Category: Movies


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Motion capture fans take note: WETA looks like it has perfected the technology and we have plenty of great special effects to look forward to in War for the Planet of the Apes. The third installment of the reboot Planet of the Apes movie series now has a full trailer. The granddaddy of American genre franchises offers up its next entry with star Andy Serkis, director Matt Reeves, and producer Dylan Clark.  Serkis is again Caesar, the star character of the original movie series.

The story continues two years after the events in 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, also directed by Reeves, the sequel to the first of the reboot series, 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Dylan Clark was a producer on that film, too).  The film introduces Woody Harrelson as what appears to be an arrogant, General Custer-esque military leader bringing mankind’s last stand to the apes.  He doesn’t look all that sympathetic, and we’re sure we will be cheering for the apes in this picture.  Caesar and orangutan Maurice (Karin Konoval) appear to lead a group of armed apes to raid a village of humans, or it the other way around?

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War for the Planet of the Apes also stars Judy Greer (Ant-Man, Tomorrowland, Jurassic World), Chad Rook (Timeless, Supernatural), Ty Olsson (Continuum, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica) and Steve Zahn (That Thing You Do!, Sahara).

Here is the first full-length trailer for War for the Planet of the Apes:

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spidey-tonySomeday we’ll all look back at all these Marvel superhero movies and identify a few standouts.  Will they include the original Iron Man?  Captain America: Winter Soldier?  Ant-Man?  Guardians of the Galaxy?  As for the big team-up films, they will be difficult to differentiate.  Superhero punches superhero.  Big things blow up, but bigger this time and the next time and the next.  This year’s big team-up entry didn’t have the “Avengers” title but it was every bit the same: Captain America: Civil War.  It could have just as easily been called Iron Man: Civil War.  Or The Avengers III: Civil War.  But Captain America: Civil War got the blockbuster team-up right with one big stretch of awesome.

It all began with the entrance of the new Spider-man, played by Tom Holland–the unprecedented third actor to play a big-screen Marvel character.  Once Spider-man met Robert Downey, Jr.’s Tony Stark, the movie took off and didn’t let up until Black Widow allowed Team Captain America to escape.  For young Spidey to hold his own with Captain America, Ant-Man, Giant Man, Scarlet Witch, and the Falcon, credit goes to Holland for a pretty good feat.

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Earlier this week Marvel Studios released a teaser trailer and tonight the studio added the full trailer for Spider-man: Homecoming, an incredibly refreshing-looking superhero flick clearly built with the off-the-wall flavor of humor found in Marvel’s Ant-Man and Deadpool.  New odd, lanky, voice-changing, and nerdy Tom Holland (Wolf Hall) has that spark and jolt of energy we didn’t quite see with prior Spider-men Tobey Maguire or Andrew Garfield.

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This new trailer alone runs circles around anything in the prior Spider-man movies.  Be among the first to check out Holland in this first international trailer for Spider-man: Homecoming:

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wahlberg-5-trans“We’re not giving up, okay?”

Director Michael Bay turned around the Transformers franchise with his fourth installment in the series, Transformers: Age of Extinction.  His film served as not only the action-packed, fun romp you’d expect, it also showed off some of the best use of 3D special effects we’ve ever seen.  Mark Wahlberg’s goofy but sincere awe at the giant machines proved he was a great choice to come back for the next big-screen Transformers film.

For this fifth movie in the series, Transformers: The Last Knight, the first full trailer released by Paramount this week shows a return to a darker world, pitting machine vs. machine and man vs. machine in the ultimate showdown.  Bumble Bee vs. Optimus Prime?  Who is The Last Knight?  Will it have the fun of the last film?  The lackluster second and third installments have us worried about a threepeat, but we’d love a repeat of the action from Bay’s last effort.

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Sure to have some mega-sized swordplay, the new film reflects Bay needing to make  each new film bigger and bigger.  Let’s hope that also means bigger and better.  Here is the trailer for next year’s Transformers: The Last Knight:

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Review by C.J. Bunce

Old Man Logan is a 2017 theatrical release we previewed here at borg.com earlier this Fall.  Bryan Singer treated us to a sneak peek at this version of Logan aka Wolverine in this year’s hit superhero flick X-Men: Apocalypse.  If all you know about Logan is the nine films in which Hugh Jackman portrayed the on again/off again X-Men leader, then now is a great time to get caught up on the monthly comic book title that inspired the movie.

Old Man Logan is the second series to follow the exploits of Logan in a post-apocalypse setting–the first was written in the eight-issue Wolverine: Old Man Logan story arc collected here, and the second was published in 2015, collected here.  The current series, now on Issue #14, is available in three trade editions, with Issue #15 due out in comic book stores by year end.

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Old Man Logan may be the best work yet from well-known writer Jeff Lemire, artist Andrea Sorrentino, and color artist Marcelo Maiolo.  Lemire is known for his work on books from Animal Man to Green Arrow, and currently he also pens All-New Hawkeye, Extraordinary X-Men, and Moon Knight.  Lemire tells a tale of a distant future, one overrun by villains and a world without Wolverine to protect it, Logan is a farmer with a wife and kids, whose life is destroyed when the Hulk Gang kills his family.  But the twist is Logan finds himself back in future’s past, able to change the timeline and destroy all of those who one day will ruin his life.  This Logan is an Old West wanderer and drifter, who makes Clint Eastwood’s Man with No Name pale in comparisonThis is Marvel’s answer to Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns at last, a series gritty and dark and full of the kind of what-ifs readers are clamoring for.

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If 2014’s blockbuster hit Guardians of the Galaxy is not in your list of Top 5 superhero movies, it’s time to go back and try again.  Marvel Studios released the first trailer for the sequel this week, Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2, and not only is Groot back, he’ not merely hiding behind Star-Lord’s leg but taking the lead in the Marvel galactic universe.  Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord, Zoe Saldana’s Gamora, Dave Bautista’s Drax, Bradley Cooper’s Rocket, and Vin Diesel’s Baby Groot are all back in top form.

But Marvel is still holding back the new slate of stars for a future trailer.  We’re talking about Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, and Elizabeth Debicki, and returning stars Karen Gillan as Nebula and Michael Rooker as Yondu, although we saw Rooker in the teaser we previewed earlier at borg.com here.

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But what a great first look at the return of this wonderful, motley team of superheroes.  Marvel calls it a teaser, but at more than two minutes and with the inclusion of actual scenes it is hardly merely a teaser.  Wait no longer– Check out the first full trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2:

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Over the past 20 years movie and TV props have become less and less expensive to build, and far easier to fabricate compared to props of science fiction movies from the 1950s through the 1970s, especially considering the realism modern audiences demand.  Just as Hollywood studios have used modern tech to make props easier and cheaper, even toy replicas look as good as their screen-used source material.  In the Star Trek Enterprise series, as an example, the studio found it cheaper in later seasons to use the licensed Art Asylum commercially available toy replicas on set.  That’s right, the toy replaced the need for an original for the studio.  Now, many cosplayers create their own props via home 3D printers, a new idea for making movie props when we first discussed 3D printers here at borg.com back in 2011.

The look of Star Wars props, the realism, the incorporation of real-world gadgetry in seemingly “real feeling” ways via adding on odds and ends from model kits and parts from electrician shops and auto garages (called “greeblies”) all goes back to Star Wars art designer Roger Christian, who created the look that would be replicated in every other science fiction movie created since.  (Check out his autobiographical account previously reviewed here at borg.com if you missed it).  Just as many other props from Star Wars were based on real-world weapons, the standard Stormtrooper blaster, the BlasTech E-11, was built from a British-made Sterling L2A3 sub-machine gun.

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Disney released one particularly well-suited toy Stormtrooper blaster that has a size and look that will make cosplayers at any level proud, easily modifiable for the classic Star Wars trilogy and this month’s prequel movie Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which incorporates the classic troopers with only minor modifications as seen in the trailers.  The toy blaster fits–and more importantly is easily removable from–any replica Stormtrooper holster, and can also be used to supplement any Imperial uniform costume.  It also comes with lights and sound that can be preserved as part of a needed modication from its white toy design to the black version used onscreen.  The recommended toy E-11 Stormtrooper blaster is no longer being produced but it is still available in small quantities here at Amazon.com.  It is typically available from $25-30 and with a can of flat black spray paint and some silver paint for weathering, it’s an inexpensive and quick way to sport a professional looking prop for your Star Wars cosplay, especially when many builders on the Web will try to sell you custom versions for hundreds of dollars that would be indistinguishable from the modified toy to most anyone seeing you in Stormtrooper armor.  The following is a brief tutorial to get you there:

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The release of Universal Pictures new movie The Mummy is already off to a bumpy start, with its release date already bumped a few times.  Instead of a reboot or sequel to the trilogy of movies from the most recent Universal series titled The Mummy beginning in 1999, Universal is branching out to have a go at something like Marvel Comics and DC Comics franchises of sprawling films.  The classic “Universal Monsters” will be resurrected (literally and figuratively), including Frankenstein’s monster, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Dracula, Wolf Man, The Invisible Man, and Bride of Frankenstein.  The go-to producer team for every genre remake these days–Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, is being tapped to put this new universe together.  Kurtzman will direct The Mummy.

Tom Cruise headlines the new film in his next Mission Impossible-style action role, along with Russell Crowe, whose role sounds even more interesting.  He will play Dr. Jekyll.  Star Trek Beyond star Sofia Boutella is the mummy of the title.  The movie co-stars Annabelle Wallis (X-Men: First Class), Jake Johnson (New Girl, Jurassic World), and Courtney B. Vance (The Hunt for Red October, Terminator Genisys).

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Sean Daniel, who produced the most recent Mummy trilogy, is also a producer on the reboot movie.

Check out the above poster released this week, and this first teaser for The Mummy:

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The latest volume from the partnership of Abrams ComicArts and Topps Trading Cards as they document some of the greatest non-sports trading cards ever released is now available.  Star Wars: Return of the Jedi–The Original Topps Trading Card Series Volume Three reproduces–for the first time–all 220 cards and 55 stickers in a single deluxe hardcover volume.  And like the first two volumes in the series, it includes the image of the classic bubble gum stick inside the classic wax pack style cover jacket.

It’s the next book in the now long line of great trading card books from Abrams.  It includes four bonus trading cards made exclusively for this edition, including both title cards for the two Return of the Jedi card series, and is similar in design to the previous trading card reference books Bazooka Joe and His Gang reviewed here at borg.com, Mars Attacks 50th Anniversary Collection reviewed here, and Star Trek: The Original Topps Trading Card Series reviewed here.  Abrams ComicArts and Topps released the first compilation of Star Wars trading cards last December–Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume One, reviewed here at borg.com, and this April we reviewed the second volume, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, The Original Topps Trading Card Series, Volume Two, here.

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Star Wars insider and trading card editor Gary Gerani returns to give fascinating insight and a behind-the-scenes look at Topps as it coordinated with Lucasfilm to create and market these licensed images.  Gerani was the original editor of the three Star Wars Topps series who worked with Lucasfilm to select the photographs for the card sets and wrote the card titles.

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There’s no such thing as a “sure thing.”  If there was, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them–the big screen adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s spin-off novel from the Harry Potter series–would have been an easy success.  Released in the same month, a trailer  for Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson set YouTube viewer records.  Why?  Fans of Potter can’t get enough, they’ll never get enough, and that means anything related to Hogwarts is prime territory to exploit, including its actors.

So why should Fantastic Beasts work?  It’s a story written by Rowling.  It’s in the same universe as her past successes (or is it?).  It’s about fantasy beasts (or is it?).  Fantastic Beasts follows a Dr. Doolittle-inspired wizard named Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne), who is in 1920s New York City hunting a new beast to protect for his unique version of a magical zoo.  He keeps these beasts in a suitcase, which is either bigger on the inside (sounds familiar?) or it somehow serves as a portal to a wider world where Scamander can protect the beasts from those that don’t fancy beastie types.  If the  beasts remained the focus of the story, a journey where we met several of these creatures and explored the awe and majesty of these brilliant creations from the visual effects artists, liked the klepto duck-billed platypus or the Groot-like Bowtruckle–or maybe actually explore where in the world to find them as the title says–Fantastic Beasts could have been what fans are looking for.  Unfortunately the story doesn’t know what it wants to be and instead gets bogged down in a dark and gloomy drama about a troubled, victimized orphan of the Anakin Skywalker variety.

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A glimmer of heart can be found in a hapless wannabe baker named Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler, and a woman from the magical world named Queenie, played by Alison Sudol.  You could edit out every scene these two characters are not in and be left with a compelling story.  Their acting, the characterization, and chemistry is the stuff of a good romance movie.  Their performances are also the only strong ties in the film to a believable 1920s setting–both, with their accents and mannerisms, seem to fall out of a film from the Golden Age of Hollywood, despite art direction that never quite gives the feel we’re in the Roaring ’20s.

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We’ve said it before so we’ll repeat it:  If you aren’t someone who wants to know what the next Star Wars movie is about, walk away now.  Lucasfilm has proven with Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens and this year with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story that they figure fans won’t mind seeing a fair chunk of key scenes and plot developments via the movie trailers.  Would the “Chewie, we’re home,” line uttered by Harrison Ford carried greater weight had it not been previewed ad nauseam in months of previews?  Should we assume plenty of surprises have been left for the movie?

We can’t get enough of these glimpses of more Star Wars.  The latest preview for Rogue One released this Thanksgiving weekend give up several humorous scenes from the film.  Did the marketing folks think fans needed something lighthearted since the overall story of Rogue One is reportedly the darkest story yet, excepting possibly Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith?  This final trailer also shows some beautiful action sequences we have not yet seen.  This movie is going to be the biggest entertainment event of the year.  Just look at the detail in this village set below–every single thing about it tells you this is in the Star Wars universe.

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Since Thanksgiving we’ve also seen both new international and IMAX posters (all below after the break) plus Alamo Drafthouse glassware available at select screenings.

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And the studio announced ticket sales will begin tomorrow!  Check your local theater for listings.

But first, here is the final trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story:

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