Our first full week into the summer movie season, and there’s a lot to talk about. The first really big blockbuster of the year (and likely still the biggest by year’s end), Iron Man 3, has inspired a number of discussions about itself and about other superhero and summer tentpoles in the future. Meanwhile, we continue to get first looks at major event films coming out later in 2013, including anticipated sci-fi flicks The World’s End, Ender’s Game and Gravity. And as usual, we’ve thrown some speculative fun into our content mixer, such as imagining Ryan Gosling playing the villain in a comic book adaptation. Rob continued his coverage of a new film festival for horror fans, we said goodbye to one of the most important effects artists in film history and as for review we were quite underwhelmed by The Great Gatsby.
I’ve selected the ten best, biggest and most popular movie news and feature stories of the week, none of which was mined from outside the FSR gates this time. So, start your weekend right after the jump.
“No one has embodied a superhero as thoroughly as [Robert] Downey Jr. has with Tony Stark. Maybe Hugh Jackman with Wolverine, but he was also a part of a pack that led to early X-Men success. If the Marvel movies are tentpoles for Disney, Tony Stark (and thus Downey Jr.) is the tentpole of the Marvel universe…For my money, they should offer Downey Jr. the sun if it brings him on board for two more Avengers, and if he’s set against being Tony Stark beyond that, they should do something radical: forget about the character for a while.” – Scott Beggs
More on Iron Man and Shane Black:
9 Big Questions Left Unanswered by Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3 is the Most Political Superhero Movie Ever Made
6 Filmmaking Tips From Shane Black
Can Shane Black’s Iron Man 3 Credentials Make Doc Savage a Modern Day Success Story?
“One of the hallmarks of the Wesley Snipes-starring original Blade film, which people still remember fondly, was all of the stylish scenes of over-the-top violence. So why not get the guy who’s making the most stylishly violent films of the moment to take on the character? If you’ve seen Bronson or Drive, then you of course know that the guy I’m talking about is Nicholas Winding Refn. Just imagine how trendy the vampire lairs he created would look. Just imagine how aloof his version of Blade would be walking into a vampire orgy. Just imagine how many Halloween costumes Ryan Gosling playing the eccentric head vampire of the film would inspire.” – Nathan Adams
“Normally decades-later sequels can be iffy, but this one has an excellent thematic reason to be made. Selling out or buying in, it would be fantastic to catch up with these characters almost two decades later. It’ll be like Before Midnight with mohawks. Honestly, merely getting [Matthew] Lillard and [Christopher] McDonald back would be dramatic gold, but having that many from the original cast return for the sequel is the cherry on top. My prediction is that Stevo is going to be listening to Descendents’ “When I Get Old” a lot, but there’s no telling how they’ll get Goorjian’s Bob back into the mix.” – Scott Beggs
“Okay—woah—wait. Hiro and his robot Baymax are definitely important parts of Marvel’s Big Hero 6 comics, so their mention makes sense, but what the heck is a San Fansokyo? As you can see from the first-look animation footage from Disney below, it seems to be the results of Tokyo being dropped on top of Chinatown in San Francisco, which then get’s expanded to create a city of its own? Strange choice. They can’t just set the adventures of a team of Japanese superheroes in Japan? Strange, slightly racist choice.” – Nathan Adams
“I’ve never read the book so I can’t speak to how this looks in that regard, but am I alone in thinking this trailer isn’t all that compelling? The effects are fine but far from special, but the minimal plot reveal does little to create anticipation. The cast is definitely appealing, though, with folks like Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley and Viola Davis bringing the big guns…The other big unknown here is the ongoing controversy surrounding [Orson Scott] Card’s reportedly rampant hate-mongering towards homosexuals. Will the push back hurt the film’s reception, or will the fans of the novel turn out in large enough numbers to make it a hit anyway?” – Rob Hunter
“The most visibly obvious reason why this thing shouldn’t be outright dismissed is its cast. Even if you’re not particularly taken by [Zach] Braff’s charms, you’ve still got people like Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Jean Smart, Jackie Hoffman, Ann Dowd, and Ian Holm in supporting roles. They’re all first rate actors who do good work here, and who add a whole heap of humanity to the (perhaps excessive) quirk on display. It’s true that there are a couple one line extras who are stilted in their delivery and come off as friends being done a favor, but that’s not a big enough negative to keep that Method Man cameo where he’s running some sort of weird jerk-off ring inside the walls of a sleazy motel from being awesome. If Braff proved anything with Garden State, it’s that he has a good sense of comic timing and he knows how to direct actors.” – Nathan Adams
More on Zach Braff:
Kickstarter: Zach Braff and Veronica Mars Raised $400,000 for Other Campaigns
“Flipping a crowdfunding site’s intended use to find an audience for a finished film hasn’t been done nearly enough to draw any real conclusions about success or failure, but it’s still a very inventive move. The potential is gut-level obvious, but the percentages going back to the site seem more than a bit prohibitive (unless you gamble on a fixed funding goal instead of playing it safe with a flex fund). That is, of course, if you have any other options available to distribute your work. Which is partially why there’s a kind of admirable directness to all of this. Crowdfunding is an excellent new tool, but here [Andrew] Morgan is essentially using it as a storefront to show his trailer and allow potential fans to buy his film off the same page that’s advertising it.” – Scott Beggs
More on Crowdfunding campaigns:
Fund This Film: An Aaron Swartz Documentary From the Director of We Are Legion
Movie Houses of Worship: Bijou Art Cinemas, Eaton Theatre, Kuhn Cinema, Northwest Film Forum, Rio Theater and Towne Cinema
“Big Daddy Goes Down in Kick-Ass: This scene is great because it shows the real-world threat of dressing up like an asshole and going after mobsters: sometimes they won’t build an elaborate contraption but rather just beat the shit out of you before lighting you on fire. It’s much more effective than creating a rocket powered surf board or trying to think of the perfect riddle to stick on a security guard’s corpse.” – David Christopher Bell
“Business here is always personal, and one is fighting with people inside their business just as they are outside. Carlo Rizzi seems to be the line Michael crosses that’s a point of no return, and it’s appropriately predictive of the events in the second film: when you kill your brother-in-law, there’s no turning back from that standard of behavior. That’s why I think Salvatore Tessio, played by the great (and, amazingly, still alive) Abe Vigoda, has one of the most important lines in the film before he gets whacked: ‘Tell Mike it was only business. I always liked him.'” – Landon Palmer
“Battling statues, lassoing dinosaurs, flying high on the back of a horse, watching a two-headed bird hatch, releasing the Kraken, sword-fighting with skeletons, staring into the eyes of Medusa. We will miss Ray Harryhausen, but we will celebrate with his movies forever.” – Louis Plamondon