First Look

Muppets...Again!

Kermit the Frog on the story behind Muppets…Again!, the sequel to The Muppets: “The idea of this film is that our gang is on this global tour, and we’re selling out these grand theaters all over Europe—in Berlin, Madrid, London—but we sort of get into a little bit of trouble when we run across my doppleganger. He’s the world’s number one criminal, Constantine, and he happens to look an awful lot like me. I won’t tell you any more than that, but let’s just say mayhem ensues.”

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For its first  sequel, the newly-minted Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs franchise has decided to take things in a slightly different (and tastier) direction. Instead of putting Flint Lockwood (voice of Bill Hader) and his lovely lady Sam Sparks (Anna Faris) back into harm’s (meatball’s?) way in another town besieged by giant food, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 has organically grown its fresh story, piling on to the logic of the first film in a clever new way. In the new film, Flint has joined The Live Corp Company, run by his idol Chester V (Will Forte) and his “highly evolved orangutan with a human brain” Barb (Kristen Schaal), and he’s happily working away, unaware that his disaster-prone FLDSMDFR machine is actually still running, and it’s evolved quite spectacularly. The FLDSMDFR is now churning out food-animal hybrids, food-imals, and as totally adorable as some of them may be (seriously, they’re cute), not all of them are just around to be squishy-cute (like the tacodiles probably!), and they’re taking over Flint’s island hometown of Swallow Falls. USA Today got the exclusive on some adorable new images (via ComingSoon) of some of the food-imals in the new film, which you can check out after the break. While they are all both cute and inventive, if we had to choose a favorite, it’s easily those pudgy, butter-tongued baked potato hippos (they are called, wait for it, Hippotatomus). Good God, those things are charming. There are also delicious looks at Bananostrich, Cantalope, […]

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Snowpiercer

One of the year’s most intriguing new films, Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer,has just released its first official photo, and it looks just as gritty, bleak, and claustrophobic as we would expect from a film that is set on a post-apocalyptic, world-traversing super-train that is powered by “a sacred perpetual-motion engine” that’s creeping steadily closer to an inter-class revolution. The first look features Song Kang-ho, one of the filmmaker’s perpetual stars, who definitely seems to be stuck in the Snowpiercer’s poor class. Will he help lead a revolution? Or will that be left up to some of the film’s other talented stars, like  Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, John Hurt, Ed Harris and Octavia Spencer? Who knows! (We kid, the film is based on a French graphic novel called “Le Transperceneige,” and anyone who has read it obviously has some insight into just what will happen aboard Snowpiercer). The Film Stage (via ComingSoon) first posted the official image, and both outlets have also posted some gorgeous concept art from the film for your visual enjoyment. Snowpiercer is expected to hit theaters sometime this summer.

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image_elysium sharlto copley

One of the more anticipated films hitting theaters next year is Neill Blomkamp‘s Elysium. The sci-fi epic is the director’s long-awaited (well, since 2009 anyway) follow-up to his breakout hit District 9, and it follows a similar path melding action, science fiction and social commentary. It stars Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, William Fichtner, Diego Luna, Talisa Soto and Sharlto Copley. He played the hero in District 9, but Copley’s turn here is of a far darker flavor. Empire Online has just debuted the first glimpse above of Copley in full bad guy gear, and he’s nigh unrecognizable. Elysium is set in the year 2159, and pits the oppressed people of the ruined planet Earth against the privileged elite aboard the Elysium space station. Matt Damon is ex-convict man-on-a-mission Max, fighting with the Terrans for equality, and Jodie Foster is the dastardly government official intent on enforcing anti-immigration laws and keeping Elysium for the Elysians; Kruger is her relentless attack dog.” Elysium invades theaters August 9th, 2013.

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Burt Wonderstone

First looks at films by way of photographic stills tend to be dry affairs that are nearly always impossible to contextualize (“look, there is someone standing there, next to someone else, can’t wait for this movie!”), but every so often, they prove to be actually exciting little bits of marketing. Like this first look at The Incredible Burt Wonderstone, starring Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi, and apparently an old school Glamour Shots studio. This photo is glorious, and it’s the first thing that’s gotten me genuinely excited for the film, which stars Carell and Buscemi as Las Vegas’ most successful magician duo, a duo who are threatened by their imploding friendship and Jim Carrey‘s rising star rival magician. Check out the second still after the break, but be warned, it contains none of the majesty of that one up top (though Carrey does appear in this one, looking a lot like Cris Angel).

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Jeff Bridges in Seventh Son

As we all know, any seventh son born of a seventh son is given incredible powers at birth, and it’s that concept that novelist Joseph Delaney culled for his fantasy series “The Wardstone Chronicles.” Warners is turning the first book in that series — “The Spook’s Apprentice” — into a feature film (with hopes to launch a new young adult hit), and they’ve released new images from the October-bound movie. That’s Jeff Bridges playing a Spook named Master Gregory who is teaching Thomas (Ben Barnes) how to battle evil, which is pictured below in the form of Julianne Moore as Mother Malkin. You think they’d want to avoid propagating vicious stereotypes against gingers, but apparently they’re comfortable with it.

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The Hobbit: There and Back Again

The first film in Peter Jackson‘s new three-entry The Hobbit franchise, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, is still a week away from release, but that hasn’t stopped the production from rolling out, wait, what? a picture from the third film in the series? Fortunately, this first look stars a fan favorite from The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Orlando Bloom as Legolas. But, sorry, just what is Legolas doing in The Hobbit: There and Back Again? He’s not in J.R.R. Tolkien‘s book! As Jackson explains it: “He’s [elven king] Thranduil’s son, and Thranduil is one of the characters in The Hobbit, and because elves are immortal it makes sense Legolas would be part of the sequence in the Woodland Realm.” Fair enough. Alongside Bloom? That’s Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman, a Laketown warrior who will be getting a bit more attention in the film than he did in the series’ source material, with screenwriter and producer Philippa Boyens explaining, “We take more time introducing him. We know from what follows that he was a father, so we [explore] that. I don’t think we take liberties, because it’s all there in the storytelling.” The first film in the series, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, will hit theaters next week in 2D, 3D, and IMAX on December 14. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug will be released on December 13, 2013, and the final entry, The Hobbit: There and Back Again, will be released on July 18, 2014. [EW]

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Ashton Kutcher in jOBS

While some of might still be holding out for that Aaron Sorkin-penned Steve Jobs biopic, there’s still Joshua Michael Stern‘s Sundance-premiering, Ashton Kutcher-starring jOBS to look forward to. Yet, surely, no one is looking forward to this one quite as much as Kutcher, who looks tickled pink to not only be starring in what sounds like a quality film (sorry, Just Married!), but pretty excited by how much he looks like the Apple founder, as evidenced by a brand new still from the film. We can’t wait for Kutcher to fill out those black turtlenecks later in the film, however. jOBS will serve as the Closing Night Film of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and its official fest synopsis tells us: “The true story of one of the greatest entrepreneurs in American history, jOBS chronicles the defining 30 years of Steve Jobs’ life. jOBS is a candid, inspiring and personal portrait of the one who saw things differently.” The film also stars Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons, and Matthew Modine. The film was just picked up for Canadian distribution by Remstar Films, in collaboration with Entertainment One. The film also has Swiss and Italian distribution lined up. While there is no word yet on domestic distribution or release, it seems like a safe bet that won’t last soon, as jOBS will surely sell very soon, likely before it even bows at Sundance. [ComingSoon]

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SVHS Movie

As we all know, S-VHS stands for Super VHS, so either the filmmaking team behind V/H/S has gotten marketing savvy and is dipping into the comic book genre, or they’re sticking with cleverness over craven name-recognition by picking S-VHS as the name of their sequel. See if you can spot any capes in this first image – which comes from the segment from Gareth Evans (The Raid) and Timo Tjahjanto (Macabre). No? No capes? Just a creepy blood-covered man wearing an adult diaper from the POV of someone wielding what looks like a used paper towel roll? Well, fine then. The project will also see short installments from Eduardo Sanchez (Blair Witch), directing with his producer partner Greg Hale; Jason Eisener (Hobo with a Shotgun); Adam Wingard (who directed the wrap-around for V/H/S); and writer Simon Barrett directing for the first time. Rumor has it that all the filmmakers will dress like this guy for the red carpet premiere.  [Twitch]

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Mortal Instruments

First off, what in the hell is a mortal instrument? It sounds just terrible – like some sort of ancient torture device, perhaps something used to extract teeth or fingernails or even entire eyeballs. Are these instruments good things? Can they be immortal? Who wields them? Will we ever know? Well, probably. With the final film of the unfathomably popular The Twilight Saga franchise, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, hitting screens this week, studios everywhere are scrambling for the next big YA cinematic adaptation that will set the cinematic world on fire. While The Hunger Games is still poised to slip into Twilight‘s vacated throne, a fresh crop of new potential franchises are springing up left and right, including Beautiful Creatures, Divergent, and The Mortal Instruments. It’s a topic we’ve long been interested in (remember this piece from Comic-Con?), but it’s still unclear just who will prove to be the winner. A possible contender – the first film in a potential Mortal Instruments franchise, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which is coming to us from The Karate Kid (remake, duh) director Harald Zwart from author Cassandra Clare‘s wildly popular series. With the release of the film’s first official still, we’ve just got nothing but questions.

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Tom Cruise in All You Need is Kill

Tom Cruise is doing something very mech-warrior in Doug Liman’s upcoming actioner All You Need Is Kill. And to think that no one thought of giving him some bionic stilts to make him taller for Jack Reacher. Reshoots, anyone? (via ScreenCrush)

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Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan in The Butler

Lee Daniels is currently waist-deep in White House history, exploring the most visible citizen’s home office through the eyes of The Butler – a forthcoming adaptation of a Wil Haygood newspaper article chronicling a butler (played by Forest Whitaker) who served under 8 presidents. Daniels is taking advantage of the huge swath of famous political faces by having a huge supporting cast to play them. One of the less-famous faces is being played by Oprah Winfrey (who is surprisingly not one of the 30 some odd producers), and she tweeted out (via Cinema Blend) this first look at Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan and Alan Rickman (!) as Ronald Reagan. Once again we get to marvel at the make-up, hair and costuming of a historical flick. The team has done a great job of making both look as close as possible (to the point where Rickman is virtually unrecognizable as himself). Plus, the actor raised taxes 11 times in preparation for the role, so everyone’s dedication levels are high for this one.

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Chris Pine as Jack Ryan

The good folks at Paramount dropped this image in our inbox (which you can click to enlarge), and since it’s a little late in the year for National Ride Your Motorcycle to Work Day , it must be in support of the forthcoming Jack Ryan movie where Chris Pine takes the Tom Clancy mantle from so many who came before him. The film – also starring Keira Knightley, Kevin Costner and Kenneth Branagh – isn’t out until Christmas of 2013, but Branagh (who also plays the director) is already filming the story of Russian billionaires, international intrigue and terror plots. Of course, it’s impossible to get a good idea of the movie itself from a single picture, and it’s not like this is a period drama or superhero flick with costumes to show off, but it’s still a great reminder that the character will be back on the big screen next year.  The promise of an exciting motorcycle chase isn’t half bad either.

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Spring Breakers

Youthful angst. Is it a worthwhile topic? Maybe, but the ratio of excellent examinations to abject failures is a daunting one. Every writer who’s ever felt isolated in high school (read: every writer) has taken a stab at writing a story about the boredom of being young and unhappy, but few have captured it in a way that makes young people sound interesting. After Kids, Harmony Korine earned full faith and credit when it comes to the topic, but this first clip for Spring Breakers – featuring Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine – is about as exciting as watching the brown grass grow. What does it all mean, man?

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Carrie Movie

Entertainment Weekly has the first images from Kimberly Peirce‘s Carrie remake (as you can see below), and they’re exactly what you expect. Chloe Moretz is covered in blood, Julianne Moore is holding a knife in a matronly white night gown. Granted, they’re just pictures, and they’re picture specifically chosen for the general populace that is the EW readership, but there’s something chilling about placing the 1976 images next to the 2012 images and seeing virtually the same thing. Carbon copies are nothing to get excited about.

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Toy Story‘s resident worrier, Rex (as voiced by Wallace Shawn in the franchise), is not a good-time dino. He’s not a party bipedal carnivore. He doesn’t like to cut loose. But in the latest Toy Story short, Partysaurus Rex, the lovable plastic tyrannosaurus is bent on breaking out of his little box, styling himself as some kind of wild party dude when the toys’ new owner, Bonnie, dispatches him for bathtub duty with some new pals. And bathtub playtime is nuts. Director Mark Walsh explains, “if you’re a bath toy you get really intense playtime. It’s like a party. Then when the water goes down you can’t move. You’re helpless. And that’s pathetic, these guys in bottom of the tub all the time.” Oh, that does sound like the aftermath of a party. But just what appeals to Rex about these wild times? As Shawn tells it, “He’s sick of being the angel of goodness and sensibleness and caution and fear…He wants to stand on the side of pleasure and happiness and joy.” And Rex has something that none of the other bathtub toys have – arms. EW explains, “Rex puts his tiny arms to good use by turning on the water and getting the party going for those dried-out toys on his own – which leads to a sort of bubble-filled rave, complete with glow-in-the-dark toys making disco lights under an overturned colander and dance music by Grammy-nominated electronica musician BT.” Whoa. Check out a better look at the […]

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Lincoln Daniel Day-Lewis

Of course you do. We’ve been reading your totally healthy Lincoln/Day-Lewis slash fiction, and we can tell you’ve been aching for this moment all year. Entertainment Weekly has debuted the first glossy image of Daniel Day-Lewis as the 16th president for Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln. The resemblance is terrifyingly accurate. However, according to Spielberg, reports that Day-Lewis lost himself in the 19th century for the role are not. “Daniel was always conscious of his contemporary surroundings,” Spielberg said. “Daniel never went into a fugue state. He did not channel Lincoln. All that stuff is just more about gossip than it is about technique.” That’s fortunate because, as Breaking Bad fans know, a fugue state would have left Day-Lewis naked save for a top hat trying to buy snacks at a convenience store on the outskirts of Nowhere, New Mexico. Check out the full image below followed by a side-by-side comparison:

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Red Dawn Remake

The Red Dawn remake has been a long time in the making, specifically because it was made and then taken back into the deep bowels of production and post in order to change the main villain. That’s a daunting task when you’re replacing a bad guy, but it’s an insane job when you’re replacing hundreds of them. The plot to this one is the same as the plot to the 1984 John Milius joint where foreign invaders take over a small, rural community that happens to be loaded for bear. The high school kids grab weapons, lose some innocence and fight back the baddies. In these first photos, it’s clear that Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck and Josh Hutcherson will be battling with guns and cold, steely stares. After losing to them in a staring contest, check out the second image below:

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There’s a number of weird things about Deadline Kodiak‘s post from this morning that touts an “exclusive” “first look” at some stills from Scott Walker‘s Frozen Ground – the least of which that their pictures are, in no way, shape, or form an exclusive (Collider posted them back in May, when they got them from the film’s production company, Voltage Pictures), but that’s perhaps a bit inside baseball for most of your tastes. What is weird in a way that you, dear reader, might care about, is that the outlet folded their pictures into one really boring header that includes stars John Cusack and Nicolas Cage looking not nearly as unhinged as they should for a movie about a serial killer stalking and murdering women in Alaska by way of an airplane. It’s co-star Vanessa Hudgens (as the victim who escape real life killer Robert Hansen, who Cusack plays in the film) who looks most insane in these pictures, and she doesn’t even really look that put out. What a waste! After the break, take a look at the pictures (thanks, Collider!) from the film, which we neglected to run back in May for some horrible, ridiculous reason (again, it’s a movie about an airplane-utilizing serial killer in Alaska that stars Nicolas Cage as the good guy), along with the film’s official synopsis.

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The Wikipedia page for Lee Child‘s Jack Reacher character informs readers that Reacher, former Army Military Police Major, lone wolf, and total badass “is a giant, standing at 6′ 5″ tall with a 50-inch chest, and weighing between 210 and 250 pounds. He has ice-blue eyes and dirty blond hair. He has very little body fat, and his muscular physique is completely natural…He is exceptionally strong but is not a good runner. Reacher is strong enough to break a man’s neck with one hand and kill a villain with a single punch to the head or chest. In a fight against a 7 foot, 400 lb steroid-using thug, Reacher was able to lift his opponent into the air and drop him on his head.” Of course, Reacher is being played by Tom Cruise in the upcoming adaptation of the Child book “One Shot,” now just titled Reacher. Cruise, at the very least, has blue eyes. While it’s easy enough to mock the choice of Cruise for this highly psychical role (easy enough that this very article has done it at least twice already), buzz about the film has been strong, and screenwriter and director Christopher McQuarrie remains confident that Cruise is the right man for the job. So, of course, here comes the world’s first look at Cruise as Reacher, and he’s…standing in front of a car? Cool.

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published: 12.23.2014
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