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Best Heroes & Villains of 2016

THE SHALLOWS, THE WITCH, ZOOTOPIA, and more...

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Entries in superheroes (251)

Tuesday
Jun282016

Halfway Mark: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly (So Far)

Mainstream cinema is having a rough summer, qualitatively... but let's honor what mainstream cinema often does best, for this episode of the Halfway Mark Review. Which is to say the broad strokes of Good vs Evil.

Not that mainstream movies always ace this low bar, mind you: Marvel remains mostly terrible at crafting villains, Batman v Superman was so inept that it didn't even understand that you need heroes in superhero movies. X-Men Apocalypse was a crowded repetitive mess on either side of the good/bad divide. But enough about stinkers - happy thoughts:  BESTS! 

Heroes of the Year

• The Avengers (Chris Evans, Cast & FX Team) in Captain America: Civil War
Can't they all just get along? While it'd be silly to say that Civil War doesn't tell you which team to be on (Hint: it's in the title) it does offer up enough sympathetic furrowed brow angst when looking at Team Iron Man that it's easy to understand both sides of this argument. That's half the battle in the selling the film. The other half is staging the battles so that everyone survives but looks deeply affected by the blows, which it also does well. Black Panther and Spider-Man are wonderful new additions, and Black Widow again demonstrates that she's the swiftest, most asskicking, and consistently double sided tape that arguably holds these movies together. If only Captain America, Marvel's most successful comic-to-film translation, weren't having to fight for so much attention in his own damn franchise; Iron Man never had to that. 

Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in Gods of Egypt
What's that you say? 'Gods of Egypt is a terrible movie!' Why yes, Yes it is. But that doesn't mean I can't honor Nikolaj's well shaped silly/serious turn as a blinded God. He's one of only two actors who knows what kind of movie he's in (the other is Geoffrey Rush, even better with the heightened camp) and he's fun to watch, helping to make this a sort of enjoyable terrible movie insteaad of just a terrible movie.  

Zootopia, Warcraft, The Conjuring 2 and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun242016

Thoughts I Had... The 'Suicide Squad' Character Posters

After Finding Dory's big opening this past weekend, our last remaining potential mega hit of the summer is Suicide Squad. The twist on the superhero super-antihero blockbuster is our only comic book film of the season left (shocking, right?) and is pushing hard to turn favor for the DC Universe after this spring's unmentionable. While it has a cast packed with stars and recognizable faces, some of its characters are still unknown to the masses.

And wouldn't you know, here's a new set of character posters to get you acquainted! We've covered the film's building teases, but this is too poppy and fun to pass up. 

Here are some thoughts...

Viola Davis: Superhero sounds like the summer blockbuster we actually need and deserve. Special powers include being flawless, cutting victims down to size with a single withering glance, and making the masses cry on cue. "Worst. Heroes. Ever."?? Not on your life, darling...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun062016

Link Me Amadeus

The Ringer "X-Men Apocalypse Self-Loathing Index" funny stuff on which actors want to be there and which are embarassed by it
Variety Peter Shaffer the man behind the classic plays turned classic movies Amadeus and Equus has died at 90 because 2016 is the worst (The Grim Reaper must want to make his bonus this year or something)
The Playlist Splash is getting a remake (with an unnamed twist). Good luck trying to beat Daryl Hannah as Madison. They'll need it. 

Seventh Row "Matthias Schoenaerts and the art of not speaking"
The Economist Why does The Shining have such cross media cultural staying power? 
Variety wonders if its time for Emmys to bring back blue ribbon panels and divvy up the voting with so much acclaimed television coming from such unlikely places. Why not do it like Oscar's foreign film committees to narrow things down before final nomination voting?
Comics Alliance investigates what's going on with the movie rights to Namor, the Sub-Mariner since even Marvel executives have often been wrong about it in quotes. The basic gist is "we don't know" but the punchline of the article is wonderful
Pajiba on Mystique's shape-shifting and the X-Men's Queer metaphors. I like this piece but I still hate the idea of a Mystique movie with Jennifer Lawrence which the internet keeps wishing for. It's the only performance she's ever given that seemed to have zero interest in its own existence. Dear actors, please never take roles you're not interested in if you already have enough money. It only hurts the movie and the audiences. 
The Film Stage new trailer to Phantom Boy from the directors of the Oscar-nominated A Cat in Paris. Oh, and here's the new poster:

If you'll recall I loved this movie when I saw it at TIFF last September and urge you to go see it when it hits theaters on July 15th. We already have two animated contenders, the other being Zootopia, to really get behind this year for Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature

OffScreen
New York Times great essay by Wesley Morris on how Muhammad Ali evolved from sports idol to the public's conscience

Sunday
Jun052016

Podcast: Love & Friendship, Neighbors & Apocalypse  

Katey is back! Our very pregnant team member returns to discuss a few new movies with NathanielNick, and Joe and catch up.

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Katey is back!!!
02:36 Money Monster
11:30 X-Men Apocalypse
23:36 Love & Friendship
31:28 Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
42:05 Goodbyes

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes tomorrow. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

Neighbors 2, Apocalypse, Love & Friendship

Sunday
May292016

Review: X-Men Apocalypse

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

If you experience extreme deja vu at the movie’s this weekend, don’t panic – that’s just how summer movies play. Take X-MEN APOCALYPSE for example. The sixth film in the X-Men franchise will feel very familiar if you’ve seen any X-pictures before. And maybe even if you haven’t. So let us begin (again) with a short detour.

Oscar Isaac is the internet’s current boyfriend and an amazing actor and as is required by the law of desire he’s in everything now. He was used sparingly but potently in The Force Awakens last Christmas as dashing pilot Poe Dameron and he’s in theaters again in a much larger role as the big bad of X-Men Apocalypse...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May152016

Recommended Elsewhere...

Seven things I quite enjoyed reading this weekend.

"We're still friends, right?"Seventh Row Is Tom Hiddleston's charm getting in the way of greatness as an actor? 
Meta Komik I've recently discovered that "Doubtman" has been my arch enemy all along (3 pages)
Cinesnark lovely piece on the tiny arc of Bucky Barnes, the Winter Soldier within Captain America: Civil War
The Onion "Aging succubus lowering standards for men ever since she turned 40,000"
Thrillist why Black Widow is Marvel Studio's Best & Worst character 
New York Review of Books a classic from Joan Didion on Woody Allen's new "serious" phase (originally published in the late 1970s but it's most definitely still brilliant.)
Pajiba which of the Avengers would be the best in bed? I support the results, actually, except for the absurd undervaluing of Agent Peggy Carter (it is *very* clear they haven't watched Agent Carter). On the other end of the spectrum now I feel even worse for tragic Bucky.

Friday
May132016

Thank Link It's Friday

Vanity Fair meet Millicent Simmonds, a young deaf actress starring in Todd Haynes next film Wonderstruck
Film Independent if you are very rich and can afford $150+ to see a live screenplay reading, Hannah and Her Sisters is being performed tonight in Manhattan. Olivia Wilde directs an all star cast including: Bobby Cannavale, Rose Byrne, Uma Thurman, Michael Sheen, Maya Rudolph, and Salman Rushdie. (Love all those ladies but I'll save my pennies to see two fully staged Broadway shows on discount for that price. Jesus)
Oscars YouTube has released a bunch of conversational videos with the team behind Beauty & The Beast for its 25th Anniversary
Decider Joe Reid remembers gay romcom The Broken Hearts Club (2000)
The Film Stage interview with Terence Davies about Sunset Song (2016) now playing
Vulture why X-Men Apocalypse has so little buzz

 

Stage Buddy Nico Tortorella, of Younger fame, tests his comic chops out on stage in "Crude"
Nick's Flick Picks is revisiting the 1996 Cannes Festival, day by screening day. First up was Oscar nominees Ridicule (1996)
Film Forum (NYC) is screening several films based on the work of Noél Coward starting today including Design for Living, Bunny Lake is Missing, and Brief Encounter
Rolling Stone on a newly restored X rated Japanese anime from the 70s, Belladonna of Sadness
Talk House a comic strip review of a comic book movie (Civil War) - this is really fun
THR George Miller talks about his past Cannes jury stints (this next week he's leading the jury) and Oscar night for Mad Max Fury Road 
Interview Magazine unearths a Laura Dern interview from 1990. Great photos. 

Off Cinema
Monkey See lovely piece on reading to your children and the power of spoilers with a Star Wars slant
Madonnarama Madonna will be honoring the late Prince with a performance at the Billboard music awards on May 22nd
Vox on progressive US's citizens frequent threat to move to Canada -- hard to do!
Mic LGBT magazines have an unfortunate habit of lily white male covers, straight and gay. Here are 100 suggestions for LGBT people of color who'd look great on magazine covers. 

Body Positivity
This topic seems to be in the air right now -- and god knows who couldn't use it? -- so here are two good links on insecurities and self-discoveries  
Buzzfeed "Wrestling taught me how (not) to be a man"  
Towleroad "I am a Man..." is there strength in revealing our insecurities? Or just camarederie? 

This is Funny
I don't know who did it though I'd love to give credit -- maybe it's from here? -- but I LOL'ed 

More Captain America Funny: In related unexpectedly amusing news, the US Army confirms that it would indeed owe Steve Rogers 66 years of back pay after he was thawed out in Captain America: The First Avengers; Pajiba reveals a list of every "Chris" that is not part of the Marvel-verse; Over at Funny or Die, thanks to Tony Hale, Civil War Reenactments now mean a completely different thing...It's not a hobby it's a lifestyle!

Random News To Go
Godzilla 2 has been pushed back to 2019. Way to strike while the iron is hot, Warner Bros. Five years between movies? Strange.
• It's not official official yet but Lupita Nyong'o is reportedly in talks for Marvel's Black Panther, assumed to be the superhero's love interest
• We dreaded it and it's now official: Agent Carter, Marvel's most joyful current property (and they have so many now on TV and film) has been cancelled. In much happier news, The Real O'Neals (absolutely adorable and super funny - please tell me you're watching) has been renewed. Here's a bunch of other new cancellations and renewals.