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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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Entries in Captain America (45)


News Bits & Bobs: Steve & Natasha, Jenn & Donald, Taika & Mjölnir

• Asking the important question: Is Captain America a virgin still? [Pajiba]
• Damnit. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have delayed the opening of their new museum. I'm so excited about this but we're talking 2018 now [Variety]
• Queen of Dystopia Jennifer Lawrence (who should thus know) has declared that if Donald Trump becomes President it will be "the end of the world". This may have been the most intelligent thing the verbally uninhibited actress has ever said [AV Club]
•  71's awesome debut director Yann Demange will director a true crime story about a teenage undercover informant - they're looking for a quick start in 2016. Yay! [Deadline

• John Waters might finally make another movie. But he won't talk about it yet! [Speakeasy]
• Black Widow is getting a new comic book in 2016. Why can't the movies understand that she deserves her own? [Comics Alliance]
• Harry Potter's voice actor in Brazil (Caio César Ignácio Cardoso de Melo), who also works as a cop, has been killed. Tragic. [The Guardian]
• 10 reveals from Joss Whedon's Avengers: Age of Ultron commentary including why he put them in marble in the end credits (I personally ed that) [Coming Soon]
• What the hell is going on with Xander (Nicholas Brendan) from Buffy? Violence and arrests right after rehab? So sad. Hope he pulls out of this tailspin. [Variety]
• Joseph Gordon-Levitt will likely headline a new thriller In Sight from screenwriter Katie Lovejoy after a bidding war [Tracking Board]
• Handsome* New Zealander hired to lift Mjölnir. Taika Waititi of What We Do in the Shadows fame will direct Thor: Ragnarok [The Wrap]
• An interesting review of Janet Jackson's new album via Rich Juzwiak. I wish the talented Juzwiak didn't have to diss Madonna to complement her but dissing that icon is as natural to humans as breathing. (sigh) [Defamer
• Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tatiana Maslany, Olivia Cooke, and Gina Rodriguez are all in the mix for the two key female roles in Star Wars Episode VIII. That's a formidable shortlist of strong popular diverse and young actresses. Let's hope the two roles are good and not just window dressing. John Boyega will chemistry test with them. [/Film]

*What? I met him one time at a festival for his second directorial feature Boy and to my surprise was struck semi-incoherent. I am only human. 


Guardians Up, Captain Down at the Saturn Awards

The Saturn Awards, which began in the 1970s, get increasingly more confusing each decade. When they first began they were very sci-fi/fantasy niche and now they regularly seem to honor films that don't have anything at all to do with once geeky now mainstream genres like that. Consider that they have nine best picture type categories and they're expansive enough in their definitions that at least half of Oscar's Best Picture nominees were nominated for something and Whiplash and The Theory of Everything even get to be Best Film winners -- neither of which seem at all "genre" though I suppose The Theory of Everything is kinda cosmic in that it has a genre icon in Stephen Hawkings as its subject.

The big winners at the annual event were Interstellar and Guardians of the Galaxy. The big loser was Captain America: Winter Soldier which had the most nominations of all (11) and managed to lose them each one. Complete list of winners after the jump...

Click to read more ...


Age of Ultron... And Marvel's Very Long "Connected" Movie

This article was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Movies really ought to be seen (and reviewed for that matter) on their own terms. But what if their very terms are -- "it's all connected!?" I had the exhaustive if qualified pleasure this week of attending "The Ultimate Marvel Marathon," in which select theaters across the nation played back-to-back screenings of all 11 of Marvel Studio's films. Those take you from Iron Man (2008) through to the latest superheroic orgy of mayhem known as The Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Between the screenings (20-30 minute breaks) were interstitials selling the television program "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" that frequently reminded us that it was 'all connected'. Does the latest film The Avengers: Age of Ultron satisfy all on its own? My early guess -- only time will tell -- is "not so much" but then, is it really intended to? 

Seeing the movies back-to-back threw their problems into sharp relief: the movies are ultimately formulaic, disinterested in women, and have weakly conceived villains (an oddity given that good villains are such a comic book staple). They also betray an unfortunate tendency to end with a battle in which large inanimate objects frequently collide or crumble, mistaking mass destruction as the highest form of entertainment when the figurative character beats as well as, yes, literal character beatings are nearly always the most pleasurable moments.

On the plus side, the marathon was a great reminder of why blockbuster culture has been stampeding all over more intimate cinematic triumphs for a long time now. [More...]

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Observations from the Ultimate Marvel Marathon

So, as those of you who read every post know, I attended the Ultimate Marvel Marathon from Wednesday to Thursday night. The AMC staff was very present and high energy and it was a fairly well run event. The best part was that once you were seated, you got to keep that seat for the duration so if you wanted a sleeping break, you could have it and when you came back your seat was still there for you! Magic.

The only super gross part? How filthy with popcorn and garbage the theater got by the end as their were no cleaning breaks. Here's my Age of Ultron review but if you're curious about the general marathon event. Read on.

Herewith a few casual observations from the Marathon as well as some impromptu lists


6:00pm IRON MAN (2008)
Twas curious to see this again knowing what it spawned, and how confident it was that it would be spawning it since it ends with an Avengers tease (then still 4 years away). It's also alarmingly sexist which I had kind of forgotten with Leslie Bibb in an awful role as a Vanity Fair reporter.

This was the film I had the vaguest memory of. Tim Roth makes a committed villain but once he's CGI he's no longer special. Edward Norton is like the opposite body type of Mark Ruffalo so that's an interesting casting switcheroo. It was also funny to notice that they used to paint abdominal muscles on the actors as opposed to making them workout for months prior to filming; things changed quickly as superheroes began to dominate pop culture. P.S. Liv Tyler's voice sure is breathy!


Click to read more ...


Link Slippers. They're Surprisingly Comfortable

Defamer Jessica Lange throwing shade Lady Gaga's way in an American Horror Story press event
White Noise wonders why Hollywood can't get hackers (and computers in general) right?
Salon Excellent interview with Daniel Franseze (Mean Girls) about his breakout Looking character, a complete rarity for TV, and HIV prevention 
Playbill has an updates on the musical version of Mean Girls that Tina Fey is working on
CHUD Bobby Cannavale says that there's a lot of comic improv in the Ant-Man film this summer 
Pajiba looks at "Jonathan" (aka Danny Strong) and how the Buffy super villain surprisingly became such a success story after the series. 

Comics Alliance Captain America: Civil War wants to start shooting in a couple of while while the various Avengers actors are still deep in promotion duties for Age of Ultron. (Marvel has definitely moved into "rush everything!" mode. It wouldn't seem to impossible if all the Avengers weren't in it but they seem to be.)
PressPlay has a video essay on what it means to be an auteur 
Playbill Liza Minnelli has reentered rehab after a recent back surgery
Black Maria has some recommendations on Warner Archive. I keep wondering if I should join this but I already spend so much $$$ on movies. Have any of you tried them out?
The Dissolve is horrified by forthcoming Robin Hood adaptations from Hollywood. Yes, there are five of them in development and they all sound quite dumb!
Pajiba omg you guys, did you see the Miley Cyrus wax figure? Yikes.
The Film Doctor looks back at Nightcrawler's "atrocity montage"
Women and Hollywood check on these horrifyingly sexist casting ads. Like this one... ugh:

There's something unnerving about her. Maybe she's read too many books?

Oscars are so far away but Oscar talk never is
Gold Standard Glenn Whipp on why the Academy shouldn't go back to 5 Best Picture nominees. Did I share this already? I might have shared this already.
Awards Daily One of our most high profile documentarians, Alex Gibney, has a possible contender this year in Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief which hits HBO at the end of the month. (Seems like wishful thinking, Oscar-wise, to me since Hollywood has a lot of Scientologists that will undoubtedly be offended by it.

Cinderella is still spinning
i09 in our Cinderella retrospective we forgot about this oddity. Fairie Tale Theater's version with Matthew Broderick as Prince Charming!
Guardian attacks the new Cinderella for not being more like Frozen and selling feisty girlpower and for its "pinkification"... whatever that word means in this context. Sigh. This article and line of thought make me angry. Listen, I'm all for feisty girlpower but you know what's even better for men and women alike? diversity in representation. It's not good for boys to only have heroes that are physically intimidating and it's not good for girls to only have heroes that are anachronistic 'you go girl!' athletic types. There's more than one way to be an admirable film character that kids can look up to. I think this adaptation does wonders keeping the princess-to-be true to the material while also transforming her into a better role model. A protagonist that emphasizes fine-tuning your inner moral compass and positively affecting change through compassion and forgiveness is a protagonist that's still mighty heroic and worth emulating if you ask me. Not every "hero" needs to be able to kick ass.


Sing-Alongs & Fight Clubs, Divas & Heroes

Awards growing like mushrooms as we race like mad to finish out the film year that just was since we've already started the 2015 celebration.

Musical Sequences
With actual musicals like Muppets Most Wanted, Into the Woods and "performance" musicals like Begin Again, Beyond the Lights, and Get On Up it's a decent time to be a fan of musicals. And since some of the most memorable sequences in non-musicals are musically inclined (think The Lego Movie's boisterous kick-off) and so many non-musical films have the musical spirit via awesome soundtracks (think A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), we have a category for that, too. Musicals for everyone! Sing-along with these ten nominees. 

Action Sequences 
Guardians, Katniss, and a sniper may have reigned supreme at the box office but Captain America: The Winter Soldier housed the year's best action sequences albeit not quite the most beautiful. The most ravishing was, incongruously, the ones starring two nuclear-slurping insect like abominations and that lizard king of monsters, Godzilla.

Two of them stop their films cold for self-important monologues. Three more regularly bring the house down. (Okay, sticklers, The Witch technically only brings the bakery door down but it's a figure of speech. Indulge me. And them; divas demand your full attention)

2014 had not one, not two, but three moving odes to solidarity and everyman heroism in Pride, Selma, and Two Days One Night. But since this is the cinema there are heroes all over for us to live vicariously through, some of them "super," others historical. And we can't forget the year's most badass warrior, the "Full Metal Bitch" herself (Emily Blunt) in Edge of Tomorrow

"I just thought there would be more," you say? Well there is. Also added: Best Line Reading and Breakthrough of the Year nominees and Best Movie Poster. Which mean only 5 categories are left to announce and then the medals! 

Can you believe I'm actually going to finish the awards this year????? "TO VICTORY!"


Mandatory Spider-Man Posting

Is Nicholas Hammond busy?As you undoubtedly have heard, Marvel/Disney closed a deal with Sony last night and now Spider-Man goes totally bi. He'll be splitting his time between two giant corporate overlords in Sony & Disney. Spider-Man's solo franchise will continue at Sony without Andrew Garfield who will finally be freed to make the movies he was meant to make after breaking through in The Social Network (2010). Cue: roughly 8 million extremely obnoxious internet articles about the casting of the new Spider-Man. I'm steeling myself: It will be so much worse than that hideous landfill phenomenon of infinite speculative Doctor Strange casting thinkpieces.

As for the new Spider-Man --  I swear to god if they start with the origin story again I will never stop puking web fluids. Everyone knows it, dumbasses. It'd be like demanding that each Biblical epic start with a two hour Adam & Eve prologue. Peter Parker will get his next solo film on July 28th, 2017 but first he'll debut over in Marvel's Cinematic Universe. The prevailing rumor is that that's within the context of Captain America: Civil War (due May 6th, 2016) which is also the film that will introduce Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther. That film is getting crowded so one hopes they don't lose the title character in a sea of universe-building agenda.

May 6th, 2016 is a tight turnaround. The ink is still drying on the contract and presumably Sony and Marvel and Disney (that's a lot of executives to please) will all have to agree on a new direction, and a new actor, and that actor's pay scale over multiple films in both supporting and leading roles for seven years (the longest you can book an actor for). And they'll have to do that this summer since Civil War will have to start filming soon to make its release date; visual effects pictures don't come together as quick as Clint Eastwood movies.

For presumably non-competitive corporate appeasement reasons, this Spider-Man deal is pushing most of the post Civil War movies previously slated back about four months.