Ian McShane

Nick Frost in CUBAN FURY

After years of directing television episodes for comedies, including work on Episodes and Up All Night, director James Griffiths makes his film debut with Cuban Fury, a spicy comedy led by Nick Frost and a backing cast of other famous funny people. Similarly, the film is written by Jon Brown, whose resume was also previously film-free. Bruce (Frost) and his sister Sam were an award-winning salsa duo in their youth, until a gang of young bullies vanquished Bruce’s love of dance and upbeat attitude. Many years later, adult Bruce falls for his new boss Julia (Rashida Jones), and when he realizes that her favorite hobby is his childhood pastime, he’s inspired to get back in the salsa game. Cue Bruce’s grizzled old dance instructor (Ian McShane), and the fire in his heart is re-ignited.

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Hercules

Was Hercules truly a god? Was he just a mortal man? Was he, as Disney posited, flanked at all times by a chorus of R&B singers and a grumpy man-goat? The world may never know. Even if the world does kind of know, because Hercules was not a real person and just some guy the Greeks made up who could lift really, really heavy things. But Brett Ratner‘s Hercules isn’t satisfied with this answer. Instead, it offers up its own. This Hercules is something different, something billed as a “revisionist take on the classic myth,” where Hercules was not the son of Zeus and lived in a totally realistic Greece devoid of any supernatural beasts. Which makes it super awkward when the first trailer for Hercules rolls out supernatural beast after supernatural beast for Dwayne Johnson to beat with a club. Technically, this Herc might still be a non-godly one — the text cards proclaim, “BEFORE HE WAS A LEGEND… HE WAS A MAN,” and Ian McShane spends most of the trailer bellowing other, similar things about man and legend. But it seems somewhere along the line Ratner decided against “revisionist real-world Hercules,” and opted for “revisionist does-all-the-same-things-old-Hercules-did” Hercules.

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trailer cuban fury

Nick Frost is a funny man, but he’s a bit of a bridesmaid when it comes to his film roles. Sidekicks and supporting roles have been the entirety of his career, but no more. Step aside Simon Pegg, the dance floor belongs to Frost now! Cuban Fury stars Frost as Bruce Garrett, a chubby chump who falls for the new girl (Rashida Jones) at work but finds himself in competition with the office Lothario (Chris O’Dowd). Bruce discovers that no woman can resist a dancing man so he sets out to learn and master the art of the salsa dance. Check out the first trailer for Cuban Fury below.

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Jack the Giant Killer

How many people out there in the world have Jack the Giant Slayer as their most anticipated movie of 2013? With the exception of maybe Bryan Singer‘s mother — and that’s a big maybe — probably not many. That’s most likely due to the film’s nonexistent buzz. The first trailer landed with a major thud, so major I still recall the awkward dead silence and indifference towards it at a screening. Shortly after that trailer dropped, the movie lost its summer 2012 release date. Months later the movie received even more disheartening news. After Digital Domain hit hard times, word started to spread the project was in such bad shape employees were calling it “Jack The Company Killer.” Hopefully in the time since all this news broke, some serious measures have been taken. Sadly, this new trailer would lead us to believe otherwise. Apple premiered it, since Warner Bros. wanted to show off how wonderful these CG giants appear in high-definition:

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Ian McShane is an accomplished actor who’s been steadily working in the business for more decades than he’d probably like to admit at this point, but these days he’s likely best known for bringing the phrase “cocksucker” back into style while playing the cutthroat and dastardly saloon owner Al Swearengen on HBO’s Deadwood, so it’s kind of funny to picture him salsa dancing, which is what he’s going to be doing in his next film. According to THR, McShane has just signed on for a big role in the upcoming UK comedy Cuban Fury. The film, which was penned by a television writer named Jon Brown but which comes from an idea of Nick Frost’s, will feature Frost playing a schlubby doormat type who’s inspired to return to the world of salsa dancing because of a crush that he has on his boss. You see, his character used to be a dancing prodigy, but he had his career ruined early on by a rival dancer. Probably the idea of watching Nick Frost sexy-dance sounds appealing enough to sell you on seeing this one already, but wait, it gets even better.

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Did you not already get your fill of the Jack and the Beanstalk myth from this year’s Puss in Boots? Good, because Bryan Singer has his own (live-action) take on the tale, and the results look to be similarly cartoonish. Listen, you try to make magic beans look menacing while also crafting a giant goddamn beanstalk that pops up out of the ground without it looking totally bizarre and silly, okay? Oh, you did already? Oh. Oh, that looks nice! While there was a fair bit of buzz around Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer before the film blossomed into existence (see what I did there?) mainly regarding Singer talking about the project for over two years, casting rumors as to who would be starring as the titular Jack (Aaron Johnson and Andrew Garfield were both talked about before the role went to another superhero kiddo, X-Men: First Class‘s Nicholas Hoult), and a delay that pushed the film back almost a year, news on the project has been surprisingly scarce since it started filming earlier this year. So what’s the finished result of the classic tale reimagined going to look like? Well, if you believe this trailer, a bit like a cross between Puss and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Check out the first trailer for Jack the Giant Killer, complete with its own big-eyed orange kitty (seriously), after the break.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that rounds up junk and stuff. It also likes J.J. Abrams’ movies, but not so much that it can’t laugh at them, as well. It is also currently being written by an author who is distracted with Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules. It’s surprisingly charming. Geek icon Simon Pegg released a book recently, “Nerd Do Well,” chronicling his life as a now-famous nerd. Personally, I can’t wait to read it. In the mean time, one passage about George Lucas and the Star Wars prequels has become a topic of discussion. Did Lucas apologize for the prequels? That’s the question of the day.

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Disney’s latest installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise arrived in theaters nationwide yesterday, and in keeping with all things peg-leggy and swashbuckly, I present selections from the On Stranger Tides press conference. Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Rob Marshall, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ian McShane and Geoffrey Rush were front and center for the press event, with moderator Pete Hammond at the helm. Here’s what they had to say.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets shanghaied by a group of drunken, smelly people he met in a pub. If only, if only these were really pirates taking him aboard a haunted ship. Alas, they weren’t. Let’s just say that there might be a few trips to the pharmacy in store for him. After surviving his if-only-it-were-real-pirates experience, Kevin took a shot at seeing Jodie Foster’s Beaver. Unfortunately, no one told him this was a title to an actual film, so he spent another few days in jail, missing any opportunity to see that new Mel Gibson film at all.

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After the nadir that was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, it was clear that the most lucrative movie franchise of the new millennium needed some freshening up. So, out (reportedly by their own choosing) went director Gore Verbinski and co-stars Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley. In their stead, new helmer Rob Marshall is relied upon for his eye for grandiose theatrical imagery and staging, while Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane are meant to add spice and character to the proceedings. Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is, well, Captain Jack. Yet On Stranger Tides, the fourth Pirates flick, proves an age-old maxim: the more things change, the more they stay the same. However much the franchise has cosmetically shifted, the new picture is rooted in the familiar: Supernatural-tinged storytelling, murkily-shot battles fought against pristine backdrops, colonial-era costumes and the admittedly unforgettable protagonist, who has become an icon thanks to Depp’s epicene, offbeat take. It is by now a tired formula, rendered in such a way that emotional investment is muted and the more adventuresome aspects are diluted by their adherence to this static aesthetic. Character and atmosphere are sacrificed to spectacle, and the spectacle — sprightly chases, dull sword fights and sweeping, zooming shots of the lush Caribbean sea/countryside — has worn down.

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The fourth step in a franchise can often be the sticking point, especially when that franchise has taken a break of sorts after the third installment – just ask fans of Die Hard, Indiana Jones, Alien and Scream. The issues are generally two-fold, as the filmmakers are charged with somehow making a high-numbered sequel that retains the spirit of the original, at the same time as offering something new and compelling enough to entice new fans. Add to that the fact that that gap generally means that the fourth installment has to make enough money to turn heads, and certainly a lot more than would traditionally accepted of a third sequel, and you have a minefield of potential pitfalls. But surely Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides would be okay? Regardless of the critical reaction, the film will make an obscene amount of money, so that won’t be an issue, but the pre-release noises coming from the Mouse House, and director Rob Marshall actually seemed to suggest that this particular number 4 was going to address the problems of the preceding two sequels, which for fans and filmmakers alike set some exciting bells ringing. So swelled by that excitement, I donned a pair of the Palais’ frankly ridiculous 3D glasses and settled in to watch a rum and gunpowder caper.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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If you’re like me, you watch the Super Bowl for one reason: you can eat as many fried mac ‘n’ cheese balls as you want without so much as a dirty look. If there’s another reason to watch, it’s because Puppy Bowl has gotten repetitive. If there’s a third, it’s the commercials – specifically the movie trailers. Most of the movie trailers this year gave just a bit more insight into trailers we’ve already seen, but a select few (like Transformers 3 and Super 8) gave us our first look into the worlds being created for the big screen. Fortunately, like the PSAs that get to air for free during the big game, these movie trailers also taught us a lot. Especially about the trends of 2011 that are already emerging. Here are just ten things we learned.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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Disney has released the first trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides this week, and it’s more of the same from Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) and crew. From the familiar score to the wobbly mess that is the series’ lead character to the subtle hints that two young stars may be central to the actual story (keep an eye on the young lad and the mermaid), we’ve seen this act before. It doesn’t make it appear to be any less fun, however.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr strikes out against… well, pretty much everyone reviewing movies by taking issue with The Social Network. Sue him if you don’t agree, or friend him at Facebook.com/FatGuysattheMovies. But while he cringes under the weight of Jesse Eisenberg’s smug Michael Cera impression, he also rejoices in October being officially here and all the horror movies the month of Halloween promises to bring. Up first, he cowers in a dark theater to the likes of Let Me In and Case 39.

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One is a movie based on a board game. One is the fourth installment to a franchise based off an amusement park ride. Both are what the people have been holding their breath in nervous anticipation for. Luckily, both are delivering in the ridiculousness department. Because that’s a real department. It’s true. I’ve driven by a movie set before, so I know. A few intrepid spies have nabbed some shots of Rihanna and her non-regulation haircut for Battleship, and the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides main line up. Obviously looking at these set photos are a bit like looking at an X-ray and trying to figure out what color eyes the person has, but they’re good enough for a laugh for now. Sarcasm aside, I have high hopes for both films because seeing a big sci-fi warship movie would be cool, and seeing a return to form for the Pirates franchise would be even better. Still, Rihanna is an absurd casting choice, and she looks just as absurd as you’d imagine, and Ian McShane is a phenomenal acting presence, but dressing him up like a Gothic hobo might not be the best way to go. What do you think? View the images at ScreenCrave and Spoiler TV

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Ian McShane is many things to many people. To the children of the world, he will soon be the next big bad pirate to try and thwart the jolly conquests of Jack Sparrow, a character whose stories have earned Walt Disney Pictures over a two and a half billion dollars at the box office. According to THR, McShane has joined the production of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides as the villainous Blackbeard.

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coraline-review1

From Henry Selick, the director of The Nightmare Before Christmas and Neil Gaiman, one of the most brilliant writers of our time, comes the clever and delightfully dark tale of a young girl named Coraline and her wild adventure into an alternate reality.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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