Nicola Peltz

Transformers Age of Extinction

 The Transformers franchise has never been about humans – or, at least, it’s never been about Michael Bay’s on-screen humans, who have now proven to be wholly interchangeable even after a seemingly complete trilogy of films. Bay has restarted his weirdest franchise (sorry, Bad Boys, you’re just not strange enough) with Transformers: Age of Extinction, a final-sounding feature (what could possibly come after extinction? Bay’s answer is, of course, at least two other films) that abandons both the human characters that populated the first trilogy and the upbeat conclusion that seemingly wrapped it all up in satisfying fashion. Set four years after the battle of Chicago (billboards declare “REMEMBER CHICAGO!” in locales as far away as Texas), Age of Extinction picks up in a world still reeling from the revelation that there are aliens in the universe who are so technologically advanced that they can turn into vending machines at will (oh, and who can also kill without prejudice). Inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) doesn’t seem too put out by the news that we’re not alone in the galaxy – he’s too busy trying to program robots that can deliver beers, keeping his teen daughter Tessa (Nicola Peltz) from the opposite sex (like her secret boyfriend Shane, Jack Reynor), bilking his only employee (T.J. Miller) out of his cash and pretending he’s from Texas. The Yeagers may be rich in big ideas, but they’re poor in their bank accounts, so Cade and Tessa need something major to happen in order […]

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Michael Shannon

What is Casting Couch? It’s the roundup of casting news that knows what Gillian Jacobs is going to be doing with her upcoming break from Community. All that time in the bushes finally paid off. Most people probably thought Wild Things director John McNaughton’s career hit its zenith when he directed Wild Things. That movie was basically the most ’90s thing ever, and it practically introduced the concept of the three-way to the square community through the communicative power of Denise Richards’ boobs. He may yet top that work though, because Deadline reports that he’s just recruited the best actor in the world, Michael Shannon, to star in his upcoming thriller The Harvest. The film will star Samantha Morton as a successful heart surgeon and Shannon as her co-dependent husband. Its conflict comes in when their sick son meets a new friend, and suddenly the very controlled routine that Morton’s character has created starts to break down. Sounds like a creepy mom.

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Isla Fisher

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s a casting column that’s relying on the dreaded “short list” for content. You can’t really say that The Switch is a Jackie Brown prequel. Its story doesn’t really connect with the goings-on of Jackie Brown in any way, and Quentin Tarantino isn’t involved or anything. But it is an adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel that features many of the same characters Jackie Brown did. Case in point: Variety reports that fiery redhead Isla Fisher is in negotiations to play Melanie, the same stoner surfer girl that Bridget Fonda played in Tarantino’s film. The Switch also features Mos Def and John Hawkes in the roles Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro originally played, and Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped housewife. Fisher’s character is said to be the manipulator of the story, and isn’t that always the case with these pretty girls?

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Hollywood turned in its assignments early this week with releases on Wednesday and Thursday. Now Fat Guy Kevin Carr hands out his grades for the latest installment of The Twilight Saga and the big screen adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

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I mean no offense, but my job isn’t to be an avenger of fandom. I’m here to talk about whether or not the movie is good, from the most objective place possible. But this time I can’t help it. It’s just too much to bear. To the fans of The Last Airbender: I am offended on your behalf.

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