Several years on, people are still debating the ending of Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" and the sheer amount of destruction levelled on the fictional city of Metropolis by the fight between Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon) along with the villain's 'world engine'.
Though numerous films feature similar massive city-levelling damage on this scale, including Marvel's "The Avengers," the movie's more serious and grounded tone made the mass carnage more impactful and thus horrific to witness. The controversy has been enough that the third act of this Summer's Marvel film "Avengers: Age of Ultron" goes out of its way to show its superhero team saving civilians as the villain carries out his massive plan of destruction.
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly for their Comic-Con issue, Zack Snyder has addressed the backlash and was reportedly surprised that people were so shocked:
"I was surprised because that's the thesis of Superman for me, that you can't just have superheroes knock around and have there be no consequences... There are other superhero movies where they joke about how basically no one's getting hurt. That's not us. What is that message? That's it's okay that there's this massive destruction with zero consequence for anyone?"
Indeed the consequences of that fight will be the driving force for the start of events in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" and greatly informs the storyline. It's a choice the new Batman himself, Ben Affleck, agrees with:
"One of the things I liked was Zack's idea of showing accountability and the consequences of violence and seeing that there are real people in those buildings. And in fact, one of those buildings was Bruce Wayne's building so he knew people who died in that Black Zero event."
A better idea of how this will work is expected in a few days time when the Comic Con panel for "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" takes place in San Diego next weekend.
In loosely related news, footage has emerged of a 1997 costume test with Nicolas Cage in the Superman suit for Tim Burton's cancelled "Superman Lives" project which the upcoming documentary "The Death of 'Superman Lives': What Happened?" will explore. Click here for the video.
The first three "Uncharted" games ran at 720p resolution and 30fps (frames-per-second) on the PlayStation 3. It was hoped the upcoming fourth title "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End" would lift that to 1080p/60fps for the PlayStation 4 - however Naughty Dog's Anthony Newman, a co-lead designer on the game, says that just isn't feasible.
Speaking with GameSpot he revealed that the main reason is to ensure consistency and avoid the unlocked frame rate issues that can happen on consoles such as Naughty Dog's own "The Last of Us: Remastered" title.
"We had a really long, involved conversation about it with all the leads and directors. We just realized that, for the game we wanted to make, to make the best game possible, [30fps] was just something that we had to do.
If we wanted to hit a locked 60fps, there's a lot of optimizations in the environments that would have to happen. This would make each level take longer to make.
The same amount of geometry would take longer to make because it would have to be so heavily optimized. And so that could end up having story repercussions. We want to have this scene, but we don't have the time to make the environment. It's a feature, like any other, and you have to consider it against everything else."
Though the main game will be in more cinematic style 30fps, Naughty Dog has said they are still aiming for 60fps in regards to the multiplayer portion of the game. The remastered collection of the original trilogy will be out later this year and is expected to include the games running at around 60fps.
In related news, "Uncharted" voice actor Nolan North has suggested, whilst making an appearance at a convention, that the company is working on a sequel to "The Last of Us" according to Metro. No official announcement has about such a sequel been made developer but Naughty Dog.
Back to the fourth "Uncharted" and North says expect the new film to have a slightly more dramatic tone: "'The tone I think is going to be slightly different. Has to be. It's like, you can't have... a Robert Ludlum novel is not going to be the same as Stephen King – they're different styles. But it's true to the story.'"
"Uncharted 4: A Thief's End" is expected out in early 2016.
Two reports have emerged this week suggesting that filming is already underway at London's Pinewood Studios on "Star Wars: Rogue One," the upcoming first of the "Star Wars Anthology" films that will be released between the upcoming episodic entries in the series.
A production start date has yet to be confirmed for the film, but SW Aficionado claims that filming has been under way for the past three weeks with a 'massive air/ground bombardment' currently being done along with a major action sequence involving Felicity Jones' character.
There's also at least one scene aboard the Death Star with the production redressing sets from 'Force Awakens' to show off new areas of the Battle Station. Meanwhile Making Star Wars reports that several trees have been brought into the studio for a scene involving a ship's landing in the jungle. There has also reportedly been some second unit shooting involving Star Destroyers and other ships.
"Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One" hits cinemas December 16th 2016.
A few new details about the upcoming second season of ABC's "Marvel's Agent Carter" have emerged, including information about the antagonists for the new batch of episodes.
As previously reported, the new season shifts the action to Los Angeles and will include the return of Peggy Carter, Jarvis and at least one (if not several) of the other regulars from the first season.
EW meanwhile reports that the new season will include several villains, all of which are pre-existing characters from the comics. Executive producer Michelle Fazekas won't say who, but does say: "anybody who knows [the comic book universe] will be rewarded".
Another thing that's clear - the new season will not focus on either the Winter Soldier program or the infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D. by H.Y.D.R.A. despite those things being teased in the first season finale.
"Agent Carter" returns to screens in early 2016.
The July 4th holiday weekend saw not one but numerous titles fighting it out for honors, though it was the two incumbent champs of June that held off the competition. "Jurassic World" and "Inside Out" took the top spots over the three day holiday, both garnering around $30 million each.
"Jurassic World" continues to break records as domestically its $558 million total has now surpassed "The Dark Knight" to become the fourth highest domestic grosser ever. Worldwide its $1.385 billion haul has it in fifth place of all time, just passing "Avengers: Age of Ultron" ($1.384 billion) but just behind "Furious 7" ($1.512 billion).
"Inside Out" meanwhile has scored a dubious honor - its $246 million total means it's now the highest-grossing film to never reach number one, surpassing "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" with $241 million. It's also the only Pixar feature not to hold the number one position at the box office.
Coming in not far behind was "Terminator Genisys" which scored $28.7 million and has taken in $44.1 million over its first five days. The third place opener had an opening on par with "Terminator 3" twelve years ago, but it has fared better overseas where it has already racked up $85.5 million.
Quite a bit further down in fourth was "Magic Mike XXL" which opened to $11.6 million, just edging out "Ted 2" which took a further $11 million in its second weekend - a steep drop of 67%. "Magic Mike XXL" skewed an incredible 96% female in terms of its audience demographic.
In limited release, the documentary "Amy" about the late singer Amy Winehouse stole the headlines with a six-screen release pulling in a stunning $37,000 per screen average - more than four times higher than anything else at the box-office this weekend.
Scoring strong reviews at various film festivals so far, Asif Kapadia's Amy Winehouse documentary "Amy" avoids the usual format of docos. There's no narrator and no talking head interviews, instead we see an incredible collection of home video combined with a well-edited but nearly invisible structure.
It's a warts-and-all approach, portraying both Winehouse's artistry and addiction problems with equal measure. In taking that approach though, it paints a not so rosy picture of two key men in her life - her father Mitch Winehouse and her on again/off again boyfriend Blake Fielder-Civil.
Speaking with The Sun, Mitch Winehouse is understandably not happy about his portrayal or the doco in general. Along with claims of specific editing that paints him in a bad light, Mr. Winehouse says:
"I felt sick when I watched it for the first time. Amy would be furious. This is not what she would have wanted... They are trying to portray me in the worst possible light.
Blake is saying in the film that the reason Amy was like that was because of me - not because he gave her crack and heroin and because he completely manipulated and coerced her into Class A drugs.
If the real truth came out about Blake, he wouldn't be able to walk down the street so how they can allow him to make that claim about me is so hurtful and beyond belief.
Despite his grievances though, Mitch still urges people to see the film: "There is film of Amy that is fabulous. You should see it. Make up your own minds about the rest of the film." "Amy" is now playing in cinemas.
These days when old 'light entertainment' style 1970s and 1980s TV shows come to the big screen, we're used to them being parodies (ala "Starsky and Hutch," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "21 Jump Street"). When the big screen adaptation of "CHiPs" was announced, many widely assumed it would adopt a similar tone.
Turns out that's not the case. Michael Pena, who will take on Erik Estrada's role of Frank 'Ponch' Poncherello from the original series, tells Collider that the new film will play things serious:
It's more like a Lethal Weapon where there's a lot of action and what we wanted to do is if there's any comedy that we do, it's not like one-liners here and there, like we're the guys always being stand-up comedians. It's almost like you lose a little bit of the plotline whenever you're off doing your own comedy thing, so we're focusing a little more on the plot, if that makes any sense whatsoever .
Pena adds the movie is looking for an R rating, so get ready for something far grittier than we're probably expecting.
Acclaimed studio Telltale Games has teamed with Mojang AB for "Minecraft: Story Mode," a narrative-driven episodic game series set in the blocky, creative open world of the popular building/resource-gathering/exploration game Minecraft.
Patton Oswalt, Martha Plimpton,Brian Posehn, Ashley Johnson, Scott Porter, Dave Fennoy, Corey Feldman, Billy West, and Paul Reubens all lend their voices to the series which unveiled its first trailer at Minecon over the weekend.
Like other Telltale games including "The Walking Dead," "Game of Thrones," "Tales from the Borderlands" and "The Wolf Among Us," the gameplay here will be oriented around the player making often difficult choices and experiencing their consequences.
"Minecraft: Story Mode" will release on PC/Mac, PlayStation 4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, and compatible iOS and Android devices later in 2015.
Terminator Genisys, the latest installment of the humans vs. robots saga, riffs heavily on elements from the first two James Cameron-helmed movies in the series and largely (and wisely) ignores the third and fourth movies. It opens with humanity's defeat of Skynet in the post-apocalyptic future, the discovery of the malevolent A.I.'s last-ditch attempt to rewrite history, and mankind's savior John Connor (Joseph Clarke) sending his second-in-command and father-to-be Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back in time to save his mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke) from a cyborg hitman, procreate with her, and ensure the course of future events.
That familiar set-up takes a left turn when an unexpected event lands Kyle in an alternate timeline in which multiple Terminators have been sent throughout Sarah's timeline, including an old-school T-800 model (Arnold Schwarzenegger) reprogrammed by an unknown source and sent to protect her.
Reese seems largely redundant at this point, and his mission is skewed by the altered history. Somehow Skynet has set itself up to rise in 2017, rather than 1997, and it has a new weapon at its disposal: John Connor himself, compromised and converted into a next-generation Terminator.
Ideally there should have been a "SPOILER" alert before that last part, but that little detail was inexplicably ruined in a trailer for Genisys, robbing the movie of what might have been its most compelling plot twist. The movie never quite recovers from the loss of what should have been a "WTF" moment, and is further hamstrung by the screenwriters' unwillingness to fully explore the possibilities they so tantalizingly open up.
The notion of alternate timelines and whether or not set events can truly be altered is a tantalizing one, and exactly what the franchise needs for a successful reboot. Instead, it recycles past events and familiar dialogue, glosses over the anxiety-inducing bigger picture of transhumanism, leaves too many questions unanswered, and uses so-so action sequences to draw our attention away from gaping plot holes and lapses in logic. (Why time travel to 2017 and battle Skynet head on when you could arrive in, oh, say 2010 and take your time bringing it down before it's born. Yeesh — no wonder the machines are winning in the future.)
Arnie is largely a supporting player this time around. It's the two Clarkes who carry the movie, and both give their all against the lackluster material. It hardly matters though, as the two characters have been interpreted and re-interpreted so many times — and played by several different actors over five films and a TV series — that there is no consistency to them, and thus little to for the audience to connect with. Emilia fares the best, channeling her inner khaleesi to nail Linda Hamilton's grit and determination. Courtney still has that generic action hero feel about him, and often fades into the background. J.K. Simmons and Matt Smith are given some interesting roles that get too little screen time.
Terminator Genisys is the first of a planned trilogy; as such, it makes the same mistake as Amazing Spider-Man 2 and other over-confident blockbusters: It assumes that a sequel is a foregone conclusion and punting its loose ends downfield to be sorted out later.
If there was ever a movie that didn't need a sequel it was Steven Soderberg's Magic Mike. That's not to say that Soderbergh's 2012 film was a failure or a flop; quite the opposite in fact. A pseudo-biographic dramedy loosely based on its lead actor Channing Tatum's brief career as a male stripper, it caught viewers off-guard with an alchemical mix of verite style, humor, wit, emotional honesty, genuine sexiness, and a lot of heart.
Unfortunately, most of the above is missing from Magic Mike XXL. So much of the movie feels like leftover unused vignettes from its predecessor strung together to feature length and tossed out for public consumption. It's like your favorite band got together one more time, and then spent the tour playing B-sides.
The story takes place three years after the first, and most of the original cast is back. Ken (Matt Bomer), Tarzan (former wrestler Kevin Nash), Tito (Adam Rodriguez), Big Dick Richie (Joe Manganiello), and Tobias (Gabriel Iglesias) have been ditched by loopy strip-club entrepreneur Dallas and Mike's protegé Adam (Matthew McConaughey and Alex Pettyfer respectively, both missing in action here). They're heading for an annual male stripper convention in Myrtle Beach (seriously) and pester Mike (Tatum) to join them. Mike's been eating his heart out ever since his girlfriend, Brooke (Cody Horn, also absent), shot down his marriage proposal. He half-heartedly begs off before packing his g-string for "one more ride".
Thus begins a road trip that is every it as aimless as its participants. there's very little narrative drive or character development to be had here, or even an ounce of the unabashed ambition of the previous movie, which stripped these guys down mentally as well as physically. It's a sloppy, half-assed attempt at a road movie that lumbers from one underdone vignette to the next, mainly to set up dance numbers.
It does flirt with inspiration when the aging self-proclaimed Kings of Tampa fret over their uncertain futures, and when they re-affirm the sexiness of a group of middle-aged women led by Andie MacDowell. Strippers and actors alike are career paths based on looks and thus have built-in expiration dates, and it is refreshing to see a movie give the finger to said notion.
It's McConaughey's absence that affects the movie the most. Dallas' manic weirdness and borderline messianic ego elevated Magic Mike to cult status, and his absence in XXL leaves a considerable vacuum. Jada Pinkett-Smith comes close to filling it as Rome, a strip club impresario and Mike's former flame, . but most of her screen time is spent as a glorified MC. Amber Heard is brought in as a perfunctory love interest, but her character is thinly drawn and there's no chemistry between her and Tatum.
First-time director Gregory Jacobs' inexperience is obvious, and Soderbergh's presence as cinematographer and editor can smooth only some of the rough edges. We've seen Tatum show more depth (Foxcatcher) and better comedic timing (21 Jump Street) than he does here. His dance skills are still brilliant and, unlike the movie, he has great rhythm.
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