Fox Sets Release Date for X-Men: Apocalypse

Apacalypse

-Image from MoviePilot.com

As discussed yesterday, X-Men series director Brian Singer has announced that the super villain Apocalypse will join the X-Men cinematic universe in 2016. According to The Hollywood Reporter.com, 20th Century Fox has announced that the 2016 film in question will be called X-Men: Apocalypse and a May 27, 2016 release date has been set, which is roughly two years after  X-Men: Days of Future Past will be released on May 23 of this year.

X-Men movies always sell (even the crap-fest that was X-Men 3), so it makes sense that Fox is willing to break open the comic book vaults and throw movie after movie in the X-Men universe onto the big screen.

 

Apocalypse Coming to the X-Men Films

X-Men: Days of Future Past Director Bryan Singer sent out a tweet today revealing that the all-powerful villain Apocalypse will be joining the X-Men movie universe, according to ScreenRant.com. The tweet claims that Apocalypse will be in some project in 2016. This of course is huge news to anyone familiar with the character, though it will be interesting to see how one of the more “out there” characters in the X-Men mythos can fit into the generally reality-grounded Singer X-Men films.

Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark…The Movie!

Scary Stories Cover (GoodReads.com) -Image from GoodReads.com

Years ago, I walked into my gradeschool library and picked up a scary book. I was in maybe second or third grade and loved ghost stories, so I picked up “Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark” by Alvin Schwartz. It was a collection of folk tales retold with illustrations. Nothing could have possibly prepared me to open this children’s book and find this.

Scary Stories IMG 1 (ScaryForKids.com)

-Image from ScaryForKids.com

Take a good long look at that and try not to melt with fear and disgust.

About a year ago, this image popped back into my nightmares, so I decided to go to the book store and pick up a copy. I was shocked and disappointed to discover that Stephen Gammell’s amazing illustrations had been replaced by more sanitized versions. Shame.

Now, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that CBS Films has picked up the rights to make a film version of “Scary Stories” that will focus on a group of kids fighting to save their town from supernatural horrors. Anyone who has read Scary Stories knows that this has absolutely nothing like the book, which is a horror folk anthology. Supposedly, the movie will incorporate several of the book’s stories into the story of the kids.

This book is near and dear to my heart. Maybe nearer and dearer than any other. Here’s hoping this film isn’t an abomination.

Homefront

  Homefront (IMDB)

-Image from IMDB.com

Release Date: November 27, 2013

MPAA: R

Director: Gary Fieder

Starring: Jason Statham, James Franco, and Winona Rider.

Number: 4.5/5

Mister Marquee Says: Action At Its Best

DEA Agent Phil Broker (Jason Statham) moves with his daughter Maddy (Izabela Vidovic) to a small town in the middle of nowhere after an undercover mission in a drug pushing biker gang goes wrong. Not long after, Maddy beats up a bully on the playground and draws the ire of the boy’s junkie mother Cassie (Kate Bosworth). Cassie goes to her brother Gator Bodine (James Franco), who runs a meth monopoly in the area, and asks him to intimidate Broker. 

Homefront, aside from having a deceptively terrorist-ish sounding name, is based on a novel of the same name by Chuck Logan. The screenplay was written by Sylvester Stallone, and finding the fact out is one of those “oh, that makes sense” moments.

Homefront 2 (Yahoo)

Image from Movies.Yahoo.com

Oh, you want to try to mess with an action hero? Sign me up!

The main strength of this movie is how raw it feels. The set design and locations are very rustic and earthy. The costumes are grungy. The fight scenes are quick and brutal. There is nothing pretty about the fighting in Homefront; it’s strait up carnage. Jason Statham once again demonstrates how few people can kick an ass as many ways or as decisively as he can.

Don’t get the idea that this movie is nothing but Jason Statham kicking ass for and hour and forty minutes. Homefront’s formula flows suspense first > story second > action third. The plot builds slowly, and director Gary Fieder does a great job of building anticipation for the climatic gunfight. My main complaint production wise is an over reliance of quick cuts that make certain scenes nearly unwatchable, what I like to call “Marc Foster Syndrome”.

James Franco and Kate Bosworth steal the show as Gator and Cassie. For someone with so much swag, Franco sure pulls off the dirty low life well. His performance as Gator Bodine is similar to his performance as Alien in Spring Breakers, only more subdued. Kate Bosworth is entirely believable as a methed-out, crude, in-your-face hick.

Homefront (Yahoo)

-Image from Movies.Yahoo.com

Mmm…meth. 

It really kills me that Statham doesn’t end up in more quality films. He has a very captivating aura to him and is just about as good as an action star can be; yet he continually gets stuck in crap. Here, Statham is put in a movie with a decent concept and surrounded by quality co-stars and the result is a wholly entertaining movie. Homefront is a simple film, but it is a very likeable one.

 

 

Midseason Finale of The Walking Dead Draws Huge Ratings

By Hans A. Carpenter

According to ScreenRant.com, the midseason finale of The Walking Dead on AMC this past Sunday drew 12.1 million viewers. While this was maybe the most important episode of the series so far featuring the showdown between Rick’s group and The Governor that was teased at the end of Season 3, it is funny that a show about zombies which supposedly only appealed to a niche audience has been such big business for AMC.

With the success of shows like The Walking Dead, an apocalyptic zombie drama, and Breaking Bad, a drama about a high school teacher who turns to dealing meth, maybe TV executives will be more inclined to take chances on no-traditional concepts. These shows have been monster hits, and hopefully the continued high ratings will force other executives to be bold and take risks. We could be on the cusp of a new golden age for TV, which feels funny to write in the middle of the “reality” era.

Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man 2?

By Hans A. Carpenter

I was surfing ScreenRant.com when I came across a rather disturbing story. Apparently Green Goblin made an appearance on a banner promoting The Amazing Spider-Man 2, in which the main villain is being billed as Jamie Foxx’s Electro. It has been well known that Harry and Norman Osborn will be in this movie, the reveal of a possible Green Goblin appearance in a film that already has Electro and Rhino as villains is a bit of a surprise. What is even more surprising is that the costume on the banner actually looks WORSE than the often maligned “Power Ranger” suit worn by Willem Dafoe in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. The suit worn by James Franco in Spider-Man 3 (one of the few good qualities of that franchise butcher) was simple, subtle, and all around superior to either of the afore mentioned designs. Check out the article if you don’t believe me…it looks terrible.

Catching Fire Again Top Dog

By Hans A. Carpenter

For the second week in a row, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has taken home the top spot at the box office, and not by just a little bit. According to Box Office Mojo, Catching Fire took in over $200 million between Thanksgiving and Sunday, setting a new record for Thanksgiving weekend. Box Office Mojo’s weekend chart has Catching Fire pegged at $74,500,000 for the weekend, with only the animated comedy Frozen sniffing it at $66,713,000. Thor: The Dark World came in a distant third with $11,108,000.

The Walking Dead Review/Recap: The Fight We Deserve

Season 4, Episode 8 SPOILERS

By Hans A. Carpenter

Ok, everybody doesn’t die. Still, “Too Far Gone” is about as good of an episode of The Walking Dead as you will ever find. This is the confrontation between Rick’s group and The Governor that was teased at the end of Season 3 before the horribly anti-climatic season finale.

The episode begins with The Governor capturing Michonne and Hershel just outside of the prison. He then rallies his troops by convincing them that the people in the prison are murderers and that the hostages will allow the prison to be taken without killing.

Once again, The Governor’s brief moments of humanity are played up again this week. In a scene with Hershel, The Governor appears to soften again. Hershel tries to convince him that everyone can live together, and tries to appeal to The Governor as a father by telling him about his daughters who are back at the prison. Hershel asks him how a father could kill another man’s daughters, and for a brief second a flash of humanity came over The Governor’s face. Then, his face hardened to a scowl and he growled, “because they aren’t mine.”

The battle with The Governor felt rushed, as it stepped all over two subplots that have been cropping up through the early part of the season. Rick told Daryl about exiling Carol from the group, and though upset, Daryl didn’t act a fraction as upset as one would expect. It was a confrontation weeks in the making, and it fizzled out. Next, Rick and Daryl went to tell Tyreese. This is another major confrontation weeks in the making, and it is totally subverted by Tyreese finding a hole where the rats from earlier in the season were being fed to walkers. Not to sound like a broken record, but this was another plot thread from earlier in the season thrown into this jumble before it two was interrupted by The Governor’s tank. All of these moments were built up by the painfully boring early season episodes, and in a matter of minutes they were all unceremoniously dropped in a big, sloppy mess.

Things pick up though once The Governor rolls in. He holds Hershel and Michonne hostage and threatens to kill them if Rick’s people don’t flee the prison. Rick refuses, so The Governor chops of Hershel’s head with Michonne’s sword. Shots ring out, and the prison yard is thrown into chaos with bodies dropping and walkers flooding in. During the fighting, Michonne manages to escape. The children are told to take baby Judith and get on the escape bus, but the little girls Carol had been watching over decide to get guns and fight. During the battle, they shoot two of The Governor’s soldiers and manage to save Tyreese’s life, but in the process they left Judith un attended.

During all of the fighting, Lily and Megan stay behind by the river. Megan pulls out a metal sign from the mud, and a walker grabs her and bites her neck, killing her. Lily shows up on the battlefield with Megan dead in her arms, and The Governor puts a bullet in his replacement daughter’s head and returns to the fight. He has an epic fist fight with Rick and is just about to kill Rick when Michonne impales him. Lily finds The Governor dying on the ground and shoots him in the head, bringing to a close the most interesting character in the series.

Daryl does some insane heroics that pretty ridiculous, even by flesh eating corpse standards. At one point, he used a walker as a shield through heavy machine gun fire, because skin and bone stops automatic weapons right? Right? Later on, he manages to blow up the tank by throwing a grenade into the barrel while it was conveniently unguarded.

As they went to flee the ruins of the now walker infested prison, Rick and Carl went to find Judith. What they found was Judith’s baby seat empty and stained with blood. The episode ends with Rick & son stumbling into the woods as the other members of the group escape in scattered cells.

Final Thoughts

The last three episodes have redeemed what was until recently a bit of a dull season. Things became stagnant when stuck at the prison with no antagonist on the outside, and hopefully now things will pick up in the chaos of the rest of Season 4. It’s sad to see The Governor go. He was simply the most interesting character in the show. It will be interesting to see what happens now with the group split and the prison gone.

 

Where Are All The Bathrooms In Star Trek?

By Hans A. Carpenter

I have seen quite a bit of Star Trek over the years. Of all the times I’ve watched the Original Series, The Next Generation, or any of the movies or spin offs I can’t remember even one time seeing a toilet. Do people on the Enterprise not use the bathroom?

While it is true that sinks are shown from time to time, especially in The Next Generation, not once do I remember seeing someone turn the corner for a quick wiz. Not once do I remember Captain Picard leaning in to Riker and muttering “take the bridge number one, I have to take a number two.” They have long hallways on the Enterprise with light up panels that direct people from room to room, and yet we never see a restroom sign. Picard has a comfy office just off of the main bridge, and yet it doesn’t include a bathroom. It would be such a rip off to have an area to do all your command duties yet not have an easily accessible private place to do your personal duties, if you catch my drift.

It can’t be easy to design a space ship with over 1000 people from all over the universe. What kind of special restroom accommodations do different species need? In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, there is an alien who has his genitals located on his knee. Who knows how many different ways different species evacuate waste.

If there are bathrooms that we never see, do they have to design custom bathrooms for everyone on the ship? Or is there some sort of multipurpose uniform super toilet in the future? Do people poop in the future?

Paul Walker Dies In Car Crash

Fast and the Furious series star Paul Walker died Saturday night in a car accident, according to USA Today. The report states that Walker was riding back from a charity event in a friend’s car when the accident happened. Walker will always be remembered for playing Brian O’Connor in the Fast and the Furious franchise, for which Walker was working on a seventh installment before his death. According to another report by USA Today, the future of the Fast and the Furious franchise is up in the air, with its fate likely resting in Vin Diesel’s hands.

Mister Marquee’s Take

This is a sad situation, but not an unfamiliar one. As the second USA Today report points out, this is similar to the situation that The Dark Knight and The Crow experienced, although those movies were much further along than the new Fast and Furious movie.  The Dark Knight was totally finished and The Crow was very close to done (which makes Brandon Lee’s already suspicious accident even more suspicious). It will be very interesting to see what happens next. Hopefully what ever happens will be done with class and good taste.

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