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Why “Daddy’s Home 2” Won’t Be Funny

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This holiday season, the producers of “Daddy’s Home 2” are hoping that movie audiences will once again clamor to see the humorous antics and witty dialogue of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg in a comic story of dad vs. stepdad. However, while the original was a breath of fresh air in 2015, this new sequel already seems dated with very little new to say. There are already a number of warning signs of why “Daddy’s Home 2” won’t be funny.

“Daddy’s Home 2” is entering a tough season for Hollywood comedies

2017 has not been a good year for comedies. The only comedic hit of the year thus far has been “Girls Trip,” the summer comedy starring Tiffany Haddish, Queen Latifah, Regina Hall and Jada Pinkett Smith. That film raked in $115 million. However, look at all the other comedic flops of the year – “Baywatch,” “Rough Night” and “The House.” Movie audiences just aren’t into comedies this year.

But, for the sake of argument, let’s say that “Daddy’s Home 2” equals the box office take of “Girls Trip.” Well, that would still represent a huge cut from the original (“Daddy’s Home”), which brought in an astounding $150 million. You can see the problem here – no matter how well “Daddy’s Home 2” does at the box office, it’s going to have an almost impossible time doing as well as the original.

Complicating matters even further is the fact that two other potential comedy hits – “Pitch Perfect 3” and “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” – are also due out around the 2017 holiday season. That’s a lot of extra competition for the attention of movie audiences.

And here’s one more wrinkle – “Father Figures” (another “dad comedy”) is also coming out around the holidays. This film stars the comic duo Owen Wilson and Ed Helms (of “The Hangover” fame), and looks to be far funnier. In this film, Owen Wilson and Ed Helms must try to track down their real dad on a “paternity quest.”

“Daddy’s Home 2” is messing with the comedic formula that worked so well

The fundamental premise of “Daddy’s Home” was that stepdad Brad Whitaker (played by Will Ferrell) had to compete for the affection of his kids with real dad Dusty Mayron (played by Mark Wahlberg). One was a gentle, unassuming wimp and the other was a macho cool guy. That was a very simple storyline – and one that movie audiences immediately “got.” It was funny seeing Brad trying to become the new “cool guy” – riding motorcycles, doing stunts on the roof of his house, and hanging out at NBA games with his kids. This was a comedic formula that worked: wimp vs. cool guy.

But now look what director Sean Anders is doing with “Daddy’s Home 2” – he’s trying to “double the fun” by bringing in Mel Gibson and John Lithgow to play the daddies of the daddies. Oh, and we’re also going to have John Cena as another dad – the real biological father. Whoa, this is already confusing. You’re now going to have dad vs. dad, granddad vs. granddad, and dad-granddad duo vs. dad-granddad duo.

You can see the problem faced by Anders – he couldn’t just repackage and recycle all the jokes from “Daddy’s Home” and call it a sequel. So he’s trying to convince audiences that things will be even funnier when he adds in Gibson and Lithgow. He’s literally trying to “double the fun.”

But this might actually backfire with audiences. Lithgow will play a kind, gentle, doting father while Gibson will play a tough-talking, macho and swaggering dad. So Anders is essentially doubling down on the narrative arc of the first movie – now we will have two swaggering macho dads and two weak, wimpy dads. It’s hard to see how this new comedic formula is really going to double anyone’s fun.

“Daddy’s Home 2” won’t be funny because of Mel Gibson

At one time, Mel Gibson was one of the most bankable actors in Hollywood. He was an action hero, then a romantic lead, and then a budding comic actor. But then came his arrest for a DUI in 2006 and a lot of controversy surrounding his anti-Semitic remarks. He basically became radioactive for Hollywood studios. Consider that the last studio comedy that Mel Gibson appeared in was back in 2000 with “What Women Want.”

It has literally been 17 years since Gibson has been in a comedy, and there’s no guarantee that the black cloud that has been following him during that time has fully lifted. Yes, he had a big breakthrough with “Hacksaw Ridge” back in 2016, but are movie audiences finally ready to welcome him back?

If “Daddy’s Home 2” were coming out during the summer, it might be a completely different story. Movie audiences might be more forgiving then. But this is being marketed as a holiday movie that will bring families closer together! Probably the last person you’d want to have in a movie is someone like Mel Gibson, who carries so much extra baggage with him.

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“Daddy’s Home 2” was a sequel that never should have been made

There are some sequels that get made for legitimate purposes – there was some plot detail that needed to be resolved from the original, or there was some future event in the original that was hinted at, but never developed. However, most sequels are made for just one reason: the potential money involved. And, unfortunately, “Daddy’s Home 2” seems more like the latter the former.

Even the trailer for “Daddy’s Home 2” doesn’t seem very convincing. If anything, adding John Lithgow and Mel Gibson to the mix just makes things more confusing. Adding these two as new dads detracts from the original comic premise – wimpy dad vs. cool dad – that made the first film so much fun to watch.

In contrast, “Daddy’s Home 2” seems like a film that was made by a committee. The decision to make the film “PG-13” rather than “R” was a calculated bid to make this a “family movie” for the holidays. The inclusion of Lithgow and Gibson – big-time Hollywood names from a generation ago – are meant to bring in older moviegoers, who are notoriously hard to attract to the movie cinema. The final takeaway, unfortunately, is that “Daddy’s Home 2” won’t be funny. Movie audiences, you have been warned.


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geostorm-gerard-butler

Gerard Butler Shines in “Geostorm”

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The arrival of “Geostorm” in movie theaters on October 20 couldn’t be more timely – the past few months have been filled with hurricanes, out-of-control wildfires and scenes of epic destruction wrought by Mother Nature. It is almost as if the basic plotline of “Geostorm” – a worldwide storm capable of wiping out the entire planet – was taking place before our very eyes. And the actor at the center of all that is the Scottish-born heartthrob Gerard Butler, whose job it is to save the world.

Gerard Butler is the shining star of this gripping disaster movie

In “Geostorm,” Gerard Butler plays Jake Lawson, a scientist and astronaut who helped to design the innovative satellite system known as Dutch Boy. The role of Dutch Boy is to protect the earth from extreme weather events, but it soon begins to malfunction, and cities like New York, Dubai, Moscow and Tokyo must contemplate the onslaught of cataclysmic storms. Soon, the entire world will have to confront these end-of-civilization-as-we-know-it storms.

So just about the only person who can stop these storms from happening is Gerard Butler. His character is soon sent to outer space to fix the malfunctioning problems of Dutch Boy, and so he becomes the central figure in this movie. He is the perfect mix of brawn and brains who has a commanding presence anywhere he goes.

He is almost a bigger-than-life hero, but like any hero, he has a few weaknesses that makes him vulnerable. As the movie progresses, we see how Jake’s arrogance, impatience and cockiness have landed him in trouble, again and again. When he is first approached about going back up to space, in fact, he’s living in Florida and obviously doesn’t want to be bothered. He’s lost his house and his marriage, and is sharing the custody of his daughter Hannah with his estranged wife.

But this is exactly what makes Gerard Butler so believable as an action hero – we understand what makes him tick, and what his vulnerabilities are. Yes, he might be a super-star satellite designer and fearless astronaut, but he’s also just like us in so many important ways. He wants to be a hero for his daughter as much as for humanity. To be certain, Gerard Butler is the shining star of this gripping disaster movie.

Gerard Butler shines amidst an all-star cast in “Geostorm”

To be sure, what gives “Geostorm” so much sparkle and shine is the all-star cast. It is not just Gerard Butler who must hold together this epic natural disaster movie. He is joined by some real all-star talent, such as Andy Garcia, Abbie Cornish, Ed Harris and Jim Sturgess.

It is the interactions between Gerard Butler and Sturgess (who plays Jake’s younger brother Max) that really help to give “Geostorm” so much emotional and dramatic resonance. Some parts of the movie play out with a dual plot line – in one, Gerard Butler is up in space, trying to fix the satellite system; in the other, Jim Sturgess is down on Earth, trying to unravel a potential conspiracy that leads all the way to the White House.

Gerard Butler is perfect in his race-against-the-clock role in “Geostorm”

What makes the action in “Geostorm” so compelling is that Gerard Butler as Jake Lawson must race against the clock. He is very much aware that if he does not fix the malfunctioning satellite in time, then it could mean the destruction of the Earth. This is where Gerard Butler is at his very best, showing the sense of urgency and nearly superhuman skill needed to avert this catastrophe. Audience members will be kept on the very edges of their seats, unable to divert their eyes from the screen. Gerard Butler is the type of larger-than-life screen presence that we all want from our heroes.

“Geostorm” presents Gerard Butler like you’ve never seen him before

This movie could become the breakout star vehicle that Gerard Butler deserves. Most fans probably got to know him as King Leonidas from “300” (released in 2006). Since then, he’s been a share of romantic comedies (like “The Ugly Truth” in 2009) and dramatic action movies, like “Olympus Has Fallen” (2013). But “Geostorm” is the kind of mega-blockbuster movie that we’ve been waiting for, where we can see Gerard Butler achieve his full potential as a Hollywood actor.

It’s clear why Dean Devlin, the director of “Geostorm” who is making his feature film debut, chose Butler. He wanted a character who could be believable in his heroic role as someone capable of saving planet Earth from a serious of inexplicable climate disasters. He needed a big-time action hero for his first movie.

Amidst all the natural disaster chaos in “Geostorm,” Gerard Butler stands out

Part of what makes “Geostorm” so dramatic, of course, are all the CGI-generated climate disasters. From the frozen villages in Afghanistan to the tidal waves engulfing cities to the collapsing buildings around the world, it is a scene of unrelenting chaos.

And that’s why Gerard Butler stands out so much in this disaster flick. He helps to ground the film in a sense of reality – even while he’s up in outer space – while the rest of the world seems to be imploding on itself. His larger-than-life screen personality, his cockiness under pressure, and his ability to look just as good in a corporate suit as an astronaut suit is what makes him the real star of this movie. If you need someone to go up to outer space and save the world, then Gerard Butler is your man.

Gerard Butler in “Geostorm” is going to create a new genre of blockbuster

One big theme that runs through most reviews of “Geostorm” is how this movie is helping to position climate change as the ultimate super-villain. At one time, it was German bad guys, Russian bad guys, or Arab-speaking bad guys in movies who were the real threat to the world. Now it’s climate change. This movie will change your view of climate change and global warming, and you can thank Gerard Butler for that.

Butler, in fact, is the star of a film that could herald a new genre of blockbuster in Hollywood. Given how natural storm disasters of epic proportion have been on cable TV wall-to-wall for the past few months, it’s easy to see how this is the film that we need in movie theaters today. Through all the chaos, all the disaster, it is Gerard Butler as the hero Jake Lawson who really shines.

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the-foreigner

Does Jackie Chan’s “The Foreigner” Meet Expectations?

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It’s been far too long since we’ve seen Jackie Chan in a true action-adventure movie. Back in 2012, Chan famously stated that he’d never do another stunt or martial arts movie again. But here we are in 2017, and his new action film “The Foreigner” is being hailed as the best new Jackie Chan movies in years. But does this film meet expectations?

“The Foreigner” needs more Jackie Chan, not less Jackie Chan

For die-hard Jackie Chan fans, “The Foreigner” has more than met expectations. Remember – the last big U.S. release of a Jackie Chan film was the 2010 movie “The Karate Kid.” Prior to that, he was mostly doing cameos, appearing in comedies or starring in movies that were as campy as they were action-filled.

From that perspective, then, “The Foreigner” is a welcome return to the “old” Jackie Chan: plenty of fights, stunts and action. Some of the best scenes in the movie feature Jackie Chan, alone in the woods and dressed in camouflage, preparing to take out the bad guys in epic fashion.

But here’s the thing – Jackie Chan appears in only roughly half the movie. In fact, “The Foreigner” is really a movie with two very different plots, which both come together with dramatic intensity.

On the one hand, you have the story of a broken old man who has lost everything (Jackie Chan, as the London restaurant owner Quan Ngoc Minh) and who wants to get final revenge on the terrorists who blew up his daughter in a violent attack.

On the other hand, you have the story of British Deputy Prime Minister Liam Hennessy (played by Pierce Brosnan), who has a long, dark back story as a former IRA terrorist. He’s now trying to effect change from inside the halls of power in London, but now his past is catching up to him.

So that leads to a bit of confusion – the movie is clearly billed as a Jackie Chan movie, but it is really a Pierce Brosnan film as well. The reason for this seeming confusion is simple: the movie is based on a 1992 book called “The Chinaman.” 25 years ago, the terrorist threat facing London involved the IRA and not radical Muslim extremists. So the movie does its best trying to stay true to this story, while also showcasing the remarkable Jackie Chan. As a result, we get less Jackie Chan than we wanted.

“The Foreigner” is the classic revenge tale with the ultimate protagonist

In “The Foreigner,” we see Jackie Chan in a new way. Yes, he is still an action badass, but he seems to be filled with more sorrow and more remorse than we can remember. As we find out during the movie, he already lost his wife and two of his daughters years earlier, and now he loses his third daughter. At one point, Chan reflects back on this tragic past and says, “I failed them.” The pain on his face is almost palpable, and it hurts too much when we see him holding his bloodied daughter, wracked by grief.

And it is exactly that grief that sets into motion the action of the movie. Jackie Chan’s character is convinced that Liam Hennessy knows far more about the terrorist attack and motives than he’s letting on, and thus begins a cat-and-mouse game that plays out between Pierce Brosnan, Jackie Chan and the various terrorists of the IRA. The biggest scene, of course, takes place when Jackie Chan decides to mount an attack on the IRA stronghold and wipe out the men responsible for his daughter’s death.

Some have compared “The Foreigner” to “Taken” – they both involve the desperate search by an older man for the evil men who have taken away a beloved family member. But here’s the thing: Jackie Chan is a lot more believable as a man driven by revenge. He is almost taciturn, speaking little and letting his actions speak for themselves. He is the ultimate fighting machine, even if he is now in his 60s. And that’s why Jackie Chan fans are lining up to see this legendary hero – there is nothing better in the movies than seeing a vengeful father seek out justice and retribution.

“The Foreigner” also marks the welcome return of Martin Campbell

At one time, Martin Campbell was one of the hottest directing talents in Hollywood – he had two James Bond films to his credit (“Golden Eye” and “Casino Royale”), as well as “The Mask of Zorro.” But then along came “Green Lantern” in 2011, and his career pretty much stalled out.

So, in many ways, “The Foreigner” marks the return of director Martin Campbell as much as it does the return of Jackie Chan. Campbell has created a worthy new action-adventure flick, and it’s clear why Jackie Chan trusted him so much, even when he had earlier said that he would never do a similar type of movie.

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Why “The Foreigner” is getting such mixed reviews

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to love “The Foreigner” – all the great action sequences, a tightly-scripted revenge narrative, and, of course, the return of Jackie Chan. From that perspective, the film has more than met expectations.

However, reviews have decidedly been mixed. The movie scores a 7.4/10.0 on IMDB, but only 58% freshness on Rotten Tomatoes. For every Jackie Chan fan that has loved the movie, you have a film critic site like RogerEbert.com that gives the film a solitary lone star. So what gives?

The answer to the mixed reviews starts with the confusing narrative of the film. Mixing together the IRA plot line with the Jackie Chan plot line makes the movie seem more jumbled than it really is. Moreover, the fact that the movie is based on the 1990s view of terrorism and not the modern-day 2017 version of terrorism also makes the film feel, well, a bit dated.

However, it’s hard to deny the star power of both Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. Both screen legends might be in the twilight of their careers, but they are both scene-stealers anytime you see them. “The Foreigner” is far better than many first thought would be possible, and it’s clear that this new film has more than met expectations.


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Read Moreby chauswp83Comments Off on Does Jackie Chan’s “The Foreigner” Meet Expectations?
horror-movies-the-shining

Top 10 Horror Flicks to Kick Off October

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The horror genre has certainly matured over the years: directors are no longer slaves to jump-scares, torture, gore, or scary makeup to terrify their audiences. Even as early as the 1960s, directors began to employ creative techniques to scare the hell out of audiences in untraditional ways. Some of these horror movies have become so iconic over the years that they serve as role models for the next generation of directors. Now, the younger generation of directors take inspiration from the previous crop of directors, and routinely deliver some excellent quality horror movies. The following are our top picks of horror movies to kick of the Halloween season.

The Shining

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Stanley Kubrick’s take on Stephen King’s novel by the same name, “The Shining,” is probably the most unnerving horror movie in this list: it’s one of those masterpieces that are impossibly difficult to outclass. But then again, that can be said about anything with Stanley Kubrick’s name on it.

The Shining follows the events at an empty hotel where a writer, Jack (Jack Nicholson), facing writer’s block is working as an off-season caretaker with his wife and son. His son begins to get psychic premonitions, and a mysterious supernatural power’s presence forces Jack to attack his own family. The scene where Jack hacks at the bathroom door and screams, “Here’s Johnny!” will give you chills, even if you’ve seen it one hundred times.

The Ring

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“The Ring” is essentially a product of Hollywood’s obsession with Japanese horror movies. The American remake has now become an integral part of American culture, and you will hear references to the film in countless other movies and TV shows. If you haven’t already watched it, then be warned: do not watch it alone! It will give you creeps like nothing you’ve ever felt. The movie is a result of sweet love between Gore Verbinski’s directorial skills and Han Zimmer’s masterful music. The plot revolves around a VHS tape that leads to a viewer’s death in seven days if watched. The climax will be etched in your memory.

The Blair Witch Project

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“The Blair Witch Project” is sheer talent at work. This movie was made by independent filmmakers who had no money, no acting experience, and certainly no limit of imagination. The ultra-low budget movie turned out to be a massive blockbuster, and brought into vogue an entire sub-genre of found-footage horror movies. The movie follows a group of friends who go into the woods researching the story of a witch who was executed centuries ago. There, they witness blood-curdling horrors that will scare the hell out of you.

The Exorcist

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Ask any horror buff: they will swear by “The Exorcist” as one of the scariest movies of all time. The movie used the classic possessed-by-evil-spirit theme, but its execution was masterful. It was released in 1973, yet it is still unwatchable for many weak hearted people among us. The story of a 12 year old possessed by a demonic spirit might sound typical, but nothing about this movie is typical. When it initially premiered, many theaters provided barf bags for the audience to throw up in during the movie. The head turning scene, the scene where the possessed child walks on all fours the wrong way, and other iconic scenes are classic. If you plan to watch this movie alone in a dark room, make sure you have enough bank balance for a couple years of therapy sessions.

The Conjuring

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“The Conjuring” is the story of a family who buys and moves into an older home in the country: unsurprisingly, the family begins to experience the presence of a supernatural power in the house. Eventually, the mother becomes possessed by an evil spirit who is forcing her to kill her own children. A husband/wife couple, who are basically ghost hunters, have to perform an exorcism to save the family. The story may sound run-of-the-mill, but here is the real kicker: the movie is based on true events. That little fact will have you thinking about the movie for weeks.

The Evil Dead

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This movie is another gem of a watch in the horror genre. It was made by completely untested filmmakers, and yet, they delivered a horror experience that is widely regarded as one of the best of all time. Despite being made over 35 years ago, this movie’s special effects and scary makeup are guaranteed to send chills down your spine. Make sure you see the original and not the 2013 remake.

The Mist

horror-movies-the-mist

“The Mist” is director Frank Darabont’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel. The movie is based in a small New England town that gets shrouded in a mysterious mist that appears to emerge from a nearby military base. It soon transpires that the mist is full of dangerous creatures from a totally different dimension. The cast does not include any big names, but the performance was spectacular across the board. Forget those beasts from the mist: the most frightening thing in the movie is Marcia Gay’s religious zealot!

The Babadook

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This movie focuses on a widow and her son; the son begins to act strange, which the widow promptly labels as behavioral problems. However, as the time progresses, she realizes that her son is being possessed by a supernatural spirit; it soon possesses her too. This movie ups the creepy levels of the horror genre. While most movies generally show spirits possessing one member of the family and use them to attack the others, or kill the possessed person, this movie shows both the mother and the son being haunted by the spirit. If you believe in the supernatural, then you are left with the question – what are you going to do if such a spirit targets you or your loved one?

Halloween

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The very title of the movie demands a watch during its namesake holiday. The movie made the careers of many people involved, including Jamie Lee Curtis and John Carpenter. The movie features a mentally disturbed man, Michael Myers, who murdered his elder sister some 15 years ago, and has now escaped a psychiatric institution. This time, he aims to kill his younger sister. This movie spawned an entire sub-genre of slasher-horror feature films.

Alien

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This legendary original movie began a cultural movement that resulted in multiple sequels, prequels, video games, home videos, comics, and novels. “Alien” follows the events that occur after a distress signal is released from an unknown planet’s spaceship. When the crew members go to investigate, an alien face-hugging creature attacks a crew member; later, a far worse creature emerges out of the victim’s chest by breaking his ribs. This creature promptly tries to kill all the humans, and as the chances of their survival dwindle, you will be on the edge of your seat. This movie has been consistently ranked among the top horror movies of all time. To check out these flicks during the spooky Halloween season, all you need is a reliable satellite TV connection.


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macbeth uk logo

The New Macbeth Adaptation

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Macbeth was released at the Cannes Film Festival in France on May 23rd, 2015. It was released on October 2nd in the United Kingdom and it will come to theaters in the United States on December 4th of this year. It was directed by Justin Kurzel and produced by Iain Canning, Laura Hastings-Smith, and Emile Sherman. The screenplay was written by Michael Lesslie, Jacob Koskoff, and Todd Louiso. Music is by Jed Kurzel and cinematography was done by Adam Arkapaw. It was edited by Chris Dickens. Production companies for Macbeth include See-Saw Films, Creative Scotland, Entertainment, Anton Capital, DMC Film, Film4, and StudioCanal. It was distributed by The Weinstein Company, who acquired rights to do so from Studio Canal on October 23rd. Running time is 113 minutes and the country of origin is the United Kingdom. The spoken language is English.

The cast consists of Michael Fassbender as Macbeth, Marion Cotillard as Lady Macbeth, Paddy Considine as Banquo, Sean Harris as Macduff, Jack Reynor as Malcolm, Elizabeth Debicki as Lady Macduff, David Thewlis as King Duncan, Ross Anderson as Rosse, David Hayman as Lennox, Maurice Roeves as Menteith, Hilton McRae as Macdonwald, Seylan Baxter, Lynn Kennedy, Kayla Fallon and Amber Rissmann as the witches, Lochlann Harris as Fleance, Barrie Martin as Thane, Rebecca Benson as a maidservant, James Harkness as Angus, Scott Dymond as Seyton, Gerard Miller as Macbeth’s messenger, Shaun Lucas as Earl, and Jamie Flint as a soldier.

macbeth uk

Principal photography began on February 6th, 2014 in Scotland. The duration of filming lasted seven weeks and it took place in both Scotland and England. Filming was done at Hankley Common, located in Elstead, Surrey. The cast was seen on February 26th, at Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland, and other locations used in the filming of Macbeth include Cambridgeshire, Ely Cathedral in Ely, and Quiraing in Skye.

In April 18th, 2014, a few pictures from the film were released. On May 14th that year some posters were revealed. StudioCanal released the very first trailer on June 4th, 2015. It attracted more than 2 million views. On August 27th of this year character posters were released. The Weinstein Company released the first US trailer on September 1st.

As the film has been released in certain parts of the world—although not yet in the United States— there are some opinions and reviews floating around about the subject. It comes as little surprise that Macbeth, the 2015 movie, is based on the timeless classic written centuries ago by the legendary William Shakespeare. Shakespeare purists may not be very happy about some of the changes involved.

First of all, there are other screenwriters (three in fact) that are mentioned before Shakespeare. This is because it will not be exactly like the original. There is certainly going to be some rewriting involved in the 2015 film Macbeth, but hopes are still high. The other good news is that the movie was filmed on Scottish soil which is where the Shakespearian story takes place. The actors also speak with Scottish accents.

Unfortunately there has been some criticism about the delivery involved in the new movie. Stage actors are accustomed to making the old English pop with meaning and become comprehensible, but some people have been saying that it is not all that easy to understand the actors in the movie. The cast worked with Neil Swain as a coach but this seems not to have been quite enough. Despite not being able to clearly comprehend the words being said, the emotion with which they are delivered is said to be very convincing, although it produces some mumbling. Lines are spoken conversationally and with fewer words to get the point across. The style of speaking seems to be intentional and in many ways it does serve a positive effect that many people appreciate.

uk teaser for macbeth

The legendary tale goes something like this: Macbeth and Banquo are generals serving King Duncan of Scotland. Three witches inform Macbeth that he will Thane of Cawdor and eventually the King of Scotland. Lady Macbeth convinces her husband to murder Duncan, which he does, making it look like the servants are responsible. Consequently he is given the Crown. Banquo becomes suspicious so Macbeth has both he and his son murdered—except that Banquo’s son, Fleance, survives. The witches continue to give Macbeth predictions to give him faith in himself. Macbeth then has Macduff’s family murdered. Macduff, stricken with grief and vengeance, consorts with Malcolm in an effort to overthrow Macbeth. Lady Macbeth commits suicide. The ultimate prediction of the three witches comes true when Macbeth dies at the hands of Macduff and Malcolm. Malcolm then becomes the King.

macbeth michael fassbender

Of all of Shakespeare’s plays, Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet are doubtlessly the ones most often to be turned into films. Many people refer to Macbeth simply as “The Scottish Play” in a way that is almost superstitious. Macbeth is, doubtlessly, one of the most gory and tragic plays among the list, even for Shakespeare. Many also say that the play is one of the most cinematic because of the scenes involved.

Even though it hasn’t yet arrived in the U.S., the ratings for Macbeth online seem to be rather promising. IMDb gives it 7.6/10 stars and Rotten Tomatoes gives it an approval rating of 90%. It has been called a “strong/powerful adaptation” a “must see” and “poetry in motion.” Critics, on the other hand, have said that the film is better suited for Shakespeare purists. Other people claim that it is difficult to follow unless an individual is already familiar with the play. They call it boring, disappointingly conventional, and devoid of empathy or urgency. They say it is austere and unemotional. Overall it seems to be fairly well liked, and, despite the critics, there are plenty of people who rave about the film. After Macbeth comes to the United States our country will give its own feedback, which could differ from the UK. In just a few more months you will be able to watch it–if you like Shakespeare, blood, and violence–and form your own opinion.


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Tommy Lee Jones

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Best known for his parts in Men in Black, No Country for Old Men, Lincoln, and The Fugitive, Tommy Lee Jones is one of the most successful and well-known actors today. Born in 1946, Tommy grew up in Texas and later spent four years as Al Gore’s roommate. After graduating from Harvard, Tommy moved to New York and later to Hollywood where he would get his big break with the early 90s hit The Fugitive. After his career took a dramatic turn, Tommy Lee Jones became a household name as his performance was spread to more and more people.

Soon, Tommy followed up his performance in his breakout movie with parts in films like Men in Black and No Country for Old Men. Today, Tommy holds forty-five awards and has received near seventy nominations. The actor/director/screenwriter has experienced much success with all facets of his career.

Tommy was the only son of Clyde and Lucille. His father, a cowboy turned field worker, and his mother divorced twice during Tommy’s difficult childhood. The film star has expressed the many troubles he experienced during his adolescence when he often endured abuse from his father. Tommy was a teenager when his father took a job at an oil field in North Africa. Determined to stay in America, Tommy worked hard to earn a scholarship for St. Mark’s, a Dallas prep school.

 

Untitled-1

The athlete and student went on to attend Harvard on a football scholarship. After sharing his dorm with Al Gore, future senator, vice president, and presidential candidate, Tommy went on to move to New York after earning his major in English Literature. In addition to his talent on the field, Tommy also had a love for drama and he expressed that through multiple school productions, including a few of Shakespeare’s works.

While Tommy was one of the best players at his university, his frame was simply too small to get him into the National Football League, so Tommy moved to New York and instead pursued a career as an actor. After graduating from Harvard in 1969, Tommy soon experienced his first bit of success with an off-Broadway production. Enjoying the stage work, Tommy also took the chance to play on the One Life to Live soap opera that appeared on ABC at the time. He took the role of Dr. Mark Toland from 1971 to 1975. The 70s also saw Tommy’s movie debut with a feature film.

Tommy soon became frustrated with the lack of opportunity for Broadway productions and soon moved to LA in 1975. It wasn’t long after that he earned his first Hollywood role with the series Charlie’s Angels. The following year, he also got a part in the movie Jackson County Jail where he made his second appearance on the big screen as a lead character, the first being with the little-seen film Eliza’s Horoscope, a Canadian production.

It was over the next twenty years that Tommy would make numerous appearances in movie and television productions. He would soon score a lot of critical acclaim with his first big break being The Fugitive. Prior to that, though, Tommy was getting a lot of success for his parts in The Amazing Howard Hughes, The Executioner’s Song (which won him an Emmy), and Lonesome Dove. Tommy met with much success all through the 80s and 90s when his film and television career truly begun to take off.

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Tommy also earned some attention during that time for his work on Coal Miner’s Daughter. Many other works led Tommy to the edge of success, with his career still at its heights today.

Tommy Lee Jones is still one of the most famed actors today, and while his first dream may have been to lead a successful life as a football star, Tommy has experienced even more success on and off screen with various acclaims for his directing, acting, and screenwriting. His talents for productions are clear, and he has gained a massive fan base over the years.

 

Working with names such as Steven Seagal, Andrew Davis, and others, it was during the 90s that Tommy’s career truly took off. With countless awards and nominations, Tommy has built up a reputation of spot-on acting, flawless directing, and riveting screenwriting. His many works have led to a still-growing fan base that has been expanding since he began his career decades ago. Even though his work with Harrison Ford in The Fugitive is really what set his career into motion, all of Tommy’s works, both new and old, have been considered massively successful by the fans who view them today.

tommy-lee-jones-the-homesman


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Weary Fans Changed Their Minds About Jurassic World

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jurassicworld

While many were worried that Jurassic World wouldn’t live up to the previous two Jurassic Park movies, when the film released on the 12th, viewers took back their early misassumptions. The movie is now ranking highly with millions of viewers and many critics. Even though some were worried about the quality of the effects, acing, and the overall storyline, director Colin Trevorrow has proven yet again that he knows what he’s doing.

Jurassic World with a budget of $150 million, fans quickly joined in on the various discussions before the movie’s release. Many worried that the famous cast and their cost would take away from the rest of the movie, and when the trailers were released, many feared the effects wouldn’t be up to par. Thankfully for fans of the franchise, the movie proved to outshine in both aspects, and fans seemed more than happy after seeing the film.

 

Opening weekend brought in nearly $205 million in gross profit, and fans quickly jumped online to share their thoughts on the movie. While many feel it still didn’t live up to the original, the majority of viewers agreed it was much better than they feared it might be, and the storyline was a nice change.

Some fans were upset to hear the original cast members wouldn’t be making a comeback for Jurassic World, but after seeing the movie, even critics agreed that the change in the storyline was a nice way to bring the franchise back. The director, Colin, had previously revealed his intentions and his refusal to keep throwing the same “unfortunate” characters back into the same situation.

jurassic-world

Jurassic World turned out to be much more successful than audiences had first imagined, which is good news for the cast. The movie featured names like Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) and Bryce Dallas Howard (The Help). The effects proved to be much more compelling than the trailers let on, and even though scientists gave the movie some problems since the dinosaurs weren’t “scientifically accurate,” it seems fans were able to get past the historical issue and enjoy the movie.

Fans of the original films were happy to see one original cast member make a comeback, though. BD Wong, or, better known as Dr. Henry Wu, came back. When word had originally gotten out that an original actor would be coming back, fans got very excited, and Colin knew he brought back a person no one would expect. While fans were surprised to hear the news, Colin explained that Dr. Wu was the only original character who would fit into the newest movie, and expressedhis hope that he’ll be able to reunite the cast in a future film, but he wants to wait until it “makes sense.”

In the meantime, word is quickly spreading that Jurassic World turned out to be much more than some viewers thought it would, and even critics who expressed their fear have taken back the harsh misassumptions. Viewers on IMDb have given it 7.6/10, and those on RottenTomatoes.com have given it a similar rating of 70%.

jurassic-world-the-park

But, audiences have seemed to be a lot more welcoming to the newest installment that critics have, with The Atlantic stating “If you limit your expectations for Jurassic World to “more teeth,” it will deliver on that promise. If you dare to hope for anything more-relatable characters, narrative coherence-you’ll only set yourself up for disappointment.”

The New Yorker didn’t feel too great about the film either, with their review saying “There is plenty here to divert, but little to leave you enraptored. Such is the fate of the sequel: Bigger. Louder. Fewer teeth.”

With about 85% of the viewers liking it, fans will tell you it’s a must-see, but everyone else will tell you the exact opposite. Even though the movie has received some mixed reviews, the ratings themself prove the film was well-made, and at the very least, it exceeded the original expectations that many viewers had when news of the film originally got out.

Whether you’ll be a fan of Jurassic World or not seems to depend on whether you want a movie like the original or one entire different. The former seems to leave people satisfied with the viewing, but others feel the third installment is simple a “recycling” of the old plot. While mixed reviews continue to surface, Jurassic World proved to be incredibly profitable, well made, and fans have praised the directing, acting, and special effects.


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Read Moreby chauswp83Comments Off on Weary Fans Changed Their Minds About Jurassic World

Things You Didn’t Know About Captain America: the Winter Soldier

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caotainamerica

Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the sequel to the first Marvel Captain America film, was one of the most successful films—and sequels—in the current Marvel film franchise. The film is considered to be one of the films in the over-arching Avengers film series, although only one other character from the ‘Avengers’ team—Scarlet Widow—appears in the film.

The movie was not just a hit at the box office, either. Many critics praised the film for its compelling twist storyline, its well-directed action sequences, as well as the surprisingly emotional performance from actor Chris Evans as Captain America. But just how well do you really know The Winter Soldier? Let’s take a look at some interesting trivia that may just surprise you.

Nastasha’s necklace was Scarlett Johansson’s idea

Natasha wears a unique necklace in several scenes during the film; the necklace has a distinct arrow in it, which is a reference to Hawkeye, who is Natasha’s on-again-off-again lover and beloved teammate. It was Scarlett Johansson’s idea to have Natasha wear the necklace in the film.

Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson wrote some of their own dialogue

Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson, who have played their respective characters in multiple films by this point, ended up writing their own dialogue for several scenes in which they appeared together.

Captain America’s “catch up” lists varies by country

In the film, Captain America is seen reading a “catch up” list with things in popular culture and history that he wants to learn about. Each “catch up” list varied from country to country, usually with nods to media or entertainment popular in that particular area.

For example, the American version of the list included shows such as I Love Lucy, Nirvana and the film Rocky; the UK version included The Beatles and the 2010 show Sherlock; the Korean version includes the Old Boy film and famous soccer player Ji sung Park; and the French Version lists The Fifth Element.

The film has less CGI than most Marvel films

One of the highest praised aspects of the film were its realistic and well-designed action sequences; this praise can be credited to the film’s directors, who wanted to do as many effects as possible with practical effects rather than relying on CGI technology, like many films—including most of those in the Marvel universe—often do.


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Read Moreby chauswp83Comments Off on Things You Didn’t Know About Captain America: the Winter Soldier

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Under the Skin

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udertheskin

Under the Skin, directed by Jonathan Glazer, is a 2013 mystery horror starring Scarlett Johansson as a mysterious woman who seduces men who—after meeting her—are never seen again. The film received mostly positive reviews from critics for its cinematography, the performance of lead actress Scarlet Johansson, as well as its memorable plot twists. How well do you know Under the Skin? The following are some interesting trivia facts that may surprise you.

The men in one scene were not actually actors

There is a scene in the film where Scarlett Johansson’s character lures two men into her van. These men were not actually actors, however; hidden cameras had been installed in the van and the men were not told until after the director got the shot that they were in a movie.

The film had a long production history

Unde The Skin took almost 10 years to finally be made. Some of the early draft scripts were radically different from the final script; and at one point, Brad Pitt was cast as one half of a Scottish couple featured in the story.

Scarlet Johansson wasn’t the first actress considered for the role

There were many other actresses considered for the lead role in the film, including: Eva Green, January Jones, Abbie Cornish, Olivia Wilde, and Gemma Arterton.

Adam Pearson did not use makeup

Adam Pearson, who plays a character with neurofibromatosis in the film, did not use makeup or prosthetics; he actually has the neurofibromatosis condition, which causes a facial disfigurement. Director Jonathan Glazer did not want to use makeup for the role, and contacted an organization that supports people with facial disfigurements, who put him in touch with Adam Pearson. Pearson has recently stated he hopes to act more in film and television, and that his role in the film helped him see past his own condition.

Many of the film’s shots were achieved through hidden cameras

Director Jonathan Glazer wanted as many scenes as possible to have a naturalistic and unrehearsed feel to them; this was achieved through hidden cameras, which Glazer had set up at various locations where the film was being shot. The most notable hidden camera scenes are the scenes where two men are lured into the lead character’s van, and a scene where the lead character falls down; this scene was actually photographed by paparazzi, who didn’t ‘realize that the film was using hidden cameras.


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4 Surprising Facts about Whiplash

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whiplash

The thriller film Whiplash earned a total of 5 nominations from the Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor for J.K. Simmons, who ended up taking home the Oscar for his performance in the movie. The film, which was based on a short film of the same name, centers on a music student named Miles who becomes part of an elite college band conducted by the notoriously intense Fletcher. How much do you really know about the film? The following are 4 surprising facts about Whiplash.

Fletcher has no solo scenes–but he was going to

In the final cut of the film, the character of Andrew appears in some capacity in every scene that features Fletcher. Fletcher, unlike Andrew, has no solo scenes in the final version of the movie. However, scenes were written and filmed that showed Fletcher on his own—one deleted scene showed Fletcher returning to an empty apartment after band practice. These scenes were removed because the director felt like they took away from the character dynamic built up in the film.

Miles Teller is an actual drummer

Miles Teller, who was 27 at the time of the filming, had been playing drums since he was 15; to prepare for the role, he practiced extensively for three days a week. Shooting the film proved to be exhausting, due to the fact that the director of the film often instructed Teller to keep playing until he was at the point of exhaustion. At one point, Teller actually bled from blisters on his hands—the blood can be seen, and is referenced to, during the film.

J.K. Simmons really slapped Miles Teller

It is common in film for actors to mime slaps and punches, which are what the director of Whiplash initially, instructed J.K. Simmons to do. However, for the last take of the scene, he instructed Simmons to actually slap Teller in order to see if it made a difference in how the scene played out. The take where Simmons really did slap Teller was ultimately the one used in the film.

The film was inspired by the director’s high school experience

The director of the film admitted that his main inspiration for the film was actually a real-life high school band teacher who he considered “very intimidating,” although he did not go as far as Fletcher in his physical and verbal assaults.


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