Tag Archives: Nicholas Hoult

Review: X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men_Days_of_Future_Past_Poster2Sentinels, good, bad, future, past, who cares? This movie needs more Quicksilver!

The year is 2023 and the world is in ruins thanks to the mutant-hunting machines known as the Sentinels. You’d think Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), Iceman (Shawn Ashmore), Bishop (Omar Sy), Colossus (Daniel Cudmore), Blink (Bingbing Fan), Warpath (Booboo Stewart) and Sunspot (Adan Canto) would make an unbeatable team, but back in 1973, Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage) fit his Sentinels with Raven/Mystique’s (Jennifer Lawrence) DNA, so now they’re able to adapt to anything, essentially making them immune to mutant-powered attacks. With the Sentinels closing in fast, the only chance the surviving X-Men have is to send Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back in time to stop Trask from ever getting his hands on Raven’s DNA in the first place.

“X-Men: Days of Future Past” opens exceptionally well with the aforementioned team of mutants going head-to-head with a group of Sentinels. Not only does the sequence have the benefit of rocking the thrill that comes with bringing back X-Men favorites and uniting them with a few new players, but the action itself is remarkable. The fire, ice and purple portals pop right off the bleak background, the combat is tense, exhilarating and also builds character through mid-fight decisions and reactions before ultimately culminating in a string of moments that proves that in just a few minutes, you’ve come to care about all of these characters. Unfortunately, we don’t get much of that last element through the rest of the film.

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Review: Jack the Giant Slayer

Jack-the-Giant-SlayerTim Burton hit it big with “Alice in Wonderland,” but the fairy tale-to-film effort is still a horrifyingly expensive crapshoot.

As children, both Jack and Isabelle took a liking to the legend of the giants of Gantua. However, now young adults, neither is remotely close to achieving any degree of adventure, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) stuck working on his uncle’s farm and Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) forced to be a proper princess, staying within the walls of Cloisters. However, after a mix-up at the market, Jack accidently winds up with a sack full of magic beans. Coincidentally, later that evening, Isabelle opts to sneak out of the castle and winds up at Jack’s door seeking shelter from a storm. Little does Jack know, one of his beans slipped through the house’s floorboards, right along with the rainwater that triggers them to grow.

After a failed attempt at saving Isabelle, she’s lifted up into the land of the giants while Jack comes crashing back down to Earth. When King Brahmwell (Ian McShane) hears of what’s happened to his daughter, he commissions Elmont (Ewan McGregor), the leader of the king’s guard, and his men to scale the beanstalk with Jack in tow to bring Isabelle home.

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Why ‘Warm Bodies’ Is a Fresh Spin on Rotting Corpses

R-and-JulieAre you thinking Warm Bodies is Twilight with zombies? Or how about Twilight meets Shaun of the Dead? Let’s nix both concepts right away because that most certainly is not the case. And that assessment isn’t just coming from someone who’s a big-time fan of the book and truly believes it’s the fresh young adult supernatural romance we’ve been waiting for; it’s also coming straight from the Warm Bodies director, Jonathan Levine, and his cast.

While hanging out in a dilapidated waiting room on the Warm Bodies set at the Montréal-Mirabel International Airport, Levine laughs and notes, “I’ve read some things on the Internet that say it’s Twilight meets Shaun of the Dead, which, to me, sounds like the worst f***ing movie I’ve ever heard.” And remember that all-too-familiar-looking first promotional image of Teresa Palmer’s human character, Julie, cozying up to Nicholas Hoult’s zombie, R? Palmer actually doesn’t quash the connection to Twilight, but rather embraces it. “Look, I have to say, it’s very flattering that people are comparing our film to Twilight.” She adds, “If we have even half the level of success of that movie, I think we’d all be very happy, but having said that, it’s such a different film. It’s almost a little darker, a little edgier. I understand that there’s a relationship between the mortal and the immortal, but apart from that, that’s where the comparisons really should end because it is its own different story.”

The story comes from the mind of author Isaac Marion, and rather than tell the tale from the perspective of zombie-apocalypse survivors, Marion’s protagonist is a member of the living dead. R behaves like a zombie – eating flesh, grunting and lumbering around – but deep down, a piece of his human self lives and, thanks to the spark that ignites between R and Julie, that piece starts to grow.

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From the Set: Jack the Giant Slayer

Jack-the-Giant-Slayer-PosterWe’ve already seen Alice in Wonderland and a double dose of Snow White, but with Maleficent, Pan,Sleeping Beauty, Pinocchio and possibly more fairy tales-turned-big screen epics hitting theaters in the coming years, perhaps Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer will actually wind up slipping in at just the opportune time.

The project is a long time coming for Singer. He first signed on to direct back in September of 2009, but didn’t get the green light until just over a year later after which he went through a lengthy pre-production process before finally bringing the project to set in the spring and summer of 2011. Even then, the film still wasn’t in the clear, getting ousted from its original Summer 2012 drop date, settling back in on March 22nd, only to be moved up to March 1, 2013.

Will the tale of Nicholas Hoult’s Jack, a lowly farm boy who scales a beanstalk to save Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) from a brigade of giants eager to destroy King Brahmwell’s (Ian McShane) kingdom, be worth the wait? With the latest release date locked in place and now just a month away, we’ll find out soon enough, but if the final product sucks you into the world with even a fraction of the force the experience standing on set during production did, Singer’s time will have been well spent.

Click here to read the full set visit and here for additional interview highlights.

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Review: Warm Bodies

Warm-Bodies-PosterThe key to restarting a zombie’s heart is a pretty girl. The key to making a big screen supernatural/human relationship work is lightening up.

We’re in the midst of a zombie apocalypse and R (Nicholas Hoult) is amongst the living dead. He calls a defunct airport home and spends his days lumbering around, occasionally bumping into or grunting at his zombie cohorts until they’re hungry enough to venture into the big city for some eats. While R does find something tasty to gnaw on, he also encounters some unexpected eye candy – Julie (Teresa Palmer). Rather than make Julie the next item on his menu, R vows to keep her safe, shielding her from his flesh-eating buddies and escorting her to the airport.

A vampire/human romance is one thing, but a zombie/human relationship is an especially tough sell. The “Warm Bodies” book takes itself very seriously but, thanks to effective narration, quality character development and the power of a reader’s imagination, it’s easy to get on board. With the audience’s imagination no longer in play with the big screen version, presenting “Warm Bodies” in a dark, dramatic fashion would have made it nearly impossible to convey the story in a believable manner. However, Jonathan Levine manages to adapt the source material in the best possible way, keeping key plot points and character details intact, but infusing the tale with an unexpected yet wildly appropriate degree of humor.

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See What Happened When We Played a Zombie in ‘Warm Bodies’

Perri-Warm-Bodies-WardrobeIn a post-apocalyptic world ridden with zombies, the goal is always not to become one yourself. But c’mon, who hasn’t wondered what they’d look like lumbering around decked out in grimy zombie garb? Well, my day in the living dead spotlight finally arrived! I got the opportunity to hit the set of Jonathan Levine’s Warm Bodies, have the life sucked out of me and join R (Nicholas Hoult) on set for a run-in with the Bonies.

Things kicked off bright and early with a group of nice, clean reporters congregating in a hotel lobby, waiting for the production van to arrive and take us to set at the Montréal-Mirabel International Airport, a location you might remember from The Terminal. However, Hugo Boss and Viktor Navorski’s home sweet home, Gate 67, are long gone and the location has been transformed into the Isaac Marion International Airport, named after the author of the book Warm Bodies.

“We try to make people look like these are the clothes they wore when they died …”

But before we trekked through the airport ruins, it was straight into wardrobe. For those of you who’ve met me in the flesh, you know I’m more of a jeans, T-shirt and Vans type of girl. Apparently nobody informed the Warm Bodies wardrobe department because there was a low-cut shirt, skirt and high-heel boots waiting for me to slip into. As costume designer George L. Little explained, “We try to make people look like these are the clothes they wore when they died, not just a costume, so try to dress to the face before the makeup.” I don’t know what it is about my face that says business lady, club-goer crossover, but hey, I’m about to become a zombie — might as well go all in!

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SDCC 2011: Interview With Warm Bodies Author Isaac Marion

A zombie story can be autobiographic, right? Okay, not exactly, but real life inspiration did help author Isaac Marion develop his book Warm Zombies to an extent. Marion joined Summit Entertainment at San Diego Comic Con, as the studio has snatched up his pieces to bring it to the big screen. In fact, the lead roles have already been cast.

Nicholas Hoult will star as R, a zombie who’s a little more alert than his moaning and mindless counterparts. Teresa Palmer will step in as Julie, a living and breathing human who winds up crossing paths with R, becoming his friend rather than his next meal. Warm Bodies features a number of supporting roles as well, namely M, another more astute zombie and Julie’s best friend Nora, but at this point, in terms of casting those parts, Marion explained, “There’s very early discussions about a few of them, but I’m not even allowed to know it yet, much less talk about it.”

However, Marion does know quite a bit about the adaptation process, as he’s gotten the chance to work with writer-director Jonathan Levine. “I got to read an early draft of [the script] and just give general notes and feedback,” he said. Rather than watch from the sidelines, as he’s heard happens with many authors during this process, Marion is excited to be particularly involved. He pointed out, “They’ve consulted me every step of the way and would even call me to brainstorm ideas for how to visualize certain scenes.”

It’s really no wonder Summit is keeping in touch with Marion; his book is particularly unique. In an industry flooded with supernatural creatures, it’s impressive how Marion not only found an angle filmmakers have yet to cover, but uses the original perspective to his benefit creating an incredibly detailed and intriguing world. Hear all about where the idea came from, Marion’s experience working with Summit and more in the video interview below.

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