Showing posts with label David S. Goyer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David S. Goyer. Show all posts

Saturday, July 31, 2021

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from July 25th to 31st, 2021 - Update #22

by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

You can support Leroy via Paypal or on Patreon:


BOX OFFICE - From Deadline:   Disney's "Jungle Cruise" looking to lead the weekend box office with an estimated 30+ million dollars grossed in its debut weekend.

DISNEY - From Deadline:  Bryan Lourd, Scarlett Johansson's agent, harshly responds to The Walt Disney Company's response to Scarlett Johansson's breach of contract lawsuit against Disney over her compensation for "Black Widow."

From Deadline:  Women in Film, ReFrame and Time’s Up have weighed in, call out Disney for its response to Scarlett Johansson and her "Black Widow" lawsuit.

MOVIES - From Gizmodo:   The acclaimed science fiction novel, "Parable of the Sower," by the late Octavia Butler will be a film.  A24 has won the film rights.

DISNEY - From Deadline:   The Walt Disney Co. has fired back at Scarlett Johansson over her "Black Widow" lawsuit, which concerns her compensation and the streaming of "Black Widow" on Disney+.  Disney says that Johansson has already made 20 million dollars off the film...

TELEVISION - From Variety:  After 25 seasons, PBS is cancelling "Arthur."  It is the longest-running children's animated series in the history of American television.  The show will wrap up its last season in Winter 2022. 

MOVIES - From THR:  The site has an extensive interview with screenwriter, David S. Goyer ("Blade" and "Batman" films).

JAN. 6 RIOT - From YahooEntertainment:   This voice mail message left on the phone of a Washington D.C. police officer who testified yesterday (July 27th) at the House committee hearings investigating the Jan. 6th insurrection epitomizes much of "Trump base."

TELEVISION - From Variety:   With ratings for the 2021 Olympics on the decline, NBCUniversal and its advertisers are feeling anxious about "make goods" and other forms of reimbursement.

MOVIES - From Variety:   Universal is spending 400 million dollars on a new trilogy of films based on the legendary horror film, "The Exorcist."  Oscar-winning actress, Ellen Burstyn, will reprise her role as "Chris MacNeil" from the 1973 original film.  The first film in the trilogy will arrive in theaters in 2023, while the second and third films likely will debut on Universal's "Peacock" streaming platform.

TELEVISION - From Variety:   Actor Bob Odenkirk has been hospitalized after collapsing on the set of the AMC series, "Better Call Saul," which is currently filming its sixth and final season.

From YahooEntertainment:  Former "Batwoman" actress, Ruby Rose, had to return to the hospital recently due to surgical complications ... but she had trouble finding an ER that would take her.

CELEBRITY - From YahooEntertainment:  Actress Lucy Liu talks about her infamous clash with actor Bill Murray on the set of "Charlie's Angels" (2000).

STAR TREK - From Space:   The first official trailer for the much-anticipated Nickelodeon and Paramount+ animated series, "Star Trek: Prodigy," arrives.  We hear Capt. Janeway's voice and get a release date, Fall 2021.

TELEVISION - From Variety:   LeVar Burton begins his stint as a “Jeopardy!” guest host today, Monday, July 26th.

BOX OFFICE - Variety:   The winner of the 7/23 to 7/25/2021 weekend box office is "Old" with an estimated gross of 16.5 million dollars.

From Deadline:  "Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdaine" tops the specialty box office.

MUSIC - From Deadline:  The estate of the late singer, Grammy-winner James Brown, has been settled after nearly 15 years of legal battles.  The estate had been in dispute since Brown died Christmas Day 2006.

NETFLIX - From Variety:   The site has a huge piece on Kevin Smith, the development of Netflix's "Master of the Universe" animated series, and about online fan backlash against the series.

CELEBRITY - From YahooPeople:    Judge John Ouderkirk, the judge involved in Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's ongoing custody case, will be disqualified after he was found to have "violated his ethical obligations," according to an opinion submitted by three appellate judges on Friday.


From NPR:   Civil rights activist, Robert Parris "Bob" Moses, has died at the age of 86, Sunday, July 25, 2021.  Moses was known for his work as a leader of the "Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee" (SNCC) on voter education and registration in Mississippi during the Civil Rights Movement.  He was also known for co-founding of the "Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party."  Moses was shot at and endured beatings and jail while leading Black voter registration drives in the American South during the 1960s.  He later helped improve minority education in math.

From Deadline:  The actor Mike Mitchell has died at the age of 65, Friday, July 23, 2021.  Mitchell was a former "Mr. Universe" and won several "World Fitness Federation World Championships."  He appeared in such films as "Braveheart" (1995) and "Gladiator" (2000).


From THR:  "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" drops a new trailer (July 27th) and has a release date, November 11th, 2021.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Review: "Terminator: Dark Fate" Tries... Lawd, It Tries

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 3 (of 2020) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)
Running time:  128 minutes (2 hours, 8 minutes)
MPAA – R for violence throughout, language and brief nudity
DIRECTOR:  Tim Miller
WRITERS:  David S. Goyer, Justin Rhodes, and Billy Ray; from a story by James Cameron, Charles H. Eglee, Josh Friedman, David S. Goyer, and Justin Rhodes (based upon characters created by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd)
PRODUCERS:  James Cameron and David Ellison
EDITOR:  Julian Clarke


Starring:  Linda Hamilton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mackenzie Davis, Natalia Reyes, Gabriel Luna, Diego Boneta, and Fraser James

Terminator: Dark Fate is a 2019 science fiction and action-thriller from director Tim Miller.  The film is the sixth in the Terminator film franchise, but Terminator: Dark Fate is a direct sequel to the original film, The Terminator (1984) and its sequel, Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991), both of which were directed by James Cameron, who is a co-writer and co-producer on this new film.  In Dark Fate, a soldier from the future arrives in the present day to protect a young woman marked for termination by another kind of soldier from the future.

Terminator: Dark Fate opens in 1998 when events that began fourteen years earlier come to a close... of sorts.  The story moves forward to the year 2020 when two fighters from the future (the year 2042) arrive separately in Mexico City.  One is Grace (Mackenzie Davis), a cybernetically-enhanced human soldier.  The other is an advanced Terminator model, the Rev-9, (Gabriel Luna), sent by “Legion,” an A.I. (artificial intelligence) built for cyber-warfare that threatens the existence of humanity in the future.

Their target is a young Mexican woman, Daniella “Dani” Ramos (Natalia Reyes); Grace wants to protect her, and the Rev-9 wants to kill her.  Grace is able to temporarily fend off the Rev-9 in order to protect Dani, but she cannot defeat the Terminator.  To do that, Grace and Dani will need the help of a mysterious woman named Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) and an old T-800 Terminator that calls itself “Carl” (Arnold Schwarzenegger), and even they may not be enough help.

Ten years ago, Warner Bros. attempted to reboot the Terminator film franchise with the film, Terminator: Salvation (2009).  I really liked that film and thought that it had saved the franchise, which seemed rudderless in the wake of the entertaining, but superfluous Terminator: Rise of the Machines (2003).

Ten years later, we get Terminator: Dark Fate, and I think this entertaining sequel, reboot, re-imagining can revive the Terminator franchise, as far as the larger narrative is concerned.  Can Dark Fate save the franchise financially and in terms of popularity?  Outside of a few studios (Marvel, Pixar, Lucasfilm) and one genre, superhero films, predicting box office success of big-budget, “tent-pole,” event films, is a crap-shoot.

That aside, I really like Terminator: Dark Fate.  Most of the film is a series of impossible-looking action sequences.  The fate of Dark Fate is in the hands of sound editors, sound mixers, CGI artists, and film editors.  Dark Fate is an extended thrill ride, a giant thrill machine, a breathtaking race, a heart-stopping chase, etc.  The airplane duel and the entire waterfall/hydro-power battle are jaw-dropping sequences.  Dark Fate gives its audience second, thirds, and fourth servings when it comes action and thrills.

However, in terms of drama and character, Terminator: Dark Fate is skimpy.  Most of the characterization and personalities are copied or are leftovers from James Cameron and Terminator co-creator Gale Anne Hurd's work on the first two films.  Linda Hamilton's Sarah Connor is good here, but she could have been better.  Dark Fate's story material is so underdeveloped that Hamilton seems forced to overact.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the rest of the cast does its best being really intense.  I must note, however, that Gabriel Luna does a wonderful job being creepy, chilling, and cold-freaking-blooded as the Rev-9 Terminator.  If this film has an actor having a star turn, it's Luna.

My quibbles aside, I think Terminator: Dark Fate points to an interesting and intriguing new direction for the Terminator films.  I found myself enjoying it so thoroughly, it wasn't until I started writing this review that I even gave a thought to the character and drama writing.  Let's be honest, what you feel immediately while watching a movie is what really counts in terms of entertainment value.  And Terminator: Dark Fate is the real fucking deal when it comes to action movies.

7.5 of 10

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The text is copyright © 2019 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.


Saturday, May 11, 2019

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from May 1st to 11th, 2019 - Update #31

Support Leroy on Patreon:

TELEVISION - From Deadline:  Fox's "Star" and CBS' "Murphy Brown" revival among cancelled TV series.

MOVIES - From ScreenDaily:  Once upon a time, from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, John McTiernan was one of the hottest directors of big, event films ("Die Hard," "Last Action Hero").  Now, he is teaming with another formerly hot property, Uma Thurman ("Pulp Fiction," "Kill Bill Vols. 1 and 2") for film "Tau Ceti 4."

TELEVISION - From TheWrap:  The Starz TV series, "Power," which is executive produced by rapper 50 Cent, will end after Season 6, which will be 15-episodes long.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Roland Emmerich, director of "Independence Day" and "2012" is prepping a new sci-fi, disaster movie epic, "Moonfall."

DISNEY - From Deadline:  The Disney-Fox schedule includes three new "Star Wars" films, four "Avatar" sequels, and more.

BLM-CULTURE - From YahooLifestyle:  Once again, some Americans prove that they only care about how the Bill of Rights benefits them.   Fuck everybody else's rights, for instance the high school student who produced this painting.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  David Goyer will write and produce a reboot of the "Hellraiser" movie franchise for Spyglass Media Group.  "Hellraiser" began with Clive Barker's 1988 film of the same name, and Barker based the movie on his own novella, "The Hellbound Heart," which was first published in 1986.

CELEBRITY - From YahooLifestyle:  In a bit of weirdness, the late Luke Perry ("Beverly Hill, 90210") was buried in a biodegradable mushroom suit, according to his daughter, Sophie Perry.  Perry died after suffering a fatal stroke in March 2019.

BLM-HISTORY - From YahooGMA:  Herstory Lessons: The inspiring story Dorothy Butler Gilliam of the 1st black female reporter for The Washington Post

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 5/3 to 5/5/2019 weekend box office is "Avengers: Endgame" with an estimated take of $145.8 million.

From Patreon:  My "Avengers: Endgame" review.

MUSIC - From RollingStone:  On how weed may have saved the life of Grammy-winning recording artist, Willie Nelson, an American musical legend.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Woody Allen's "A Rainy Day in New York" has found a distributor to release the film in Italy in the fall.  Amazon dumped the film and the rest of its deal with Allen last June (2018).

LGBTQ - From Variety:  Madonna, Andy Cohen, Don Lemon among honorees at the GLAAD Media Awards.

FOOD RECALL - From YahooLifestyle:  Tyson is recalling its pre-cooked chicken strips.  Look for the number "P-7221."

CELEBRITY - From Deadline:  Vince Vaughn escapes jail time in his DUI case stemming from a June 10, 2018 incident.  At a Manhatten Beach police checkpoint, Vaughn refused a sobriety test.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  There will be a private funeral for Oscar-nominated writer-director John Singleton ("Boyz n the Hood") on Monday, May 6th, 2019.  Singleton died Monday, April 29th after suffering a stroke April 17th.  A statement from his family said that a larger public memorial is being planned.

MOVIES - From IndieWire:  Fan backlash over the recent trailer for the "Sonic the Hedgehog" film leads the director to promise changes in the film before its November 2019 release.

MOVIES - From YahooEntertainment:  Starring in "John Wick Chapter 3," Oscar-winning actress, Anjelica Huston ("Prizzi's Honor") gives a killer interview covering topics including her feuds with Oprah and Bill Murray.

From YahooEntertainment:  Another "John Wick Chapter 3" star, Halle Berry, explains what she won't share on Instagram.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Quentin Tarantino will screen his upcoming film, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood," at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, which begins May 14th in France.

STREAMING - From Deadline:  Ron Howard says that Jon Kasdan, one of the writers on "Solo: A Star Wars Story" (which Howard directed), wants to reboot Howard's 1988 film, "Willow" (MGM/Lucasfilm) as a streaming series for Disney+.

MOVIES - From Deadline:  Amy Pascal, who has been with Sony for 30 years (including a 20-year run as chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment), signs a first-look deal with Universal.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  Shailene Woodley to star in the thriller, "Misanthrope."

MOVIES - From YahooEntertainment:  During the press junket for "John Wick Chapter 3," Halle Berry mentions that she was offered the 1990s action film, "Speed," before the role went to Sandra Bullock.

STREAMING - From Netflix:  Barack and Michelle Obama’s Initial Netflix Slate Includes Nonfiction Series From "The Big Short" Author

MOVIES - From NYTimes:  'Avengers: Endgame' Shows Movie Theaters Can Still Be on Top of the World


From YouTube:  This is a trailer for "Swamp Thing," for the DC Universe Online streaming service.

From YouTube:  This is the trailer for "Crawl," the Paramount Pictures hurricane/giant alligator action-horror flick due July 2, 2019


From THR:   Oscar-winning screenwriter, Alvin Sargent, has died at the age of 92, Thursday, May 9, 2019.  Sargent won the best adapted screenplay Oscar in 1978 for "Julia" (1977) and in 1981 for "Ordinary People" (1980).  He also worked on several of Sony's "Spider-Man" films.

From ComicBook:  The Samoan-born New Zealand actor Pau Magasiva has died at the age of 38, Saturday, May 11, 2019.  Magasiva was best known to many fans for playing Red Wind Ranger Shane Clarke on the series, "Power Rangers Ninja Storm."  In New Zealand, he was known for appearing on the soap opera, "Shortland Street."

From Variety:  The actor, Peter Mayhew, died at the age of 74, Tuesday, April 30, 2019.  Mayhew is best known for portraying "Chewbacca" in five "Star Wars" films, beginning with the 1977 original film.  Born in England, Mayhew was a naturalized U.S. citizen.

From NFL:  Former NFL player, Gino Marchetti, died Monday, April 29, 2019 at the age of 93.  He spent 13 of his 14 years in the NFL as a defensive end for the Baltimore Colts, where he was a member of two NFL championships (1958, 1959).  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972.  Marchetti also served in the U.S. Army during World War II and fought in the "Battle of the Bulge."

Monday, March 19, 2018

Review: "The Birth of a Nation" Offers a Counter Narrative

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 2 (of 2018) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

The Birth of a Nation (2016)
Running time:  120 minutes; MPAA – R for disturbing violent content, and some brief nudity
DIRECTOR:  Nate Parker
WRITERS:  Nate Parker; from a story by Nate Parker and Jean McGianni Celestin
PRODUCERS:  Nate Parker, Kevin Turen, Jason Michael Berman, Preston L. Holmes, and Aaron L. Gilbert
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Elliot Davis (D.o.P.)
EDITOR:  Steven Rosenblum
COMPOSER:  Henry Jackman


Starring:  Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Penelope Ann Miller, Jackie Earle Haley, Mark Boone Junior, Colman Domingo, Aunjanue Ellis, Dwight Henry, Aja Naomie King, Esther Scott, Roger Guenveur Smith, Gabrielle Union, Tony Espinosa, Jayson Warner Smith, Jason Stuart, and Chiké Okonkwo

The Birth of a Nation is a 2016 historical film and slave drama from director Nate Parker, who has the film's starring role.  A joint American and Canadian production, The Birth of the Nation is a fictional account and dramatization of the Black American slave Nat Turner (October 2, 1800 – November 11, 1831), his life, and the rebellion of slaves and free Blacks that Turner led in Southampton County, Virginia on August 21, 1831.

The Birth of a Nation takes its name from from D.W. Griffith's 1915 silent movie and KKK propaganda film.  In Birth of a Nation 2016, Nat Turner, a literate slave and preacher in the antebellum South, orchestrates an uprising.  The film received some of its financing from professional basketball players and NBA stars Michael Finley and Tony Parker.  Among the film's executive producers are Oscar-winning filmmaker, Edward Zwick (Shakespeare in Love), and screenwriter and director David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight and Blade film franchises).

The Birth of a Nation opens in the antebellum South, where Elizabeth Turner (Penelope Ann Miller) teaches a Black child slave, Nat (Tony Espinosa), to read.  Years later, Nat Turner (Nate Parker) is not only a field slave (picking cotton), but he is also a literate slave preacher.  A friend tells Nat's White slave owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), that other White slave owners need something to suppress their Black slaves, whom they believe to be unruly, disobedient, and indignant.  That friend suggests that Nat's preaching, popular with many of the slaves, could earn the financially strained Turner money from owners that want a slave preacher who can preach their slaves into submission.

As he travels with his owner, however, Nat sees countless atrocities committed by White masters against their Black slaves, many of the same that are committed against himself and the slaves at Turner's and other plantations.  Seeing himself as God's chosen instrument of freedom, Nat gathers trusted followers and prepares for a sign to lead a rebellion.

The 21st century has seen a rise in the number of African-Americans and people of color behind the camera in the American film industry.  The result is two great American films about slavery, one being the “Best Picture” Oscar-winner, 12 Years a Slave.  A second is The Birth of a Nation from writer-director Nate Parker.  However, this film was overshadowed by Parker's past (alleged rape charges that led to a trial in which Parker was acquitted – 1999 to 2001).

It is a shame that controversy overshadowed a film that is one of best of the decade, but it is also a truly unique film.  There are many powerful performances in this film:  Parker as Nat Turner, Penelope Ann Miller as Elizabeth Turner; Aunjanue Ellis as Nancy Turner; Aja Naomi King as Cherry Turner; Esther Scott as Bridget Turner; and Colman Domingo as Hark Turner.

For all those fine performances, what makes The Birth of the Nation 2016 unique is that it is like a folk tale or a fairy tale, as much as it is a period drama or biographical film.  Parker and Jean McGianni Celestin, who co-wrote the film's story, seem to approach Nat Turner as both a figure of history and of myth.  African-Americans, Black slaves, and White people (slave owners and otherwise) had and have different interpretations of Turner and his rebellion.

Thus, The Birth of the Nation 2016 clearly demarcates the line between good and evil; kindness and hate; and good and greed.  However, the righteousness of, the success of, and/or the meaning of Nat Turner's actions and his rebellion are left up to interpretation.  One can say the same about this film because it is a bold vision that demands the viewer grapple beyond viewing it as entertainment or as a pastime.  It is a story about the story of our nation, the good ol' U.S. of A, and how one sees the nations will affect how one views this film.

This film is built on powerful visuals that tell the story, more than it is the script that tells the story.  The visuals are not about sensation, but are about narrative.  The Birth of a Nation 2016 is a counter-myth to the story of the United States of America.

9 of 10

Friday, January 5, 2018

2017 Black Reel Awards:  6 nominations: “Outstanding Actor, Motion Picture” (Nate Parker), “Outstanding Director, Motion Picture” (Nate Parker), “Outstanding Screenplay, Motion Picture” (Nate Parker), “Outstanding Ensemble” (Andrea Craven, Craig Fincannon, Lisa Mae Fincannon, Mary Vernieu, and Michelle Wade Byrd), “Outstanding Breakthrough Performance, Female” (Aja Naomi King), and “Outstanding Score” (Henry Jackman)

2017 Image Awards:  6 nominations:  “Outstanding Motion Picture,” “Outstanding Independent Motion Picture,” “Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture” (Nate Parker), “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture” (Aja Naomi King), “Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture-Film” (Nate Parker), and “Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture-Film” (Nate Parker)

The text is copyright © 2018 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from December 1st to 9th, 2017 - Update #38

Support Leroy on Patreon.

SCANDAL - From Deadline:  Bryan Singer's former lover talks about being "pulled into the director’s orbit of on-set visits, expensive private dinners, ready access to drugs and alcohol and sexual encounters with an ever-revolving cast of multiple participants."

STAR TREK - From THR:  Sir Patrick Stewart said that he would return to his signature role, Capt. Jean-Luc Picard, for a Quentin Tarantino-directed "Star Trek."

SCANDAL - From ThePlaylist:  Director Bryan singer talks about being fired from "Bohemian Rhapsody" and being sued over rape allegations and more.

STAR TREK - From Deadline:  The Quentin Tarantino-J.J. Abrams "Star Trek" movie will be R-rated.  Mark L. Smith ("The Revenant") is in the lead to be the writer.

MOVIES - From THR:  Ryan Reynolds will star in the live-action Pokemon movie, "Detective Pikachu."

MOVIES - From TheNewYorkTimes:  The paper names its best films of 2017

CELEBRITY - From TheWrap:  Top 20 highest paid actors in Hollywood are...

STREAMING - From ShadowandAct:  The Jordan Peele reboot of "The Twilight Zone" for CBS's streaming service, CBS All Access, is happening.  Simon Kinberg and Marco Ramirez will also produce the series.

COMICS-FILM - From ThePlaylist:  Marvel Studios mastermind Kevin Feige is ready to play with the X-Men characters... if Disney/21st Century Fox deal goes through.

MOVIES - From THR:  Dexter Fletcher, director of "Eddie the Eagle" will replace the fired Bryan Singer as the director of the Queen biopic, "Bohemian Rhapsody."

MOVIES - From Variety:  James Mangold ("Logan") to direct yet another film about Patty Hearst.

MOVIES - From TheWrap:  "Life, Itself," a film by "This is Us" creator, Dan Fogelman, lands at Amazon.

BUISNESS - From CNBC:  Disney and Fox are closing in on a deal which would give Disney Fox's studio and television production assets, leaving Fox with its news and sports assets.  Fox's Nat Geo, Star, regional sports networks, movie studios and stakes in Sky and Hulu, among other properties may also be part of the potential $60 billion deal.  Fox would also hold onto its news and business news divisions, broadcast network and Fox sports.  Comcast is also a player interested in these Fox assets.  Sony and Verizon are also said to be interested.

COMICS-FILM - From ScreenRant:  Is the "Demon Bear" the villain in Fox's X-Men spinoff flick, "The New Mutants."

MOVIES - From BleedingCool:  Bryan Singer's production company,  Bad Hat Harry, is moving off the 20th Century Fox lot.  Singer's long-term, first look deal with Fox expired this past October, and Fox declined to renew it.

LGBTQ - From TheDailyBeast:  Writer Ira Madison III discusses the much-talked about gay romance drama, "Call Me By Your Name," starring Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer.

SCANDAL - From TheDailyBeast:  Talk show host and actor Dustin Hoffman have a heated exchange over sexual misconduct allegations against Hoffman.

STAR TREK - From THR:  Quentin Tarantino and J.J. Abrams team up for a "Star Trek" movie.

MOVIES - From ShadowandAct:  Misha Green, the creator of the late WGN America series, "Underground," is developing a remake of the 1973 blaxploitation film, "Cleopatra Jones."

MOVIES - From ShadowandAct:  Michael B. Jordan's film, "Just Mercy," which is being compared to "To Kill a Mockingbird," is due November 2018.

MOVIES - From THR:  20th Century Fox has fired Bryan Singer ("X-Men") as director of the Freddie Mercury (of the rock band Queen) biopic, "Bohemian Rhapsody," because of his on-set behavior, including not showing up for work for over a week.

From BleedingCool:  Bryan Singer claps back on Fox firing him from "Bohemian Rhapsody."  He said that he was dealing with his own health issues and that of a parent.

TELEVISION - From BleedingCool:  On Christmas Day, the BBC will broadcast the first episode of its six-episode adaptation of Neil Gamain's novel, "Anansi Boys."  Gaiman introduces the characters.

BOX OFFICE - From BoxOfficeMojo:   The winner of the 12/1 to 12/3/2017 weekend box office is Pixar's "Coco" with an estimated take of $26.1 million.

From THR:  Pixar's "Coco" repeats at weekend box office champion with an estimated haul of $26.1 million.

From Variety:  James Franco's "The Disaster Artist" tops specialty box office.

SCANDAL - From Variety:  Oscar-winning Geoffrey Rush resigns as president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against him.

MOVIE AWARDS - From Variety:  The Los Angeles Film Critics Association names "Call Me By Your Name" its best picture of 2017.  Guillermo del Toro and Luca Guadagnino.

COMICS-STREAMING - From DenofGeek:  Here is a first look at Brenton Thwaites as "Robin," in "Titans," the TV series based on DC Comics' Teen Titans comic books.

COMICS-FILM - From CinemaBlend:  Haley Atwell returns as "Agent Sharon Carter," in the the animated TV series, "Marvel's Avengers: Secret Wars."

From DenofGeek:  A schedule of upcoming "X-Men" franchise films to be released over the next few years.

MOVIES - From WMagazine:  A superb Daniel Day-Lewis piece in which the actor talks about leaving acting after his upcoming film, "Phantom Thread."

STREAMING - From TheWrap:  The "Sabrina the Teenage Witch" horror series is moving from The CW to Netflix.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Quentin Tarantino's upcoming so-called "Charles Manson movie" gets a release date, August 9, 2019, the 50th anniversary of Manson family cult members killing of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, the day after cult members killed actress Sharon Tate and four others.

MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  The "Masters of the Universe" movie is on again, this time with writer David S. Goyer as director.  You do know "Masters of the Universe," He-Man and all that?  [I find Goyer to be a mixed bag - good or ugly, and who really wants a frickin' "Masters of the Universe" movie. - Leroy]

COMICS-FILM - From TheRinger:  Marvel Studios has what everyone wants, the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

CELEBRITY - From CNN:  Britain Prince Harry and his wife to be, African-American actress, Meghan Markle, undertook their first official event together, a "walkabout" in the English city of Nottingham.

 MOVIE AWARDS - From TheWrap:  The New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) names "Lady Bird" its "Best Picture of 2017."


From YouTube:  First official teaser trailer for "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom."


From THR:  The actor and singer, Jim Nabors, has died at the age of 87, November 30, 2017.  Nabors was best known for playing the character "Gomer Pyle" in two hit TV series.  Nabors appeared in Pyle in 23 episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show" and later in "Gomer Pyle, USMC" (1964-69).  Nabors also recorded almost 30 albums, with about six being certified gold or platinum. [Rest in peace. - Leroy.]

Monday, March 6, 2017

Movie Review: "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice" is an Average Film

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 4 (of 2017) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was posted on Patreon.]

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Running time:  151 minutes (2 hours, 31 minutes)
MPAA – PG - 13 for intense sequences of violence and action throughout, and some sensuality
DIRECTOR:  Zack Snyder
WRITERS: Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer; based on characters created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger (Batman) and Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (Superman)
PRODUCERS:  Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder
EDITOR:  David Brenner
COMPOSERS:  Hans Zimmer and Junkie XL


Starring:  Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot, Scoot McNairy, Tao Okamoto, Harry Lennix, Michael Shannon, Ezra Miller, Joe Morton, Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, and Kevin Costner

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a 2016 superhero drama and action-fantasy film from director Zack Snyder.  The film unites DC Comic' two most famous superheroes, Superman and Batman, in an epic conflict.  In the film, Batman battles Superman for fear of what the Man of Steel might do if his actions are left unchecked.  DC Entertainment boss, Geoff Johns, and director of “The Dark Knight Trilogy, Christopher Nolan, are two of the film's executive producers.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice opens 18 months after the events depicted in the film, The Man of Steel (2013).  The destructive battle between Superman (Henry Cavill) and General Zod (Michael Shannon) left much of the city of Metropolis in ruins and made Superman a controversial figure.  People were also killed and maimed in the battle between Superman and Zod, including employees working for Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck).

Wayne has operated in Gotham City as the vigilante, Batman, for nearly two decades, but he sees Superman's activities as a threat to humanity.  Conversely, Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) a.k.a. Superman sees Batman as a dangerous vigilante who has taken the law into his own hands, and Kent wants to expose Batman via a series of articles in the newspaper for which he works, the Daily Planet.

Now, it seems that Batman and Superman are destined to clash, but there is a threat to both of them.  LexCorp mogul and wunderkind, Lex Luthor (Jesse Eisenberg), is formulating a dark plot to destroy both costumed superheroes.  Can Batman and Superman stop fighting each other in time to save the world, the lives of their loved ones, and their own lives?

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has such high-end production values that it could be mistaken for a sumptuous costume drama headed for Oscar glory.  Batman v Superman has gorgeous photography with colors so rich that you might want to dine on them.  The budget-busting visual effects and CGI are mesmerizing.  The spectacular urban vistas will make you want to move to Metropolis, and the action set pieces will make your heart pound.  There is a chase scene with the Batmobile that rivals anything in The Fast and the Furious franchise.

That said:  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice does not quite come together.  It is filled with good scenes, but this film seems like two movies – one about Superman and the other about Batman – that are forced together so that they will be a single movie about both Batman and Superman.  The movie does sell the notion that these two heroes could be adversaries, but when it tries to sell them as allies, that does not quite work.  There was too much versus in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice for these two headliners to suddenly turn friendly towards each other.

Jesse Eisenberg is terrible as Lex Luthor.  I don't know if it was his decision or that of the studio to make Luthor Superman's Joker, but it is just wrong.  Gal Gadot is pretty, but her Wonder Woman is not that good, either.  When Wonder Woman first appears in costume in the big battle scene, I was excited to see her, but the fact that Gadot is so stiff in her acting made me lose my joy for Wonder Woman.

Ben Affleck is equally stiff as Bruce Wayne and only a tiny bit better as Batman, but not by much, though Lord knows he tries.  I want to give him credit for that, in spite of myself.  Henry Cavill actually convinced me that he is the right man to play both Clark Kent and Superman.  I think Amy Adams is excellent as Lois Lane, but she needs more screen time.  It is the same with Laurence Fishburne as Perry White, editor of the Daily Planet.

Jeremy Irons, who is good as Bruce Wayne's “butler,” Alfred Pennyworth, has said in press interviews that Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's biggest problem is that it lacks drama.  Yeah, this film has no dramatic heft.  As good as it looks, it's all visual sound and fury with a narrative that signifies practically nothing.  Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is watchable, but it should have been something more than the average, loud, big-budget, star-laden, event movie it is.  In a way, I think Warner Bros. wanted it to be nothing more than that.

5 of 10

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The text is copyright © 2016 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this site for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Negromancer News Bits and Bites from January 8th to 14th, 2017 - Update #19

Support Leroy on Patreon.

COMICS-FILM - From ThePlaylist:  Hugh Jackman and James Mangold share tidbits from the making of "Logan."

AWARDS - From THR:  With his nod for "Achievement in First-Time Feature Film," Nate Parker and "Birth of a Nation" earn their first major Hollywood film award nomination.

OBIT - From IndieWire:  The author and filmmaker, William Peter Blatty, has died at the age of 89, Thursday, January 12, 2017.  His most famous work is the best-selling and legendary novel, The Exorcist.  It was adapted into a hugely popular and legendary film (by director William Friedkin), and Blatty won an Oscar for writing the screenplay adaptation of his novel.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  Remember this controversy from awhile back:  actor Joseph Fiennes was supposed to portray pop music icon Michael Jackson in an episode of the Brit TV series, "Urban Myths?"  We apparently, the episode was filmed but will not be aired by European pay TV company, Sky.

COMICS-FILM - From THR:  Davis S. Goyer and Justin Rhodes will write Warner's "Green Lantern Corps" movie.  The film will feature both popular DC Comics Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan and John Stewart.

TELEVISION - From IndieWire:  Fresh off his Golden Globe win for "Atlanta," Donald Glover signs large overall developmental deal with FX, but "Atlanta" is not coming back until 2018.

TELEVISION - From Variety:  FX has renewed "American Horror Story" for an additional two seasons, which would take it through Season 9.

COMICS-FILM - From YahooMovies:  Emmy-winner Peter Dinklage ("Game of Thrones") may join Marvel's "Avengers" films as fan-favorite character, "Pip."

TELEVISION - From Variety:  The third season of John Ridley's critically-acclaimed series, "American Crime" (ABC), will focus on immigration.

MOVIES - From YahooMovies:  Natalie Portman reveals that Ashton Kutcher was paid three times what she was for their 2011 film, "No Strings Attached."

STAR WARS - From YahooMovies:  The one-billion dollar Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has a home - Los Angeles.

AWARDS - From YahooCelebrity:  Meryl Streep earns her 15th BAFTA nomination - in the wake of being called overrated by President-elect Donald Trump.

BOX OFFICE - From Variety:  With the release of the final weekend box office numbers, we learn that the winner of the 1/6 to 1/8/2017 weekend is "Hidden Figures" with a tally of $22.8 million, that is about of $700,00 "Rogue One's" final.

From BoxOfficeMojo:  The winner of the 1/6 to 1/8/2017 weekend box office is "Rogue One" with an estimated take of $21.97 million.  However, "Hidden Figures" is a close second with $21.8 million, and the release of actual totals may change which film holds the top spot.

CELEBRITY -From YahooCelebrity:  The cause of actress Debbie Reynolds's death is released, while her daughter Carrie Fisher's cause death is described as inconclusive.

TELEVISION - From IndieWire:  The release date for David Lynch's "Twin Peaks" revival miniseries is May 21, 2017 at 9 p.m. on Showtime.

MOVIES - From ThePlaylist:  J.J. Abrams says he will avoid remakes and reboots after being involved in such films via Star Wars, Star Trek, Mission:Impossible, and "Westworld" for TV.

AWARDS - From TheWrap:  At the 2017 Golden Globes, "La La Land" wins a record 7 Globes.

From CNN:  Meryl Streep criticizes President-elect Trump in her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes - without even mentioning Clownstick's name.

From LATimes:  Watch the video and read the transcript of Meryl Streep's Golden Globe speech.

From YahooCelebrity:  Apparently, Tom Hiddleston had to apologize for his acceptance speech.

COMICS - From BleedingCool:  Marvel Entertainment's reclusive CEO Isaac Perlmutter looks like a cheap hood gangster in this photo with President-elect Fuckface Von Clownstick.

From BleedingCool:  Now, Ike may play a role in the Clownstick administration.

MOVIES - From Variety:  Another Sundance film has been bought before its festival debut.  A24 has bought "A Ghost Story" directed by David Lowery (who directed Disney's remake, "Pete's Dragon") and stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara.

COMICS-ANIMATION - From EW:  There is a vague teaser for "Marvel's Spider-Man," Disney XD's upcoming Spider-Man animated series, which will replace "Ultimate Spider-Man."

From BleedingCool:  Matt Ryan played DC Comics' "John Constantine" in the short-lived NBC series, "Constantine."  He is reportedly returning to the role for an animated series.

CULTURE - From YahooBeauty:  Why men have body issues now more than ever - the muscular, superhero body.

AWARDS:  From Variety:   At the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (Aacta) International Awards "La La Land" wins two awards, "Best Picture" and "Best Actress" (Emma Stone).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Untitled Superman/Batman Movie is Now Named "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"

Cameras Roll on Director Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” from Warner Bros. Pictures

Principal photography is underway in Metro Detroit, Michigan

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Filming is underway on Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the highly anticipated action adventure from director Zack Snyder, starring Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Superman, and Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” also stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, with Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane returning from “Man of Steel,” Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and Holly Hunter in a role newly created for the film.

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

Principal photography will take place on location at Michigan Motion Picture Studios and on location in and around Detroit, Michigan; Illinois; Africa; and the South Pacific.

Set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Oscar-Winner Holly Hunter Leads New Cast Additions to Superman/Batman Film

Holly Hunter Joins the Cast of Director Zack Snyder’s Untitled Superman/Batman Film from Warner Bros. Pictures

Callan Mulvey and Tao Okamoto add to the international ensemble.

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Oscar®-winning actress Holly Hunter, Callan Mulvey of “300: Rise of an Empire,” and Tao Okamoto of “The Wolverine” have joined the cast of the upcoming Zack Snyder untitled Superman/Batman film. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

All three actors will play characters newly created for the film.

Snyder stated, “Holly has always been one of my favorite actresses; she has immense talent and is always captivating on screen. I had an opportunity to meet her a while back and knew instantly that I had to work with her, so as we began writing the script I made sure to create a role specifically for her.

“I just had the good fortune to work with Callan on ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ and was very impressed with his incredible talent,” the director continued. “He’s a fantastic actor and I’m looking forward to having the chance to work with him again. And, quite simply, Tao is a striking presence whose beauty is aptly rivaled by her amazing abilities as an actress. I’m really excited to have her joining us on this adventure.”

Hunter received the Academy Award® and a Golden Globe Award for her starring role in Jane Campion’s “The Piano.” She also garnered Oscar® nominations for her work in “Broadcast News,” “The Firm” and “Thirteen.” She has starred in such films as the Coen brothers’ “Raising Arizona” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” Steven Spielberg’s “Always,” Lasse Halström’s “Once Around,” Jodie Foster’s “Home for the Holidays” and Brad Bird’s animated hit “The Incredibles.” Hunter was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award® when she reunited with Campion for the TV miniseries “Top of the Lake.” She next appears in David Gordon Green’s “Manglehorn” and in Terrence Malick’s upcoming feature.

Australian-born Mulvey stars in the current box office hit “300: Rise of an Empire,” produced by Snyder. He also appeared in Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” and will next be seen in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

In addition to “The Wolverine,” Okamoto also appeared in the video “The Wolverine: The Path of a Ronin,” and in the Japanese television miniseries “Chi no wadachi.”

Snyder’s film stars Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. The film also stars Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and reunites “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

The new film is currently being written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

The film is set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016, and is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons Join "Superman/Batman" Film

Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons Join the Cast of Warner Bros. Pictures’ Untitled Superman/Batman Film from Director Zack Snyder

Eisenberg to star as Superman’s greatest foe, Lex Luthor, while Irons takes on the role of Alfred.

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures announced that Jesse Eisenberg has been set to star as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons will play Alfred in the upcoming Zack Snyder untitled Superman/Batman film. The dual announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

Snyder stated, “Lex Luthor is often considered the most notorious of Superman’s rivals, his unsavory reputation preceding him since 1940. What’s great about Lex is that he exists beyond the confines of the stereotypical nefarious villain. He’s a complicated and sophisticated character whose intellect, wealth and prominence position him as one of the few mortals able to challenge the incredible might of Superman. Having Jesse in the role allows us to explore that interesting dynamic, and also take the character in some new and unexpected directions.”

The director added, “As everyone knows, Alfred is Bruce Wayne’s most trusted friend, ally and mentor, a noble guardian and father figure. He is an absolutely critical element in the intricate infrastructure that allows Bruce Wayne to transform himself into Batman. It is an honor to have such an amazingly seasoned and gifted actor as Jeremy taking on the important role of the man who mentors and guides the guarded and nearly impervious façade that encapsulates Bruce Wayne.”

Eisenberg received Academy Award®, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award® and BAFTA Award nominations for his starring role as Mark Zuckerberg in David Fincher’s “The Social Network.” He also starred in Woody Allen’s “To Rome with Love” and Louis Letterier’s “Now You See Me.” He next appears in “The Double” and “Night Moves.”

Irons won the Academy Award® for his portrayal of Claus von Bülow in “Reversal of Fortune.” His work in the film also garnered him a Golden Globe Award. He won an Emmy Award and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award® for his performance in the TV miniseries “Elizabeth I,” opposite Helen Mirren, and recently starred on the small screen as Rodrigo Borgia in Neil Jordan’s highly acclaimed Showtime series “The Borgias,” for which Irons earned a Golden Globe nomination. He was recently nominated for a SAG Award® for the PBS Great Performances television miniseries “The Hollow Crown,” for his performance as Henry IV.

Snyder’s film stars Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. The film also reunites “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

The new film is currently being written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

The film is set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016, and is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment.

Monday, January 20, 2014

New "Peter Pan" Movie Takes Superman/Batman's Release Date

Zack Snyder’s Much-Anticipated Superman/Batman Film Moves to May 6, 2016.

Warner Bros. Pictures’ All New Peter Pan Adventure Flies into a July 17, 2015 Release Date.

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that the release of Zack Snyder’s untitled Superman/Batman film has been moved to May 6, 2016, allowing the filmmakers time to realize fully their vision, given the complex visual nature of the story. The decision was made following the shift of the start of production to second quarter of this year. The Studio has also set a July 17, 2015, worldwide release date for its as-yet-untitled all-new Peter Pan adventure. Joe Wright will direct the epic live-action film about the boy who would never grow up, created by J.M. Barrie. The dual date announcement was made by Dan Fellman, President, Domestic Distribution, and Veronika Kwan Vandenberg, President, International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

In making the announcement, Fellman stated, “We are happy to take advantage of these coveted summer dates, which are perfect for two of our biggest tentpole releases. We share the fans’ excitement to see DC Comics’ most popular figures, Superman and Batman, together on the big screen for the first time, which will now be arriving in theatres in May 2016. Peter Pan has delighted people of every generation for more than a century, so we are thrilled to bring him back to the screen next summer for today’s moviegoers.”

Kwan Vandenberg added, “We know that there is already great anticipation building for the next Super Hero film from Zack Snyder, and we are equally eager to see what he has in store for Superman and Batman as they share the big screen for the first time ever. The summer release corridor is also perfect for Joe Wright’s ambitious new Peter Pan adventure, reimagining the ageless story of the beloved and forever-young hero for audiences worldwide.”

Zack Snyder’s Superman/Batman film stars Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, and Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne. The film will also reunite “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane, and also stars Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince.

Snyder will direct the film from a screenplay written by David S. Goyer, from a story co-created by Goyer and Snyder. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan and Wesley Coller serving as executive producers.

The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, published by DC Entertainment.

The new Peter Pan adventure will be directed by Joe Wright from a screenplay by Jason Fuchs, incorporating J.M. Barrie’s classic characters. The film is being produced by Greg Berlanti and Paul Webster.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Ben Affleck is Batman in 2015 "Superman-Batman" Team-up Movie

Ben Affleck Revealed as Batman in Warner Bros. Pictures’ New Super Hero Feature Film, Now Slated to Open July 17, 2015

The Oscar®-winning star joins Henry Cavill in the first ever onscreen match-up of DC Comics’ most iconic characters.

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ending weeks of speculation, Ben Affleck has been set to star as Batman, a.k.a. Bruce Wayne. Affleck and filmmaker Zack Snyder will create an entirely new incarnation of the character in Snyder’s as-yet-untitled project—bringing Batman and Superman together for the first time on the big screen and continuing the director’s vision of their universe, which he established in “Man of Steel.” The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The studio has slated the film to open worldwide on July 17, 2015.

Last month’s surprise announcement of the new movie featuring both Superman and Batman created a wave of excitement and immediately fueled discussion and debate—among fans as well as in the media—about who would put on the cape and cowl of Bruce Wayne’s alter ego.

Snyder successfully re-imagined the origin of Clark Kent/Superman in the worldwide blockbuster “Man of Steel,” which has earned more than $650 million worldwide to date, and climbing. The director will now create an original vision of Batman and his world for the film that brings the two DC Comics icons together.

Affleck will star opposite Henry Cavill, who will reprise the role of Superman/Clark Kent. The film will also reunite “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

In the announcement, Silverman stated, “We knew we needed an extraordinary actor to take on one of DC Comics’ most enduringly popular Super Heroes, and Ben Affleck certainly fits that bill, and then some. His outstanding career is a testament to his talent and we know he and Zack will bring new dimension to the duality of this character.”

Snyder also expressed his excitement about the casting of Affleck, noting, “Ben provides an interesting counter-balance to Henry’s Superman. He has the acting chops to create a layered portrayal of a man who is older and wiser than Clark Kent and bears the scars of a seasoned crime fighter, but retain the charm that the world sees in billionaire Bruce Wayne. I can’t wait to work with him.”

Kroll added, “We are so thrilled that Ben is continuing Warner Bros.’ remarkable legacy with the character of Batman. He is a tremendously gifted actor who will make this role his own in this already much-anticipated pairing of these two beloved heroes.”

Affleck recently starred in the Academy Award®-winning Best Picture “Argo,” which he also directed and produced, earning acclaim and a BAFTA Award nomination for his performance in the film, as well as a number of directing honors. In 2010, he starred in and directed the hit crime thriller “The Town.” His recent acting work also includes “The Company Men,” “State of Play,” and “Hollywoodland,” for which he received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor. Earlier in his career, Affleck starred in and co-wrote (with Matt Damon) “Good Will Hunting,” for which he won an Oscar® for Best Original Screenplay.

The new Super Hero film is being scripted by David S. Goyer from a story he co-created with Zack Snyder. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan and Wesley Coller serving as executive producers.

Production is expected to begin in 2014.

The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, and Batman characters created by Bob Kane, published by DC Entertainment.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Review: "Blade: Trinity" is An Average End to a Special Franchise (Happy B'day, Wesley Snipes)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 240 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Blade: Trinity (2004)
Running time: 105 minutes (1 hour, 45 minutes)
MPAA – R for strong pervasive violence and language, and some sexual content
DIRECTOR:  David S. Goyer
WRITER:  David S. Goyer (based upon characters by Marv Wolfman and Gene Colan)
PRODUCERS:  Wesley Snipes, Peter Frankfurt, Lynn Harris, and David S. Goyer
CINEMATOGRAPHER:  Gabriel Beristain
EDITORS:  Conrad Smart and Howard E. Smith
COMPOSERS:  Ramin Djawadi and The RZA


Starring:  Wesley Snipes, Kris Kristofferson, Ryan Reynolds, Jessica Biel, Parker Posey, Cascy Beddow, Dominic Purcell, Triple H (Paul Michael Levesque), Natasha Lyonne, Eric Bogosian, Vitaly Kravchenko, James Remar, and Patton Oswalt

The subject of this movie review is Blade: Trinity, a 2004 vampire horror and superhero action movie from writer-director David S. Goyer.  It is the third and final movie in the Blade film series produced by New Line Cinema.  Blade: Trinity finds Blade a wanted man by the FBI and forced to unite with a band of vampire hunters called the Nightstalkers in order to battle his most challenging opponent ever, Dracula.

Early in Blade: Trinity, a group of vampires by led nasty girl vamp princess, Danica Talos (Parker Posey), awakens the original vampire, Dracula (Dominic Purcell), who is buried deep within a pyramid in Iraq.  Apparently, the vampires are desperate to rid themselves of their mortal enemy, the vampire hunter, Blade (Wesley Snipes), aka the Daywalker, and hope Dracula, who goes by the name Drake, will defeat Blade.  Meanwhile, Danica and her crew have also set Blade up so that he mistakenly kills a human he thinks is a vampire.  The murder sets the corrupt police and media against him.  The FBI track Blade to his new lair and launch an attack.  During the strike, Blade’s mentor, father figure, and weapons creator, Abraham Whistler (Kris Kristofferson), is killed, and the FBI captures Blade.

Enter The Nightstalkers, a group of human vampire hunters, Blade never knew existed.  One of them is Abigail Whistler (Jessica Biel), Abraham Whistler’s out-of-wedlock daughter, and she is an ass-kicking, bow-hunting babe who doesn’t flinch from going toe to toe with bloodsuckers.  Add a third partner to Blade and Abigail, and you have a trinity.  The third player is the buff, wise-cracking Hannibal King (Ryan Reynolds), who was once turned into a vampire, and later cured by Abigail.  Together, the trio must hunt down Drake and his vampire cabal and stop them from implementing the vampire final solution against humanity.

Blade: Trinity is the least in terms of quality of the three Blade films, but it still manages to be a thrill (sometimes).  Writer/director David S. Goyer (who also wrote the screenplays for the previous Blade films) and cinematographer Gabriel Beristain (who also shot Blade II) were also determined to make this film look different from the previous two.  Blade: Trinity looks like an extended music video, but the photography has the crystal clear quality of digital video, so much so that the film looks like a television program shot in high definition.  Goyer also dropped a lot of the muddy and murky CGI that didn’t always work in Blade II.

It’s the performances that really hamper Blade: Trinity; in fact, it wouldn’t be too mean to say that the acting is atrocious.  Wesley Snipes always played Blade as stoic, with little to say except for a few lines delivered in a thuggish monotone.  However, Snipes is often too stiff, here.  He’s is too “in character,” and that keeps Blade from interacting with the other characters.  Granted Blade is a loner, but he goes overboard this time.  There are huge segments in this film in which he hardly utters more than a few grumbles.  Thankfully, towards the end of the film, he does come to life as a badass delivering the kind of lines that would fit right into a blaxtiploitation or Quentin Tarantino movie.

Ryan Reynolds really tries to liven up this film as Hannibal King, but rarely is anybody up to his challenge.  His lines are always funny, but often fall flat or are lost in the moroseness of the rest of the cast.  Jessica Biel is almost undead herself in this film, but she’s fine and pretty and moves well; that saves her performance (a little).  Parker Posey is miscast and is made up to look like an ugly, pasty-white trash, hag vampire.  Though she has a (very) few moments, she’s simply annoying.  If Dominic Purcell gets anything out of this film, it’s that he’s one of the worst and least intriguing Dracula’s in cinema history; that would include Dracula’s that have appeared in Scooby-Doo cartoons and other Hanna-Barbera animated programs.

The stiff (non) acting is what makes Blade: Trinity seem so listless and clunky for about half the film’s running time – that and the fact that the vampires spend most of the time brooding and hiding in their tacky skyscraper/palace.  Blade: Trinity is as much a hunt as it is a waiting game, but the waiting is the hardest part.  The film is pretty to look at, and the film score (co-written by The RZA of The Wu-Tang Clan who also co-wrote music for Tarantino’s Kill Bill films) and soundtrack are killer.  But for all the credit I give Goyer, the film’s plot is… dumb and stretched thin, and falls apart to almost nonexistence.  At times, the film is lethargic and meanders, playing a waiting game until the final act.  Though I love Blade, even I have to admit that unless you’re a fan of the series, you can catch this one when it’s on home video.

5 of 10

Update:  Wednesday, July 31, 2013


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Superman and Batman Unite for Summer 2015 Movie

The following news was announced this weekend (Saturday, July 20, 2013) at San Diego Comic-Con International 2013:

Next DC Super Hero Movie in Pre-Production

Director Zack Snyder Unites Superman and Batman in One Explosive New Film

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On the heels of the worldwide success of “Man of Steel,” director Zack Snyder is bringing together the two greatest Super Heroes of all time—Batman and Superman—for the first time on the big screen. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

The current hit, “Man of Steel,” has taken in more than $630 million at the worldwide box office to date, and climbing. Along with its star, Henry Cavill, the upcoming film brings back Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane. The new Batman has yet to be cast.

Snyder is co-writing the story with David S. Goyer, who will then pen the screenplay. Production is expected to begin in 2014, with an anticipated release date in Summer 2015.

Silverman stated, “Zack Snyder is an incredibly talented filmmaker, but beyond that, he’s a fan first and he utterly gets this genre. We could not think of anyone better suited to the task of bringing these iconic Super Heroes to the screen in his own way.” Kroll added, “We are thrilled to be back in business with Zack and his team on this next movie. The success of ‘Man of Steel’ is a wonderful testament to the love and support that both fans and new audiences, worldwide, have for these characters. We are very excited to see what Zack has in store for all of us.”

Diane Nelson, President, DC Entertainment, noted, “Superman and Batman together on the big screen is a dream come true for DC fans everywhere. All of us at DC Entertainment could not be more excited for Zack’s continuing vision for the DC Universe.”

Zack Snyder, who made a surprise appearance at Comic-Con today, breaking the news to audiences there, later said, “I’m so excited to begin working again with Henry Cavill in the world we created, and I can’t wait to expand the DC Universe in this next chapter. Let’s face it, it’s beyond mythological to have Superman and our new Batman facing off, since they are the greatest Super Heroes in the world.”

The new film brings back Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder as producers. This time, Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are serving as executive producers, along with Benjamin Melniker and Michael E. Uslan.

Thomas offered, “Whilst our ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy is complete, we have every confidence that Zack’s fresh interpretation will take the character in a new and exciting direction. His vision for Superman opened the door to a whole new universe and we can’t wait to see what Zack does with these characters.”

The film is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, and Batman characters created by Bob Kane, published by DC Entertainment.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: "Man of Steel" Overstuffed with Spectacle

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 41 (of 2013) by Leroy Douresseaux

Man of Steel (2013)
Running time: 143 minutes (2 hours, 23 minutes)
MPAA – PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence, action and destruction, and for some language
DIRECTOR: Zack Snyder
WRITERS: David S. Goyer; from a story by David S. Goyer and Christopher Nolan (based upon the Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and published by DC Comics)
PRODUCER: Christopher Nolan, Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, and Emma Thomas
EDITOR: David Brenner
COMPOSER: Hans Zimmer


Starring: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane, Kevin Costner, Russell Crowe, Antje Traue, Harry Lennix, Richard Schiff, Christopher Meloni, Ayelet Zurer, Laurence Fishburne, Michael Kelly, Dylan Sprayberry, and Cooper Timberline

Man of Steel is a 2013 superhero movie from director Michael Bay. Ooops! I mean…

Man of Steel is a 2013 superhero movie from director Zack Snyder. The film is co-produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan, the director of “The Dark Knight trilogy” (yep, that’s what they’re calling Nolan’s Batman films) with a screenplay by David S. Goyer, who co-wrote Nolan’s Batman films. Man of Steel is a reboot of the Superman film franchise and is the first Superman movie since 2006’s Superman Returns.

Man of Steel focuses on Superman living as a young drifter and itinerant worker. He is forced to confront his destiny and secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race. That sounds warm and dramatic, but the actual film is an over-produced event movie that loses its heart and soul in a tsunami of computer-generated imagery and special effects. Once you see the movie, you might also think that this loud movie looks like something Michael Bay made, especially his Transformers films.

Man of Steel opens on the planet Krypton, where renowned scientist, Jor-El (Russell Crowe), and his wife, Lara Lor-Van (Ayelet Zurer), celebrate the arrival of a son, Kal-El. Their world, however, is dying as the rebel, General Zod (Michael Shannon), and his followers attack Krypton’s ruling council. In order to save Kal-El, Jor-El launches him in a spacecraft bound for Earth. The infant Kal-El lands on Earth in Smallville, Kansas, where he is found and adopted by Martha and Jonathan Kent (Diane Lane and Kevin Costner), who name the baby, “Clark Kent.” Clark’s alien physiology gives him superhuman abilities on Earth, but also causes him to feel confused and isolated.

As an adult, Clark Kent (Henry Cavill) lives a nomadic life. He does not realize that Lois Lane (Amy Adams), a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Daily Planet, is tracking him. Both Kent and Lane discover that Kent’s alien past is about to return in a way that could mean the end of humanity and the world as we know it.

Man of Steel is half-good, half-ridiculous. First, the ridiculous: the movie is all over the place. It jumps back in forth in time from occasionally overly-sentimental flashbacks to over-charged, present-day fight scenes. The characters are either under-utilized or underdeveloped. Henry Cavill and Amy Adams are actually good as Clark and Lois, but every time they seem about to really bond as characters, Man of Steel runs over to action scenes that look like they came out of the Transformers films, Revenge of the Fallen and Dark of the Moon.

Some of the set pieces depict levels of destruction that are practically impossible to fully comprehend. Fight scenes and aerial battles happen in a whirlwind of computer-generated imagery; sometimes, I couldn’t make out much of anything, even the combatants. In fact, much of Man of Steel is one big tornado of special-effects crap thrown at the screen. There is so much destruction going on in Metropolis that it began to annoy me. After ten minutes of this, I realized that the movie had crossed the line of relentless triteness that now defines big-budget Hollywood event movies.

Even this post-human movie offers moments of genuine humanity. The scenes in Smallville, present and flashback, offer some poignant character drama, if not the occasional tedious homily. There is a good moving and emotional set piece with Laurence Fishburne as Daily Planet Editor in Chief Perry White, as he and some of the Planets’ staff fight to survive the destruction of Metropolis. Michael Shannon is brilliantly demented as General Zod, in way that makes the character alluring.

The filmmakers and (more likely) the studio do not seem interested in Clark Kent’s humanity. They seem obsessed with the spectacle of the superhero and his adversaries as videogame wrecking balls, tearing apart the world in visuals created by computers, software, and cinema technology. Sometimes, that looks quite good, as in Marvel’s The Avengers. Sometimes, it looks like a preposterous overstatement, as in Man of Steel. I found this movie to be a mostly unpleasant viewing experience. Is this what future Superman movies are going to look like? I hope the intriguing, interesting character bits that really left an impression on me and are the reason for my “B-“ score can have a bigger place in the next Man of Steel.

5 of 10

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thursday, November 8, 2012

"Man of Steel" to Get the 3D Treatment

Man of Steel” to Soar into Theaters Next Summer in 3D

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures announced today that director Zack Snyder’s upcoming action adventure “Man of Steel” will be presented in 3D in select theaters, as well as in 2D and IMAX®, so fans of the iconic superhero will be able to experience the much-anticipated movie in their format of choice.

Snyder stated, “The film is going to be a visually exciting experience in all formats: 2D, 3D and IMAX. Anticipating how audiences today embrace 3D, we designed and photographed the movie in a way that would allow ‘Man of Steel’ to captivate those movie goers, while respecting fans who prefer a more traditional cinematic experience. We’ve taken great measures to ensure the film and the story come first, and 3D is meant as an enhancement.”

The film stars Henry Cavill in the role of Superman/Clark Kent, alongside three-time Oscar® nominee Amy Adams (“The Fighter”), Oscar® nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road”), Academy Award® winner Kevin Costner (“Dances with Wolves”), Oscar® nominee Diane Lane (“Unfaithful”), Oscar® nominee Laurence Fishburne (“What’s Love Got to Do with It”), Antje Traue, Ayelet Zurer, Christopher Meloni, Harry Lennix, Michael Kelly, Richard Shiff, and Academy Award® winner Russell Crowe (“Gladiator”).

“Man of Steel” is produced by Charles Roven, Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan and Deborah Snyder. The screenplay was written by David S. Goyer, from a story by Goyer & Nolan, based upon Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster and published by DC Entertainment. Thomas Tull, Lloyd Phillips and Jon Peters are the film’s executive producers.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Legendary Pictures, a Syncopy Production, a Zack Snyder Film, “Man of Steel.” The film is slated for release on June 14, 2013 and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.