deadpool written all over it!

More 80’s as ‘Stranger Things’ Season 2 Adds Mikey From ‘Goonies’ and Burke From ‘Aliens’!

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by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer

Season 2 of the hit Netflix series Stranger Things is about to begin production, and it’s just added 3 new cast members!

Entertainment Weekly dropped some details on who has been cast, and the characters they’ll be playing. Sean Astin (Lord of the Rings), Paul Reiser (Aliens) and up and coming Danish actress Linnea Berthelsen will all be joining our friends over in Hawkins, Indiana next year!

According to Netflix, Sean Astin will play Bob Newby, “a kindhearted former nerd who went to highschool with Joyce (Winona Ryder) and gooniesHopper (David Harbour) and now manages the local Hawkins RadioShack”. Stranger Things is a melting pot of MANY 80’s classics, so it’s nice to see Mikey from Goonies popping up in Hawkins.

Young Danish actress, Linnea Berthelsen will star as Roman, “an emotionally damaged, magnetic young woman who suffered a great loss as a child”. Last but not least, Paul Reiser has been cast as Dr. Owens, “a high-ranking member within the Department of Energy on a ‘clean up’ assignment, tasked with containing the events of last year”. Sounds like a not-so-subtle nod to Resier’s slimey character from 1986’s Aliens

I hope they don’t go too far with the 80’s stunt casting. One of the biggest things about the first season of Stranger Things was that outside of Winona Ryder and David Harbour the cast was comprised of unknowns who managed to surprise us with their chops. I worry that too many of these cute casting choices willaliens distract from the story.

For right now these are very exciting casting additions, and I’m most intrigued by the young Danish actress, Linnea, and her character, whose description sounds very familiar to break-out star, Millie Bobby Brown’s, Eleven. The character of Dr. Owens also sounds fascinating, it’s not shocking to learn that a major cover up operation went into play after the revelations and discoveries last season.

We’ll have to wait to find out more, as season 2 is scheduled for release sometime next year!

Elektra Confirmed for Netflix’s ‘The Defenders’

elektra

by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer

Today, The Defenders official Twitter page announced that Elodie Yung will be returning as Elektra in next year’s The Defenders. The Defenders will see heroes Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Kyrsten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter) and Iron Fist (Finn Jones) unite to fight a bigger enemy, and save New York.

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Spoilers for Daredevil Season 2 to follow…..

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you who have seen Daredevil season 2, you will know that it does not end well for the unpredictable Elektra. However, it was clear that Elodie’s character was not quite finished. After her death, she was seen being placed into a chamber by the ninja’s of The Hand, along with an ancient device (potentially able to resurrect a person), left Elektra’s future ambiguous. With this announcement comes confirmation that her character will return in some way, but what, and who will she be fighting for now?

Marvel’s The Defenders will begin streaming ON Netflix sometime in 2017. Shortened to 8 episodes and full to the brim with a great cast – I’d say we’re in for a real treat!

IR Film Review: Marvel’s Doctor Strange

Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE..Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE..Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

by: Joshua Outred – Staff Writer

From all the promotional material, trailers, TV spots etc, it was clear that Marvel’s Doctor Strange was going to push visual boundaries, and visual boundaries it certainly pushed. However, superhero fatigue has set in, and it’s stronger than ever with this visually impressive yet incredibly predictable comic book adaptation.

Doctor Strange starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the title character tells the story of famed neurosurgeon Dr. Stephen Strange, a man with confidence, money, fame and an incredibly steady set of hands. Stephen Strange has unmatchable talents as a neurosurgeon, succeeding at life saving brain surgery where so many others would and have failed. He has everything, charm, charisma, wit, a fast car sports car, and a luxury apartment. However, it’s often said that those who gain power will eventually lose it, and in the case of Stephen Strange the neurosurgeon, that most definitely applies.

When Strange ends up in a horrific car accident and loses the use of both his hands, he has to come to the realization that he may not be able to operate again. Struggling to accept the reality of the situation, Strange seeks out many options to help heal his once miracle working hands, his search goes from experimental surgery to mystical healing in Kathmandu, Nepal. After becoming acquainted with The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton), Strange goes on a mythical journey to the depths of time and space to learn  how to regain the use of his hands again.

Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE..Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE..Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Introduced early on is Christine Palmer, played by Rachel McAdams, an E.R surgeon and friend/lover/typical Marvel support actress to Bendedict’s Stephen Strange, playing a limited role in the film. McAdams really only serves as the connection Strange will have between Strange the Sorcerer and his old self. Tilda Swinton’s The Ancient One is both kind and unpredictable, Swinton gives a convincing and at times calming performance as the Sorcerer Supreme, playing the wise teacher who’ll eventually put Strange in his place – not without a few bumps along the way. The Ancient One’s original reluctance to teach Strange comes down to the fact that she’s already lost one disciple to the darkness – gifted sorcerer Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen).

Kaecilius stole pages from an ancient book on the lore of the universe in order to seek ultimate power and eternal life, who he believes will be gifted to him by Dormammu (an evil galaxy-eating-life-sucker). Mads was the absolute perfect casting for the role of Kaecilius, he brings an eerie demeanor to a character whose plans seem doomed from the beginning. I’m a big fan of Mads Mikkelsen and it makes me really happy to see him appearing in big flicks like Doctor Strange, Marvel however have yet to convince me that any of the villains can do anything other than bring down a few buildings before eventually being torn down themselves, an issue I doubt will ever be solved, especially after 14 films.

An honorable shoutout to the supporting characters of Baron Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Wong (Benedict Wong). Both characters were really enjoyable in their moments, though it’s unfortunate that Wong only seemed to be relagated to comic relief, another issue it feels like every Marvel film has. (See Michael Pena in Ant-Man) Much like the character, Wong’s comedy felt forced in there, for no other reason than to lighten the mood.

One positive aspect of every Marvel film is the pacing, each and every film from the MCU so far has been paced incredibly well, and Doctor Strange is no different. Not only is it my favourite superhero origin story so far, it’s also the most visually stunning film I’ve seen in recent years, many I’m sure will agree. Derrickson has conjured up 2001: A Space Odyssey on LSD, a visual trip that’ll melt your eyeballs from your skull and leave your jaw firmly planted to floor, it’s also worth noting another huge achievement, so many stories get lost in the visuals, this does not. The colors, and urgency that the VFX department have masterfully conjured up with Doctor Strange not only serve the story being told

Marvel's DOCTOR STRANGE..L to R: Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

Marvel’s DOCTOR STRANGE..L to R: Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch)..Photo Credit: Film Frame ..©2016 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.

– they enhance it, they make you as the viewer want to climb through the screen and role around in the  fluffy-craziness of time and space, it’s like a twisted rubix cube of candy. Props also have to go to Derrickson for not allowing the incredible visuals to confuse the viewer, intense scenes like the final battle and Strange’s first look into the alternate dimensions can sometimes confuse the eye, this never does, something the director and VFX team deserve major credit for achieving.

The action set pieces of the film are rather generic, Marvel and DC filmmakers have gotten into a stylistic habit of using the slow-motion-video-game camera work, whether it’s slowing the frame down to achieve a heightened sense of the powers being used or too create suspense as two characters approach one another, it’s always prominent. However, in the case of Doctor Strange this slow-mo frame-work pays off. When you’re playing with time and dimensional shifts during action, it helps immerse the viewer and focus the eye on exactly what it is the director wants you to see, with Strange it’s necessary, however I feel the future Marvel filmmakers need to find new techniques when filming action sequences to add that fresh touch.

In conclusion, Doctor Strange gets a lot right, it’s the best origin story the MCU has produced yet, and the first act is carefully spent building Benedict Cumberbatch’s Strange as a wealthy, arrogant, self-centered playboy very much in the vein of RDJ’s Tony Stark. I thoroughly enjoyed the mysticism, and the visuals unlike anything we’ve seen from a superhero adaptation yet, Scott Derrickson has crafted a fantastically immersive story through an incredible vision, and another stellar, charismatic performance from Cumberbatch. Unfortunately the script suffers from an overuse of forced comedic moments that seem to be there not because they need to be, but because it’s become a requirement from these tentpole superhero flicks. I’ve undoubtedly fallen victim to the phrase known as ‘superhero fatigue’, and Doctor Strange hasn’t done anything to change that. Another villain portrayed by an incredible actor falls flat, yet another common trait that Marvel still needs to work to fix.

All in all Doctor Strange is a fun, visual trip that adds to the ever expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe that will unfortunately may end up forgotten not long after the next wave begins.

RATING: 7.0/10

New Trailer For ‘Non Denominational Holiday Mixer’ Err.. ‘Office Christmas Party’

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In OFFICE CHRISTMAS PARTY, when the CEO tries to close her hard-partying brother’s branch, he and his Chief Technical Officer must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs.

Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, Vanessa Bayer, Jillian Bell, Jamie Chung, Rob Corddry, Abbey Lee, Kate McKinnon, T.J. Miller, Olivia Munn, Karan Soni, Courtney B. Vance, Matt Walsh

The New Wonder Woman Trailer Packs a LOT of Action Into 2 1/2 Minutes

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Wonder Woman hits movie theaters around the world next June when Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action adventure from director Patty Jenkins (Monster, AMC’s The Killing). Joining Gadot in the international cast are Chris Pine (the Star Trek films), Connie Nielsen (Fox’s The Following, Gladiator), Robin Wright (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Netflix’s House of Cards), David Thewlis (the Harry Potter films, The Theory of Everything), Danny Huston (Clash of the Titans, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Elena Anaya (The Skin I Live In), Ewen Bremner (Exodus: Gods and Kings, Snowpiercer), and Saïd Taghmaoui (American Hustle).

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior.  Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.

Patty Jenkins directs the film from a screenplay by Allan Heinberg and Geoff Johns, story by Zack Snyder & Allan Heinberg, based on characters from DC Entertainment.Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston.

The film is produced by Charles Roven, Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder and Richard Suckle, with Rebecca Roven, Stephen Jones, Wesley Coller and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

Joining Jenkins behind the camera are director of photography Matthew Jensen (Chronicle, Fantastic Four, HBO’s Game of Thrones), Oscar-nominated production designer Aline Bonetto (Amélie, A Very Long Engagement, Pan), Oscar-winning editor Martin Walsh (Chicago, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, V for Vendetta), and Oscar-winning costume designer Lindy Hemming (The Dark Knight trilogy, Topsy-Turvy).

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, Wonder Woman. The film is scheduled for release worldwide beginning June 2, 2017, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

The New Trailer for ‘T2 Trainspotting 2’ Looks REALLY Good!

t2

First there was an opportunity……then there was a betrayal.

Twenty years have gone by.
Much has changed but just as much remains the same.
Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place he can ever call home.

They are waiting for him: Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller), and Begbie (Robert Carlyle).

Other old friends are waiting too: sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, friendship, love, longing, fear, regret, diamorphine, self-destruction and mortal danger, they are all lined up to welcome him, ready to join the dance.

Director Danny Boyle reunites the original cast: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle

Johnny Depp Joins ‘Fantastic Beasts’ Sequel

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by: Josh Outred – Staff Writer

Johnny Depp has landed a role in the sequel to this November’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Deadline Hollywood is reporting. He is also set to cameo in the first of five new spin-off films from the J.K. Rowling Harry Potter saga.

Depp who’s well known for his fantastical acting roles like Captain Jack Sparrow and Edward Scissorhands seems like the perfect fit for the wizarding world it’s mystical beasts. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set 70 years prior to the Harry Potter saga, it tells the story of Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a magizoologist whose magical briefcase full of strange and wonderful beasts opens whilst on his way to magical congress in the United States, resulting in chaos.

The decision to add Depp to the Potter universe (Warner’s potentially biggest franchise) is especially peculiar when you consider that he and ex Amber Heard are now both playing prominent roles in two of Warner bros’ biggest franchises over the next couple of years, following their rather controversial break up. Amber Heard will soon be seen as Mera in Zack Snyder’s Justice League in 2017, followed by Aquaman in 2018.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them directed by David Yates is set for release on November 18th this year, with the sequel due out on November 16th 2018.

Tom Hardy Set to Play Al Capone in Josh Trank Directed ‘Fonzo’

Mad-Max-Tom-Hardy-Grab-fury-road

by: Josh Outred – Staff Writer

Mad Max: Fury Road star, Tom Hardy, is set to play legendary gangster, Al Capone, in Josh Trank’s Fonzo according to Deadline Hollywood.

Fonzo will revolve around the later life of ruthless Chicago gangster, Al Capone. Capone ruled Chicago with malice through 1920’s and early 1930’s during the prohibition era taking many innocent lives through evil acts such as bombings. He was eventually taken down in 1931, and following a long trial was sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion. Al Capone eventually died in 1947 aged 48, after numerous health conditions lead to a stroke.

The film is being written and directed by Chronicle creator, Josh Trank, and produced by Russell Ackerman, John Schoenfelder and Pulp Fiction producer, Lawrence Bender. Fonzo has begun pre-production and Bloom will take it to the AFM (American Film Market) to begin the selling process.

I’m not a huge fan of Josh Trank and his antics within the industry, though that’s not to say he isn’t talented, studio interference clearly played a heavy role in damaging his take on the Fantastic Four. I’m also a sucker for criminal history and the dramatic takes on these real life stories, plus Tom Hardy will absolutely nail this role!

Least Shocking News Ever (Yet Still Exciting): Bad Robot’s ‘God Particle’ Will be Another Cloverfield Film!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

Last year Bad Robot and Paramount surprised the hell out of us with the release of the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane, a sort-of sequel/cinematic cousin to 2008’s super-secret surprise hit Cloverfield. In the wake of the trailer’s release producer J.J. Abrams provided additional clarification (and confusion) by stating that: “We wanted to make it a blood relative of Cloverfield.”

Immediately people zeroed in on the other J.J. Abrams and Paramount collaboration in the works titled God Particle. The plot of the film certainly sounded like it could potentially be another blood relative of Cloverfield: “A quartet of scientists on a space station watch Earth blink out of existence, leaving them all alone in outer space. The arrival of another space station soon has the crew wondering if they’ll be saved or fighting for their lives.” The film, directed by Julis Onah and written by Oren Uziel assembled a great cast consisting of David Oyelowo, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ziyi Zhang, Elizabeth Debicki, Daniel Brühl and Chris O’Dowd.

Yesterday The Wrap released confirmation from an inside source that God Particle is indeed another film in Bad Robot’s Cloverfield universe ahead of a Paramount footage presentation of their upcoming slate of films in New York. Not only that Abrams and Paramount are quietly developing more Cloverfield Universe films, with the target of releasing one a year.

I couldn’t be happier as I loved the first two entries in the Clovefield Universe. I’d love to have a new Twilight Zone-esque film experience to look forward to every year. What about you? Is this something you’re on board for?