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Entries in The Avengers (53)

Sunday
Aug032014

Linker by the Dozen

Salon talks to Patricia Clarkson about her career and why she never married or had kids
Pajiba 25 best triple exclamation point quotes from (recent) movie history. I added the (recent) because you know how people do with lists. It's always our lifetimes + one classic. But it's a fun list
Daily Telegraph interviews actress Rachel Griffiths on juggling career and family. "You can't win" she says
Antagony & Ecstasy remembers Eyes Wide Shut and wonders what would have happened if Stanley Kubrick had had more time with it


Gawker Bill Murray doing voicework for Jungle Book as "Baloo"
Film Stage first images from Rosewater, Jon Stewart's directorial debut
Towleroad a review of The Way He Looks. So bummed I missed this Brazilian romance at NewFest. Keep hearing good things
/Film Harry Shum Jr will co-star in the as yet untitled Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel (it's based on the book Iron Knight Silver Vase but I'd be VERY surprised if they kept that title). So glad he found a post-Glee role. Love him.
Awards Circuit polled their whole staff on '10 greatest performances'... but i don't do 100s of click throughs to see all the lists so someone tell me who has the best taste ;)

super world
Comics Alliance on the importance of Superman's forelock curl
Variety looking back at Marvel's Phase 1 and Phase 2
Kate Mara Fantastic Four is a wrap. Cute photo of the cast 

...and finally. 8 Bit Video attacks The Avengers. These things are so cute but I long for them to do something less expected than a blockbuster action movie. You know?

 

I apologize in advance for this but why does my brain always want such incongruous things as 8 Bit Far From Heaven: Help Cathy retrieve her flying scarf. Find Cathy's philandering gay husband. Train is about to depart. Or 8 Bit 12 Yea-- no, too soon. 8 Bit Black Swan Slam your psycho mother's fingers in the door for points. Pirouette until you transform into a bird. Kill your doppelganger.   8 Bit The Hours: Think you can buy the flowers yourself? Load your pockets with stones. How long can you stay underwater? Make a birthday cake while a need child looks on. GO!

Saturday
Jul262014

Live(ish) from Comic Con: Marvel-ous Ant Man & Avengers 2

Anne Marie here, wrapping up coverage from San Diego Comic Con after 8 straight hours of studio announcements. Marvel had some major obstacles to overcome for its brief one hour panel. Edgar Wright's departure from Ant Man had generated negative press, and not everyone was thrilled with the studio's decision to put out release dates unattached to any actual films. WB had been gearing up for a fight, but overall so far Hall H's announcements had been more misses than hits. As the studio delayed 15 minutes into its start time and fans grew mad, the question hung in the air: could Marvel deliver?

Answer: Hell yes.

Ant Man
Marvel president Kevin Feige introduced a panel designed to assuage fan fears: Paul Rudd (new Ant Man), Michael Douglas (old Ant Man), Corey Stoll (confirmed as villain Yellow Jacket), Evangeline Lilly (Ant Man's love interest) and Peyton Reed, who stepped in to direct. Reed was quick to flash his geek cred: 20 straight years at Comic Con and a stint in a band named the Johnny Quests. But none of that really proves his credentials as Wright's replacement. Marvel even produced a minute long teaser, despite the fact that they don't start shooting for another two weeks. It's more than WB provided for Batman v Superman, but it's not enlightening. Here's the weirdest moment of the panel:

Paul Rudd: I'm popping my Comic Con cherry, and it's as advertised.

Chris Hardwicke: If you're going to do it, do it with 7,000 people.

Michael Douglas: I've popped enough cherries.

So, Michael Douglas is kind of creepy. This isn't news, but it bears repeating.



 

Avengers: Age of Ultron
The panel assembling half of the Avengers team was charming enough, but the real show began at approximately 6:40pm, when 7,000 geeks in Hall H collectively lost their minds over the trailer for the next Avengers movie. Set to a creepy version of "There Are No Strings On Me" (the advantage of being owned by Disney), it teased Iron Man's Hulk-Busting armor, an army of Ultrons (that look suspiciously like Iron Man drones), and twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver (played by Elizabeth Olson and Aaron Taylor Johnson and totally unrelated to the Xmen versions) dealing some serious damage.

 

 

Age of Ultron promises to be much, much darker. Despite a lively banter-filled dinner party opening, the trailer ended with Iron Man holding Captain America's broken shield at the base of a mountain of superhero corpses. Chris Evans keeps saying he's out a after Captain America is over. Maybe it's over earlier than we expected.

We ended with two final announcements of the night: Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has been set for a 2017 release. Says a lot about Marvel's confidence, since Guardians 1 won't be released until Friday. But who cares, because more importantly Josh Brolin is Thanos! He walked out wearing the Infinity Gauntlet.

And that's the end of my Hall H coverage! This year was 15 hours of waiting in line and 8 hours of studio announcements. I'll be back to wrap things up Sunday night after I've showered, slept, and questioned my life choices for a bit.

Wednesday
Jul162014

Manic Linky Blog Boy

Salon Nathan Rabin apologies for coining the term "Manix Pixie Dream Girl" (Must Read!)
Dazed Director David Gordon Green cites 10 new directors we should all familiarize ourselves with including the directors of Land Ho! and Blue Ruin two acclaimed indies this year
Variety Uma Thurman auctioning off an evening with her complete with cocktails and a Pulp Fiction screening. The journalist writing this must be very young because they refer to Tarantino's smash as "the movie that launched her career". Umm... she'd already been famous for 6 years at that point and had headlined movies. Fact check anyone?
Gold Derby which episode could win Kevin Spacey the Emmy this year? (My guess: none) 

Superhero Hype interviews the producers of the new TV series Agent Carter (starring Hayley Atwell) which takes place after Captain America: The First Avenger but still in the 1940s
Guardian Mowgli, the only onscreen actor, cast in Jon Favreau's otherwise CGI Jungle Book. Do you think he's sweating considering Andy Serkis' rival motion capture Jungle Book?
Business Insider interesting interview with Hasbro on how toys become movies
Hollywood Elsewhere objects to the poster for The Skeleton Twins. Do you?
Empire new teaser poster for the horror movie Horns with Daniel Radcliffe. Wasn't that supposed to come like 3 years ago. Feels like I've been hearing about it since time began
In Contention new actors added to the Jesse Owens biopic Race. Glad to see that the departure of John Boyega for those new Star Wars movies didn't throw that one off course. 
Kenneth in the (212) what do you think of the Whitney & Bobby actors? 
Playbill last chance to see Rocky the Musical on Broadway. The boxing musical (what a weird combo, eh?) will close in August
EW first official stills from Avengers: Age of Ultron 

And here's my vote for Tweet of the Day via The Film Stage

 

 

 

I love Crash (Cronenberg version) so I was 100% delighted by this joke until it reminded that James Spader is still everywhere (ugh) on film and television despite being a majorly irritating screen presence. Well, we'll always have sex, lies and videotape (1989);  he was wonderful that one time.

 

Wednesday
Jun182014

Beauty Break: Bewitched Elizabeth Olsen

Flaunt magazine, which always has amazing photoshoots of gorgeousity, is featuring Elizabeth Olsen right about now with a profile article and a photoshoot. I've been smitten since that eery girl-without-a-center performance in Martha Marcy May Marlene but it didn't hurt that when I met her on the Oscar campaign trail that year she was even more beautiful (skin of creamy flawlessness) and we talked Michelle Pfeiffer since she's also a pfan. But I digress...

These days she doesn't have to wait for her phone to ring with movie roles though we've yet to see a role or performance from her as stellar as that quadruple named indie breakthrough. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun162014

Bobby Holland Hanton: The Man Who Has Been Thor, Batman, and Bond

Bobby Holland HantonHave you ever fantasized about being a superhero? Bobby Holland Hanton doesn't need to. He's done it time and again.

Though he's only been in the movie business since Quantum of Solace (2008), the young fit Brit stuntman has already worn the Batsuit, Thor's cape, James Bond's suits, and... well whatever it is anyone was wearing on the set of Green Lantern before it was replaced by CGI. You can see Bobby somewhere in the battle sequences of Maleficent at the moment, albeit much less foregrounded than he usually is due to doubling a who's who of A list leading men.

A former gymnast, he competed for Great Britain until he was 17, he lives a very regimented life. Before any shoot, he shifts the training to "match" the body of whoever he'll be stunt doubling for. He's stepped in on the difficult stuff for Christian Bale, Daniel Craig, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, and Channing Tatum. He's with Chris Hemsworth all the time now, which is hard work due to his size.

Hemsworth is huge and when he's Thor he's massive"

To prepare for The Avengers Age of Ultron he was training six days a week, twice a day to look like the God of Thunder. You'll see Bobby -- but you won't know you're seeing him since that's the magic and the craft  -- as Hemsworth's more acrobatic twin on two 2015 pictures: Heart of the Sea and the superhero sequel. He's also doing Captain America stunt work on Ultron somehow though we hope not in the same scene. 

I spoke to this in-demand stunt man by phone. Superpowerless mortal that I am, I couldn't very well fly to South Korea to drop in on the day's filming of The Avengers! He was out of Thor's wig on a rare early finish day (it's usually "six to six and longer") and he'd already had dinner, trained, showered and applied all his Dove Men + Care products*. He'll start the routine again the next day in the wee hours of the morning, for makeup and costuming, clipped and banded into Thor's long blond tresses all of which is rough on the hair and skin, hence the products. [*Yes, this is your requisite product placement scene within the movie. Bobby is a spokesperson for the line. I received a set in the mail after the interview which was a most welcome surprise.]

I'd never spoken to a stuntman before so at first I had to get the skinny on how one gets started. Gymnasts are naturals which should surprise no one...

[Bobby talks Hemsworth, Tatum, Batman & Bond  AFTER THE JUMP...]

Click to read more ...

Friday
May232014

Good Reads: Superheroine Edition

With various X-Men smearing their mutant DNA all of your movie screens this weekend, it's become painfully obvious that movie studios are still terrifed of superheroes with vaginas. Storm continues to be the single most-wasted ineptly-transferred great character from the comics but Kitty Pryde has an even sadder story. "X-Men Days of Future Past," one of the most famous and influential comic arcs of all time, originally granted the phasing young mutant (played by Ellen Page in the movies) the starring role. We all knew they would find a way to sideline her.

I lurve Hugh Jackman but one of my biggest disappointments about the X-Men movies continues to be the way the team aspects are muted in order to make it all about the charismatic clawed one. The Avengers figured out a way to balance multiple headliners but the X-Men movies haven't been that inspired. So here are two excellent reads from Slate if you care about the ladies and gender inequities within this genre.

"Why is Wolverine Doing All The Things I Did?"
Kitty Pryde herself (via Stephen Burt) writes a letter to the filmmakers about her suddenly sidelined heroics. Why is that exactly?

"David Goyer’s Comments About She-Hulk Make People Very, Very Angry"
The title is too utilitarian to get excited about but there a lot of great points raised in this article about origin stories and comic book sexism. This article was in response to screenwriter David S. Goyer's (The Dark Knight, Man of Steel) comments about the character of She-Hulk on a podcast we linked to yesterday. One of the two podcast hosts Craig Mazin, who used the word "slut" in the discussion, has since published an apology/clarification of what he meant. But the conversation basically treated her as a Bride of Frankenstein sex fantasy creation for Hulk -- missing the point that she was created as a female empowerment fantasy and is Bruce Banner's cousin. (Not the kissin' kind.) I suppose it's no accident that Goyer is involved with Batman v Superhero: Dawn of Justice which already controversially cast a 110 lbs underwear model as the most famous amazon superheroine of all time (that'd be Wonder Woman). 

The takeaway is that we're never going to get female superheroes done right until...

Elizabeth Olsen as The Scarlet Witch in "The Avengers: Age of Ultron" (2015)

a) more actressexual directors get involved. Joss Whedon is a great start and our best hope at the moment - look how he rescued the Black Widow from her Iron Man 2 decorative-nothingness. Can we hope that he'll also exceed expectations with The Scarlet Witch?

b) the people in charge of shepherding this genre to the screen are more evolved than Frank T.J. Mackey and don't immediately think "great tits!" first when confronted with the idea of a superheroine. There's nothing wrong with great boobs -- We fully support them and thank Scarlet Johansson for hers at least weekly --  but boobs do not a heroine make. 

You wouldn't think those two things would be such tall hurdles to clear... 

Tuesday
Apr152014

Channing "Gambit" Tatum and Your Favorite Superheroes

I've been quite blocked today (apologies) so I'd like to turn the time over to you for an open discussion. With news coming that Channing Tatum would love to play Gambit in a movie (poor Taylor Kitsch. It's not his fault everyone has tried to scrub X-Men Origins: Wolverine from their memory) Fox will surely be jumping all over that to make it happen.

Though the superhero movie boom will surely die out as all movie trends do eventually, we have no idea how long it will last so we'll just try to enjoy it while it does rather than bristle against it.

The other day on Facebook Stan Lee posted a 'name your five favorite superheroes' thread and I answered more quickly than I knew I could. Without thinking about it five names popped right into mind: Nightcrawler, The Human Torch, Storm, Spider-Man, and The Scarlet Witch. Other than Sam Raimi's perfect Spider-Man 2 I haven't had much luck getting my favorite characters translated to my taste on the screen though, so I've tended to enjoy characters I didn't much at all care for in the comics the most onscreen. Like Captain America. Speaking of... my eyes bugged out seeing a brief glimpse of The Scarlet Witch in that film and I'll be curious to see how Joss Whedon and Elizabeth Olsen dramatize her in The Avengers: Age of Ulton. But still, I hate those post-movie tags which are the heighth of pandering narrative inelegance. They're very much like "next week on..." TV tags

But I'm curious. Name your five favorite superheroes in the comments.  I perused through some answers on Facebook and was surprised to see that very few people chose heroes beyond the truly iconic household name ones - batman, superman, spider-man, and wolverine were constantly name-checked.