Charlie Hunnam

commentary pacific rim

Guillermo del Toro is a director of visually arresting films that continuously announce his love of cinema from the rooftops. His best works (including The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth) mix fantasy and reality into intoxicating concoctions, but even his lesser efforts (everything else) are imaginative and stylish creations. His latest, Pacific Rim, is a fun and exciting adventure that mashes giant monsters and giant mecha into a wet dream of action, epic fight scenes, and pre-teen joy. It’s a big movie for kids and the kids in all of us, and that comes with both good and bad. The former outshines much of the latter, but it doesn’t excuse it. So how does del Toro’s commentary stack up against the film? Will he talk about Charlie Hunnam‘s acting performance? Will he teach what amounts to a two-plus hour film class on how to make effects heavy movies? Will he acknowledge the script’s deficiencies including the silliness of punching monsters to death instead of using bunker-buster missiles or, I don’t know, a big ass sword? Let’s find out together! Keep reading to see what I heard during Guillermo del Toro’s commentary for Pacific Rim.

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Life in the center of a hotly anticipated (by middle-aged women) fan fiction adaptation about rough sex might not be all it’s cracked up to be. At least that’s the case for Charlie Hunnam, who announced this past weekend that he would no longer be playing Christian Grey in the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey. Now, the official reason for Hunnam’s exit is the actor’s “immersive TV schedule, which is not allowing him time to adequately prepare for the role.” Makes sense, right? The man’s got motorcycles to ride and slight Shakespearean parallels to act out on Sons of Anarchy. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, there was a far more personal motivation for Hunnam’s departure. It seems being cast in 50 Shades put the actor in a far brighter and more unforgiving spotlight than he intended, so much so that he required a set of bodyguards just to make it into a recent Sons of Anarchy premiere, fielding 50 Shades-related questions all the while. If Hunnam can maintain a high-profile acting career while avoiding that kind of crazy, more power to him (and in all honesty, avoiding 50 Shades might be a better move in the long run anyway).

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Fifty-Shades-of-Grey

Like it or not, the 50 Shades of Grey movie is slowly but surely coming together. Society as a whole may collectively groan and bang its head against a table, but a sexually-charged film geared towards a female audience is rare enough that people will stampede over each other to see it (see also: Magic Mike). And now we’ve got our stars. Dakota Johnson and Charlie Hunnam will be playing Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey, the couple that will be committing so many semi-obscured sex acts on film next summer. Johnson is a fashion-model turned actress who’s had brief roles on The Office, The Social Network, and 21 Jump Street, and starred in last fall’s quickly-cancelled sitcom Ben & Kate. Her acting abilities may be more or less untested, but worry not. She’ll be starring in the video-game-to-movie adaptation Need for Speed alongside Aaron Paul (poor, poor Aaron Paul) a few months before 50 Shades comes out. That should prove once and for all that Johnson is, in fact, an actress, and that her image can be recorded on film (which is about all she’ll need for 50 Shades). Hunnam is a far more accomplished actor, but with Sons of Anarchy edging closer to the finish line (and Pacific Rim failing to vault him into true stardom), he may be looking for the next rung on the ladder. And 50 Shades of Grey is certain to get his name out there. Hopefully, for his sake, the old adage “there’s no such thing […]

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carano

What is Casting Couch? It’s the casting news roundup that hopes everyone had a great weekend thinking about Supermans and X-Mens, and are now ready to dig into some news about movies where nobody has lasers coming out of their eyes. Read on for news concerning Adrian Brody, Rose Byrne, Pacific Rim’s Charlie Hunnam, and Community’s Gillian Jacobs. Okay, so maybe let’s cover one extra bit of comic book movie news before we put that world to rest for a few days. It looks like Rob Liefeld’s old Image character Avengelyne is getting ready to come to the big screen. Heat Vision is reporting that the comic creator best known for his spot-on portrayal of human anatomy is teaming up with MMA fighter turned actress Gina Carano to make the deal happen. Liefeld will produce and Carano will star in this tale of a sword-wielding, thong-wearing fallen angel who comes to Earth in order to find and protect a new messiah. The timing seems to be right for this one, because that’s basically the same synopsis as every single genre movie the big studios have in production at the moment.

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Depending on where you look, Pacific Rim is either in 2nd or 3rd place at the box office this weekend. But it should make enough money to warrant a sequel, especially with international business. And those of us who are into this new original property from Guillermo del Toro are really, really into it. There’s certainly franchise potential, what with its whole background mythology (and back story, which you can find in graphic novel form). Plus it’s going to at least gross more than del Toro’s first Hellboy film, and that spawned a part II. There’s also the fact that Legendary Pictures began moving ahead on developing Pacific Rim 2 way back in December, hiring the first film’s screenwriter, Travis Beacham, to start penning another installment. In the months since, he and del Toro have been sharing some bare bits and pieces and possible ideas for what happens next. The details are thin but these teases about the direction part 2 would go in allow for some educated guessing and speculation as to what we’d see as far as more monster and robot battles. Below I highlight some of what’s been officially said, some of what’s been drawn from those reports and some of what we’re simply hoping for with Pacific Rim 2. If you haven’t yet seen Pacific Rim, there are spoilers to be found ahead. So get off the computer, go see it and then come back to read further.

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What is Casting Couch? It’s having trouble finding casting news in a week where the entire film industry’s eyes are turned to Sundance, but it was able to dig up a couple nuggets anyway. Not a lot is known about Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming project, Crimson Peak, but what we do know is that it’s supposed to be some kind of ghost story, and del Toro is in the final stages of securing Emma Stone to star in it. And now there’s some new news about who the male lead is going to be. Variety is reporting that Charlie Hunnam, the Sons of Anarchy star who del Toro recently worked with on Pacific Rim, is now on board the movie as well. Seeing as details regarding the plot are being kept under wraps, there’s no way of really knowing what role Hunnam is going to play, but probably that doesn’t matter. Honestly, this one had everybody at Emma Stone.

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Pacific Rim Comic-Con Poster

At last weekend’s Ain’t It Cool News Butt-numb-athon, Guillermo del Toro called Pacific Rim a “film made by fans, but not a fan film,” and it’s easy to see what he’s talking about in this first full-length trailer for the film. He isn’t making Hellboy this time around, but a big, accessible summer blockbuster for everyone. Considering all the massive action on display here, this could be what makes del Toro an actual household name. Who can’t get behind human-controlled gigantic robots defending Earth from monstrous aliens? We may have said the same thing about Cowboys & Aliens all those many naive years ago, but del Toro is a filmmaker we can trust with a high-concept as good as this. Check out the first trailer for Pacific Rim after the break!

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Deadfall

Deadfall is a prime example of a film losing steam too quickly, making it an exceedingly weak and limp effort from The Counterfeiters director Stefan Ruzowitzky. What starts off as a promising, chilly crime yarn turns out to be another generic thriller, always hitting the beats we expect. The structure is in place to make for a decent B-movie, but Ruzowitzky deflates almost every scene with standard, by-the-book flat filmmaking. How formulaic is it? This formulaic: Jay (Charlie Hunnam) has just been released from prison. Don’t worry, though, he’s really a (mildly) innocent man. He also isn’t your “average criminal,” because most criminals don’t happen to be former Olympian boxers. Who live by the border of Canada. Who get tangled up in some bad (read: nearly wacky) situations. It’s  just a real shame for Jay that two casino-robbing siblings, Addison (Eric Bana) and Liz (Olivia Wilde), attempt to take advantage of him and his family on Thanksgiving. Their plan heats up, though, once Liza and Jay start to feel something for one another. Obviously, nothing new going on there. What is missing to make it work is any sense of investment from Ruzowitzky. He takes joy in constructing some of the film’s action, but when it comes to Hunnam’s character, his dopey love story, and his conflict with his parents, Ruzowitzky appears more bored with it all than we are.

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Tarzan Bo Derek

It’s been over a decade since Tarzan graced the big screen in Disney’s animated adaptation and over three since the jungle hero was sexed up by Bo Derek in Tarzan the Ape Man. Between those two we’ve seen Christopher Lambert go ape in Greystoke, the Legend of Tarzan…and that’s about it. But Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ high-flying hero looks set to be a hot property in the next couple of years. First up will be a motion-captured adventure starring Twilight‘s Kellan Lutz, but it’s probably safe to call that one a bomb right now. The much safer bet is the big budget reboot coming from WB. David Yates has been rumored to take on the directing gig for a few months now, but the veteran Harry Potter-helmer seemed to be in no rush to jump into another possible franchise. Per Vulture though, it looks like Yates has finally signed on the dotted line. The question now becomes who will be cast in the high profile but somewhat risky role of Tarzan?

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Why should you go see Frankie Go Boom this October 12? If not to support a burgeoning talent in newcomer writer/director Jordan Roberts, do it because it stars names like Charlie Hunnam (who you might know from Undeclared or Sons of Anarchy), Lizzy Caplan (who is awesome in everything she does), Whitney Cummings (who has a lot to make up for after making us sit through her sitcom) and Chris O’Dowd (who charmed the world as the love interest in Bridesmaids and most likely has big things ahead of him). And, if all of those names aren’t enough to convince you to buy a ticket, see Frankie Go Boom in order to take in just how beautiful Ron Perlman looks when he’s dressed up as a woman.

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Though it feels like we’ve been talking about Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pacific Rim forever, it really hasn’t been quite that long, and information on the project has remained vague at best. The first quick bite on Pacific Rim (from back in 2011) reported that the film was about alien invaders, though we quickly learned that it was really “a monster movie” that centered on creatures emerging from the deep. When Charlie Hunnam signed on for a lead role in May of last year, we learned that he would be “one of the pilots of a giant robot who needs to climb back into the driver’s chair.” But since then, the terms “monster movie,” “robots,” and “mech suits” have been bandied about without any official connective tissue. But that’s changed. Today, Warner Bros. has finally released an official synopsis for Pacific Rim, one that ties together all those seemingly disparate parts, while also clarifying both Hunnam’s role and Rinko Kikuchi‘s part in the film. It is, in a word, awesome. Check out the full press release and synopsis after the break.

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There’s nothing better than hearing news of Guillermo Del Toro getting a new movie off the ground, especially when it happens to involve giant monsters and regular-sized humans in giant robotic suits doing battle. Since he couldn’t make it all the way to the coldest part of the world with Lovecraft, Del Toro is, of course, heading to the Pacific Rim, and it looks like he’ll do it with Charlie Hunnam. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the star of Sons of Anarchy is signing on to star in the film as one of the pilots of a giant robot “who needs to climb back into the driver’s chair.” Why he’s fallen out is anyone’s guess, but it probably involves the safety regulations on those seat belts being pretty lax. Have you ever test-driven a Mecha-Bot 3000? Vinyl was a poor choice for seating. This is a break-out chance for a great actor to prove his salt with a big budget and a visionary director behind him. Not much more needs to be said than that. Hunnam crushes in Sons of Anarchy, and as long as the melodrama is reigned in for someone struggling to face his giant robot-driving past, he could truly take this opportunity and fly with it.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It too slays vampires and zombies. Not in a top hat, mind you, but it slays them nonetheless. It also believes strongly that it will be assassinated (by /Film’s Page 2) while attending a revival of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre in Washington D.C. “There’s something in the American psyche, we want our presidents to be warriors. We’re giving that to Abraham Lincoln, sort of posthumously in this case.” That’s what Seth Grahame-Smith had to say A in an interview with The New York Times. It’s part of NYT giving the world its first look at Benjamin Walker as Abe Lincoln, the ax-wielding, vampire slaying 16th President of the United States. It’s a neat article that gives away a lot of details about the project, but nothing that you wouldn’t get having read the book.

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IFC Films has released the first trailer for The Ledge, a psycho-sexual religious infidelity forced-suicide thriller starring Sons of Anarchy‘s Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler and Patrick Wilson. The latter plays a man driven mad with jealous rage after his wife (Tyler) falls for her handsome, grungy new boss. What’s most interesting about the project is that it’s from director Matthew Chapman, who has not directed a film since the late 1980s, a decade in which he made several sexually-charged thrillers, including the 1980 Helen Mirren vehicle Hussy. In fact, Chapman hasn’t done anything of great significance since since 2003, when he penned the John Cusack courtroom thriller Runaway Jury. But here he is, with a quality cast and a movie that appears to deliver some tense moments. Good for him, I say.

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Things are about to go off in the quiet town of Charming, and before all is said and done, someone’s blood will be shed. SAMCRO will put the final part of their plan into motion to get Jimmy and take him out for good. Jax and Stahl will also set their plan into motion as Jax goes full on rat to protect the club he loves so dearly. Gemma will attempt to make a life altering decision for the sake of Jax, Clay and the rest of the club. And Tara will discover something that could alter Jax’s life forever.

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SAMCRO has returned from Ireland, but before he can get a moments rest, Jax and the rest of the gang are out on a man hunt for Salazar who has left the fate of Tara unknown, and Jax in emotional disarray. Her only hope will come from the one man who has been trying to take down SAMCRO for well over a year now. Jimmy O will also continue his search for freedom out of his Irish hell hole. And before the episode is over, one person will make a decision that could destroy them, and everyone they have ever associated with, and could bring down SAMCRO in the process.

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SAMCRO is in the home stretch of their stint in Ireland, and before all is said and done the fate of Abel & Jimmy O will be decided. Stahl will also come to action once learning the truth about Tara’s abduction. To her the goal is simple… save Tara to save her deal with Jax. Unser will also get some shocking news that will lead him on a war path with Hale at the top of his to do list. And before the episode is over, one person will make a choice that they might not be able to come back from…

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Jax, Clay and the rest of SAMCRO are on a vendetta after having their entire crew nearly blown apart courtesy of Jimmy and his boys. But things take a turn for the worse when they finally learn the truth regarding their Irish brothers. Now the choice is clear, take down the betrayers, or lose any hope of finding Abel for good. Back in Charming, Piney, Tig & Kozic get a call that they could have done without. Salazar’s demands are simple, kill Álvarez. Well, simple of paper anyway. But not wanting to ruin the shaky truce between SAMCRO and the Mayans, the boys decide to make a move that could put Tara in even further danger.

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With each waking moment in Belfast without a single clue as to Abel’s whereabouts, Jax is becoming more and more restless. He wants answers, and he wants them now. So after getting word on a possible location of Jimmy, Jax and the rest of SAMCRO head on a protection run with the rest of the Belfast charter in the hope for answers… But what the get themselves into is something they could have never seen coming. Meanwhile back in Charming, Tig, Kozic and the rest of the boys are out for answers as to who harmed Lumpy the night before. But the political mess they stumble on will lead to an ending no one could have seen coming.

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The time has come, the gang has made it to Ireland. But the red carpet has long been rolled up for the Sons. Instead, they’re greeted by some very unsavory characters. But things eventually settle down long enough for SAMCRO to meet up with the Belfast charter. At the same time, Jacob Hale is looking to push a business owner under the protection of SAMCRO out of Charming. But the people he hires to get the job done are non to pleased. Tig and Kozik will also come one step closer to settling their beefs with one another, but some fists will be flying before that happens. Tara will also be asked to help a friend, and this favor could change her life forever.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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