The Best Stories of the Week, July 27


The Reject Recap is back following a week off for the takeover of Comic-Con coverage. Of course, now that Comic-Con coverage is the main focus of the latest review of Hollywood’s biggest news and FSR’s greatest original content. Fortunately and unfortunately, some other notable announcements came out in the past seven days that had nothing to do with San Diego’s fanboy event. For instance, we lost actor Dennis Farina. Also, we pretty much lost all possibility of a Freddie Mercury/Queen movie. Meanwhile, we considered new directions (for better or worse) of such iconic characters as Wolverine, Rocky Balboa and Spike Lee. And we’ve been having panic attacks just from watching a few clips from one of the most anticipated films out later this year.

As always, we’ve rounded up the most significant bits of what everyone’s been talking about — or should have been talking about — over the past week. There was the announcement of the latest Toronto International Film Festival slate (with its Oscar-coveting titles), the release of a new Woody Allen movie and, yes, the excitement over possibly seeing Batman and Superman kick the crap out of each other. Here’s your chance to get caught up so you’re not clueless at all of tonight’s parties. Because you know there’s likely to be some discussion of The Act of Killing and its representation of violence. Or there should be, and now you’ll be able to bring it up and be the life of the occasion.

Start your weekend right after the jump.


Batman vs. Superman (Enough Said)

Batman vs. SupermanSuperman will be meeting Batman in the [Man of Steel] sequel…it would fit in perfectly with Warner Bros.’ intention to lay down a path toward a Justice League film, just as Marvel did with its Avengers over the course of the past four years. The big question about Justice League is ‘how will they get there?’ How will they bring all of their characters together in a way that feels fluid, on a time frame that is far more brief than what Marvel had to work with. Step one appears to be uniting their two biggest names: Superman and Batman. From there, the possibilities begin to unfold.” – Neil Miller

More on Batman and/or Superman:
Superman & Batman: Fan Service or Desperation?
The Batman vs. Superman Movie Continues to Unfold
Broken Projector: Hiring a New Batman
How Man of Steel Should Have Ended
Could Lex Luthor Really Make California Fall Into the Ocean with a Bomb Blast?


The Best of the Rest of Comic-Con

Avengers: Age of Ultron“The words ‘Batman’ and ‘Superman’ were on the lips of everyone at Comic Con as a rumor started circling that Warner Bros was keen on making that gigantic announcement in Hall H. That’s something that would normally ‘win’ Comic Con, unless of course Marvel has literally any announcement to make, since they just can’t not be awesome. This year Marvel once again stole all of the thunder with the aide of Loki, Thor, The Guardians of the Galaxy, the entire cast of X-Men Days of Future Past, and Ultron.” – Robert Fure

More Comic-Con coverage:
All Our Comic-Con Posts


The Wolverine Redeems X-Men Origins: Wolverine

The Wolverine“Wolverine has had some real stumbles — namely 2009?s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was the kind of critical and fan-disappointing quality control disaster that would kill a lesser franchise. But like its central character, this is a franchise that heals well (and makes money despite itself), so Fox was willing to give it another shot. Luckily for fans, The Wolverine delivers where the previous outing failed, giving us what could very well be the defining cinematic appearance of Hugh Jackman as Logan.” – Neil Miller

More Wolverine:
The Wolverine Gives Comic-Con Audiences A Welcomed Apology
How Director James Mangold Redeemed The Wolverine
22 Things We Learned from the X-Men Origins: Wolverine Commentary


Spike Lee is Crowdfunding His Next Joint Via Kickstarter

news spike lee kickstarter“For Spike Lee fans, this is a dream come true. The juicier pledges receive autographs, special screenings, and roles as extras, while $10,000 nets you dinner and a Knicks game with the director himself. For non-Lee fans, well, this is just one more way not to spend your money. Although the best way to look at this Kickstarter would likely be through the lens of Lee’s Oldboy remake, which only a scant few have actually seen. One super-violent film would certainly be affected by the one that comes immediately after.” – Adam Bellotto

More on Spike Lee Joints:
More of that Creepy Oldboy Marketing from Comic-Con


Which Toronto Film Festival Films Are Likely Oscar Nominees?

TIFF“Yesterday’s announcement of the festival’s first round of programming picks is equal parts ‘here’s some Toronto films!’ and ‘look, probable Oscar nominees!” Yes, it’s only July and we’re already thinking about the Oscars. That’s just what TIFF announcements do to us. But amongst the seventy films unveiled as part of this year’s Toronto slate, which are the ones most likely to ring some bells and pick up some little gold men come Oscar time? We don’t know – but we can sure as hell guess at it (thanks, prognostication!).” – Kate Erbland

More on the TIFF slate:
First Look: Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix in All Is By My Side


Rocky Returns for Sequel/Spin-Off/Reboot Creed

Rocky IV“One of those select few that craved another Rocky is Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler, who will be helming the film. Creed is apparently Coogler’s dream project, and it was his enthusiasm that drove MGM and Stallone to take part…While churning out another Rocky is about as close as you can get to actually beating a dead horse, the inclusion of Coogler and [Michael B.] Jordan makes this sequel sound a little more promising than Rocky Balboa did. Perhaps that new blood will make it a hit, maybe even a big enough one to garner a few Oscars. At that point — who knows? Maybe more sequels, and then a whole new spinoff series featuring the grandson of whoever Jordan fights in this one.” – Adam Bellotto

More on movies set in the ring:
Bloodsport Becomes the Latest Remake That Nobody Asked For
Crossface to Bring the Tragic End of Pro Wrestler Chris Benoit to the Big Screen


Why the Freddie Mercury Biopic Will Never Happen

Queen Singer Freddie Mercury[Sacha Baron] Cohen has left the project due to creative differences with Queen, and while that’s normally code for Any Number Of Other Reasons, it sounds like this time the differences were legitimate. Instead of wanting a real movie that dug into R-rating territory (for an iconic musician whose life was certainly not PG), the band was more interested in the Mickey Mouse version of the story…The funny/tragic thing is that even if Queen wants a PG-rating for their bandmate’s story, as soon as Mercury kisses a dude, the MPAA will probably slap it with an NC-17 anyway.” – Scott Beggs

More on biopics:
Crossface to Bring the Tragic End of Pro Wrestler Chris Benoit to the Big Screen
Stephen Frears’ Ben Foster-Starring Lance Armstrong Scandal Film Joins Crowded Race
First Look: Andre 3000 as Jimi Hendrix in All Is By My Side


Gravity Unloads Multiple Anxiety-Inducing Teasers

gravity“Don’t have enough tension and worry in your life? No problem, because the marketing of Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón’s new space thriller, Gravity, seems intent on freaking us all out to the point where we’ll all be sent off to the nuthouse for some decompression before we ever even get a chance to see the movie.” – Nathan Adams




More on Gravity:
Single Take Gravity Trailer: Alfonso Cuaron’s Panic in the Cosmos
Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity Gives Comic-Con Crowd Anxiety


Appreciation for the Men of Woody Allen’s Latest

Blue JasmineBlue Jasmine, on a whole, lives and dies at the hand of its two central female performances – so it’s good news that Blanchett and Hawkins are both more than up to the task at hand, but it’s even better news that the film’s male-dominated supporting cast is also tremendous…when that pack of mostly no-good men is rounded out by [Alec] Baldwin, Louis C.K., Andrew Dice Clay, Peter Sarsgaard, and more, the result is one of the best male-dominated supporting casts in recent memory.” – Kate Erbland


Arthouse Violence is Giving Hollywood Blockbusters a Run For Their Money

The Act of Killing“During the summer more than any time of year, it’s clear that Hollywood film violence can be relatively homogenous: typically passive, unimaginative, unserious, stultifying. But during past few weeks, the limited release/arthouse sector has seen an abundance of films that represent violent actions in myriad ways, using and exploring violence towards varying ends, none of which involve a fleeting moment of utilitarian spectacle.” – Landon Palmer

Rather than a reject, Christopher Campbell is a film school dropout. But he has since gotten a master’s degree in cinema studies and has been blogging about movies since 2005. Earlier, he reviewed films for a zine (a what?) that you could buy at Tower Records (a what?). He is married with two children.

Read More from Christopher Campbell
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