zondag 6 april 2014

Today's News: and lots of it

Posting news here naturally took a blow due to recent tragic events that intervened in the general routine of my everyday life. So here's a fair bit of belated news updates I posted on MS: hopefully we won't be seeing this sort of delay more often.






I only know Kebbell from his more comedic roles (which weren't particularly funny), so based on that I'd say he's not the right choice for an iconic villain like Dr. Doom. However, judging from his resumé he has played emotionally different types of characters too. For one thing, he will play the abused and scarred chimp Koba in the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and I'm sure there will be no laughs in that capacity. An actor with a versatile background is a good thing, as there's more to Doom than just plain villainy for villainy's sake. I might say Kebbell is too young for the part, but so are the four leads picked to play the FF if you look at it that way. And since it's said this reboot will be based more off the Ultimate Fantastic Four comics - which among other things featured a Johnny Storm who was still in high school - a younger cast is a given, whether we like it or not. I will remain neutral in the usual fan bickering about whether or not Kebbell is the right choice or not. It's not like the previous incarnation of Doom in the 2005 and 2007 FF films was any good. Doom is simply a tough character to do justice, and a definitive take on this masked nemesis has still to be pulled off on the big screen. Kebbell's performance at least can't be much worse than what was seen before.

For those who know their movies, one single word should spring to mind after watching the trailer for Lucy: Limitless. The movie appears based around the same premise of drug induced mind expansion as that particular thriller flick, except this time it afflicts a woman's mind. The scale of expansion that follows suggests female minds are far more complex than males'. I didn't see Bradley Cooper stopping time or physically changing hair styles at will, let alone boggling Morgan Freeman's mind (but then, he wasn't in Limitless). With Luc Besson at the helm, fancier things could be expected where the brain's dormant power is concerned. Not to mention a great deal of explosive action, as is his forte. People who can't get enough of seeing Scar-Jo kicking mens' butts after The Avengers and Cap 2 are sure to get more of such girl power endeavours out of this revenge thriller posing as a Sci-Fi spectacle. Luckily for the bad guys in this film, Scarlett doesn't eat them, though they might lament the fact she might have had sex with them first, as is the case in her other upcoming science fiction thriller, Under the Skin. Better enjoy it while you can; considering her current pregnancy it'll be a while before we see her engage in such shenanigans again.

Folks we will see getting violently physical again soon (predictable segue if ever I wrote one down, I realize that) include Stallone and his crew of aging machos in their third Expandables outing. Bruce Willis has been traded in for quite a number of other (mostly overly muscled) actors, among them the likes of such noted veterans like Harrison Ford, Antonio Banderas and Mel Gibson. The female presence in this film appears minimal, with only one woman pictured among these sixteen (!) character posters. The trailer attached to this bit of news - an element I didn't include in my original post because it hadn't been released just yet when these posters hit the web - shows little of the story other than summing up the names on the posters some more, plus a fair amount of gun fights and explosions to get our anticipations geared up. After two of these films, it's getting as old as these movie stars themselves, but the plot synopsis sounds pretty intriguing for a change, apparently paving the way for a younger generation of Expendables that might carry on fighting the brutal fight in more sequels. Too bad those upstarts aren't nearly as iconic as super stars like Schwarzenegger or Stallone, or even Statham. You think names like Kellan Lutz or Victor Ortiz are gonna leave enough impression next to such screen legends to warrant a sequel of their own without them? Not gonna happen.

Judy Greer is off to Jurassic World, eh? The dinosaurs will have a laugh then. Greer is mostly known for her funny roles, and even in more serious ventures like The Village there was a certain comedic touch to her presence. It's interesting she's only now getting more noticed in Hollywood, despite having built up quite a lengthy resumé in the last fifteen years. Apparently she's on a Sci-Fi roll, not to mention a prehistory roll, doing two dinosaur movies in 2015. Word on what character she'll play is nonexistent as of yet. I do hope Trevorrow can see past her expertise as a comedian and recognize her other qualities as well, though I don't think he's the type of director/screen writer to apply base comic relief characters to his scenarios, if his debut, Safety Not Guaranteed, which carried quite a comedic overtone as well but was equally apt at its more dramatic moments, was any indication. The diversity in Jurassic World's cast remains growing, as Greer could be called a female counterpart to JW star Chris Pratt, with a similar background in comedy under her belt, but also doing the occasional less-funny-more-serious thing. Whether any other relations to Pratt in the case from her character's part will be present time will tell. And for those who don't like Greer (if any), who knows, maybe JW will finally break the unwritten but never broken rule that women can't get killed by dinosaurs.

A female character that is not likely to get either eaten by prehistoric critters or to receive time off to get witty and snappy for laughs, is Commander Lyme, the District 13 leader who leads the uprising against the vicious Capitol in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay (Parts 1 and 2). Lily Rabe, whose body of work I'm totally unfamiliar with but who looks like she can portray a tough cookie is now set to be replaced for the second and final installment in this tetralogy of movies by someone I know full well to be able to play such a butch woman: Gwendoline Christie. Katniss sure will find it immensely helpful to have Brienne of Tarth at her side fighting tyranny. There's a lot of strong women opposing the male dominated Capitol it seems. Julianne Moore had previously been cast as the president of the rebels accordingly. But Moore is more the political, manipulative sort who uses the mind to fight oppression, while Christie has demonstrated her physical prowess to basically beat the shit out of people she doesn't like, thus making a nice addition to this rebellion as a sort of older Katniss. Sucks for Rabe she won't be able to continue playing the role, but scheduling conflicts are an often heard tragedy in the business. Rabe's loss is Christie's gain, as her career, which was rather a short list of projects to her name thus far, will get another boost playing in a major franchise, but this time on the big screen. I guess TV was just too small a medium to fully appreciate or hold Brienne.

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