Supernerd Picks His Ten Best Films From the First Half of 2016!

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Director/Star Ross Partridge and Oona Laurence in LAMB

by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Hello Indie Revolver faithful! Hard to believe that six months has already passed since I did my Top and Bottom of 2015. And I said at the end of that piece that I was going to go to even more movies this year (despite working a full-time job already) to give our readers a fuller look at the movies that have come out this year and to give you the best possible year-end article I can.

Well I’m glad to say I’ve succeeded in that aspect. As of the end of June I’ve seen as many movies in six months as I did in the entirety of 2015. Crazy, right? So since I’ve been a cinematic beast this year I’ve decided to up my game and give you the readers a prequel to my Top Ten at the end of the year.

Just so you know, I’m not going to give my rankings along with these films (Letter or Star). I’ll simply tell you that these films all ranked at an A- or 4 Stars or higher on my overall rankings.

DEADPOOL – A flat-out crazy comic book movie that set the bar pretty high for the year. Ryan Reynolds captured the spirit of Wade Wilson perfectly and delivered one of his best comedic performances in years.

LAMB – Creepy but redeemingly soulful, Lamb took me out of my comfort zone and had me expecting the worst but hoping for the best from the moment the main characters (A middle-aged man and a pre-teen girl) meet up.

ZOOTOPIA – The first of two Disney movies featuring talking animals on my list. It was cute and light but still had a great message for kids without being too sappy to be enjoyable for adults.

HELLO, MY NAME IS DORIS – Sally Field can do no wrong in this film. A movie that shows you’re never too old to have a coming of age. Funny but emotional and bittersweet at times.

EYE IN THE SKY – Intense thriller that has a stellar cast and ratchets up the intensity as each minute ticks by. I’m not sure as to how this will hold up on multiple viewings but it needs to be seen at least once.

EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!! – A love letter to the eighties that doesn’t wink slyly at the camera as if to say “Look at how silly we were back then.” A super fun movie with a great cast that are all bound to breakout sooner rather than later.

JUNGLE BOOK – The other talking animal movie from the House of Mouse. So damn real you’d swear Disney taught animals how to talk. And you’re also saying this was shot primarily on green screen? Unbelievable. One of the most beautifully produced movies this year.

SING STREET – Just a pure joy to watch. Heartwarming story and catchy music combine for a film that made me smile, cry and laugh (sometimes all at once). John Carney adds another great musical to his list of accomplishments.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR – The third film in the Captain America franchise may be the best of the bunch and it’s easily one of the best films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Great story, bombastic fight sequences and it got fans talking by introducing two new characters (Black Panther and Spider-Man) to the MCU.

A BIGGER SPLASH – A slice-of-life picture (if your life was that of a lounging rock star recovering from throat surgery). Tilda Swinton takes control of every scene she’s in, sometimes with just a raspy whisper. And Ralph Fiennes’ manic energy will keep you entertained until the end. Yet again another film with a beautiful backdrop and great soundtrack.

THE NICE GUYS – A great 70’s crime caper. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe have such great chemistry together onscreen that this just begs for a sequel…or three! Shane Black delivers another noir-ish masterpiece.

So there we have it folks – the tip of my cinematic iceberg. There were so many other great films that almost made the cut. Movies like The Witch, Midnight Special, The Lobster, Green Room and so many more just came in under the top notch mark but were still great films and deserve to be seen.

Also keep in mind that we still have six more months (and Oscar Season) to get through. I’d bet 3/4 of this list most likely won’t be here come year’s end. But for now these are the films I’ve enjoyed the most so far this year.

Keep checking back as new reviews get added weekly and my Top Ten / Bottom Five will show up at the end of the year!

Your Favorite Alcoholic Santa Suits up Again in the First Trailer for Bad Santa 2!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

It looks like today is the day of nostalgia teaser trailers.

I am a fan of inappropriate holiday films and the original Bad Santa had everything I wanted in an inappropriate Christmas film. Billy Bob Thornton has been very vocal in the past about not wanting to move forward with a sequel if it wasn’t going to live up to the original film. Now that we have a new adventure on the way, I can’t wait to see what they’ve cooked up.

Outside of Thonrton’s Willie, it seems as though we’ll have Thurman Merman and Marcus (Tony Cox) returning for the sequel. I’m not sure how they’re explaining Marcus, since he died in the first film.

Joining the three returning cast members is Kathy Bates as Thornton’s foul mouthed mother and Christina Henricks as an Ivy league uppercrust running a charity that is targeted by Willie and mom.

The Gang’s All Here in Danny Boyle’s Trainspotting 2 Trailer!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

There’s something comforting to know Spud, Denton, Sick Boy and Begbie are all still kicking twenty years after Trainspotting. It’s also comforting to know that Danny Boyle is the guy behind the camera for their next adventure. Not much is known about the film at this point other than the film will be loosely set on the sequel novel penned by Irvine Welch titled Porno. 

The trailer really is a perfect tease, a throwback to the first films iconic marketing that make original fans nostalgic. From the orange backdrops to the Iggy Pop tune. I can’t wait to see what Boyle and crew have cooked up for the gangs next adventure. I can’t believe it’s been twenty years.

SDCC 16: It’s Harry Potter Inside the Matrix in the Bananas Second Trailer for Marvel’s Doctor Strange

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Marvel’s Doctor Strange follows the story of the talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange who, after a tragic car accident, must put ego aside and learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions. Based in New York City’s Greenwich Village, Doctor Strange must act as an intermediary between the real world and what lies beyond, utilizing a vast array of metaphysical abilities and artifacts to protect the Marvel cinematic universe.

SDCC 16: Zack Snyder Reverses his Approach in the First Trailer for Justice League and it Still Doesn’t Seem to Work

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I suppose it’s better than the ridiculous trailer that found itself into the middle of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.  Together, Batman and Wonder Woman work quickly to find and recruit a team of metahumans to stand against this newly awakened threat.  But despite the formation of this unprecedented league of heroes—Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Cyborg and The Flash—it may already be too late to save the planet from an assault of catastrophic proportions.

SDCC 16: Can Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman Right the Course for the DCEU? The First Trailer is a Good Sign…

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Wonder Woman hits movie theaters around the world next summer when Gal Gadot returns as the title character in the epic action adventure from director Patty Jenkins. 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.

SDCC 16: Kong is a Big MF’er in the Tremendous Trailer for Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ Kong: Skull Island Starring Brie Larson!

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Kong: Skull Island reimagines the origin of the mythic Kong in a compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts. In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific—as beautiful as it is treacherous—unaware that they’re crossing into the domain of the mythic Kong.

SDCC 16: Take a Gander at the Wonder Woman Teaser Poster!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

I don’t care what you say Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice was an unmitigated disaster, a stillborn that was dead on arrival. The Ultimate Extended Edition did not sway me one bit, it was still a bad movie. You could let Zack Snyder have five hours and it still wouldn’t have been any good. There were large fundamental problems with the film that began with the filmmaker.

Wonder Woman was pretty much spared in BvS, standing out as one of the least bad things in the film. Let me say, Gal Gadot is wonderful casting, she is a goddess in exactly the way Wonder Woman should be. That said, the script gave no legitimate reason for her to a part of BvS’s story other than to have Wonder Woman in a film with Batman and Superman.

I’m hopeful for a standalone Wonder Woman film though. The first looks we’ve gotten of Patty Jenkins’ film look terrific. I like the tone, I like that it’s set in the past, I like that it looks as far from BvS as possible.

Today we have our first look at the teaser poster for Wonder Woman and it really nails the larger than life aesthetic and gives us something Zack Snyder never would, color. It’s not dreary, it’s hopeful.

Let’s hope this film rights the DCEU ship.

I doubt Suicide Squad is going to be the film to do it…

SDCC 16: The World Is Ready for a Bulletproof Black Man in the First Teaser for Netflix’s ‘Luke Cage’

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

After a sabotaged experiment leaves him with super strength and unbreakable skin, Luke Cage (Mike Colter) becomes a fugitive who attempts to rebuild his life in modern day Harlem, New York City. But soon he is pulled out of the shadows and must fight a battle for the heart of his city – forcing him to confront a past he had tried to bury.

If this doesn’t get the juices flowing, nothing will. The scene feels like a nice homage to the terrific hallway tracking shot in the first season of Daredevil. Showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker noted the timeliness of Marvel’s first movie or series led by an African American during the Luke Cage panel at SDCC stating ,  “When I think about what’s going on in the world right now, the world is ready for a bulletproof black man.”

I couldn’t agree more. Take a look at the teaser for the first season of Netflix’s Luke Cage below:

SDCC 16: Netflix’s First Look at Their Upcoming ‘Iron Fist’ Series

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-it-Chief

If I’m being honest I was always intrigued by the origin story of Iron Fist, but never sought him out when reading comics as a kid. I appreciated when he showed up in stories I read, but I never went looking for Danny Rand’s solo stories in the comic store.

For those unfamiliar, in the comic world Iron Fist is Danny Rand a martial artist who attains the power of Iron Fist after defeating a mystical dragon and plunging his fist into its molten heart. I’m sure Netflix’s series will take a more grounded approach to the character’s origin, but judging by the mystical second season of Daredevil you can bet it won’t be completely watered down.

Below you’ll find the first teaser for Netflix’s Iron Fist series. Take a look and let us know what you think!

SDCC 16: Check Out the First Teaser for Marvel’s ‘ The Defenders’

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-it-Chief

We knew it would happen, but we didn’t know when. Originally Netflix’s Daredevil/Jessica Jones/Luke Cage/Iron Fist team up series was scheduled to hit the streaming juggernaut after a 13 episode run for each character to set things up. But thanks to the surprise success of Daredevil, resulting in the order of a second season, things changed leaving us to wonder when we might see the Avengers-style team-up, or if it would even happen at all?

The good news is that The Defenders is still happening and we know when. Kind of. Thanks to the teaser below we know that Netflix’s superheroes will all join forces in 2017.

Take a look at the teaser below and prepare to get excited. There’s no real footage in this announcement video, but it will definitely get you pumped in anticipation.

Trailer: Denzel, Chris Pratt and Their Motley Crew Take on an Army in the Magnificent Seven

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Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ and Columbia Pictures’ The Magnificent Seven. With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), the desperate townspeople employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns – Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.

The Newest Trailer For ‘The Girl on the Train’ Sets up a Steamy Mystery

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In the thriller, Rachel (Blunt), who is devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasizing about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds.

Emily Blunt, Rebecca Ferguson, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Allison Janney, Edgar Ramirez, Lisa Kudrow and Laura Prepon star in DreamWorks Pictures’ The Girl on the Train, from director Tate Taylor (The Help, Get on Up) and producer Marc Platt (Bridge of Spies, Into the Woods).

Based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel, The Girl on the Train is adapted for the screen by Erin Cressida Wilson and Taylor. The film’s executive producers are Jared LeBoff and Celia Costas, and it will be released by Universal Pictures.

 

Godzilla is Pissed in the New Trailer for Godzilla Resurgence

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

We have a new trailer for Toho’s upcoming Godzilla Resurgence, their first Atomic rubber lizard film in a very long while.

The film is set to open very shortly in Japan followed by Hong Kong and Taiwan. There are no current dates for an American release. I’m genuinely excited to see a new man-in-a-suit Godzilla film. Hopefully it’s as fun as all the classics.

What do you think of the new trailer?

Check Out the New Star Wars: Rogue One Celebration Reel!

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by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

While it doesn’t pack the emotional punch of the behind the scenes reel that we were given for The Force Awakens, (that one made me tear up) this one is still pretty great. We see a lot of new looks at action, characters and creatures we’re not totally familiar with which is always welcome as well as some familiar locales and other stuff.

Take a look!

Leftovers Standout Carrie Coon Bringing the Law to Fargo Season 3

HBO's The Leftovers 2014 On camera props Carrie Coons-  Nora Durst

by: Jay Carlson – Editor-in-Chief

One of the biggest surprises on television the last couple years was the juggernaut that is FX’s Fargo. Never in a million years would I have predicted success from a show based around the funny accents in the Coen Brothers 1996 Academy Award winning film. But here we are with two stellar seasons under mastermind showrunner Noah Hawley’s belt with no sign of letting up anytime soon.

Season three of the hit show is adding another recent TV breakout, The Leftovers Carrie Coon, who has been mesmerizing in two seasons of the dark HBO series as well as stealing scenes in David Fincher’s Gone Girl. Coon  has signed to play the thin blue line in Edna Valley as chief of police Gloria Burgle. Coon has her work cut out for her, following in the footsteps of Alison Tollman and Patrick Wilson’s peacekeepers from seasons one and two.

Coon will join previously announced lead, Ewan McGregor in his first TV role as twin brothers, Emmit and Ray Stussey.

If you’re like me you’re champing at the bit for a new season, unfortunately Fargo is taking a break for the entirety of 2016. The show resume at some point in 2017, with a plot that is said to take place after the events of season one. But don’t get your hopes up, Hawley previously told The Hollywood Reporter that none of the cast from season one will be appearing in the new season.

Possible First Sneak Peek at the Xenomorph in Alien: Covenant

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Movies and TV shows rely on social media more than ever these days. Whether it’s connecting with fans almost instantaneously or dropping hints about upcoming storylines or currently filming projects this is a new day and age for entertainment.

Take the Twitter page @AlienAnthology. They regularly share little behind-the-scenes bits from the past classic films and even give little peeks into Ridley Scott’s current project, the Prometheus sequel / Alien prequel Alien: Covenant. And one of the latest offerings was a possible look into what we can expect the actual alien to look like.

It’s not a full look at what the xenomorph will look like (we most likely won’t get that until the first actual trailer), but for now we get a look at what may be the hand:

So we can assume that the xenomorphs will start to take the form they show in the first Alien film from the looks of this. And because the aliens tend to evolve with each race that they incubate in, it’s a safe bet that more than one of the crew in this film will come throat-to-weird-tube-thingy with a facehugger or two.

We’ll know for sure when Alien: Covenant hits theaters in a little over a year, on August 4, 2017.

Can Javier Bardem Bring Frankenstein’s Monster to Life for Universal?

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Universal is stocking it’s horror movies with some top notch talent in an effort to make their hopeful shared universe the best that it can be…and they haven’t done too shabby of a job. With Tom Cruise and Sophie Boutella in The Mummy, Johnny Depp signed on to star in The Invisible Man and Russell Crowe taking the role of Dr, Jekyll (as a possible Agent Coulson-type that will glue many of the films together) it makes you wonder who they’ll sign next.

And that question has been answered as Variety is reporting that Javier Bardem is set to star in the updated Frankenstein for the studio.

And while it would be cool to see Bardem as the mad scientist himself (his turns in No Country For Old Men and Skyfall show his cold, calculating villainous side oh so well), it was confirmed that the actor will be playing the patchwork creature brought to life by lightning and science.

Playing the creature requires a special talent. He won’t be conveying his emotions through monologues or deeply emotional speeches. He’ll need to get his point across with the bare minimum of facial expressions and body language, and that’s where I think Bardem will shine.

With the first movie, The Mummy, set to hit theaters next summer and set the tone for the future of the shared  universe we’ll see just what we’re in store for. Then we should get an idea as to where Universal is headed with these films. Until we’ll keep you updated as to any other major signings right here at IndieRevolver!

Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters Getting Extended Cut on Blu

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by: S. Scott Stanikmas – Senior Staff Writer

Paul Feig’s upcoming Ghostbusters has been met with quite a bit of resistance ahead of it’s release in theaters. I’m trying to keep an open mind and stay away from any reviews (positive or negative) so that I can make up my own mind. But one thing that irks me is the news that just came out regarding the home media release.

In an interview with Collider, Feig talked about what fans could expect on the forthcoming Blu-Ray:

We actually just finished [the extended cut] so it’s about another 15 minutes longer, but I will also include a lot of the deleted scenes and extra material that we have on the DVD.

It’s actually some stuff that we finished the VFX on just because we wanted to have this nice-looking extended cut too, so it was very kind of the studio to let us finish all of that.

So if there’s going to be a longer version with more story, why wouldn’t I just save my money and wait until it hits Blu? Why should I spend my cash to sit in a theater surrounded by people who may be talking or texting to see what amounts to an incomplete cut of the film?

I understand nearly every big-budget film these days get extended or unrated cuts on home media release, adding in material that wasn’t originally in the theatrical run. But Feig is outright telling us that the plan is to release a longer version even before this hits theaters for general public consumption. This either means his version hitting theaters is compromised or the material they’re adding in is unnecessary fluff.

And it’s not like an extended cut will make it any better or worse. I recently had a chance to see the Ultimate Cut of Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and I can’t say it was any better or any worse.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances I’ll be seeing and reviewing Ghostbusters for this weekend (spending my own hard-earned money as usual to see it, so I will be brutally honest in my assessment) so check back later in the week to see what I thought of it!

The Newest International Suicide Squad Trailer is Vexing

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From director David Ayer (“Fury,” “End of Watch”) comes “Suicide Squad,” starring Oscar nominee Will Smith (“Ali,” “The Pursuit of Happiness”), Oscar winner Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”), Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Focus”), Joel Kinnaman (Netflix’s “House of Cards”) and Oscar nominee Viola Davis (“The Help,” “Doubt”).

It feels good to be bad… Assemble a team of the world’s most dangerous, incarcerated Super Villains, provide them with the most powerful arsenal at the government’s disposal, and send them off on a mission to defeat an enigmatic, insuperable entity.  U.S. intelligence officer Amanda Waller has determined only a secretly convened group of disparate, despicable individuals with next to nothing to lose will do.  However, once they realize they weren’t picked to succeed but chosen for their patent culpability when they inevitably fail, will the Suicide Squad resolve to die trying, or decide it’s every man for himself?

Written and directed by Ayer based on the characters from DC Comics, the film also stars Jai Courtney (“Insurgent”), Jay Hernandez (“Takers”), Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (“Thor: The Dark World”), Ike Barinholtz (“Neighbors”), Scott Eastwood (“Fury”), Cara Delevingne (“Paper Towns”), Adam Beach (“Cowboys & Aliens”), and Karen Fukuhara in her feature film debut. It is produced by Charles Roven and Richard Suckle, with Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

Ayer’s behind-the-scenes creative team includes director of photography Roman Vasyanov (“Fury,” “End of Watch”), production designer Oliver Scholl (“Edge of Tomorrow”), editor John Gilroy (“Pacific Rim”), costume designer Kate Hawley (“The Hobbit” Trilogy) and Oscar-nominated visual effects supervisor Jerome Chen (“Stuart Little,” “Fury,” “The Amazing Spider-Man” films). The music is by Oscar-winning composer Steven Price (“Gravity”).

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, an Atlas Entertainment production, a film by David Ayer, “Suicide Squad.” The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. The film opens worldwide in 3D, and in 2D, and in select IMAX 3D theaters beginning August 5, 2016.