Jamie Bell

The Thing from The Fantastic Four: Rise of Silver Surfer

We’ve known for a while that Michael B. Jordan was going to bring his charm to The Fantastic Four reboot due next year from director Josh Trank, and now Variety has confirmed that The Human Torch will have some friends. Kate Mara will play The Invisible Girl, Miles Teller has been offered the role of Mr. Fantastic and Jamie Bell is expected to get the offer to play The Thing. The obvious takeaway is that this is more like The Abercrombie & Fitchtastic Four, but it’s at least a little encouraging to see an interesting shift away from the decade-old franchise incarnation. Will any casting matter while the film is under Fox’s roof? Maybe not. They haven’t exactly had a strong track record when it comes to superheroes. But in a world full of middle-aged people wearing spandex, it’ll be refreshing to see things tack a little younger. And just for fun, here are the new Fantastic Four members in their most recent projects. It should provide some — confusing — context. Squint and see if you can spot the powers:

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hSnowpiercer_14

To those who’d like to see Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer and don’t currently live in Korea, I’ve got some bad news. The film still has no release date for the Western world, but Harvey Weinstein, eager to add insult to injury, has just stepped in to make things much, much worse. According to film critic and programmer Tony Rayns (via Australia’s Inside Film), Weinstein, who’s in control of the film’s international distribution, has instructed Bong (The Host) to shave 20 minutes off his 126-minute film, or it won’t see a release in North America, the UK, New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. That’s awful. But what’s even worse is Weinstein’s reasoning behind the cut.  Rayns tells why: “[The Weinstein Company] people have told Bong that their aim is to make sure the film ‘will be understood by audiences in Iowa … and Oklahoma.’” Reportedly, the cuts would come from the film’s character work, leaving Snowpiercer as a bare bones action flick.

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Snow Piercer artwork

Whether due to coincidence or collusion, 2013 is the year three of South Korea’s best film directors will premiere their English language debuts. Kim Jee-woon’s The Last Stand will hit screens first in January, while Park Chan-wook’s Stoker will follow suit a few months later. Both films look to exist firmly in their director’s respective wheelhouse leaving Bong Joon-ho‘s Snow Piercer as far more of an unknown entity. One of the biggest questions has now been answered though as The Weinstein Company has reportedly picked up distribution rights for the film in North America, the UK and a few other English-speaking regions. No official release date has been set, but Deadline seems to believe a Summer 2013 premiere is to be expected. Snow Piercer is based on a French graphic novel called Transperceneige and plays out almost exclusively aboard a futuristic locomotive. The world has become an iced-over post-apocalyptic wasteland, and the only real safety is on this train which is constantly in motion. The last vestiges of humanity live aboard distinctly divided along class lines, but rumors of a rebellion from the lower decks reach the one-percenters living above and threaten to derail mankind’s last hope.

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Lars von Trier’s latest production, Nymphomaniac, has been causing quite a stir lately, due to its casting of mainstream actors in a movie that is said to contain explicit, non-simulated sex scenes. Starring Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, and Shia LaBeouf, the film is said to be about a sex-addicted, 50-year-old woman (Gainsbourg) recounting the erotic adventures she’s participated in throughout her life. The plan from the beginning has been to make two versions of the film, one that’s edited for relatively mainstream consumption and one that features hardcore depictions of sex acts, but exactly how far von Trier and his crew are going to go in that unrated edition has been kind of unclear. A new casting report from THR sheds a little bit of light on that, however.

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Man on a Ledge

“You know, Mikey, one day you’re going to stick your dick in the wrong door, and somebody’s going to slam it,” and that line represents Man on a Ledge in a nutshell. Goofy and laughable, but overall kind of charming. Director Asger Leth, with the assistance of commercial honcho mega producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, has made a through and through B movie. What you’d expect from a movie called Man on a Ledge, you get. It’s all fairly preposterous and thin, and Leth knows not to let it go on too long before its cheesy charms lose steam. The plot, well, you already know it. Anyone who’s seen that trailer has seen it all. For those of you who live under a rock though, Ledge follows Nick Cassidy, played compellingly enough by Sam Worthington and a dodgy accent. Cassidy wants to prove his innocence over a stolen diamond, so like any wise man, he escapes prison and goes to hang out on a ledge. But things aren’t what they seem, as is always the case. As he teases a suicide, his brother Joe (Jamie Bell) and his eye-candy girlfriend, played by the suavely named Genesis Rodriguez, go about robbing the man who may have framed Nick, the snarling David Englander (Ed Harris).

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr tapes some alcohol bottles to his knuckles and gets ready to brawl with wolves. Unfortunately, he first drinks all the booze in the bottles and ends up passing out in the snow. When he wakes up, he brushes himself off and heads downtown to climb on the ledge of a tall building. The police are called to try and save him, but Kevin ends up jumping when he learns that Katherine Heigl is brought in to talk him down. Fortunately, Kevin survives the fall and stumbles to the local multiplex to check out this week’s new movies.

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Tilda Swinton and John Hurt

South Korean director Joon-ho Bong is set to make his English language directorial debut with a train thriller set in an ice covered world called Snow Piercer. Normally if you told me there was a movie about train travel on an ice covered world called Snow Piercer, I would assume that we were talking about a Syfy channel original with a B-list cast and some hilarious attempts at digital effects; but that’s certainly not the case here. Joon-ho is pretty much the man when it comes to moviemaking skills, so despite its outlandish premise, Snow Piercer is very rapidly amassing an impressive cast. I mean, duh, Hollywood actors have probably been lining up around the block to audition once it was announced they could work with this guy.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr pulls out his screening schedule, which looks like a gambling addict’s racing form. He bounces from huge, mainstream releases to minor indie award contenders. Facing motion-capture CGI, tattooed bisexual investigators, cross-dressing waiters, silent film actors, and a lead star who is literally hung like a horse, Kevin tries to make sense of the seemingly countless releases this holiday week. Exhaustion from this process makes it impossible to buy a zoo or face the 3D end of the world, but his movie stocking is full, nonetheless.

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The Adventures of Tintin had always been a bit of a sure thing. With Steven Spielberg behind a camera he can put wherever the hell he wants, which he does indeed do, while adapting adventurous source material that couldn’t be more up in his wheelhouse, what could go wrong? Plus, he’s got a script from a dream team of writers — Joe Cornish, Edgar Wright, and Steven Moffat — and with Peter Jackson producing. I say it again, what could go wrong? As expected, not much. This is the high flying, energetic, and playful action film that we all hope and expect from Spielberg. As nearly everyone will unanimously point out, this is what we all wanted from Indy 4. This is Spielberg at his most indulgent, and it’s fantastic seeing him working at such a level. Spielberg embraces motion-capture in a wondrous way, and he pushes every gizmo and tool he’s got to its fullest extent. If anyone oddly questioned why Tintin was done in mo-cap — besides how silly Tintin’s hair would look live-action and the logistics of having Snowy doing crazy stunts — you’ll shut up after seeing the magic on display here.

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Based on the comics by Belgian artist Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin follows a young reporter as he (along with his trusty dog Snowy) end up on a series of adventures in pursuit of his next story. Brought to the screen by director Steven Spielberg and producer Peter Jackson, this may be the first time many audiences in America will be seeing and experiencing the world of Tintin (as the comic was first made famous overseas), but the series should have little trouble finding new fans this holiday season. Jackson’s skill with motion capture technology (as seen in his films like The Lord of the Rings and King Kong) is well-translated in Spielberg’s first animated project, creating an immersive world you can easily escape into, while the director’s love of telling an adventure story (and the series itself) bursts through each frame. The film begins with a series of animated scenes which work as a nice recall to the comics from which the story originated – even including a slight reference to newspapers as a nod to Tintin’s (Jamie Bell) job as a journalist and the format through which the comic first ran. The transition from to this the more standard style of animation into the full scope of the film’s 3D motion capture sublty helps audience realize just how impressive and vibrant this new technology truly is. Tintin may not look exactly as he does in the comics, but a clever wink at that iconic image is given early on, making it […]

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Retreat is a film that lives or dies by its actors. Mainly set in one location and focusing primarily on three characters constantly interacting, that’s an exceptionally tough film to make. That seems like a common thing for actor Cillian Murphy, though. No one can look at Peacock and Breakfast on Pluto and say, “What safe, easy roles.” The actor takes chances, and it all comes down to the directors he’s going to put his trust in. When one works with the likes of Danny Boyle, Christopher Nolan, Ken Loach, and Andrew Niccol, that must not be too difficult. The actor usually manages to work with the best nowadays, but even so, as Murphy says, you’re never going to quite know what to expect from a film. And, at the end of a film, that doesn’t matter much. Murphy’s advice: never be nostalgic and always move forward. Immediately before talking to Murphy, I had just gotten out of In Time. In that film, Murphy spends a lot of time getting his ass kicked, being disrespected, and everything else that would make one of us feel unmanly, similarly to his character in Retreat. A lot of Murphy’s characters seem that way, but to him it’s less about emasculation, more about how everyone’s a contradiction.

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Retreat features some sweeping exterior shots and action, but for the most part it stays contained within a single home on an isolated and otherwise empty island. Martin (Cillian Murphy) and Kate (Thandie Newton) have come here to get away from the hustle and bustle of life and to try to deal with a recent, undisclosed rift between them. They’ve had happy times at this cabin in the past and are hoping to recapture that magic, but their attempts at reconciliation are interrupted by the arrival of a battered and bloodied man named Jack (Jamie Bell) who they find unconscious and armed outside. Their act of kindness is soon punished with unwanted knowledge when he awakens and shares what brought him to the island. It seems a deadly and unstoppable virus has begun ravaging the outside world, and their only hope of survival is to seal up the cabin until the airborne danger has passed. The island has no telephone access. The CB radio they’ve previously used to contact the mainland is strangely silent. And Jack strongly insists both for their safety and his that they follow his instructions. And a man with a gun can be fairly convincing…

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While most viral outbreak films take us right into the heart of patient zero and the hordes of humanity flooding the streets to escape sneezing to death, Retreat takes the clever route by presenting it from the viewpoint of people who have no idea what’s going on. Unless there is no outbreak. But what if there is? Or maybe there’s not, but there’s no way to tell what’s truly happening in this first trailer which highlights Cillian Murphy and Thandie Newton as a couple taking a holiday on a small island when an armed man (Jamie Bell) washes ashore claiming that the mainland has been crushed by a virus that floats on the air. Check it out for yourself:

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When Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) was quite young, her parents died and she was left in the care of her aunt. The aunt took none too kindly to Jane’s outspokenness and her free spirit and promptly sent her to a finishing school where education was synonymous with corporal punishment. Years later, having survived her sentence at that school, she is employed as the governess for the daughter of the wealthy Mr. Rochester (Michael Fassbender). A love blossoms between them, but a terrible secret threatens to tear them apart. Melodrama ensues. I may very well invoke your judgment and scorn with the following admission: I don’t like period romance films. That being said, I happily volunteered to review Jane Eyre. No, this was not rooted in a sadistic desire to rip the film to shreds but rather the result of a very deceitful piece of marketing. If you haven’t seen the trailer, and you are as ignorant of the story of Jane Eyre as I was, it sells you on an atmospheric horror film set in the Victorian Age. They go so far as to appropriate the Goblin score from Suspiria and lay it over the three seemingly supernatural moments of the film. Turns out, now that I’ve seen the movie and had a few gaps filled in for me, there is a pseudo ghost story interwoven into the fabric of Jane Eyre, but this adaptation does nothing to cultivate it so the trailer is an out and out lie. But […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spent the night in jail after trying to sneak in and see Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D. The cops didn’t believe him that he was trying to watch the latest remake of Thunderball. Sadly, they just saw a pervy looking fat guy squealing and crying with a group of thirteen year old girls. Fortunately, he had a chance to catch the other movies of the week, including Gnomeo and Juliet, Just Go With It and The Eagle. He also gives a little bit of love (what’s left of it anyway after spending the night in lock-up) to the Oscar-Nominated Shorts.

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There are some historical stories so fascinating, mysterious, and incredible that audiences can never tire of seeing the tale played out on the silver screen again and again. This is purportedly one of them. At the height of Rome’s dominance over all things Earth-bound the legendary Ninth Legion was reportedly sent into Caledonia (modern day Scotland) to find, defeat, and subjugate the Picts. They never returned, and the mystery remains to this day. Two decades later a young Roman soldier named Marcus Aquila (Cardboard Tatum) volunteers for a command that puts him within shouting distance of the land that swallowed the legion… and his father who led them. He wants to solve the mystery and restore his family’s good name by recovering the legion’s lost Eagle emblem. Along for the journey is a Scottish slave named Esca (Jamie Bell) whose life was spared by Marcus in the Roman arena. Together they’ll face tests of their valor, loyalty, and heterosexuality.

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A month ago, we reported on the short list of young talent that Sony was eying for their reboot of Spider-Man. All in all, the list was fairly average. There were no stand outs in particular, but all of them would be passable as the web-slinger. Jamie Bell, Alden Ehrenreich, Andrew Garfield, Frank Dillane, and Josh Hutcherson are basically the same actor with different haircuts. At least Sony knows what they want. The news today being passed around the horn is that…there is no news.

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Jamie Bell Spider-Man

Thanks to the fact that Steve Jobs will clearing up all of the rumors about the new iPhone in a few moments, space has been left on the internet for another big rumor — Spider-Man casting. And while we’re working the phones and offering up back-alley handies to our friends inside the walls of Sony, we’re coming up with bupkis confirmation on this latest rumor. However, it will be a topic of conversation, so lets get on with it. Jamie Bell may be the world’s new Spider-Man.

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Apparently the short list has been whittled down. Out of these names, who should get the job as the web-slinger?

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A post-apocalyptic future where the rantings of a divorced cab driver have become the basis for a major religion. Who wouldn’t want to see that on the big screen?

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
B


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