Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

Posts tagged “The Avengers

Powers Boothe R.I.P

029-deadwood-theredlistPowers Boothe, a character actor who appeared in films like Sin City and TV shows including Deadwood and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., died Sunday morning in his sleep of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles. He was 68.

His rep told The Hollywood Reporter that a private service will be held in Boothe’s home state of Texas, with a memorial celebration under consideration as well. Donations can be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation, which honors the nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need.

Boothe, who grew up on a farm in Texas, began his acting career in the theatre, playing in a number of Shakespearean productions including Henry IV. He made his Broadway debut in the late 1970s in Lone Star & Pvt. Wars.

In 1980, Boothe won an Emmy for lead actor in a limited series or special for playing cult leader Jim Jones in CBS’ Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones. He won that award during an actors strike and chose to cross the picket line to accept his trophy, saying, “This may be either the bravest moment of my career or the dumbest.”

On the strength of Guyana Tragedy, he was cast in Southern Comfort, one of my favourite movies of the 80’s. His character, Corporal Hardin was described by Director Walter Hill as “the rational, hardworking, self made individual” a description you believe could be applied to the subsequent casting image of Boothe.

He starred in A Breed Apart (1984), the John Boorman Amazonian adventure, The Emerald Forest (1985), again for Walter Hill in Extreme Prejudice (1987). He was unforgettable as the wicked gunman Curly Bill Brocius in Tombstone (1993). Excellent as Alexander Haig in Nixon (1995) and a sheriff in another Oliver Stone film, U Turn (1997).

Boothe gained a reputation for playing villains with memorable roles in the action film Sudden Death (1995), Bill Paxton’s Frailty (2001) and the nefarious Senator Roark in Sin City (2005). Perhaps his most famous villain role was Cy Tolliver, the ruthless saloon owner on HBO’s Deadwood. 

Boothe also was nominated two ensemble SAG Awards, first in 1996 alongside the cast of Nixon and then again in 2007 with the cast of Deadwood.

More recently, Boothe took on the role of Gideon Malick as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, debuting the role in 2012’s The Avengers and reprising it on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

 


Hollywood Disaster Maps

At the movies a city-destroying disaster is just the expected conclusion of any big action movie. Politicians and the media can argue all day long about whether Hollywood is destroying America in the spiritual sense, but filmmakers definitely love wrecking the country as part of a blockbuster narrative.

Check out this Hollywood disaster map that illustrates just how and where the movies like to hit. Not surprisingly, New York and Los Angeles lead the rest of the country in terms of general destruction. The infographic was put together by Reuben Fischer-Baum and Samer Kalaf. Their map covers 189 cinematic attacks (it doesn’t count post-apocalyptic adventures or small-scale attacks), which means it’s by no means a comprehensive list. For “fictional or undefined locations” like Gotham City, they assigned an approximate real-world analogue. Thanks to /Film for the link.


Image

Guardians of the Galaxy – First Press Release

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy


Thor 2 – Reviewed by my 8 Year Old Son

Thor-2-The-Dark-World_Banner1Thor is about these creatures called “Dark Elves” who was led by the chief elf Malekith who lived before us in a dark universe but was defeated by Asguardians 5000 years ago. But Malekith  survived and is looking for the ether to help him destroy Asguard.
Thor needs Loki’s help to defeat Malekith but they don’t trust each other.
My favourite bits are near the start when a giant rock creature walks up to Thor and he smashes it to pieces, and asks everyone “anyone else.” And all the bad guys bow down, and one of Thor’s friends says “next time lets start with the big one”
The other funny bit is when the scientist called Eric is on the tv news naked and his private parts are pixeled out.
I liked it, it was good fun.

I gave it Thor and a half stars.

Thor-2-The-Dark-World_Banner2


Captain America: The Winter Soldier

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, aka Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.


Iron Man 3 Poster Art

Metropolis - FinalMetropolis - Final


Iron Man 3 – Concept Art

Iron Man 3_Concept Art_1 Iron Man 3_Concept Art_2


Image

Thor: The Dark World – Olly Moss Prints

Thor-The Dark World_Olly Moss


Homage to Marvel – By BlackMeal

Check out this BlackMeal homage to Marvel, which created most of the superheroes who entertained generations of children and adults for more than 80 years.

BLACKMEAL – MARVEL from BlackMeal on Vimeo.


Iron Man 3 – Posters

Iron Man 3_posters
Meet the brand new Tony Stark, Mandarin and War Machine in this new series of posters…

iron-man-3-poster


Iron Man 3 – Trailer

Meet the brand new Tony Stark, Mandarin and a lot of brand new suits of armour, such as the HULK Buster , in this new trailer 2 of Iron Man 3 !


The Avengers – LEGO Game

The Avengers_LEGO Gamelego-marvel-super-heroes-spider-man

lego-marvel-super-heroes-wolverine


The Avengers – Poster Art by Marko Manev

The Avengers_Marko Manev
Click on the image for Hi-Res individual Poster Images.


Image

Super Powers Chart by popchartlab

PopChartLab_Superpowers_Final


Samuel Leroy Jackson

Samuel L Jackson_movie bannerSamuel Leroy Jackson (born December 21, 1948) is an American film and television actor and film producer. Jackson was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with his mother, Elizabeth Jackson, and his maternal grandparents and extended family. Initially intent on pursuing a degree in marine biology, he attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. After joining a local acting group to earn extra points in a class, Jackson found an interest in acting and switched his major. Before graduating in 1972, he co-founded the “Just Us Theatre”.

Pulp Fiction_Samuel L Jackson movie posterJackson began acting in multiple plays, appeared in several television films, and made his feature film debut in the blaxploitation independent film Together for Days (1972). After these initial roles, Jackson proceeded to move from Atlanta to New York City in 1976 and spent the next decade appearing in stage plays. Throughout his early film career, mainly in minimal roles in films and various television films, Jackson was mentored by Morgan Freeman. After a 1981 performance in the play A Soldier’s Play, Jackson was introduced to director Spike Lee who would later include him in small roles for the films School Daze (1988) and Do the Right Thing (1989). He also played a minor role in the 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas as real-life Mafia associate Stacks Edwards.

Pulp Fiction_1994_wallpaperAfter gaining critical acclaim for his role in Jungle Fever (1991), he appeared in films such as Patriot Games (1992), True Romance and Jurassic Park (both 1993). In 1994, he was cast as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction, and his performance received several award nominations and critical acclaim.

Directed in a highly stylized manner by Quentin Tarantino, who co-wrote its screenplay with Roger Avery; the film is known for its rich, eclectic dialogue, ironic mix of humor and violence, nonlinear storyline, and host of cinematic allusions and pop culture references. The film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture; Tarantino and Avary won for Best Original Screenplay. It was also awarded the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. A major critical and commercial success, it revitalized the career of its leading man, John Travolta, who with Samuel L. Jackson and Uma Thurman, received Academy Award nominations.

Pulp Fiction_Vincent Vega_Jules Winfield_John Travolta_Samuel L JacksonPulp Fiction connects the intersecting storylines of Los Angeles mobsters, fringe players, small-time criminals, and a mysterious briefcase. Considerable screen time is devoted to conversations and monologues that reveal the characters’ senses of humor and perspectives on life. The nature of its development, marketing, and distribution and its consequent profitability had a sweeping effect on the field of independent cinema (although it is not an independent film itself). Considered a cultural watershed, Pulp Fiction’s influence has been felt in several other media.

The Avengers_movie wallpaperJackson has since appeared in over 100 films including Die Hard with a Vengeance, The 51st State, Jackie Brown, Unbreakable, The Incredibles, Black Snake Moan, Shaft, Deep Blue Sea, Snakes on a Plane, 1408, as well as the Star Wars prequel trilogy and small roles in Tarantinos’ Kill Bill Vol. 2 and Inglourious Basterds. 

The-Avengers-Nick-Fury-posterMore recently, he played Nick Fury in the Marvel films Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Avengers, the first five of a nine-film commitment as the character for the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise. Jackson’s many roles have made him one of the highest-grossing actors at the box office. Jackson has won multiple awards throughout his career and has been portrayed in various forms of media including films, television series, and songs. He is next up in another Tarantino movie, Django Unchained, and in the ever-delayed remake of Robocop.


Shane Black

Shane Black_Movie BannerShane Black (born December 16 1961) is an American actor, screenwriter and film director. He wrote the late 1980’s and early 1990’s action movie hit Lethal Weapon and made his directorial debut with the film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. 

Shane-Black-in-PredatorShane Black was born and grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Paul and Patricia Ann Black. His father was in the printing business. His family moved to to Fullerton, California during his sophomore year of high school, there he attended Sunny Hills High School.

He studied theatre at UCLA and graduated in 1983 with the intent to become an actor. While looking for a way to make some income as he struggled to find acting roles, his friend Fred Dekker encouraged Black to try his hand at screenwriting. Remembering what he learned from a dramatic writing class he took in college, he borrowed a typewriter and went to work on his first script. At age 23, Black wrote his second screenplay, Lethal Weapon, in six weeks. His agent David Greenblatt sold the screenplay in three days.

shane-black-downey-jrBlack’s first acting role came in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film Predator; since then he has acted in a further five films and in one television episode for the TV series Dark Justice. The majority of Black’s career is in screenwriting – he has written 10 produced scripts. He wrote the cult classic, The Monster Squad (1987), and was a co-writer of Lethal Weapon 2 released in 1989. Since then he made substantially more money as a screenwriter. He received $1.75 million for his screenplay The Last Boy Scout released in 1991, and $1 million for Last Action Hero released in 1993. At the height of his career he was the highest paid screenwriter in the Hollywood movie industry, making $4 million for penning The Long Kiss Goodnight. 

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang_posterHe then had a long break, penning his next movie, and directorial debut, the excellent Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005). He has since written and is currently directing Iron Man 3, which is due out in Northern Summer 2013.

Black has admitted that many of the scripts he had written for other directors, although commanding a hefty sum, were rewritten to a point where they scarcely resembled his product. This is such a common experience in Hollywood that the Writers Guild of America, West conducts an arbitration system whereby the “multiple writers who contributed to a given screenplay contend for screen credit on the resulting film.” Black used the pseudonyms Harry Lime and Holly Martins, the names of two leading characters in the film The Third Man, for certain projects.

Iron Man 3_2013 posterBlack has a recognizable writing style where he often adds comments (referred to as “Shane Blackisms”) and jokes about the situations taking place in the story. He also occasionally directs comments at studio executives and certain script readers, sometimes to ensure that they are paying attention, and sometimes to just to ‘have a go’ at someone…

In 2009 he conducted an excellent interview with The Guardian newspaper in the UK where he gave a mini-masterclass in the art of writing action films. Read it HERE


Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson (born November 22, 1984) is an American actress, model and singer. Johansson made her film debut in North (1994) and was later nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her performance in Manny & Lo (1996). She rose to further prominence with her roles in The Horse Whisperer (1998) and Ghost World (2001). She shifted to adult roles with her performances in Girl with a Pearl Earring (2003) and Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation (2003), for which she won a BAFTA award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.

A role in A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004) earned Johansson a third Golden Globe for Best Actress nomination. Johansson garnered another Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress with her role in Woody Allen’s Match Point (2005). She went on to star in two further Allen movies: Scoop (2006) and Vicky Christina Barcelona (2008). Johansson has appeared in other successful films, such as Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige (2006). Johansson played popular Marvel comic book character Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff  in the films Iron Man 2 (2010) and The Avengers (2012). She will next be seen playing Janet Leigh in Hitchcock.


Jon Favreau

Jonathan Kolia “Jon” Favreau (born October 19, 1966) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, voice artist, and comedian. As an actor, he is best known for his roles in Rudy, Swingers (which he also wrote), Very Bad Things. His directorial efforts include Elf, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Cowboys & Aliens.

Favreau was born Jonathan Kolia Favreau in Flushing, Queens, New York, the son of Madeleine, an elementary school teacher, and Charles Favreau, a special education teacher. Favreau graduated from the Bronx high School of Science in 1984 and attended Queens College from 1984 to 1987, before dropping out. He dropped out of college for good (a few credits shy of completing his degree), and in the summer of 1988, moved to Chicago where he performed at several Chicago improvisational theatres.

While in Chicago, Favreau landed his first film role in the sleeper hit Rudy (1993). Favreau met Vince Vaughn, who played a small role in this film – during shooting. The next year, he appeared with Jeremy Piven in the college film PCU, and also stepped into the world of television in the 1994 episode of Seinfeld. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he made his breakthrough in 1996 as an actor-screenwriter with the film Swingers, which was also Vaughn’s breakthrough role as the glib and extremely confident Trent Walker, a perfect foil to Favreau’s heartbroken Mike Peters.

He rejoined Piven in 1998 as part of Very Bad Things (1998). In 1999, he starred in the TV movie Rocky Marciano, based on the life of the only undefeated world heavyweight champion. He later appeared in Love & Sex (2000), co-starring Famke Janssen. He also got some screen time as lawyer Foggy Nelson in the movie Daredevil (2003).

In 2001, he made his (film) directorial debut with another self-penned screenplay, Made, which once again teamed him up with his Swingers co-star Vince Vaughn. In the fall of 2003, he scored his first financial success as a director of the hit comedy Elf starring Will ferrell (my son loves it). In 2005, Favreau directed the Zathura. He reunited with friend Vince Vaughn in the much-hyped hit romantic comedy The Break-Up and appeared in My Name Is Earl as a reprehensible fast food manager.

Also in 2005, Favreau appeared as a guest judge and executive representative of Sony corporation in week five of NBC primetime reality TV business show, The Apprentice. He was called upon to judge the efforts of the show’s two teams of contestants, who were assigned the task of designing and building a float to publicise his 2005 Sony Pictures movie, Zathura. Favreau also has a TV series called Dinner for Five on the cable TV channel IFC.

On April 28, 2006, it was announced that Favreau was signed to direct the long awaited Iron Man movie. Released on May 2, 2008, the film was a huge critical and commercial success, solidifying Favreau’s reputation as a director. Iron Man was the firstMarvel produced movie under their alliance with Paramount, and Favreau served as the director and an executive producer. During early scenes in Iron Man Favreau appears as Tony Stark’s loyal friend, and driver, Happy Morgan. He also wrote a mini-series for Marvel Knights titled Iron Man: Viva Las Vegas, that started in September 2008, before returning to direct the sequel Iron Man 2.

Favreau co-starred in 2009’s Couple’s Retreat, a comedy chronicling four couples who partake in therapy sessions at a tropical island resort, which he also wrote. The film saw him reunited him once more with co-star Viince Vaughn. He voices the character Pre Vizsla, the leader of the Mandalorian Death Watch, in the episodes of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. 

Favreau said in December 2010 that he would not direct Iron Man 3, instead opting to direct  Magic Kingdom, though he will co-produce the film. At the time he told MTV that he would like to be at the helm of an Avengers film, however he backed out but retained an executive producer role of director Joss Whedon’s mega-hit The Avengers. Favreau was at one time attached to John Carter of Mars, the film adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ swashbuckling space hero, he dodged that bullet. The Marshal in Revelation has been in development since Swingers was released. It’s a western about a Hasidic gunslinger.

In July 2011, Favreau was featured in a YouTube video by visual effects artist Freddie Wong (known on YouTube as the popular channel, “freddiew”), in a spoof of his then-upcoming summer film, Cowboys & Aliens. He lent the movie’s iconic gauntlet prop to Wong for use in the short.


Avengers Memory Sticks


The Cabin in the Woods ****½

You should see Cabin in the Woods before you read this review; see it before seeing the trailer, which gives away far too much. The main problem of course is that it has been difficult for most people to see the movie at all. Bankrupt studios, lawyers, delayed release dates and a seemingly difficult movie to market; the Cabin in the Woods has had a troubled time over the last couple of years.

It beggars belief that this film hasn’t been championed by the studio or distributors, it was only due to an online campaign that we finally got to see it in the cinemas here in Australia, over a year late!

The premise is a seemingly simple one, five college students jump in a camper van and head out to distant cousins Cabin in the Woods, not an entirely unfamiliar scenario in the horror film genre. The students are Dana (Kristen Connelly), her best friend Jules (Anna Hutchison), Jules’ boyfriend Curt (Chris Hemsworth), his friend Holden (Jesse Williams) and stoner dropout Marty (Fran Kranz).

They are not your typical stereotypes, initially at least; however, their personalities change soon after they arrive at the cabin. A few beers and a game of ‘truth or dare’ lead them into the basement where they encounter a plethora of odd artifacts. What could possibly go wrong?

Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Hadley (Bradley Whitford), the two guys watching them on closed-circuit TV, and apparently manipulating their surroundings seem more than willing to ensure that a lot will go wrong for these kids…

To say anything more would only ruin the surprise and lessen the impact of what is so far the best movie of the year.

Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard, the script is exceptional; it’s smart, fun and filled with tension. An obvious love and deep knowledge of the genre has been poured into almost every scene and it pays off for horror fans of all sub-genres. Filled with references to horror films of all eras, with a particular focus on the classic 80’s period, most notably The Evil Dead, this movie is destined to be a drinking game staple for years to come.

The script is filled with fantastic dialogue and some excellent jokes, all of which are delivered by a solid cast, with a special mention of Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford who are particularly good.

I was never a massive fan of Buffy or Firefly, however Whedon has surpassed those efforts this year with this film and some other super hero flick that has done quite well recently. Drew Goddard has done a great job bringing all the elements together, paying homage to many the films referenced.

As a horror film it’s not really very frightening and it loses it’s way slightly towards the end, however, as a horror-comedy, it’s up there with the very best. No spoilers here, if you like horror, see it at any cost, if you love horror you’ll want to own it as soon as possible.

Quality: 5 out of 5 stars

Any Good: 4 out of 5 stars (It would have been 5 with a few more scares)


The Avengers – Poster Art


The Avengers – By my 6½ Year Old Son *****

The Avengers is about good guys fighting bad guys. Loki is the bad guy who brings an alien army to attack earth.

At the beginning, Black Widow is captured and Loki attacks the underground station and hypnotises Hawkeye with his power.

Captain America tries to catch Loki but he needs Iron Man to help him. Then Thor takes Loki away, but Thor fights Iron Man and Captain America.

Black Widow gets the Hulk to come to Nick Fury’s ship where Nick Fury brings the Avengers together. Black Widow fights Hawkeye and brings him back.

Loki escapes and brings his alien army to earth and all of the Avengers battle a whole army of aliens and sea monsters who can fly. Loki tries to hypnotise Iron Man but he can’t because Iron man has a robotic heart.

SPOILER ALERT

In Stark tower, Hulk smashes Loki like a basketball. Iron Man saves the earth by exploding a bomb in the alien spaceship.

It was a long movie and little kids would be scared, but a big kid like me would give it 5 stars.


Avengers – LEGO Poster

Excellent LEGO version of the latest Avengers: Assemble poster.


LEGO – The Hulk