July 30, 2016
        Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Supporting Actor contenders                "Jason Bourne" brings back Matt Damon to the franchise                Mike Mills' "20th Century Women" is the Centerpiece of the 2016 New York Film Festival                A Teaser Trailer for "Justice League" suggests a really fun blockbuster                "Blair Witch" and "Wonder Woman": Comic-Con unleashes a ton of buzz worthy Trailers                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actress contenders                "Star Trek Beyond" is a rare success for the 2016 summer movie season                The 2016 New York Film Festival will open with Ava Duvernay's documentary "The 13th"                Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make us swoon as "La La Land" drops a luminous Teaser Trailer                "Loving" announces itself as an awards player with a great Trailer                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for July                Woody Allen has another crowd pleaser on his hands with "Cafe Society"                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actor contenders                Kristen Stewart shines in the sci-fi love story "Equals"                'Ghostbusters' is an excellent re-invention of the classic franchise        

Tag Archives: robert downey jr.

Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” prepares for an epic big screen fight

Sort of quietly and without nearly the fanfare of some other properties, Marvel has seen their Captain America series of films become some of the most popular in their cinematic universe. With the release this week of Captain America: Civil War, the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) might very well have their biggest hit yet. High praise, I know, especially considering how well The Avengers did, but this seems to have a groundswell of support. From the newcomers joining the fray to seeing basically every hero go toe to toe, it’s an event film in the very sense of the word. For all the ways that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice seemed not to satisfy audiences/critics, this one could be picking up the slack. It looks like a slam dunk blockbuster is coming our way.
A quick refresher for you all who might not be completely in the know about this one. The film, which is the third in the Captain America franchise (now a trilogy after Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and the next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, picks up following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. In some ways, this is essentially a pseudo sequel to that and basically an Avengers movie in everything but name. When government regulation of superheroes is proposed in the aftermath of a tragedy and the previous destruction caused by various heroes, as well as dealings with Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), our protectors take up opposing sides of the law. On one end, opposing regulation, is Captain America (Chris Evans), while supporting the act is Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.). All of the Avengers and other heroes take up one side or the other, with newcomers including Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who have their own agendas. The movie is directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo (who previously did Captain America: The Winter Soldier and will be doing the next Avengers sequel), the screenplay is by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (who are Winter Soldier vets too), while the cast, aside from the aforementioned big players, includes Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, William Hurt, and Daniel Brühl, among plenty of others. The Russo Brothers are obviously helming their second Captain America flick and have […]

“Captain America: Civil War” dropped a top notch new Trailer

Yesterday morning, Marvel delivered a powerful new Trailer for their upcoming blockbuster sequel Captain America: Civil War. Almost a pseudo Avengers film, this impending epic sees the beloved Civil War comic storyline adapted for the screen, another milestone/seminal moment for superhero cinema and its fans. The debut of the new Spider-Man in this Trailer would be big enough on its own for a post today, but the whole thing is strong enough to warrant a slightly larger read on it all. So, that’s just what we’ll be doing right now. It’s time to start getting excited for Captain America: Civil War in a real big way. It could wind up being something special.
The film, the third in the Captain America franchise (after Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and the next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, picks up following the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron. When government regulation of superheroes is proposed in the aftermath of a tragedy, as well as dealings with Bucky Barnes/The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan), our protectors take up opposing sides. On one end, opposing regulation, is Captain America (Chris Evans), while supporting the act is Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.). All of the Avengers and other heroes take up one side or the other, with newcomers including Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland). The movie is directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, the screenplay is by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, while the cast, aside from the aforementioned players, includes Scarlett Johansson, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd, Frank Grillo, William Hurt and Daniel Brühl, among others. The Russo Brothers are helming their second Captain America flick and have the next Avengers movie on their plate (a two parter, no less), so this is a big title for them, to say the least.
What has me so interested in this movie is how it’s potentially so many things at once. Not only is it our third Captain America installment, it’s as close to an extra Avengers film as we can possibly get, while hopefully restoring some goodwill after Avengers: Age of Ultron underwhelmed some folks. In addition, we’re seeing the introduction of two new major characters in Black Panther and Spider-Man, while really building full steam ahead towards the two part Avengers: Infinity War epic that will […]

The Hollywood Film Awards Series: James Corden is the HFA host, but who will be Oscar’s?

With the recent announcement that James Corden was going to be the host of the 19th annual Hollywood Film Awards, I was struck by two notions. One was that it was a perfect reason to have another installment in the Hollywood Film Awards Series that we’ve been doing here, but also that it was an excuse to ponder who the Academy might choose to host the Oscars. Corden is an excellent choice for the Hollywood Film Awards and is a real get (much like Queen Latifah was the last time around for them), so the Academy Awards will have to try hard to top that pick. It’s doable, but the producers for the Oscars will have to really make an effort this time around. In honor of that, I figured I’d help and consider some names that might be worth sniffing around and offering the gig to…
Basically, what I’m going to do today is show you a few different categories that the producers could separate potential host candidates into. Believe me when I say that I don’t have an exhaustive list below for you, but what I have is a grab back that shows some of the possible avenues. So far, it’s anyone’s guess who the powers that be are partial to, but some rumors have thrown about names like Ellen DeGeneres and/or Steve Martin among former hosts, as well as the likes of Steve Carell and Justin Timberlake. I’ve included those names below, but among a handful of others alongside them.
The first grouping that I think is possible consists of former hosts. There’s the aforementioned Ellen DeGeneres and Steve Martin, but you’d have to also put Billy Crystal on that list as well. I’m not sure that this is the best way to go, but it’s the safest way to go. You can also look to Jon Stewart as another possible candidate among this grouping, though it remains to be seen if this is something he’d ever be interested in doing again. If he is, he’d be my pick of this litter, but given the choice, I’d shy away from a returning champion, as it were. There are more interesting choices elsewhere.
Next up is the obvious grouping of comedians/late night hosts, who are always under consideration. This list would include the likes of Louis C.K., Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Amy Schumer. You never know how the […]

“Ant-Man” is Marvel’s latest success story and one of their better releases

Back when Avengers: Age of Ultron was about to hit theaters, I ranked the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, 11 films at the time. Now, with Ant-Man the latest MCU release coming this weekend, I’m going to go ahead and re-rank Marvel’s titles. I’ll have more to say about Ant-Man than the others, of course, but essentially I’m just slotting in Paul Rudd’s diminutive hero into the old list, particularly since this list will continue to be in flux over the next few years. What Peyton Reed and company accomplished with this one is worth taking note of, but 2016 and beyond offers plenty more Marvel to get excited about. As such, this list will pop up again before long. In the meantime though, it’s fun to see how it looks with a new movie added in.
Quickly, a few initial thoughts on Ant-Man. In short (no pun intended), it’s quite good and works in spite of a tonal oddity. What I mean by that is Edgar Wright’s DNA is still very much there, despite Wright having left the project and not directing it like he initially intended to. His script is still partially used though, so at times this is an above average Marvel flick and at others it’s a really offbeat pseudo Wright movie. The end result is a lot of fun, if slightly quaint by current MCU standards. Rudd and Reed have a blast and it rubs off on you. This isn’t as good as Marvel’s best, but it’s not nearly as far off as you’d think.
Like last time, one thing to keep in mind is that this list is going to change in a hurry. In less than a year, Phase Three will be in full swing for the MCU and Kevin Feige’s big plan for cinematic world domination. That next stage will bring Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange in 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, the untitled new Spider-Man movie (rumored to be called Spider-Man: The New Avenger), and Thor: Ragnarok in 2017, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel in 2018, and finally Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 and Inhumans in 2019. After that, I’m sure we’ll have an Ant-Man sequel at some point, among others. Basically, expect this list to get updated more than once in the years to come…
Here now are all of the current installments of the Marvel […]

The Ten Best Action Movies of the New Millennium

Who doesn’t love a good action movie? They’re among the most fun that Hollywood has to offer, particularly when they’re of a high quality. Later on this week, a reportedly amazing new one in Mad Max: Fury Road is hitting theaters, so to prep us all for that experience (I see it later on today, so yay for that), I wanted to do a countdown of the recent best that the genre has to offer. Essentially, every action flick since 2000 was eligible, and I whittled that down to a top ten list. It’s hardly the definitely “new millennium action movie” list, but I think it’s a pretty solid one, to say the least. You’ll be able to see the list below, which could very well be amended once Mad Max: Fury Road comes to town…
Here now are my picks for the ten best action films since the year 2000:
10. King Kong – Peter Jackson’s unneeded remake of the classic action adventure turned out to be my favorite version of the story, go figure. The special effects are extraordinary and watching Kong interact with the world through Andy Serkis was a real joy. I may be in the minority here, but I absolutely loved it. It manages to stand alongside the all time classic original.
9. Kick-Ass – It hasn’t quite held up as well as the initial viewing suggested, but Matthew Vaughn’s deconstruction of the superhero origin story is a ridiculous amount of fun. The main pleasures are watching Nicolas Cage not play Batman, along with Chloe Grace Moretz giving a nomination worthy supporting turn as Hit-Girl. That initial magic wasn’t captured by the sequel, but that takes nothing away from this one.
8. Looper – Not only is this a great action flick, it’s also the best film of Rian Johnson’s career so far and a amazing time travel tale as well. It’s nearly perfect, offering up one of the best performances to date from both Joseph Gordon-Levitt as well as Bruce Willis. A modern classic, it basically demands that you honor it for its inventiveness and effectiveness.
7. Black Hawk Down – I’d have put this higher if not for the fact that it’s less fun due to the tragic real life story that inspired it. Still, this is one of Ridley Scott’s best and the most effective war movie since Saving Private Ryan. It’s so visceral and well made, […]

“Avengers: Age of Ultron”: Ranking the films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Folks, t’s almost time for the Avengers to assemble. Yes, with Avengers: Age of Ultron set to hit theaters domestically on Friday, I wanted to take a look at the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU) so far and rank them in order to see the best of the MCU to date. They haven’t made a bad film yet, so that makes this a particularly enjoyable task, basically having to separate the solid from the very good from the great. Count me in for something like that all the time, though today it’s particularly apt to do the MCU with Avengers: Age of Ultron fresh in my head from a recent press screening.
One thing to keep in mind is that this list is going to change in a hurry. In just a few months, Ant-Man will be the other 2015 release from Marvel, and from then on we’ll be at Phase Three of their grand MCU plan. That will bring Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange in 2016, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, the untitled new Spider-Man movie (rumored to be called Spider-Man: The New Avenger), and Thor: Ragnarok in 2017, Avengers: Infinity War Part 1, Black Panther, and Captain Marvel in 2018, and finally Avengers: Infinity War Part 2 and Inhumans in 2019. Basically, expect this list to get updated more than once in the years to come…
Here now are all of the current installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, ranked:
11. Thor: The Dark World – If this is the worst that Marvel can do, we’re in a good place. Thoroughly acceptable but without much of a spark, this sequel has Thor pretty much doing the same thing as in the first one. The enjoyably larger role for Loki saves it from turning into a slog.
10. The Incredible Hulk – More a byproduct of not knowing how to use Hulk properly than anything else, this shows Marvel as a studio still finding their footing in the world. The fact that it’s more or less not referred to at all in the canon of the MCU should be telling, though it’s not unenjoyable at all. Still, this and the title above are the clear weak links.
9. Iron Man 2 – The one film in the series that got too concerned with setting up The Avengers, there’s plenty to like here with Tony Stark/Iron Man just as fun as always. […]

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” begins to roll out worldwide

All this week, we’ve seen Marvel slowly begin to allow reviews to trickle out about Avengers: Age of Ultron, in advance of the global release this weekend, followed by the U.S. next week. So far, the early word has been pretty solid, with some out and out raves and almost no outright detractors. After how big a smash across the board The Avengers was, seeing the sequel apparently continue the trend is a solid sight to behold. Marvel continues their perfect record and comic book fans get another top tier piece of entertainment to enjoy. The summer movie season is about to begin folks…
You’d basically have to live under a rock not to be fully aware what this film is about, but at the off chance you don’t, I’m more than willing to provide a quick primer. Continuing the Marvel Cinematic Universe and working not only as a sequel to The Avengers but also Captain America: The Winter Soldier, this flick sees the team of superheroes faced with a dastardly Artificial Intelligence named Ultron (voice of James Spader). As such, it’s up to Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Hemseworth), Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), along with newcomers Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), to save the day. Hayley Atwell, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Samuel L. Jackson, Anthony Mackie, Colbie Smulders, and more return as well. Joss Whedon once again co-writes and directs. All told, it’s probably the largest scale comic book film to date.
What Avengers: Age of Ultron is doing now is setting up the next phase in Marvel’s giant plan, culminating in the next Avengers flick, which is a two parter. Sure, it’s a few years before Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 hits in May of 2018 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2 in May of 2019. Those films will basically result in a whole new direction for the company, or at least we assume. At the very least, they will mark Whedon turning over controls of the flagship Marvel franchise to veterans of Captain America: The Winter Solider and next year’s Captain America: Civil War, the Russo brothers, Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. They’ll be the big shepherds from here on out, with Civil War upping the ante presumably from Age of Ultron and whetting the appetite for both parts of […]

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON World Premiere

“When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.

Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk and Chris Evans as Captain America. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.

Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Patricia Whitcher, Stan Lee and Jon Favreau serve as executive producers. Get set for an action-packed thrill ride when The Avengers return in Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” on May 1, 2015″
To learn more go to AVENGERS – AGE OF ULTRON
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Extended Movie Clip

Avengers: Age of Ultron interviews – Downey Jr, Hemsworth, Evans, Spader, Ruffalo, Johnasson, Renner

Shailene Woodley and “The Fault in Our Stars” rule at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards

Last night, the 2015 MTV Movie Awards were held, with Amy Schumer given the hosting duties (hopefully in preparation for one day hosting the Oscars) and a wide variety of films up for honors. Frankly, it was a better group of nominees than usual for MTV. That being said, the winners more or less were who you expected them to be. Luckily though, the most successful film of the night was The Fault in Our Stars, which happens to be a phenomenal movie, in addition to being pretty MTV friendly. That’s a win/win situation for this particular awards show, if you ask me.
I usually don’t pay too much attention to this awards show, but over the past few years, they’ve been doing a better job with their nominations. A lineup for Movie of the Year (their Best Picture slate) this time around was American Sniper, Boyhood, The Fault in Our Stars, Gone Girl, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Selma, and Whiplash. Give or take a title or so here, that would represent the sort of diverse lineup that some have suggested the Academy needs to strive for with Best Picture at the Oscars. They’ll never tilt that far towards the blockbuster/mainstream, but for a lesser body like the MTV Movie Awards, it’s a pretty respectable lineup.
In terms of their winners, they mostly came up with strong choices. The Fault in Our Stars took Movie of the Year, while Bradley Cooper won Best Male Performance for American Sniper and Shailene Woodley took Best Female Performance for her role in The Fault in Our Stars. Woodley was also given the Trailerblazer Award and shared Best Kiss with her costar from The Fault in Our Stars Ansel Elgort. Robert Downey, Jr. was given the Generation Award and Meryl Streep was awarded Best Villain for her work in Into the Woods. Those were the “prestige” winners of note, while you can also applaud Channing Tatum winning Best Comedic Performance for 22 Jump Street. It’s hard to not be at the very least satisfied with those picks.
On the flip side, this is still the MTV Movie Awards, so there were plenty of wins that were iffy at best, or just catered to teenagers. They’re not worth getting into, as you’ll see them below in the full list of victors, but they don’t dominate the lineup like they might have […]

Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner – Avengers: Age of Ultron Trailer

Marvel Studios presents ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron,’ the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.
Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ stars Robert Downey Jr., who returns as Iron Man, along with Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Mark Ruffalo as Hulk and Chris Evans as Captain America. Together with Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye, and with the additional support of Don Cheadle as James Rhodes/War Machine, Cobie Smulders as Agent Maria Hill, Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the team must reassemble to defeat James Spader as Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction. Along the way, they confront two mysterious and powerful newcomers, Pietro Maximoff, played by Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Wanda Maximoff, played by Elizabeth Olsen and meet an old friend in a new form when Paul Bettany becomes Vision.
Written and directed by Joss Whedon and produced by Kevin Feige, p.g.a., Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series ‘The Avengers,’ first published in 1963. Get set for an action-packed thrill ride when The Avengers return in Marvel’s ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ on May 1, 2015.
Cast:Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård with James Spader and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

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