Monthly Archives: July 2013

Interview: The Smurfs 2’s Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris & Jayma Mays

Smurfs_2_Hank_AzariaNeil Patrick Harris says it best, “Smurfs is baby crack cocaine.” Perhaps that isn’t a PG-approved assessment of the film franchise, but nevertheless, it is true. During our screening of The Smurfs 2 in Las Vegas ahead of interviewing the cast, we were joined by a theater full of kids, and they loved every minute of the film, to say the least.

In the sequel, the Smurfs are back, but this time, they’re joined by a new breed of Smurfs dubbed The Naughties. Distraught over his inability to capture real Smurfs and suck up all the Smurf essence he wants, Gargamel (Hank Azaria) decides to manufacture his own. Trouble is, his Naughties aren’t true blue. The only way for Gargamel to turn Vexy and Hackus (voiced by Christina Ricci and J.B. Smoove) into essence machines is by getting a hold of Papa Smurf’s (voiced by the late Jonathan Winters) secret formula, so he kidnaps Smurfette (voiced by Katy Perry) in an effort to get her to divulge the ingredients that once helped her go from a Gargamel creation to a true blue Smurf.

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The Best – and Worst – Movie Trailers of the Week

GravityTwo release delays and some serious director drama typically isn’t a good sign, but the first trailer for 47 Ronin actually isn’t all that bad. A number of vivid and highly impressive visuals are enough to sustain the film’s first promo, but the display does raise concern that the final film won’t offer enough attention to story details. Regardless of where this one ends up, for now, 47 Ronin is nowhere near worthy of the Best Stuff, but keeps clear of the Worst, too.

The Best Stuff

1. GravityThe “Drifting” trailer is an unnerving and heart-wrenching display of isolation, but this honor goes to the “Detached” edition thanks to having that plus an absolutely incredible amount of suspense, too. On top of that, it’s tough to imagine Alfonso Cuarón spoiling one of the more riveting scenes in the film, so if he’s willing to unleash this as part of the promotional effort, just imagine the horror that’s to come in the full feature.

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Review: RED 2

RED_2_PosterThe details of the mission are a little sloppy, but the appeal of watching Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren rock some serious firepower is still there, making “RED 2” another satisfying Retired and Extremely Dangerous thrill.

Frank (Willis) is back to trying to live the quiet life again until Marvin (Malkovich) interrupts his Costco shopping session to warn him that Nightshade has come back to haunt them. Nightshade is a Cold War era nuclear weapon that went missing on their watch, but now it’s back, and both the US Government and MI6 think that Frank and Marvin know where it is. With Victoria (Mirren) trying to track them down on behalf of MI6 and a deadly assassin named Han (Byung-hun Lee) aiming to take them out for the US, Frank, Marvin, and Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker) have no choice, but to travel the globe and figure out where Nightshade is for themselves so they can put an end to all of this.

There are two primary components to the “RED 2” story and while neither works particularly well, there’s enough outrageous action to fill up the plot holes and make it an entertaining watch.

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Review: The To Do List

The_To_Do_List_PosterIt’s a little too silly to sustain a significant character journey, but “The To Do List” is still a successful overload of nostalgic and incredibly raunchy humor.

Brandy (Aubrey Plaza) is graduating high school as the class valedictorian, but she’s bossy, socially awkward and, worst of all, sexually inexperienced. When her friends Fiona and Wendy (Alia Shawkat and Sarah Steele) force her to go to a normal party, Brandy catches a glimpse of college hottie Rusty Waters (Scott Porter) and is determined to make him her first. But before she can make the leap and accomplish full-blown sex, she’s got to build up her resume with things like hand jobs, blowjobs, dry humping, cunnilingus, and more.

It’s a little tough to buy that someone as bright as Brandy, and also someone with friends like Fiona and Wendy would ever think completing a massive to do list of sexual feats with anyone and everyone available is a smart and safe idea, but it works because “The To Do List” doesn’t hold back in the least. From the moment the opening credit start rolling and 2 Live Crew’s “Me So Horny” kicks in, you get a sense of what you’re in for.

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YA Movie Countdown: The Biggest Comic-Con News Surrounding ‘Hunger Games,’ ‘Divergent’ and More

SDCC_Logo_PhotoBig-screen superheroes stole much of the San Diego Comic-Con spotlight, but now more than ever, young adult book-to-film adaptations aren’t far behind. Sadly The Maze Runner only made it to Nerd HQ, but Ender’s GameDivergentThe Mortal Instruments: City of BonesThe Seventh Sonand The Hunger Games: Catching Fire all enjoyed their own panels, interviews, press conferences, convention center floor giveaways and more.

Check out the highlights from each film’s Comic-Con run below.

Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game might have made the most significant impact of all. It opened the event with the Ender’s Game Fan Experience, held a full morning of interviews the next day, rolled into Hall H later that afternoon, had a presence at the Summit party that night and then continued to spread the word via giveaways at the Summit and Lionsgate booth inside the convention center.

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3 Freaky Real-Life Warren Files That Should Be Considered for ‘The Conjuring 2’

The_Real_Ed_and_Lorraine_WarrenBack when The Conjuring was in production, the film was titled The Warren Files, and it made sense. Should The Warren Files go on to be a hit, we could have The Warren Files: Case A, The Warren Files: Case B, and so on. Even though the title was ultimately changed to The Conjuring, now that the film is a sequel-worthy success, there’s always a chance Warner Bros. could revert back to The Warren Files and create an entire film franchise chronicling the best of Ed and Lorraine Warren.

There’s no passing judgment on the Conjuring sequel until details of the new plot surface, but there’s also no denying that there’s some major potential due to the fact that the Warrens have loads of fascinatingly creepy stories and are just two admirable, interesting, and highly likable people.

Should The Conjuring 2 follow in the footsteps of many other horror hits that return for a second go-around, the sequel won’t be too far off and details could surface soon. But while we wait, let’s consider the possibilities. There’s an endless stream of information on the Warrens and their work circulating the Web and then there’s even more in books like The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren, so this is only scratching the surface, but based on some preliminary research, here are three Warren-centric tales that could be worth a big-screen adaptation of their own.

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SDCC 2013 Interview: Divergent’s Shailene Woodley & Theo James

Shailene_Woodley_Theo_James_DivergentIt seems as though there’s this never-ending search for the next best thing in the young adult book-to-film adaptation world. What will trump The Twilight Saga? What will match the success of The Hunger Games? With the growing craze, there are loads of possibilities out there, but the one I’ve got my money on is Neil Burger’s Divergent.

At this year’s Comic-Con

Just before hitting Hall H for their highly anticipated panel, Woodley and costar Theo James who plays Four, Beatrice’s faction initiation instructor, sat down to run through the challenges of bringing Veronica Roth’s book to life, their hopes for the film, and even their own personal faction preferences.

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