A new hope

Actors John Boyega, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall
Gleeson, and Max von Sydow will join the original stars of the saga, Harrison Ford, Carrie
Fisher, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker in the new
film.Director J.J. Abrams says, “We are so excited to finally share the cast of Star Wars:
Episode VII. It is both thrilling and surreal to watch the beloved original cast and these
brilliant new performers come together to bring this world to life, once again. We start
shooting in a couple of weeks, and everyone is doing their best to make the fans
proud.”Star Wars: Episode VII is being directed by J.J. Abrams from a screenplay by
Lawrence Kasdan and Abrams. Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams, and Bryan Burk are
producing, and John Williams returns as the composer. The movie opens worldwide on
December 18, 2015.
The definition of Hollywood Icon, Mickey Rooney passed away in his North
Hollywood home on April 6 in the presence of his family at the age of 93.
Although he continued to act and appear in movies up until recently, making a
cameo in the 2011 movie The Muppets, Rooney began working from the age of six
when he appeared in a series of black and white short film comedies as Mickey
McGuire, a role he would play for nearly nine years. He transitioned from that role
into that of Andy Hardy in 1937′s A Family Affair and You’re Only Young Once,
a character he would play for 14 more movies, including 1937′s Love Finds Andy
Hardy, co-starring Judy Garland. Rooney would once again team with Garland for
1940′s Babes in Arms for which he received an Oscar nomination, and by the age
of 24, Rooney was already so known and loved among moviegoers, it led to his
casting in National Velvet opposite a 12-year-old Elizabeth Taylor.
Some of Rooney‟s film appearances that stand out among his hundreds of roles
include Breakfast at Tiffanys in 1961 and It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad
World two years later. He also played one of the veteran guards in Ben Stiller‟s
2006 family hit Night at the Museum, a role which he will reprise for his final
performance this December in Museum 3.
On the Hong Kong set of his fourth Transformers explosion-athon,
director Michael Bay was assaulted by some local business owners, who
demanded a large sum of money to compensate for the loss of profit
they had suffered as a result of the crew‟s presence. Bay emerged
unharmed, the two men sent to jail, the world thanking them for their
service to humanity, for YES INDEED- Michael Bay may just be the
worst thing to ever happen to cinemas. He‟s a director who cares not
about art or making something beautiful. Oh no! Michael Bay likes
explosions, he likes robots, he likes attractive girls and he likes money.
After two decades of producing near-unwatchable rubbish, Bay will
once again give us all a massive headache when the “reboot” of his
Transformers series hits cinemas in late-June, replacing original cast
members Shia LaBoeuf (went crazy), Josh Duhamel (got bored) and
Megan Fox (compared Bay to Adolf Hitler) with Mark Wahlberg, Jack
Reynor and Nicola Peltz- Bay‟s newest muse.
What are the odds of this turning out to be a good-spirited, fun,
enjoyable blockbuster? The same as the odds that this WON‟T make
over $1bn worldwide and be the biggest hit of the Summer!
A director who’s first and only previous
feature was a critically-acclaimed cult
classic. A screenwriter who made The
Shawshank Redemption. A multi-Oscar
nominated cinematographer. A cast
including Bryan Cranston, Sally
Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, Elizabeth
Olsen and Ken Wantanabe. Warner
Bros and Legendary’s new iteration of
Toho Studios’ classic Kaiju has all the
ingredients in place to be a fantastic
blockbuster. Can audiences
leave of memory of
Roland Emmerich’s
abominable 1996
version at the
After two giant missteps (Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas), Lana and Andy
Wachowski return to the full-on sci-fi genre with this adventure starring
Channing Tatum, Mila Kunis and Eddie Redmayne.
Groundhog Day meets Independence Day in Doug Liman’s highly-anticipated
new thriller, which sees Tom Cruise fight aliens in the future, only to have to
relive the day over and over again.
In 2011, everybody was shocked to see
how great Rise of the Planet of the Apes
turned out to be, after decades of
rubbish sequels and that unspeakable
Tim Burton reboot. With Andy Serkis’
mesmeric Ceasar at the centre once
again, Matt Reeves’ sequel sees the
Apes take to the forest, years after the
events of Dawn and at a time when
humanity has practically been wiped out
by a virus. The survivors include Jason
Clarke, Keri Russell and Gary Oldman.

After calling Michael Bay “Hitler” and
being fired from Transformers 3, Megan
Fox reunites with the director who made
her the pin-up girl of hormonal
teenagers the world over in this new film
of the “classic” cartoon. Will Arnett and
William Fichtner are both talented
actors, but neither will be able to save
what looks to be one of the worst “films”
ever made!
Looking set to be the biggest (not that)
surprise hit of the Summer, Josh Boone’s
adaptation of John Green’s brilliant teen
romance stars Shailene Woodley and Ansel
Elgort as two cancer-stricken teens with a
passion for Alain Ginsberg- and each other!
Directed by Alice in Wonderland and Avatar production designer Robert Stromberg,
Disney’s DARKER look at Sleeping Beauty’s evil queen promises some Walter White-style
antiheroism from Angelina Jolie’s eponymous dragon-woman.
And the award for “Movie That Nobody Wants To Google The Trailer For In Case It Shows
Up In Their Search History” goes to… this new raunchy comedy starring Jason Segel, looking
even more frighteningly thin than he did in HIMYM’s final season, and Cameron Diaz,
straight off of a big hit with The Other Woman.
Part of a three-picture release from Red
Peak Pictures, The Fate of Time is an
homage to classic time-travel fiction.
Stay tuned for further coverage in a
future Taco.
When watching Mark
Webb‟s The Amazing Spider-Man
2, it would be easy for one to
forget that this film had any
relation to The Amazing Spider-
Man. Considering that film is less
than two years old and shares the
same cast as ASM2, this is indeed
surprising. It could be considered
a positive thing- Mark Webb
hasn‟t made the same film twice,
and has managed not to fall into
the trap that Jon Favreau did
with Iron Man and Iron Man 2. It
could, however, be seen by many
as a very negative thing- Mark
Webb has absolutely no
distinctive style, and everything
in ASM2 could easily be found in,
say, Fantastic Four, or another
colourful New York superhero
Regardless of how you feel about
his Spidey films or his one prior
feature (500) Days of Summer,
it‟s unarguable that Mark Webb is
on no accounts a director with a
distinctive style, or even (once
again, arguable) any talent
whatsoever! Webb‟s second go at
rebooting the Spidey franchise for
the second decade of the 21st
Century is at times an example of
truly awful storytelling. That‟s
not to say it‟s a bad film, but
there are certain aspects of The
Amazing Spider-Man 2 which the
writers of Dora The
Explorer would scoff at. For
example, Paul Giamatti‟s Russian
character (about as generic as a
villain can get) is the focus of the
opening action scene (following an impressively directed but unfocused flashback to Peter
Parker‟s parents), but is defeated within seconds. He isn‟t referred to once for the next two
and a half hours, but pops up again at the end, taking on a role similar to that of The
Underminer in The Incredibles.
Such an unnecessary and underdeveloped character has no place in a good comic-book
movie, especially when this film is constantly bordering on Spider-Man 3„s Too Many
Villains problem to begin with. The most heavily marketed villain is Jamie Foxx‟s
Electro, who doesn‟t have as substantial a role as Sony would like you to believe,
probably because the writers ran out of lines for a man made of blue sparks and powered
by a tank of Electric Eels- yes, it‟s like Mr Freeze all over again! I don‟t know whose idea
it was to have Foxx‟s otherwise humourless Electro spout the line “It‟s my birthday, and
i‟m going to light the candles” before he electrocutes Times Square, but they should be
sentenced to a swift beheading!
All grievances aside, Electro is a major step up from the headache-inducing awfulness that
was the first ASM„s Lizard, a character so utterly annoying he made Bane of two weeks
later look like a blast and a half! After they‟ve used him for a big action set-piece or two
(following, of course, half an hour of Foxx completely over-playing the Rupert Pupkin
“pathetic loser” routine and rambling endlessly about “being a nobody! I‟m a nobody!”),
the filmmakers run out of stuff for Electro to do, so ignore him for a while and focus on
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield)‟s relationships with sweetheart Gwen (Emma Stone) and
estranged childhood friend Harry Osborne.
As Osborne, Dane DeHaan is an utter standout.
One of the finest young actors of his
generation, DeHaan consistently fills the
screen with so much intensity and makes such
an impact, he makes James Franco‟s Harry
look like Harry Potter. If it weren‟t for
DeHaan, this film would be far less
memorable, and Webb should thank the
heavens he signed up for ASM3. I feel the lack
of focus in this review reflects the lack of focus
in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (even the title is
a mouthful), a film with three-four villains, a
love interest, a needy Aunt, teen angst, adult
angst and a plotline about moving to England
(like we haven‟t seen that before). Instead of
going through every single aspect of ASM2 that
I haven‟t already covered, let me make a list of
the three best and worst things about it. The
best: Dane DeHaan. Garfield and Stone‟s
chemistry as Peter and Gwen and the portions
of the film involving their romance. The
expertly choreographed and surprisingly
entertaining fight scenes between Peter and
Electro/Harry. The worst: Electro. The ghost of
Denis Leary. The constant interfering in the
mystery of Peter‟s parents, and the refusal to
not do a bad mid-film montage of Peter
There are huge, huge problems in this
film- HUGE problems, but there are
also lots of really good things that
remind one just how goddamn
awful the first Amazing Spider-
Man often was. With Electro hopefully
out of the picture and DeHaan with an
increased role, ASM3 could be an even
greater improvement for the franchise,
and the seeds certainly have been
When a new film is labelled „science
fiction‟, the audience would usually
tend to picture outer space, aliens,
the future, dystopia, high fantasy and
many, many robots. However, it is
Wally Pfister‟s Transcendence
which actually deserves to be called
„science fiction‟- a stylised thriller
exploring a very real and very
topical area of science (the ability of
artificial intelligence to bear human
consciousness and the idea of „The
Singularity‟) in a moderately but
realistically fantastical context.
Johnny Depp takes the headline role as
Dr Will Caster, a shy genius on the brink
of an Earth-shattering technological
breakthrough. As can be seen in the
film‟s trailers (and is hence not
considered a spoiler), Caster dies very
early on in the film (his final few weeks
of life, at the side of his wife- Rebecca
Hall- and friend- Paul Bettany- are the
most moving portion of the film) after
being shot with a poisoned bullet by a
member of the anti-technology terrorist
group RIFT. Soon after his death, his
wife Evelyn (Hall) manages to upload
his consciousness to a digital
network, creating an online AI
version of Caster! From this point,
everything goes a bit Her-shaped, as
Hall walks and drives about, chatting
away to Depp through an earpiece all
the time. The question the viewer
must ask oneself is: would you rather
watch Joaquin Phoenix running on a
beach while Scarlett Johansson sings
seductively to you, or sit through two
hours of Rebecca Hall wandering
around a field of satellites and servers
with Johnny Depp saying things like
“I am still here, Evelyn”, “I will
always be here, Evelyn” and “We can
change the world, Evelyn”?
I have, along with many other people,
developed very negative feelings towards Johnny Depp in recent years due to
his work in such fare as Dark Shadows and Alice In Wonderland (both Tim Burton
films, might I add). He underplays his performance as Caster just enough to be
tolerable in Transcendence, but you can still see the attention-craving lunatic that
Depp often becomes lurking in his eyes. Although he is (unsurprisingly) at the
forefront of the marketing, Depp‟s Caster is not the star here, and it isn‟t just
because he dies early on! No- even when his face is popping up on monitors all
around, Caster isn‟t a complex enough character, or one with enough choices to
make, to command the screen and capture the audience‟s attention. Rebecca Hall
and Paul Bettany are the film-redeeming central pair, both doing excellent work and
saving many an uninspired chunk of dialogue from destroying the scene. Morgan
Freeman and Cillian Murphy (the latter in particular) are both as insanely underused
as always in two throwaway roles, and Kate Mara and Lukas Haas as RIFT
members? Well, they‟re just happy to be getting big-screen roles!
Considering how visually astounding Inception and The Dark Knight trilogy were,
it‟s surprising just how uninteresting most of the visuals in Transcendence are.
Pfister hasn‟t acted as his own DP here, but he surely had a large say in the light
and colour. The opening and closing flash-forwards are eye-catchingly flashy in
their texture, but the major set-pieces look like they could be taken from a TV
show. Carrying very interesting ideas in one hand, dropping them on the floor and
breaking them every few minutes, Transcendence is not a good first child for Wally
Pfister, nor a good parent for the characters and story it is responsible for doing
justice. Transcendence is as entertaining as any Hollywood B-thriller but fails to be
special in any way outside of Hall and Bettany‟s superb performances.

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