Category Archives: Movie

Clowning Around: The New Trailer for Álex de la Iglesia’s The Last Circus is…well…

Are you afraid of clowns?  I thought so. What about Spanish clowns? Sad clowns? Clowns in love? Machinegun wielding clowns dressed as the pope?

Not so much scared as utterly utterly confused…

Director Álex de la Iglesia’s film, The Last Circus (Balada Triste de Trompeta) seems to have all this and more. Winner of Best Screenplay and best director at the Venice Film Festival (2010) and a selection of the Toronto International Film Festival (2010), The Last Circus will be opening August 12 (2011) in select theatres. The new red-band trailer gives a taste of the chaos to come. I’m not one for copy and pasting press releases but this one is so pitch perfect I have to relay it in full. I have never, in my life, laughed so hard reading a movie synopsis.

Continue reading Clowning Around: The New Trailer for Álex de la Iglesia’s The Last Circus is…well…

Comic Book Movie Run-Down

Our first glimpse of warm weather reminds us that summer is just around the corner. April showers bring more than May flowers; they bring the start of the summer movie season. What comic book movies hit the big screen this summer? The Nerd Vortex has the run-down on the good and the bad coming to theatres near you.

Thor

Release Date: May 6th
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins
Thor angers daddy and is cast out of Asgard.  He finds himself on earth and becomes a superhero.

The Good: The visuals look epic, the cast is solid (Thor stars Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, and Chris Hemsworth’s arms) and if anyone can pull this off, it’s Kenneth Branagh. Known for his Shakespearean work, Branagh may be able to bring the needed gravitas to ground the fantastical concept. Plus, we get more agent Coulson (Clark Gregg)! You gotta love agent Coulson!

The Bad: Thor could go horribly horribly wrong really fast. Mixing superheroes and Norse mythology is a risk.  One wrong move and Asgard could come crashing down (A la Siege). Setting the right tone is key.  If  Thor or Captain American go of the rails I fear for the Avengers movie.

.

Priest

Release Date: May 13th
Starring: Paul Bettany, Maggie Q, Karl Urban
A warrior priest breaks his vows and hunts down the vampires that have kidnapped his niece. Priest is another film in the ever-growing Paul Bettany Wants to Be a Religious Action Star sub-genre (Seriously, why is this a thing?).

The Good: I’m a sucker for any movie with religious undertones, no matter how cheesy. I watched Season of the Witch for Christ’s sake (pun intended).  Bettany can play brooding quite well, and Karl Urban rarely does wrong.

The Bad: With relatively unknown source material, does Bettany have the star power to fill theatre seats? Director Scott Stewart’s last effort, Legion (also starring Bettany) didn’t do so hot and this looks like more of the same. In an adaptation filled summer season, this may be the one that gets left behind.

. Continue reading Comic Book Movie Run-Down

The Queen Shall Rise Again… With Sacha Baron Cohen

Sacha Baron Cohen

Deadline New York has reported that a new bio-pic based on the rock band Queen will go into production in 2011.  The script has been penned  by Peter Morgan (The Queen, Frost/Nixon) and Roberto De Niro and Jane Rosenthal’s Tribeca Productions will be producing.  The surviving members of Queen have also formed Queen Films and will be a producing parter.  It’s rumoured that the movie will follow the band leading up to their iconic Live-Aid performance.

But the main question is ‘Who will play the band?”  Freddie Mercury is one of the most memorable performers in Rock’N’Roll history-pretty big shoes to fill.  It seems Borat’s Sacha Baron Cohen has taken up the challenge. No other casting announcements have yet been made.

I, for one, can’t think of a better choice than Sacha Baron Cohen.  While he’s known mostly for his wild antics, if he tunes it down a little he’ll make a perfect Freddie. He has the theatricality of  the world renowned frontman. Still,  it’d be easy to fall into the trap of doing an impersonation. Cohen will have to dig deeper if this film is going to work.  As a huge Queen fan, I’m both excited and concerned. It hope this works. I really really do.

Who should play Brian, John, and Roger?

A Bunch of Mad Casting: January Jones to Play Emma Frost and a New Angel

January Jones

Today, all our actresses are just ‘mad’ 

Variety has announced that Mad Men’s January Jones has signed a deal to play mutant Emma Frost in X-men: First Class.  It seems that earlier reports of Alice Eve may have jumped the gun.  Jones plays housewife Betty Draper the early 60s inspired television show.  Emma Frost has transformed in the comic books from socialite, White Queen of the Hellfire club, and enemy, to headmistress of Xavier’s school for gifted youngsters.  I have no idea which one she’ll be playing in this film. 

Yes, yes we have our Angel, but it’s not the Angel you all were hoping for.  21 year old, Zoe Kravitz, has 

Zoe Kravitz

 been cast as Angel.  While there are many angels in the x-men universe I assume this refers to Angel Salvadore, created for Grant Morrison’s New X-men run.  Zoe is the daughter of Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonnet, and will be seen in 2012’s Mad Max: Fury Road. 

Should I be mad?  Angel is another obscure character to add to the list.  Something smells fishy to me.  

Young actors Bill Milner, and Morgan Lily will play young Magneto and Mystique.

Rooney Mara is the ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’

Rooney Mara

Newcomer Rooney Mara (Youth in Revolt, A Nightmare on Elm Street) has landed the coveted role of Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”  Box-office names like Natalie Portman, Ellen Page, and Anne Hathaway were whispered about when the project was announced, but Sony and Director David Fincher have chosen a relatively unknown (and rightly so) for the role.  Lisbeth Salander is a complex character with a brutal background and a strange personality.  This pierced hacker is the kind of role actresses dream of and could skyrocket Mara’s career.  It’ll be  a challenge.  Noomi Rapace has already won awards for her portrayal of Lisbeth.  Can Mara do the same?

X-men: First Class gains a demon, a scientist, and a musketeer

Azazel

Hello again, my patient followers.  After internet trouble, computer trouble, and a short but needed vacation, The Nerd Vortex is ready to bring you all of this week’s nerdy news.  And it’s good I’m back because X-men: First Class casting is really picking up–some expected and some…not so much.

Matthew Vaughn is a director who knows what he likes. If you’ve seen one of his films, you’ve probably seen Jason Flemyng’s face up on the screen.  With roles in Layer Cake, Stardust, and Kick-Ass, it was no surprise when he announced at London’s BFU movie convention that he would be in the latest mutant movie.  His character, however, is.  Flemyng told fans that he would be playing Azazel, another character requiring hours of make-up and a CGI tail (Flemyng seems to play a lot of these roles). 

So who is Azazel?  Like Darwin, he’s another recent addition to the X-men Universe.  Demon-like in

Jason Flemyng

 appearance, he’s an ancient mutant (biblically ancient) with the ability to teleport and create portals to other dimensions.  Oh yes, and he may very well be Nightcrawler’s father…you know…until they retcon that out.  I’m filling this with Darwin under “bizarre character additions.”  It seems strange to add characters that are neither recognizable to the movie going public nor favourites.  More importantly, I just can’t figure out how he’ll fit into a plot about the formation of the x-men.  I like Flemyng but he’s got his work cut out for him.  Singer, Vaughn, I hope you know what you’re doing, because you’re losing me.

Rose Byrne

In more logical casting, Rose Byrne has been cast as Scientist, and one time love interest of Charles Xavier, Moira MacTaggert.  The character was briefly portrayed by Olivia Williams in X-men: The Last Stand.  Byrne was recently nominated for an Emmy for her work on Damages.  She’s also earned her geek cred with roles in Troy, 28 Weeks Later, and Get Him to the Greek.

Like Rose Byrne, the newest actor cast, will not be playing a mutant (or so we’re told).  The only name given by Deadline is “The Man in Black” and we don’t think they’re talking about Johnny Cash.  And who better to play our mystery character than Oliver Platt.  Platt is currently starring in Showtimes’ new series ‘The Big C” with Laura Linney.  Looking through his resume I find it hard to narrow down, what type of role he’ll be playing in First Class. 

Could “Man in Black” be a clue?  Emma Frost, the White Queen, has already been confirmed.  Could Platt be playing one of the Black

Oliver Platt

pieces?  Is Jason Flemyng really playing a dimension hoping demon or is this all a ridiculous attempt to make us crazy?

Th Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Starts Casting

Sony Pictures Entertainment is quickly moving forward with their adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Today, two more actors are in talks to join Daniel Craig in the  David Fincher directed feature. 

Stellan Skarsgard is up for the role of Martin Vanger, one of many suspects in a 40-year-old missing persons case.  Skarsgard says:

I have met David Fincher, I want to work with him, he wants to work me. I have had a concrete offer and now we are in negotiations. The contract is for the period September to March, but I don’t know yet when I am supposed to start my part of the film. Most of it is to be shot in Stockholm, but some studio work will be done in the U.S. I think there might be some location work there as well, when it becomes too dark to shoot here.

The Swedish actor will be seen in Marvel Studio’s Thor in 2011.

Although there is no word yet on the much coveted role of Lisbeth Salander,  Robin Wright is in negotiations to play Erika Berger, publisher of Millenium magazine, and love interest to Daniel Craig’s Mikael Blomkvist.  While the role is quite limited in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Berger plays a bigger role in Stieg Larsson’s sequels.

The Swedish film company Yellow Bird as already completed a movie trilogy based on the Stieg Larsson Millenium trilogy.  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is available on dvd and blue ray.  The Girl Who Played With Fire is now playing in select theaters.  These films are superbly cast and excellently done.  They’ll be hard for Hollywood to top.