Category: Movies

Obviously Robert Downey Jr. Will Accept Gobs Of Money To Star In “Avengers” Sequels

For a brief period of time following the arrival of “Iron Man 3,” there was a small but persistent story that kept cropping up on various movie and/or nerd-centric sites, one that focused on how Robert Downey Jr. was no longer under contract with Marvel and so maybe now that he had made $50 million dollars for “The Avengers” it was not a sure thing that he would play Iron Man again. If you heard about this, you probably thought about it for all of three seconds before moving on with your life, which is the proper thing to do if you are a person with zero horses in this race, but it was this tiny lingering thing that was mentioned every so often and even Joss Whedon weighed in on the matter. You might think that after starring in four movies that earned a combined $3.9 billion dollars worldwide — movies he made for a studio that is now part of Disney, a multi-multi-multi-billion-dollar company — that clearly this was just a case of a very wealthy person negotiating to get a huge sum of money from a mammoth corporation, and that even if he was negotiating in this case with a notoriously frugal movie studio, that obviously the parties involved would get it done and so obviously in the end the studio would fork over a stack of gold bullion the size of a small town and this would all be over and done with.

Anyway, I mention all of this to say that today Marvel announced that Downey had signed on to star in the second and third “Avengers” movies, because obviously. (There’s no mention of a fourth “Iron Man” movie, if you are curious.)

Trailer for “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Martin Scorsese’s next movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort, a very successful stockbroker in the 1990s. Yes, the entire trailer (expertly cut to the catchiest song on “Yeezus” [By far? By far]) basically screams “Goodfellas, But On Wall Street,” which is obviously a good thing because this looks pretty damn great? This looks pretty damn great.

Today in Totally Normal People Say Totally Normal Things, Will Smith and Jaden Smith Discuss Math

Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith star in “After Earth,” a sci-fi movie with a potentially promising premise (a post-apocalyptic father and son story) and a deadly flaw that should prevent anyone from ever seeing it (directed by M. Night Shyamalan).

But who cares! The important thing to know is that Will and Jaden are doing FINE, and they are definitely super normal people in every way a person could possibly be normal. Just check out these excerpts from New York interview with them:

I’ve read that you believe life can be understood through patterns.

Will: I’m a student of patterns. At heart, I’m a physicist. I look at everything in my life as trying to find the single equation, the theory of everything.

Do you think there is a single theory to everything?

Jaden: There’s definitely a theory to everything.

Well, I guess that solves any lingering uncertainty about if there is or is not a theory to everything. Jaden Smith says there’s DEFINITELY a theory to everything, so everyone else can just stand down.

Do you see patterns too, Jaden?
Jaden: I think that there is that special equation for everything, but I don’t think our mathematics have evolved enough for us to even—I think there’s, like, a whole new mathematics that we’d have to learn to get that equation.
Will:
 I agree with that.
Jaden:
 It’s beyond mathematical. It’s, like, multidimensional mathematical, if you can sort of understand what I’m saying.

Can you even understand what he means? It’s multidimensional mathematical, but you can probably only sort of understand what the star of “The Karate Kid” (no, the other one) is saying.

You and Jaden have acted in two movies together, including After Earth. Are you planning on a third?
Will:
 If you were a student of the pattern, you’d have to say we’re going to do another one.
Jaden:
 I definitely would do another one, absolutely. You know, how Johnny Depp and Tim Burton always do movies together, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio? We’ll have a relationship like that.

I personally refer to my relationship with my dad as more like Tarantino and Samuel L. Jackson, but that’s just because I don’t get patterns.

In After Earth, the father is a general who is injured and has to watch his son fight for his life. Was this a metaphor for what it’s like sending your kid into Hollywood?
Will:
 Absolutely. That’s what I wanted the metaphor of this movie to be. A father having to watch as his son makes mistakes in the world, and in an extreme place of life or death.

The movie “After Earth” — which is based on a story conceived by Will Smith — is apparently meant to parallel the story of Will Smith and Jaden Smith in Hollywood. So normal and relatable! It’s nice to know that fathers and sons are the same everywhere.

Latest trailer for “Man of Steel” is a very, very good trailer

“Man of Steel” opens in just under a month. It’s funny to think about how some of us (me, specifically) were not sure how to feel about this movie because, you know, Superman as a character is kind of dull and Zack Snyder is Zack Snyder. We (and by “we” I mean “me,” because whatever, I already wrote it, let’s just move on and never mention it again) weren’t against this movie, because it had potential, but it wasn’t atop our summer must-see list, you know? (You know.)

Now I can’t wait to see this thing. The last few trailers really won me over. The last one was great, sure, and this latest (and last) one is even better. It focuses a lot on Michael Shannon’s General Zod, the villain of the movie, which is wise because you can’t go wrong focusing on Michael Shannon playing a crazy person. And the new ad spotlights the action, which — based just on the trailers so far — looks nifty but also doesn’t seem like it will be the sole focus of the movie. (Each trailer does a great job selling different aspects of the movie. I realize I’m just complimenting the marketing here, which is odd, but the marketing has been very good!)

The point here is that “Man of Steel” looks great and I’m very excited, just in case you were wondering:

Vin Diesel takes credit for Facebook’s success, compares himself to Elvis and Brando

Vin Diesel chatted with Entertainment Weekly about the “Fast and the Furious” movies and “Riddick” and other things, and because he’s Vin Diesel he said some amazingly modest stuff about how Facebook became FACEBOOk because Vin Diesel used the site to talk to his fans. (I’m going to excerpt this at length, but again, you can read more over at Entertainment Weekly.)

So! Vin Diesel is the star of the “Fast and Furious” movies. He also has a lot of Facebook fans. Let’s dive in:

You’ve developed a big following on Facebook. What do you attribute that to?
Did you ever see the movie Social Network? Do you remember what they said the reason was to make Facebook?

To meet girls?
YOU GOT IT!

Let’s pause and appreciate Vin Diesel shouting “YOU GOT IT!” at the interviewer while discussing “The Social Network.”  Continue reading

New trailer for “Man of Steel”

As I’ve written before, “Man of Steel” has potential. The initial trailers and information made it look perfectly fine, but there are some aspects (namely, Zack Snyder and Superman as a big-screen character) that have kept me from being too excited.

This trailer, which arrived on Tuesday, moves me firmly into the excited camp. It’s a really good trailer! And at the very least, it looks like they found a different way to tackle Superman. (Having Amy Adams and Michael Shannon in the cast, in addition to Christopher Nolan’s involvement, does inspire confidence.) I still feel like we have no idea how the actual movie will work if it’s a two-hour exegesis of Superman’s tortured psyche, but I am curious to see how they mix that with a superhero origin story.

Trailer for “Elysium”

Neill Blomkamp’s last film was “District 9,” a wonderful movie and probably the best sci-fi film to land over the last several years. So quite a few of us are eagerly, hungrily anticipating his follow-up, “Elysium,” which arrives this summer. We know he has assembled quite a cast — Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, William Fichtner and Diego Luna, among others — but today we got our first look at the movie:

Well, that definitely looks terrific. I like how the scenes on Earth evoke the similarly lived-in feeling of “District 9,” that sense he created of a world with its own texture and history, rather than another cold, polished CGI construct. Remember how Blomkamp almost directed the “Halo” movie, but that fell apart, so he went ahead and wrote and directed two sci-fi movies instead? I’m sure his “Halo” would have been interesting to see, but instead we got a pair of original films: a phenomenal one in “District 9” and, now, a very promising one “Elysium.” I can’t wait.

[Yahoo! Movies]

Roger Ebert, 1942-2013

Ebert, 70, who reviewed movies for the Chicago Sun-Times for 46 years and on TV for 31 years, and who was without question the nation’s most prominent and influential film critic, died Thursday in Chicago. …

His colleagues admired him as a workhorse. Ebert reviewed as many as 285 movies a year, after he grew ill scheduling his cancer surgeries around the release of important pictures. He eagerly contributed to other sections of the papers — interviews with and obituaries of movie stars, even political columns on issues he cared strongly about on the editorial pages.

The Chicago Sun-Times announced Thursday afternoon that Roger Ebert, the paper’s legendary film critic, had died.

You should without a doubt read “A Leave of Presence,” his final blog post, published less than two days before he died. I will excerpt only the final line, which I admit is completely cheap (and you should still read the entire thing), because it is one hell of a final line:

So on this day of reflection I say again, thank you for going on this journey with me. I’ll see you at the movies.

Longform has put together a few key Ebert stories, and additional collections, reflections and reminiscences are sure to come. [UPDATE: Here’s the Longreads page with additional stories.]

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Ebert truly was one of the all-time greats. He remains an inspiration for countless people, myself included, who cannot begin to express how much we learned from him and enjoyed what he did and how he did it. Many of us who never met him, and who only knew him through his words, cannot help but feel like we lost someone we knew.