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Friday, February 28, 2014

Grant Gustin in Costume as 'The Flash'

First Image Reveals Head Shot of the New Barry Allen

Warner Bros. Television released this image of Grant Gustin wearing his costume for the CW pilot of 'The Flash." Production begins next week and already the craftsmanship of Oscar-winning costume designer, Colleen Atwood, is getting rave reviews by fans. The deeper red tone and sleek fitting headpiece with detailed lightning bolt has a slight DC Comics 'New 52' look to it that is worthy of the "Fastest Man Alive".

The Arrow spin-off involves police scientist, Barry Allen, who through a freak accident develops the power of super speed. The accident occurred on the second of a two-episode arc on Arrow and now the same producers, Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and David Nutterare bringing the classic speedster to pilot in hopes of getting a season order. It all appears to be likely if the quality of storytelling and production values are similar to CW's highest rated show, Arrow. And wouldn't the network like to appease their successful producers? Not to mention the likelihood of creating another hit show. Albeit, a slightly more "super" show. 

Unlike Arrow, The Flash has an actual super power and that requires special effects. This obviously raises production costs and changes the dynamics of the show. You'll need super powered villains, of which he has plenty in his Rogues, and so live-action shootouts and hand-to-hand combat won't be enough to do the character justice. It will have to be grander in scale without looking cheesy or campy. Another difference as seen in the shot released is that Barry Allen/Flash smiles and isn't the brooding mope of a Batman or a corny farmer's son like Superman. Gustin played Allen with an awe-struck admiration for Arrow and even when Ollie was a jerk he remained positive and was adorable in his flirting with Felicity. Likability won't be a problem.

Gustin is joined in the cast by Jesse L. Martin, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton and John Wesley Shipp, who played Allen in the short-lived live-action CBS show in 1990.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

History Channel's 'Vikings' Season 2 Teaser Trailer is a Thing of Beauty

Just in Time for Thursday's Premiere This Music Video Sets the Eerie Mood for More Viking Adventure
Kathryn Winnick

Set to Lorde's appropriately entitled "Glory and Gore" this teaser-music video ushers in the second season of History's hit Vikings that promises more drama and violence. Nothing is revealed but showcases its characters beautifully in super slow-motion. 

Vikings returns on February 27 at 10/9c on History Channel. 

Haven't seen it or aren't caught up? No problem head over to History's website and check out exclusive Vikings videos and full episodes:

'Godzilla' Wreaks Havoc While Bryan Cranston Weeps in New Trailer

The Iconic Monster is Not Happy 

If the newest trailer from Legendary Pictures is any indication Godzilla is going to be a complete blast. This full length trailer has more footage of the giant beast destroying just about everything in his path. There are scenes of Bryan Cranston and Aaron Taylor-Johnson lamenting the events that lead to this and lots and lots of people running. This could be the Godzilla movie we've been waiting for but for now enjoy this exciting trailer.

Godzilla stomps into theaters on May 16.

An epic rebirth to Toho's iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure, from Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, pits the world's most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity's scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence.

Gareth Edwards directs "Godzilla," which stars Aaron Taylor-Johnson ("Kick-Ass"), Oscar® nominee Ken Watanabe ("The Last Samurai," "Inception"), Elizabeth Olsen ("Martha Marcy May Marlene"), Oscar® winner Juliette Binoche ("The English Patient," "Cosmopolis"), and Sally Hawkins ("Blue Jasmine"), with Oscar® nominee David Strathairn ("Good Night, and Good Luck.," "The Bourne Legacy") and Bryan Cranston ("Argo," TV's "Breaking Bad").

Monday, February 24, 2014

Harold Ramis, 'Ghostbusters' Writer and Star, Passes Away at 69 (Videos)

Prolific Comedy Writer Penned Some of the Most Iconic Movies of the Late 70's and 80's

Probably best known for writing and starring in the 1984 comedy hit, Ghostbusters, as Dr. Egon Spengler, Harold Ramis passed away today at age 69 after battling autoimmune inflammatory vasculitis since 2010. The Chicago native was with his family when he passed and is survived by his wife Erica, sons Julian and Daniel, daughter Violet and two grandchildren. 

The impact of Ramis' work as a writer and director cannot be understated. He either wrote, co-wrote, directed and/or starred in some of the most influential comedies over the last 35 years. National Lampoon's Animal House (1978), National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), Stripes (1981), Caddyshack (1980), Ghostbusters (1984), and Groundhog Day (1993) became comedic cultural phenomenom for their wild but smartly written scripts that inspired current filmmakers like Judd Apatow, Adam McKay, Jay Roach, Peter Farrelly, and others.  The humble Ramis also provided plenty of laughs as writer and performer for 'SCTV,' in the late 70's. 

Few filmmakers have had a lasting indelible mark in comedy as Ramis. His brilliant work will live on. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Latest 'Batman vs Superman' Rumor Has Us Rooting for Cyborg

Zack Snyder Reportedly Looking for Athletic Young Black Actor

The movie that keeps on giving, rumors anyway, is Zack Snyder's Man of Steel sequel, casually known as Batman vs Superman, has spawned yet another casting scoop. Latino Review reports that not only is the casting call for a "black actor in this 20's and physically fit" but that the director has already met with newly crowned Human Torch, Michael B. Jordan. The role is a small one in the sequel but one that is supposedly a recurring role in future DC Comics movies.
This is quite the addition if it does lead to a major role. No one knows what the role is but speculation has lead to it possibly being that of Victor Stone aka Cyborg. There was some early filming at a football stadium in Los Angeles and Stone's back story includes him as a highly touted high school football prospect prior to the explosion in his father's S.T.A.R. Labs facility that led to his partial destruction and reconstruction with untested technology.
This is one of those rumors that requires more wishful thinking but it makes sense if Warner Bros. intends to make a Justice League movie. Cyborg is part of the New 52 Justice League comics, has been an animated staple from Teen Titans to Justice League Unlimited television shows to the recent Justice League War DVD feature. War included Cyborg's origin story. He is no stranger to this generation of fans and makes a compelling hero in his own right. Not to mention that he would add much needed diversity to an otherwise pale group of heroes.
Snyder has a wish list of actors in mind and meeting with Jordan is a good start. It's doubtful if he's already committed to Fox's Fantastic Four that he'll be available for WB. The bright side is that Snyder is aiming high and seeking a young talented actor of his caliber.
This is all speculation of course but Cyborg makes a ton of sense. Could it still be John Stewart's Green Lantern? Sure. Could it be Nightwing? Possibly. But if Batman vs Superman is going to plant the seeds of a Justice League movie down the line a cameo from Victor Stone would fit right in.

Fantastic Four Reboot is Cast and Coming Whether You Like It or Not

The Fox Film Based on Marvel's First Family Finally Has Found Its Fresh Faced Leads

If you thought 20th Century Fox was done after two lackluster film adaptations of the Fantastic Four then you underestimate the studio's desire to cash in on the superhero movie genre. Fox is indeed making a reboot complete with a new cast and origin story sure to rankle some fans of Marvel comics 'First Family'. If negotiations go well you'll see the hottest up-and-coming young actors in the business in director Josh Trank's long rumored project. 

Michael B. Jordan, the only one reportedly signed to star thus far, is coming off the critically acclaimed Fruitvale Station and his rising star was strong enough to weather the stinker That Awkward Moment was and is slated to play Johnny Storm aka Human Torch. As the name implies, the Human Torch can generate flames from his body and fly. (Yes, traditionally in the comics Johnny is a blonde white guy. Not so here obviously and being Sue's younger half- or adopted brother would make perfect sense. Let's move on.)

Kate Mara, who is close to signing, is also a rising talent fresh from her role as a determined reporter on Netflix's monster hit, House of Cards, is playing Johnny's sister, Sue Storm aka The Invisible Woman. She can generate force fields and become invisible. 

Jamie Bell, whose breakout debut in Billy Elliot in 2000 garnered him multiple awards and nominations, is a curious choice to play the rough but lovable man of stone with superhuman strength in Ben Grimm aka The Thing. The talented English actor will presumably have to use Ben's famous gruff Brooklyn accent and don a motion-capture suit for his transformation into the Thing. At least the latter part he's already experienced while making The Adventures of Tintin for Steven Spielberg. 

Miles Teller, Jordan's co-star in Moment, is another actor to watch. Teller has indie cred from last year's The Spectacular Now and some youth recognition from disposable party fare like Project X and 21 & Over. However, this year Teller was the talk of the Sundance Film Festival in his virtuoso portrayal of a young drumming prodigy in Whiplash, the film was the winner of the U.S. Grand Jury and Audience Dramatic awards. His casting as Reed Richards aka Mr. Fantastic, genius leader and capable of stretching his body to amazing lengths, is the most tenuous casting because he's already involved in another burgeoning genre franchise, Divergent. Filming for that dystopian thriller sequel, Insurgent, begins at the same time as FF and if scheduling can't be sorted out then the role may have to be recast.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Jada Pinkett Smith is the Penguin's Boss in Fox's 'Gotham'

The Batman Prequel has Found its Main Villain

Veteran actress Jada Pinkett Smith (Hawthorne, Collateral, Scream 2) has been cast as Fish Mooney, a gangster boss, on Fox's Batman prequel pilot Gotham. The role is described as “a sadistic gangster boss and nightclub owner, she’s got the street smarts and almost extra-sensory abilities to read people like an open book. Imposing and hotheaded, she’s not one to be crossed.” She'll be boss of one up and coming psychotic thug Oswald Cobblepot, the future Penguin, in a Gotham City before the time of Batman.

The petite actress is no stranger to playing tough characters and her talent has played bigger than her stature. A role generally and stereo-typically cast for a man, sometimes big and swarthy, has a refreshing take with Smith who can convey a look of seething malice as well as anyone three times her size. Smith has some genre cred after appearing in two Matrix sequels as the most skilled pilot of the rebel forces. 

Internet reaction has been more surprise than anything else since this is a new character in the world of Batman and not from canon to draw the ire of fanboys. It seems the bulk of rage has been aimed toward the castings of big screen adaptations of DC Comics properties. 

Smith returns to television three years after producing and starring in Hawthorne for the TNT network. 

Yaya Han's 'Batgirl' Cosplay Based on DC Comics New 52

Photography by Brian Boling with Some Behind the Scenes Costume Design Notes

Our favorite cosplayer, the Queen of Cosplay herself, Yaya Han, has become a staple here at Spartantown. We've featured her multiple times like here, here and here and with good reason - she's a master costume designer. There's nothing she can't do apparently  because whether she's Wonder Woman, Lady Sif, Catwoman or a multitude of other characters from comic books, science fiction, or anime she makes some of the most authentic and carefully crafted costumes in the world. 

World Premiere of First 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Trailer

The First Full Trailer for the Marvel Space Adventure Debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live

The other big movie event for Marvel Studios besides Captain America: The Winter Soldier is the James Gunn directed Guardians of the Galaxy starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan, etc., and its first full length movie trailer debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. It featured John C. Reilly giving the bios of the apprehended space misfits among images of action mixed with humor. The feature could introduce the public to a whole new comic book movie franchise that brings humor back to the sci-fi genre. 

Check out the video below and let me know what you think.

"From Marvel, the studio that brought you the global blockbuster franchises of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Avengers, comes a new team--the Guardians of the Galaxy. An action-packed, epic space adventure, Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the entire universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits--Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon; Groot, a tree-like humanoid; the deadly and enigmatic Gamora; and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Quill discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand--with the galaxy's fate in the balance.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, which first appeared in comic books in MARVEL SUPER-HEROES #18 (Jan. 1969), stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, with John C. Reilly, Glenn Close as Nova Prime Rael and Benicio del Toro as The Collector.

James Gunn is the director of the film with Kevin Feige producing, and Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Jeremy Latcham, Alan Fine and Stan Lee serve as executive producers. The story is by Nicole Perlman and James Gunn, with screenplay by James Gunn. Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" releases in U.S. theaters on August 1, 2014."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Donal Logue Joins 'Gotham' as Harvey Bullock

Rumors Finally Confirmed as Logue is Added to Fox's Batman Prequel

After some rumors swirled last month about Donal Logue (Sons of Anarchy, Vikings, Copper) being offered the role of Detective Harvey Bullock it is now being confirmed that he indeed will be cast to star opposite Ben McKenzie's James Gordon in Fox Television's Batman prequel series, Gotham

Logue as Bullock joins the other recently announced castings of The Penguin, Alfred Pennyworth, Barbara Kean, and Captain Essen on the Bruno Heller (The Mentalist) produced series. The network has enough confidence in the project to order a season and filming will begin in March.

Historically, the character of Harvey Bullock was portrayed as a drunk, corrupt, violent detective who in one instance was used by a crooked mayor to foil the crusading James Gordon from cleaning up the Gotham City Police Department from rampant corruption. He later turns over a new leaf and becomes a loyal ally of Gordon. It'll be interesting what approach they take but considering Logue's talent for rough, complex and conflicted characters he's the perfect counter balance to McKenzie's more idealistic and principled Gordon. 

The show appears to be taking shape quite nicely with some talented people behind and in front of the camera. Will it be successful though? Warner Bros. and Fox are counting on it. 

Source: Variety

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Penguin and Alfred Added to Fox's 'Gotham' Batman TV Drama

Four Roles Filled to Join Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon

The upcoming Fox drama, Gotham, found its lead in Ben McKenzie (Southland) to play the Batman comics staple, James Gordon, as a young detective long before he becomes the Commissioner and ally to the Dark Knight has now found its Alfred Pennyworth and Oswald Cobblepot/Penguin. Sean Pertwee (Agatha Christie: Poirot, Camelot) will play the iconic and loyal butler/confidante to an adolescent Bruce Wayne and Robin Lord Taylor (The Walking Dead, Accepted) will be the infamous villain. 

Also on board are Erin Richards (Being Human) as a doctor and fiancee to James Gordon, Barbara Kean, and Zabryna Guevara (Burn Notice) as Capt. Essen, Gordon's boss at the GCPD homicide division. 

The television series is described as an origin prequel to the Batman films and follows the rise of Gordon as he maneuvers the corrupted police force and Gotham City's crime-ridden streets. A young Bruce Wayne has yet to be cast but will reportedly don the cowl and cape at some point in the series as the show will lead up to it - much as Smallville did with Superman. The focus will remain on Gordon and promises appearances of other villains like Catwoman, Riddler and even The Joker. 

Bruno Heller (The Mentalist) and Danny Cannon (Nikita) are executive producers with the pilot penned by Heller. 

Here are the actors cast with role descriptions:

Robin Lord Taylor - Oswald Cobblepot aka The Penguin*
 “the brains of a chess grandmaster and the morals of a jackal, Oswald Cobblepot is a low-level psychopath for gangster Fish Mooney who hides his sadistic lust for power behind an exquisitely polite demeanor.”

Sean Pertwee - Alfred Pennyworth
“A tough-as-nails ex-marine from East London, Alfred Pennyworth has loyally served the Waynes. Now, in the wake of their tragic deaths, he’s fiercely protective of the young Bruce Wayne.”

Erin Richards - Barbara Kean (Gordon)
“A sophisticated emergency room doctor, Barbara is the fiancĂ©e of James Gordon, joyful but with an edge of vulnerability. She stands by her future husband…which can be difficult in a world as corrupt as Gotham.”

Zabryna Guevara - Captain Essen
“Gordon’s boss at the GCPD Homicide Squad, Captain Essen balances the two worlds of police and politics with a Machiavellian skill that’s as much corporate litigator as cop.”

* Not the Cobblepot version of Penguin but shown for illustrative purposes only

Friday, February 7, 2014

'The LEGO Movie' is Set to Become a Monster Hit This Weekend

This Toy Story is Poised to Build a Huge Audience

If anyone doubted the appeal and box office prowess of the first-ever full-length theatrical LEGO adventure, The LEGO Movie, then they could be in for a blockbuster of a surprise. The PG-rated 3D computer animated film is tracking extremely well and could see a haul of $40-$45 million making it the highest opening weekend for A movie so far this year. It doesn't hurt to have the highly marketed feature on 3,650 theaters including higher priced 3D showings. The buzz by movie goers online has helped ratchet up anticipation with many noting that their children keep asking to see the movie. The reviews have been overwhelmingly positive with it reaching "Certified Fresh" status on Rotten Tomatoes with a score 98%. Fandango pre-sales are higher than any other animated movie behind only Toy Story 3

There doesn't seem to be much competition for the film either considering that the highest profile debuting movie, The Monuments Men, directed by and starring George Clooney along with a star-studded cast is tracking well with adults but reviews have been poor and the reigning three week box office champ, Ride Along, should be losing steam. The LEGO Movie has the benefit of appealing to kids and adults with the writing and directing duo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, 21 Jump Street) behind the wheel. 

Here are what some critics are saying:
It's the smartest, funniest and most dazzlingly inventive children's movie to come along in years. - Newsday
 Lord and Miller don't sink into cynicism. Their computer animation embraces the retro look and feel of the toys to both ingenious and adorable effect. - New York Daily Times
Pop-culture jokes ricochet off the heads of younger viewers to tickle the world-weary adults in the audience, with just enough sentimental goo applied at the end to unite the generations. Parents will dab their eyes while the kids roll theirs. - New York Times
It's fast and original, it's conceptually audacious, it's visually astonishing, and it's 10 times more clever and smart and funny than it needed to be. Here, at last, is an animated comedy that never stops surprising you. - Entertainment Weekly
 Take the kids to The LEGO Movie - the funniest, cleverest, most exhaustingly exhilarating animated feature in ages - then leave them to play with their toys and see it again for your own wicked amusement. - TIME Magazine
 It's safe to say The LEGO Movie is a good bet this weekend whether you have kids or not. Will you be seeing it?

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Is Lex Luthor a Tatted-up, Gang Banger Turned Brilliant Billionaire Bad Boy in 'Batman vs Superman'?

New Report Sheds Light on Luthor's Role in the Man of Steel Sequel if Details Survive Current Rewrite
Photoshopping not our strong point. Apologies.
Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! Come on in to the 'Batman vs Superman' Hall of Rumors where nothing is quite what it seems. You'll be fascinated, enraged, puzzled and thoroughly frustrated and/or pleased. The good folks at Latino Review have been busy digging around for more details about the Man of Steel sequel, commonly known as 'Batman vs Superman', and their latest report has some very interesting plot descriptions and what Lex Luthor's role is in the movie. The casting of Jesse Eisenberg may not seem as such a shock after reading what they have in store for his character. 

As with any rumored report we trust by now that we all take it as merely rumor and nothing else until there is confirmation. Sites like LR have been more accurate than not so we're comfortable spreading the news. The following are highlights of what could be plot details and a character description of Luthor IF they aren't changed with new screenwriter Chris Terrio on board. SPOILERS if true so consider yourselves warned. 



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